WLW deserve to see their lives represented on screen.
Unless you're white, cis-gendered, and heterosexual, it can be hard to find films that reflect your lived experience.
If you're anything like me, you suffer through even the worst movies just because some Reddit user said there was one lesbian kiss somewhere in the second hour of the film. Womxn-loving-womxn relationships have long been fetishized, ignored, or poorly represented in movies, but thankfully there are a few hidden gems out there that get it right.
Since you can only watch The L Word so many times, here are the best movies for womxn who love womxn.
10. Bound (1996)
If you haven't seen Bound, you're missing out on a true WLW classic. Before the Wachowski siblings hit the big time with The Matrix, they made this unforgettably campy movie starring Jennifer Tilly and Gina Gershon.
The story follows the torrid love affair between a mobster's girlfriend and her lesbian-next-door neighbor. Violet and Corky are as electric as they are funny, and there are plenty of love scenes to make you drool. According to the British Film Institute, "Bound completed a 90s trilogy of (in critic B. Ruby Rich's phrase) 'Lethal Lesbians' films (beginning with Thelma & Louise, 1991, and Basic Instinct, 1992) – a cinematic expression of lesbian feminist desire."
9. The Handmaiden (2016)
Set in the 1930s (who doesn't love a good lesbian period drama?) The Handmaiden is a South Korean erotic psychological thriller directed by Park Chan-wook and starring Kim Min-hee, Kim Tae-ri, Ha Jung-woo and Cho Jin-woong. It takes place in Korea when the country was under Japanese rule, and follows the devious plot of "Count Fujiwara" to steal the inheritance of a rich but secluded heiress. He plans to seduce the heiress and then commit her to an asylum and steal her fortune for himself. He recruits a pickpocket, Sook-hee, to pose as her maid and convince her to marry him. Instead, the heiress and Sook-hee soon begin a sexually intimate relationship. This masterpiece of cinema is worth a watch no matter who you are, but it's definitely an added bonus that it features some of the hottest lesbian love scenes ever put on film.
8. Carol (2015)
Directed by Todd Haynes, this instant classic thrust Cate Blanchett and Rooney Mara into the category of queer icons almost immediately. The film is based on Patricia Highsmith's excellent book The Price of Salt, and tells the story of two women, Therese Belevit and Carol Aird, who live very different lives in New York City in the early 1950s. While Therese is struggling to get by working at a department store, Carol is a wealthy, high-society lady in the midst of a messy divorce. Despite everything, the two women have an intense connection that leads them into a tumultuous love affair.
Every performance in this movie is top notch, and it's so beautifully shot and scored that afterwards you can actually feel good about watching a quality film (even if you just put it on for the hot motel scene).
7. Desert Hearts (1985)
This film about seeking independence and self-actualization through a queer romance was astoundingly ahead of it's time. Helen Shaver plays Professor Vivian Bell, who is taking some time for herself at a ranch in Nevada after finalizing her divorce from her husband. She soon meets Cay Rivers, played by Patricia Charbonneau, who lives and works at the ranch. As the two fall in love, the movie reveals itself to be a shockingly progressive meditation on the fluidity of sexuality.
6. Pariah (2011)
A smash hit at its world premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, this stirring film cements the immensity of director/writer Dee Rees' talent. Many directors end up making a coming of age movie that reflects their own experiences, but few offer a perspective as badly needed as Rees' story about her own Black queerness. The film follows the life of a teenager named Alike (artfully played by Adepero Oduye) as she discovers her sexuality and gender identity despite backlash from her more conservative parents. While this movie is often heart-wrenching, it also makes plenty of time for the joy of first love and self-discovery.
5. The Favourite (2018)
Is there anything better than Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone, and Olivia Coleman embroiled in a torrid love triangle? No. The answer is no. Directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, this darkly funny period piece about three women's struggle to feel powerful in a patriarchal world is as stirring as it is bizarre. As Weisz and Stone (as Sarah and Abigail) fight for the love of the queen through sexual favors, the audience is taken on a deliciously twisted ride full of desire and the corrupting force of power.
4. Tomboy (2007)
Between Tomboy and Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Céline Sciamma is becoming one of the most prominent figures in queer cinema. While Tomboy has fewer spine-tingling sex scenes than Sciamma's 2019 offering, it's definitely just as powerful of a meditation on what it means to be a queer woman or gender non-conforming individual. The film follows a 10-year-old named Laure who moves to a new town and decides to reinvent herself as the boy she's always wanted to be. As we watch Laure traverse that first summer with her new haircut and oversized T-shirts, it's impossible not to reflect on your own childhood, and all the ways you were shaped by the gender roles you may or may not have ascribed to.
3. The Watermelon Woman (1996)
As Autostraddle puts it, "Cheryl Dunye's debut feature is a work of Black lesbian cinema highly aware of its place within film history." Within this film, Dunye is not only claiming space for her Black lesbian identity; she's also asserting her right to build a world that works for her. Funny, quirky, hot, and occasionally uncomfortable, The Watermelon Woman is required watching.
2. But I'm a Cheerleader (1999)
If you haven't already seen this defining work of queer cinema, it's time to change that before your next Taimi date finds out how behind you are. Perhaps one of the best things about this movie is how thoroughly misunderstood it is by straight audiences and critics. It was first released to very poor reviews because the largely cis-het critics in charge of reviewing the film just could not understand how the traumatic subject matter could exist alongside a decidedly campy, spoofy aesthetic. But the queers get it, and we love it. The movie's satirical bent mocks the absurdity of homophobia while Natasha Lyonne and Clea Duvall give such grounded, relatable performances that you can't help but to feel their specific brand of young queer yearning right alongside them. The movie also includes performances from Melanie Lynskey, Michelle Williams, Cathy Moriarty, Mink Stole, and RuPaul.
1. Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019)
Directed by Céline Sciamma and starring Noémie Merlant and Adèle Haenel, Portrait of a Lady on Fire is one of the most beautiful subversions of the male gaze to ever be shown on a screen. The period piece takes place in France in 1760, and follows the story of portrait painter Marianne (Noémie Merlant), and Héloïse (Adèle Haenel), a rich noblewoman engaged to be married to a man she's never met. Marianne comes to stay with Héloïse in order to secretly paint a portrait of her to be sent to her husband-to-be. What ensues is a powerful battle of wills that ultimately transforms into a firey intimacy between the two women. As I've previously discussed, the most powerful thing about the film is Sciamma's ability to build a world that is almost completely free of toxic masculine energy or the male gaze.
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Sometimes you've just got to get yourself that Winter Candy Apple and Iced Gingerbread.
I hope Jen from Appleton, Wisconsin is doing well these days.
As for Angela, the star of the best Bath & Body Works rant of all time (and there are surprisingly many on YouTube), I hope she's living a Winter Candy Apple-scented life to the fullest.
In 2012, the aspiring vlogger posted a rant about her dire mission to acquire two coveted candles from Bath & Body Works: Winter Candy Apple and Iced Gingerbread. The outstanding 11-minute video recounts her harrowing journey to the store in APPLETON, WISCONSIN (it's very important the store is called out for their heinous treatment of Angela).
After the video was discovered and spread across Tumblr, it was recognized as a cultural masterpiece of our time, a treatise on the frailty of the human condition and our undying perseverance to end our own suffering at any cost.
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It's an unprecedented time for brand deals and nonsensical collaborations
I'm convinced that the Supreme Oreos that terrorized the internet (and which I haven't stopped thinking about since) were the cultural reset.
Released in February 2020, right as everything started to go wrong, these bright red Supreme Oreos were met with equally visceral confusion and anticipation. Despite many on the internet claiming that Supreme and Oreo had gone too far, the 3-pack of Oreos inevitably sold out in minutes online.
It seems Oreo have not learned their lesson. Just announced: their collaboration with Lady Gaga
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Life is short, go for a bold eye like Jules.
From Rue's grungy over-sized aesthetic to Jules' femme futuristic looks, there are plenty of outfits shown throughout the series to inspire you to reinvent your whole wardrobe. Not to mention the makeup looks, which are so unique and striking as to have inspired hundreds of Halloween costumes last year. But why reserve a neon eye shadow or sequin eyelid look for Halloween when you can channel your inner Maddie or Jules all year long?
Euphoria Season 2 may be a few months away, but HBO is releasing two special episodes much sooner. The first of these specials, "Trouble Don't Last Always," focuses on Rue (played by Zendaya) and just dropped on HBO Max. To celebrate, we've listed some of the most essential cosmetic products to help you make your Euphoria-inspired makeup dreams come true—no drugs required.
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Here's what to stream this weekend.
If you're anything like us, you're probably overwhelmed by the sheer number of albums being released on a weekly basis.
Popdust's weekly column, Indie Roundup, finds the five best albums coming out each week so that you don't have to. Every Friday, we'll tell you what's worth listening to that might not already be on your radar.
Jordana, Something to Say to You<iframe src="https://embed.spotify.com/?uri=spotify:album:2A6VsLoEwhNrIX1PnxSNoL" id="43d23" frameborder="0" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c0e2765824817964f2530f04b869de70" expand="1" height="480" width="100%"></iframe><p>Inspired by 2000s indie rock as much as current rap heroes like Lil Uzi Vert, Jordana Nye's second full-length album, <em>Something to Say to You,</em> is a chameleonic collection of lo-fi bedroom pop. After her early SoundCloud releases caught the ears of New York indie label Grand Jury, Jordana's sound has leveled up — wavering between layered electronica and acoustic ballads — without ever losing her homespun charm.</p>
Dogleg / Worst Party Ever, Go EP<img lazy-loadable="true" src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vbWVkaWEucmJsLm1zL2ltYWdlP3U9JTJGaW1hZ2UlMkZhYjY3NzA2YzAwMDBiZWJiMjVhYjkzNTkxNDJkYWViM2IzMzEyZDY5JmhvPWh0dHBzJTNBJTJGJTJGaS5zY2RuLmNvJnM9MzQ4Jmg9NTQ5MWIwMzBiZjA5ODIwMjlhOGExMjc4OGY2ZDdkN2JmMzRiMjFiOGE5Njk1MTZkYzczN2FlZTgzOTdmYjFjNiZzaXplPTk4MHgmYz0xNjQxNTAwMjA2IiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNjI2NjkyMn0.bm0HvEP0OlqD3CA4ZqtRJWHYLPhNQb8X6X9Lzt6zIKM/img.jpg" id="3c88f" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="b9aae84184b12a4b2de84b15b1052ff0" />Dogleg x Worst Party Ever - "GO"
Winston C.W., Good Guess<iframe src="https://embed.spotify.com/?uri=spotify:album:76e0yvuj6mQqf9A4l2MxR1" id="32d8f" frameborder="0" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="21bd6eeae038c3dd0c92abde74a04988" expand="1" height="480" width="100%"></iframe><p>Winston Cook-Wilson is a songwriter, music journalist, and frontman of the Brooklyn rock band Office Culture. On his latest release under the moniker Winston C.W., <em>Good Guess, </em>Cook-Wilson takes a quieter approach, with his jazzy piano and vocals backed by upright bassist Carmen Rothwell and guitarist Ryan Beckley. At once intimate and spacious, <em>Good Guess </em>acts as Cook-Wilson's reflection on a period of personal turmoil last year in a fitting soundtrack to healing.</p>
Drakeo the Ruler, We Know the Truth<iframe src="https://embed.spotify.com/?uri=spotify:album:3JHBh2GhfyEDtV9n2sSy77" id="fd6b0" frameborder="0" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="9c28db37b4280421677b5cec637ac060" expand="1" height="480" width="100%"></iframe><p>In November, when most of America was awaiting the results of the 2020 presidential election, Darrell Caldwell—the Los Angeles-based rapper known as Drakeo the Ruler — was <a href="https://www.npr.org/2020/12/01/940814717/drakeo-the-ruler-less-than-a-month-out-of-prison-releases-we-know-the-truth" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">released from prison</a> following years of institutional corruption at the hands of Los Angeles' District Attorney, Jackie Lacey.</p><p>Less than a month later, Drakeo has released his latest full-length project, <em>We Know the Truth, </em>a collection of gritty West Coast hip-hop that feels like a culmination of the rapper's emotions while behind bars. He wrote all the lyrics while in prison.</p>
Joan of Arc, Tim Melina Theo Bobby<iframe src="https://embed.spotify.com/?uri=spotify:album:741roIjrflAKmW4Cxe1U3K" id="310d5" frameborder="0" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="915b9785440a12cb635fe3eb4c3acd29" expand="1" height="480" width="100%"></iframe><p>Joan of Arc were one of the most polarizing bands to emerge from <a href="https://www.popdust.com/essential-emo-albums-2645236632.html?share_id=5564901" target="_self">emo's second wave</a> around the turn of the century. Formed by frontman Tim Kinsella after the dissolution of his short-lived yet highly influential band Cap'n Jazz, Joan of Arc offered a more experimental interpretation of the genre. </p> <p>Kinsella's knack for challenging expectations is still prevalent today on the band's final album, <em>Tim Melina Theo Bobby. </em>Idiosyncratic, evocative, and sprawling, the record helps memorialize the legacy of a band whose impact was often overlooked in its heyday.</p>
Boba's back and our heroes lose. Season 2 just went full Empire Strikes Back.
With only two more episodes left in the season, The Mandalorian kick-started the final narrative arc with an explosive new entry.
The Mandalorian "Chapter 14: The Tragedy" premiered Friday, December 4th on Disney+. We're going to breakdown and explain all the major moments in this episode as well as its implications for the future of Season 2 and the series as a whole. It's all spoilers from this point forward. Do yourself a favor, watch Season 2, Episode 6, and come back!
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