Quests: New Lesbian Work, Part 1 | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

Quests: New Lesbian Work, Part 1 

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Quests: New Lesbian Work, Part I

The strongest of the seven works on this program is also the most somber. While it's become a cliche for a first-person film to focus on the artist's troubled family life, Kim McNabb's Gifts From My Father (1997) portrays the filmmaker's relationship with an alcoholic parent with raw emotional power and a rare lack of irony. The narrator's father encouraged her to play basketball when she was a child, and in one sequence images of the basketball hoops they've mounted at the family's various homes suggest the oppressive power of memory and the impossibility of reshaping one's past. McNabb ends the film with the father's increasingly homophobic phone messages to her, a hair-raising interjection of the present. Other of the films are aggressive, highly ironic, and delightfully twisted. Jane Farrow's Cracker Barrel My Ass (1997) argues that a restaurant chain is homophobic, then suddenly seems to advocate, in fake corporate press-release style, increased heterosexual pleasure through anal intercourse. In I Touched Gloria (1997) by Katrina Fullman, a young admirer tells a feminist icon her life story--which includes a spoofy depiction of her career as a dominatrix--and winds up in bed with her. Christine S. Russo's Virgin of the Sea (1997) is a mildly demented fairy tale featuring drag queens and a mermaid, and in Vanilla Lament (1997) Catherine Crouch scratches on film to create a cheery if unsurprising comment on the protagonist's persona. On the same program: Memory Tracks (1996) by Jamika Ajalon and We Always Danced (1996) by Nettie Marquez. Hothouse, 31 E. Balbo, Saturday, March 21, 8:00, 773-281-4988.

--Fred Camper

Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Virgin of the Sea film still.

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