Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Film

New Genre-Bending WLW Short Film Premieres at Toronto Short Film Festival This March

Emily Schooley‘s new short film, Life and the Art of Lying, has its premiere at the Toronto Short Film festival later this month, and it confirms what many of us already know: Canada is a bright source of LGBTQ media. With recent television shows like Wynonna Earp, Orphan Black, and Killjoys, and web series like the explosively popular Carmilla (which was made into a surprisingly delightful, sleekly produced film), women loving women (WLW) storylines abound in the great north.

Where women hold each other to keep warm.

Life and the Art of Lying centers on Charlie, a queer artist with a close-knit group of friends, one of whom, Mara, she’s in love with. The film opens during a New Year’s Eve party during which Charlie passes out at midnight, chalking it up to intoxication. This is where we first learn about Charlie’s penchant for lying—mostly about how she feels, whether it’s toward Mara or in her body. Because, it turns out, Charlie is sick.

Following a terminal cancer diagnosis, which is a recurrence of previously diagnosed cancer, Charlie proceeds to hide her physical ailments from her friends until she no longer can.

The story, however, doesn’t go where I expected it to. The twist ending reveals the true hero of the story and bends genre. It took me by surprise, and I like that.

Short-form narratives don’t tend to by my favorite, generally speaking. I like to get to know characters, need time to get invested in them, and I enjoy seeing actors/writers/creators develop and grow over time. Life And the Art of Lying, like most well-told short stories, managed to pack a lot into a small space. In a way, this is jarring. Without the time and space for much buildup, the story seems almost rushed and confusing.

However, after some digestion and reflection on the film, I found that the story bends boundaries in a way that ended up working for me. Its surprising—if a little cheesy—ending considers broad societal questions of capitalism, class, and science, and it uses queer women to do it. That’s something I can get behind.


Images Courtesy of Laughing Cat Productions

Full disclosure: The author was sent an early screener of this film. The opinions are her own.

Author

  • Sarah

    Sarah divides her mental energy between analyzing/crushing on queer characters, training for marathons and sometimes on her day job.

Comments

You May Also Like

Gaming

There are few places in D&D with more fame than Icewind Dale. Thanks to the classic trilogy of that name by RA Salvatore, and...

Analysis

Hello and welcome to another installment of A Song of Pins and Needles, where you, the lucky reader, get to watch me torture myself...

Music

Fraxiom’s dancefloor-ready experimental pop has soared to national attention over the past few months, most notably through the Gupi collaboration “Thos Moser.” The joyous...

Film

Mulan is at times stirring, and almost always entertaining. It’s not as humorous or as zippily paced, as the 1998 version, but that’s by...