Our Rating: ★★★★☆
L Factor: Lesbian Short Film
Short Take: Based on Katherine Mansfield’s 1907 short story. Two independent women find one another in 1915 San Francisco.
Alternate Titles:
Year: 1998
Duration: 27 min
Language: USA/English
MPAA: Not Rated
Director: Martha Wheelock
Writer: Marita Giovani
Starring: Blake Lindsley, Chad Morgan, Kara Zediger
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Ishtar Films

The Thistle Hotel ‘I can never forget the Thistle Hotel. I can never forget that strange winter night. I had asked her to dine with me, and then go to the Opera. My room was opposite hers. She said she would come but – could I lace up her evening bodice, it was hooks at the back. Very well.’

These are the first few sentences of Katherine Mansfield’s 1907 short story ‘Leves Amores,’ on which this short film is based. Mansfield, a celebrated literary figure, was treated with daily ice water baths to help rid her of attractions to other women, and events in the writer’s young life are also interwoven into the film.

Evelyn (Blake Lindsley, Mulholland Dr.) is a resident of the Thistle Hotel in 1915 San Francisco, feeling ‘old’ and alone, thinking back to the days when her lover’s (Kara Zediker, The Sex Monster) parents separated them.

When Alice (Chad Morgan) moves in across the hall, the younger woman is drawn to Evelyn, and for a night at the opera, the hooks on her dress must be attended to. When they return late in the evening, ‘I went with her into her room to undo those troublesome hooks…. and Youth was not dead.’ Produced with the American Film Institute, this short period piece is very well done, an awakening of passions for two independent women. (AB)