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News
Find ╬Lesbian Looks' in film series


By Nate Buchik
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Thursday, October 2, 2003

While television's "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" continues to take the nation by storm, the Lesbian Looks 2003 film and video series will show a different kind of gay media in the Modern Languages auditorium (ML 350) this Saturday at 7:30 p.m.

The series, which is in its 11th year, presents recent lesbian films that won't be shown on TV, and can't even be found at Casa Video. Since many people have limited knowledge of LGBT ¸ lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender ¸ media and get only a network television perspective on gay culture, the series tries to show a variety of perspectives.

"Obviously ("Queer Eye") appeals to a broad audience, whereas the works we show are perspectives coming from inside the community," said series coordinator Beverly Seckinger, an associate professor of media arts. "The work we show at the series is from diverse lesbian makers. It's work made from a lesbian point of view for a lesbian audience."

"Will and Grace,""Queer as Folk" and other shows with gay characters now show up more frequently in the mainstream, but there are still relatively few gay characters in film and television. While some say that there are more positive portrayals of gays and lesbians, a larger array of perspectives can only broaden peoples' horizons, Seckinger said.

"The notion of a positive portrayal is a trap. I think it's more important to see a variety of portrayals," she said. "If there is one gay character, or one black character in a white show, that person has to carry the entire load for a community."

Documentaries, shorts, and fiction narrative films will all be shown during the three-part series. "No Secret Anymore," a documentary about two lovers who started the first public organization for lesbians in America, was the main feature on Sept. 20.

The next installment, on Oct. 4, will cover a variety of short films: comic, dramatic, experimental and documentary.

"Robin's Hood," a feature length narrative that updates the Robin Hood story with two lovers in Oakland, will be the final feature on Oct. 18.

While the media has come a long way with its portrayals of gay characters, the series still aims to make strides and improve the LGBT situation.

"When we started doing this (series), there was no Ellen show and, well, stereotyping was all there was," Seckinger said. "But there are still a wide range of topics covered that the mainstream media wouldn't bother with."

Lesbian Looks has been the longest running program of the LGBT committee, which also puts on lectures and visual art series. It is presented by the UA Committee on LGBT Studies and co-sponsored by the Dean of Libraries, the UA Pride Alliance, UTC Equipment Services, the Departments of Media Arts, History, Women's Studies and Anthropology.

The viewings, on Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., should last around 90 minutes.

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