It took me a few days to work my way through The Ultimate Lesbian Short Film Festival DVD after I received a review copy. I don't like watching a number of short films one after another; I prefer to view one or two at a time, then taking a break to let them soak in and reflect on what I saw. Too many films at once can make your brain glaze over, whether they are shorts or features; ask anyone who's ever submerged themselves full-force into a film festival.
"Ultimate" seems rather strong to describe the content of the DVD. I wasn't sure exactly what to expect from an ultimate DVD of lesbian films. Apart from a screening at aGLIFF last year, my exposure to lesbian-themed short films has been fairly limited, but I enjoyed the shorts on this DVD. The Ultimate Lesbian Short Film Festival runs the gamut from comedy to drama to fantasy, with only one film explicitly addressing sex.
I liked the fact that nearly all the films treated lesbians and women in general with dignity and respect. Blow presents a funny and touching look at Australian teenage girls who don't seem to much like the boys, but who are quite realistic young women. Tina Paulina: Living on Hope Street is a short documentary about a one-eyed gay homeless woman whom the filmmaker happens to meet on a street corner. Many filmmakers might consider the woman a prime subject for slyly mocking comedy, but Michelle Boyaner and Barbara Green portray her as a multi-dimensional human being ... in under 10 minutes, yet. Dani & Alice provides a glimpse into the end of an abusive relationship, but offers some understanding of both parties involved.