3. A film rooted in our community
*DVD in Japan: UPLINK (Discontinued)
Profile: Guinevere Turner
This lesbian icon made her major screenwriting and acting debut in the 1994 lesbian cult film, "Go Fish". She began writing in 2004 for the hit drama The L Word and has also contributed to countless other screenplays, including "American Psycho" and "Bettie Page".
--How did you get the idea of making "Go Fish"?
Rose was in film school, and we were watching some movies. There was this movie called "Switch" - which is a stupid 80s movie - and there's one scene set in a lesbian bar, and it's ri-diculous! We were like "What?! Where is that place? Who are those women?!" It was so NOT real, so we thought, "We should make a movie that really shows us." So, first we wanted to make a short movie, and then it just got bigger and bigger. And, at the time, even lesbian films were so out of touch, like "Desert Hearts," that didn't really represent any community. It was more like two lesbians in a tragic love affair. We were like, "That's not us. Look at us! There are tons of us. There's drama all the time. We're making love, breaking up, laughing, crying...we're just living our lives. If you watch "Go Fish", there's really no story: two people meet, kind of like each other, get together, and that's all that happens. It's really just about the way we look, and the way we talk to each other.
--What do you think about it retrospectively?
Three weeks ago, we just watched it again. We hadn't seen it for like ten years and we were laughing so hard (laughs). This is the worst movie ever made!
--Why did you feel that way? (laughs)
Because it's so full of issues, just endless. We were like, "What do you think about this? What about butch and femme? What about lesbians who sleep with men? You know what I think about..?" Just bla-bla-bla....We were laughing so much (laughs). Then we realized how we felt about the first two-thirds of the movie. So boring! But then, it gets sweet at the end, we were all, "Oh...how sweet! We made a cute little movie!" But I wonder how people were able to sit through the first 45 minutes!
--I mean, it's really a cool film, because we can recognize ourselves in it and relate to it. And the issues are still interesting today. We can see what lesbians faced at that time.
We're talking about making another one, because the issues are so different now. For us. Partly because we're older, but also, in general, because lesbians are more mainstream now. So we were thinking, "What do we have to say now?" It's totally different now.
--It would be really interesting to have another one. What would the characters be like?
We wanted the characters to stay the same.
--That's really cool! I liked the girl who played Ely. I saw her in the movie "The Watermelon Woman" that you're in as well. She has such a tiny part, but really so funny (laughs). Did she star in other movies?
No, that's all she's in. She's not an actress, actually. She's a chef. She lives in Paris.
--Wow! She's a good actress.
I was watching with her as well, with Rose, the three of us. We were just laughing and laughing. Because also we were so young, you know, we just look like babies! It was like 14 years ago or something.
--It will be exciting to meet all the crew 14 years later! Do you still see them sometimes?
Some of them. There's only one that we don't know how to find. But none of them are actresses, except me. But at the time, it was my first gig acting. And I didn't do it because I wanted to, I did it because I thought, "We need to find a bunch of people to be actresses, who will be really committed for a long time". So I thought, "Okay, I'll be one of them. I wrote that character - I'll just play it".
--But you never thought you wanted to be an actress before?
Not really. It just happened, because after "Go Fish" people asked me. So I thought, "Okay, if you think I can do it, then I'll do it." And also it's fun to act when you're not trying to make the movie, you just have to act. It's so fun. I love it!
Maybe for the second "Go Fish" - maybe it could happen in Toyko! They would all to have to come to Tokyo!
--That would be so cool (laughs).
That's actually a good idea! I should think of why it would be in Japan.
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