Iris Prize 2021 – Beyond Carol


Directed by Rosemary Baker and based on the poem by Lisa Luxx, Lesbian. is a poem about the word itself and the decades of toxic connotations it’s acquired, featuring a cast of real queer women (Luxx, Victoria Brown, Leilah-Jane King, Saima Razzaq, April Welsh), this is a fierce call to arms to reclaim it.

Short film is a perfect vehicle for bringing to life poetry, to give such well-written words a platform to connect on an even deeper level. What already began as a powerful poem, gets further enhanced with Rosemary Baker’s graceful, textured and colourful visual. The presence which Baker’s direction builds is impressive but it’s even more so when paired with the voice of Lisa Luxx.

Luxx gives a commanding performance, it walks the line of both being refined and perfectly down to earth. Similarly it balances being even toned and expressing the appropriate anger in response to the common homophobia all queer people have experienced at one point or another, whether directly or indirectly. Lesbian. creates a mix of poetry, performance and art piece, it has a compelling patter and pace, gripping throughout and leaves you still thinking of its meaningful message after the credits have rolled.

Verdict: ✯✯✯✯✯| 10/10

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Review: 1-800-D-Direct

Directed by Clare Macdonald and written by stars Haley Bishop and Gemma Yates-Round. While working a mundane job selling Dishwashers in 1960’s Manhattan, Joyce and Frances secretly start a secret database of all the men in New York City based on sexual performance. Also starring: Caroline Ward, Savvy Clement, Philippa Carson, Chris Rogers, Kirsty Sturgess, Jess Pentney and William Sebag-Montefiore.

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Review: Back to Back

Written and directed by Jooyeon Lee, filmed during lockdown, a performance film about care centred around a phone conversation between a cleaning agency employee and a woman trying to empty a locked fridge. When the two women meet-up they engage in a strange dance through the streets of Seoul, locked together back-to-back in a movement of mutual support and dependence. Starring: Seungmin Chu and Un Lee.

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