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Fun in Girls' Shorts (DVD Review)

27 Apr, 2008 By: Laura Tiffany

Street 5/13/08
$24.99 DVD
Not rated.

Collections of shorts often contain a few rotten apples — low-budget films that mean far too well for the skill involved and were probably submitted for college credit before they were submitted to the festival circuit. Fun in Girls' Shorts, a silly-named collection of six lesbian-themed shorts, proves an exception to the rule. Each short film stands well on its own and the collection provides a pleasant balance between the romantic and sad and the comedic and heartwarming.

The most well-known contributor is Guinevere Turner, an actress and writer of The Notorious Bettie Page, Go Fish and American Psycho. Hung, the 12-minute short she wrote and directed, concerns a group of five lesbian friends who take a potion to grow penises for one day; the results are sexy, confusing and very funny.

In Hi Maya, two older women recognize each other at a hair salon; their earlier teenage friendship had also been a love affair. Their reunion is liberating and beautiful.

Jenn Kao's Outside is a haunting love story that leads to emancipation for a woman in a post-apocalyptic society. The acting is perfect, and the atmosphere is both fascinating and suffocating. The award-winning short was created in 2004, and it's a shame that Kao hasn't directed or written anything since then.

Another creative entry is Jen Heck's Airplanes, in which she juxtaposes a carnival flirtation between two young women with a 1950s instructional film about airplanes.

Two more shorts round out the collection — one dealing with a teenager's awkward attempt at finding a fellow lesbian and another that humorously mocks the rigidity of queer-identity politics.

There are only a handful of smart, funny and realistic representations of lesbians in film and TV out there — such as But I'm a Cheerleader, If These Walls Could Talk 2 and Showtime's “The L Word” — and Fun in Girls' Shorts is a welcome and worthy addition to that far-too-small list.

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