Being the big gayer that I am I eagerly invested in the last two available two tickets for the screening of Céline Sciamma’s new film Water Lilies (Naissance des Pieuvres) at the BFI London Film Festival last Sunday. French language, young (but legal, I thought) girls in swim suites and more than a hint of the lesbienne, were all good gay signs.
And, anyone who knows a lesbian will know there is nothing more effective than a good lezza film for getting Wah Wahs out of house, away from the cats and on a hot date to the local arts cinema. So, if you just clicked on that Water Lillies link, you’ll understand why I was far from being the only gay in the kino that night.
However, any dirty old lezza who thought they might be treated to a display of young-French-girl lesbian porn – a la Tatu – will have been distinctly unimpressed. If you click on this link, then you’ll understand why any dirty old pervers will have returned home disappointed at the lack of lezza action. This is another typical ‘growing up with my teenage angst and insecurities’ movie, but slightly more interesting because it’s en Francais and involves ‘synchro’*.
Despite the *synchronised swimming displays, swimsuit shower scenes and general abundance of opportunities for the young ladies to get it on, there was no lesbian action to speak of. There was teenage boy (with teenage girl) sex, awkward fiddling (which involved crying) and vast amounts of smouldering longing (ah, mon Dieu!), but that was it. C’est tout. Pas de saucisson.
Actually, wait there…I can’t believe I just included ‘synchronised swimming’, ‘swimsuits’ and ‘showers’ in the same sentence as ‘no lesbian action’. I must be losing it. OK, it was certainly weird – one of the three central girl characters was distinctly speciale, but the whole thing was positively dripping with lesbianism. It was like a soaking sponge in need of a firm squeeze. But there was no squeeze. And so, the film stayed dry.
It’s Sciamma’s first feature length film, so she can be forgiven for beating around the bush (oh, see what I did there?) somewhat – I’d be cautious with a cast of 15 year-olds, even in La France. And looking back, it was by no means the worst lez-interest film I’ve had to sit through (Better than Chocolate, anyone? No, I thought not…). But really, and this is a moan at the BFI’s advertising techniques, selling this film with the following still shot was more than a little unfair…
Yes, that may have actually happened in the film, but no – it wasn’t a film about girls lezzing each other in the showers. I should probably add here that my decision to buy tickets wasn’t in any way related to the above picture. It was the French language and the assurance that Naissance des Pieuvres actually means ‘Birth of Octopussies’ rather than ‘Water Lilies’, that did it for me.