Posts Tagged ‘Lesbian’

Before you get confused – I said Foxfire not Firefox. Thankfully no one has become that creatively barren that they feel the need to document the history of the web browser. There is hope for us all.

I’m going back in time just a smidge today in order to review Angelina Jolie’s seriously intense Foxfire. Never heard of it? Well you wouldn’t be alone. It is one of the first films she ever made, and isn’t even available on DVD in Europe much to my pain. The film follows four teen girls who would normally not associate with each other, brought together by the transient Legs (Jolie) who inspires them to stand up for themselves. The group learn a lot about life and friendship along the way, and also about their sexualities. And it is a story of female love and friendship.

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Angelina Jolie has played several intense characters over her long career. But none are more intense than Legs. It isn’t just Legs blatant lesbianism, which inevitably initially intimidates members of the group, that makes her intense. But it is also her fearless attitude intertwined with her fragile vulnerability. It’s a match up few could play convincingly, but it oozes out of Jolie’s pours with ease.

Legs is the catalyst in the chain reaction. She spends most of the middle of the film pretty silent, riding the wave of anarchy and teenage destruction that she started. You get the feeling that that is what Legs lives for in a way. She brings people out of their normal selves and then watches them. But her intentions are definitely not negative. While she may have gone to the school initially looking for trouble, when she found her group of girls – she cared about each one of them intently. And was even willing to kill for them.

After the group overcome a common foe, a bond is formed. It is a bond that is unbreakable once it had started. The girls were ‘running with foxes’ – a note made by their principal – and it meant they were a pact, loyal and protective until the end. But with the foxes comes the carnage. The girls, once they felt persecuted for righting a wrong, set about doing increasingly more reckless things. With the notion of “why not…?” they had free reign on what they could achieve together, and a lengthy suspension to experiment.

Possibly the most intense scene of the film involves Legs, semi-nude, tattooing a fire into her right breast in order to remember the night forever. Jolie’s effortless acting means there is a extremely believable transition from feisty transient to vulnerable young woman, who has been brave enough to expose herself to these virtual strangers. The girls reaction is of shock, awe and then agreement as they all get matching tattoos too. And despite Legs lesbianism, the scene isn’t sexual – just sensual and gives a real feel of sisterhood.

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Like all the best teen films, Foxfire is funny and warm when it wants to be, and it will make you laugh out loud. The chemistry between the five leads makes the film and I often found myself longing for my own teenage pals.

The end of the film ends with a choice for Maddy, the girl closest to Legs. She is forced to choose between her old life and the unknown adventure she could have. At first glance it could be seen as a choice between her love of Legs, and playing it safe, but really that’s only half the story. It’s the classic tale of youth. We’ve all sat back and wondered about what would happen if we ran away somewhere. If we had an adventure that never ended and surrendered the up and coming responsibilities of adulthood. Really, Legs was that reality. But I ultimately think it was the realisation that Legs was running from herself and her own life that made Maddy choose…

Overall it is a classic 90s movie with a lot of messages, a big heart and buckets full of coolness even after all these years. A definite must watch for any Jolie fan.

8.5/10

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I’m starting a new series of articles for Rather Be Mental this week. Its the ‘You better abide by my TV guide’ series (don’t laugh! It took me half an hour to think of that…) that will basically, with as much arrogance and gusto as I can muster, tell you what you should be watching. I will try do one for each week and they will cover shows from not just within the UK but also around the world.

First up this week – Lip Service; BBC3, Friday’s 9pm.

Now for those of you who know what Lip Service is, well you will probably be a bit surprised to find out I am a fan. Why? Well because it is a drama set in Glasgow, focusing on the lives of three lesbians. Now bear with me here! Firstly, it is a well written, fantastically acted drama first and foremost. And you certainly don’t need to be gay to get sucked into all the drama. Honestly, it is funny, smart and literally has me shocked week in, week out at the many twists and turns. Shocking me is difficult, so I have to give it its dues. Out of the cast, I have to give kudos to Fiona Button who plays Tess. Not only has she managed to build up the many layers of her character in just 10 short episodes, but she single handedly shouldered the funny aspects of the show and has me laughing every week. Newcomer Anna Skellern, who plays Lexie is also a favourite of mine and has a good balance between comedy and drama. Overall, it is a great drama that I really think is overlooked way too much by the critics simple because the characters are gay. Give it a look and check out the trailer, and if you want to catch up you can find all the episodes either on BBC iplayer or youtube. Enjoy!

Next up…

Silent Witness; Available on iPlayer

I think Silent Witness definitely deserves a mention, even though this series has very annoyingly come to an end. I say ‘very annoyingly’ as one of the episodes has been pulled by the BBC as it was too similar to a recent trial. My issue? Well, from watching the preview for the episode, it seems obvious that that was exactly what the writers were going for, and so I think it is silly to pull it. People have brains, they can distinguish fact from fiction and it would be nice if the BBC gave us a chance to do that.

Anyway, rant over – Silent Witness, if you didn’t already know, follows three pathologists as they solve crimes… Well I didn’t say it was realistic did I? It really isn’t actually, but what it lacks in substance, it certainly makes up for in style. Each episode has an invisible cloak over it that just oozes atmosphere, and the three central characters – particularly Harry and Nikki are extremely likeable to the point were we let the plot holes off. Plus, occasionally it shocks me when the killer is revealed… and that never happens when I watch the US shows! Check it out on iPlayer now, and take a look at the clip provided for a preview.

And finally…

Game of Thrones; Sky Atlantic, Wednesday, 10:15 pm (Or online if you can’t wait!)

If you are not already watching Game of Thrones, firstly – clear your schedule and catch up immediately; secondly – where the hell have you been?!

Every few years, a show comes a long that really changes TV. Lost taught us that TV can be as well produced and written as any movie; Buffy turned the slasher movie premise on its head in those first few lines,  “I am the thing that monsters have nightmares about“; The Simpsons told us that cartoons were no longer just for kids; and ER made an impossible scene to shoot look really god damn easy.

And to be honest, there hasn’t been that many radical shows in recent years. True Blood comes close, with its mix of sex, gore and drama, it is hard to ignore how great that first series was – but it peaked and then it fell back down again. The Walking Dead also definitely earned a nod in the way it is possibly the scariest show on TV, and more than that, it is one of the best written shows in terms of character development – from a Zombie drama!

But, for me Game of Thrones surpasses both of the aforementioned. Why? Well because it is EPIC. This is a word that gets tossed around a lot in Hollywood – Sci Fi epic… Epic biography… blah blah blah. With Game of Thrones, I don’t use the word lightly. It really is epic. It had the gall to kill off one of the central characters, and most famous actors, in one foul swoop (I won’t say who for your own benefit!); it has a class A cast who week in, week out deliver Emmy deserving performances (and an actual Emmy for the outstanding Peter Dinklage); it takes us from the desert planes, to the icey wilderness beyond the wall delivering stunning cinematography at such ease that we come to expect it when we shouldn’t; and the writing – well that is second to none, and is the shows vibranium core to Iron Man’s super suit. Honestly, it is unlike any show I’ve ever seen. It makes the pilot of Lost look like a school production. And above all that, it has a wealth of story to use thanks to George RR Martin’s novels.

Seriously, don’t take my word for it. Check out the trailer for a preview – and catch up now.

Anyway, that’s it for now… remember – You better abide by my TV guide! It’s for your own good!