20 October 2012
with a rare screening of the classic
Season Three of the Dublin Film Qlub will offer you another exclusive selection of fantastic LGBTQ films which are either little known, or completely forgotten, or which have failed to get the attention they deserve. This season is called the ‘Evil Season: ‘Mad, Bad, and Dangerous to Know’. After Season Two, Around the World in the 80s, Dublin Film Qlub are traveling back in time to the 1940s, 50s and 60s (stopping in 1968, the year Stonewall changed gay history). In Season Three, Dublin Film Qlub are going to take a look at some gloriously gay films from Hollywood, made under heavy censorship but managing to tell amazing queer stories in exciting new ways. By contrast, it will also look at the freedom of European films of the period, talking about homosexuality with a mater-of-factness which is often shocking.
Season 3 kicks off with…
Dir. Jacques Tourneur, 1942
Starring: Simone Simon, Tom Conway
Saturday, 20th October 2012
doors open at 3.00pm
(entrance through Connolly Books)
43 East Essex street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
day membership: €8.00
free tea & coffee
A thrilling tale about the power of sexuality to unsettle social norms
Not as well known as it should be, this film stands amongst the most beautiful, exciting, original, and provocative films ever made. And it is a lesbian classic. Val Lewton, who wrote the story and produced the movie, knew all about lesbians — he’d been raised by a famous one, his aunt Alla Nazimova, a superstar of the silent screen and the daring mastermind behind the queer film Salome (1923).
After 1930 in the USA, with the Hays Film Censorship Code in place, it became almost impossible to discuss sexuality (or politics) on film, so people like Val Lewton had to get really creative. Enter ‘Irena’, a Serbian woman from a strange race of creatures, half-human and (unknown to the world) half panther. Does it sound daft? Well, the film is actually very stylish, performances are flawless, the camera work and editing are magic, and the story is so compelling that you’ll be glued to the screen from start to finish.
Irena knows it is not in her nature to marry, because she is likely to kill her husband when her ‘true self’ returns. When she foolishly ties the knot with unsuspecting Oliver, not only she finds it impossible to have sex with him, but she can’t help herself either from ‘hunting’ women – including complete strangers in public swimming pools and desserted night streets.
Actress Simone Simon, who went on to make an openly lesbian film, is absolutely magnetic. But momentarily, Elizabeth Russell steals the show… as a fellow panther alerted by her ‘gaydar’, who approaches Irena: ‘Are you my sister?’
An irresistible film.