From “Loving Annabelle” to “Waking Madison”

If you were Loving Annabelle,
then you were loving lesbian filmmaker Katherine Brooks, co-writer
and director of the film. Loving Annabelle definitely nestled
itself into the hearts, minds and online DVD rental queues of the women-who-love-women crowd. Well, there’s some casting news about Brooks’ new project, Waking Madison. Sarah
(Disturbia, The Grudge 2) and Elisabeth Shue
have signed on to star in the film. Roemer has been cast as Madison
and Shue as Madison’s therapist.

And for those still loving Annabelle,
well, good news: Annabelle is in this feature as well. No,
no, not Annabelle, Annabelle, but actress Erin Kelly, who played
Annabelle. What, you thought this was a sequel or something? Has there
ever been a sequel to a lesbian-themed movie? No. Do I sound bitter? Yes.

Anyway, the full synopsis is here, but to paraphrase: Madison is a woman
suffering from dissociative identity
personalities) and living in New Orleans. Events leave Madison suicidal
and desperate, so she decides to lock herself in her apartment for 30
days. She also decides to film the 30 days as a video journal, and vows to kill
herself if at the end of the 30 days she cannot find answers to her
own questions and does not feel more at peace with her life.
Whew, romantic comedy this is not.

This brings me back to the
casting news. This seems to be a pretty intense role for 23-year-old
newcomer Sara Roemer.

As the title character, and one with mental health
issues, the film should really test Roemer’s skill. Shue, on the other hand,
has had a 20-year career and is probably best known for her Oscar-nominated
Best Actress role in Leaving Las Vegas. (She’ll always be the really
cute, sweet girl in Karate Kid to me.) How exciting to have an Oscar
nominee cast in Brooks’ second feature film.

Brooks has diligently chronicled
the filmmaking process through video journals on the website dedicated to Waking Madison. There are journals discussing
shooting locations, writing and financing as well as some more
personal subjects. I have pored over some of them (though
admittedly not all) and have yet to learn if there is lesbian content
in the new film — but since the film is about dissociative identity disorder
then heck, one of Madison’s personalities should be a lesbian or bisexual
woman, right? Dissociative identity disorder is no laughing matter,
of course, but having a lesbian writer and director but no lesbian
content in the movie
wouldn’t be so funny either! OK, maybe a little. See, I’m smiling.

Despite the lack of details, I’d say this is certainly a movie to watch for.
Filming begins Nov. 5 in New Orleans. Stay tuned.