“In the Life” explores LGBT women in TV and film

Julianne Moore is so low-key that I tend to forget how much I like her.

Then I see her performance in films like The Hours and Children of Men and remember just how, um, talented she is.

This month, In the Life features a conversation between Moore and her longtime friend and collaborator Christine Vachon. The segment is part of a Women’s History Month episode, “Women Through the Lens,” that explores representations of LGBT women in TV and film.

Moore and Vachon have a wonderful rapport and raise some interesting points.

Whether or not Hollywood is homophobic doesn’t matter — because money isn’t homophobic. Milk is the perfect example of how a terrific script and a terrific director will attract a terrific cast — and that attracts an audience.

“Queer cinema” was more apparent in the ’90s because, for one thing, AIDS brought a sense of urgency to LGBT filmmakers. They wanted to tell their stories and felt the need to do it while they still could.

Vachon believes that her film Go Fish, which Moore loves, attracted an audience because gay women simply didn’t have movies that represented them. Now, with shows like The L Word, LGBT women have more choices. If Go Fish were released today, Vachon says, nobody would go see it.

In the Life also takes a look at The L Word with a behind-the-scenes video from 2005 that made me a bit nostalgic and melancholy. And not just because Dana was still alive.

What can I say? I’m going to miss that show.

The segment also reminisces about Desert Hearts, which in 1986 was the first mainstream lesbian film that didn’t feature a bisexual love triangle or kill off the lesbian protagonist. Director Donna Deitch and Patricia Charbonneau (Cay) discuss the making of the classic film and the excitement it generated from the community.

Deitch reportedly is working on a sequel — I sure wouldn’t mind seeing Cay and Vivian in all their glory again.

You can watch the entire episode, “Women Through the Lens,” at the In the Life website. How does seeing this overview make you feel about our representation onscreen? Do you truly identify with any of the LGBT characters currently in film and on TV?