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HIDE AND SEEK

USA, 1996 (MIFF 1997, Documentaries)

Director: Su Friedrich

This beautifully crafted short feature, examin­ing adolescent lesbian identity in the 1960s, is an absolute gem. Director Su Friedrich approaches her subject from a number of differ­ent perspectives, combining fiction, talking heads and archival documentary sources. The central dramatic narrative involves 12-year-old tomboy Lou, whose desire to 'always want to do what boys do' has already marked her, to her peers, as a potential 'Lezzie'.

Lou's story is intercut with commentary from lesbians reflecting on their formative adolescent experiences in the 60s. Often amusing and sometimes painful, these anecdotes are tellingly paraphrased by excerpts from doctrinaire, allegedly educational films about sex and behav­iour from the period. The intensity of Lou's world - the torn loyalties and the internecine rivalries of best friendships, the barely sup­pressed erotic charge of slumber parties and seances - is wonderfully evoked through expres­sive black-and-white cinematography and an equally evocative soundtrack (how can you resist a film that opens with The Monkees and closes with The Supremes?). Exceptional perfor­mances from the young cast, including a show-stopping playground rendition of Stop in the Name of Love makes for compelling viewing that leaves you longing for more.

See also...

Rules of the Road

MFF's '91's Grand Prix winner Su Friedrich's (Sink or Swmi) latest film is a slyly subversive take on dominant male car culture and the dif­ficulty of carving out a feminine or lesbian space ... More »

First Comes Love

Last year's Grand Prix winner Su Friedrich (Sink or Swim), returns with something of a departure from her usual style First Comes Love uses footage shot at weddings, married with a soundtrack of ... More »

Sink or Swim

Friedrich's latest film, Sink or Swim, about her difficult relationship with her father, is both precise and wonderfully suggestive, at once readily accessible and dense with allusion, in less than ... More »

A HEALTHY BABY GIRL

25 year old Judith Helfand is crewing on a doc­umentary about the cancerous effects of DES (a drug supposed to prevent miscarriages which was widely prescribed in the 1960s) when she discovers ... More »

TIMOTHY LEARY'S DEAD

Timothy Leary, who Richard Nixon called "the most dangerous man alive", makes a great subiect for a documentary. Paul David's remark­able and wildly entertaining look at the originator of the ... More »

The Wild Bunch: An Album in Montage

This astounding documentary takes us to the high desert country of Mexico, where Sam Peckinpah shot his classic 1969 Western, The Wild Bunch. Archival clips alternate with excerpts from the film ... More »

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