Our Rating: ★★☆☆☆
L Factor: Lesbian Film
Short Take: This experimental film finds an aspiring Chicago artist with a crush on her hip roommate. Then she meets a mentally unstable woman who tries to win her.
Alternate Titles:
Year: 2004
Duration: 115 min
Language: USA/English
MPAA: Not Rated
Director: Wendy Jo Carlton, Ai Lene Chor, Maria Gigante, Laura Lonigro, Amber Mohammad, Aprill Winney, Etta Worthington
Writer: Wendy Jo Carlton, Ai Lene Chor, Maria Gigante, Laura Lonigro, Amber Mohammad, Aprill Winney, Etta Worthington
Starring: Candace Thaxton, Lorri Hamm, F. David Roth, Autumn Brooke Wilkins, Sara Laudonia, Adam Meredith

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Brushfires

This experimental film finds Cat (Lorri Hamm), an aspiring Chicago poet and artist, with a crush on her hip roommate Melissa (Candace Thompson). Problem is that Melissa isn’t interested and has a boyfriend. Then Cat meets Dakota (Sara Laudonia), a woman who isn’t quite right and does some things that are just plain crazy to win Cat’s love and sympathy and turn her against Melissa. The film becomes a portrait of a disturbed Dakota and the damage she does to others – although she does make Melissa notice Cat and develops something with Melissa herself.

The movie is cut into seven chapters, with a different director from the film group Split Pillow taking on each piece, adding different styles, soundtracks and editing to parts of the same story. It’s very low budget, to the point where camera work and sound are sometimes distracting, but with nice performances. This is perhaps a production more for those interested in filmmaking and the movie’s unique artistic elements, rather than the lesbian storyline. It failed to keep my interest in some slow moving segments.

‘Brushfires’ comes from a line in one of Cat’s poems. Although the title might lead you to believe otherwise, it does not contain any fiery sex scenes. (AB)