By Contributing Writer on Friday, November 7, 2008 - 01:49
by Trebs - Contributing Writer
Last Saturday out director Rose Troche was the main guest at an Italian panel in Bologna about lesbians on TV. She talked about her best known feature movie, the lesbian cult Go Fish, her work as a director on The L Word and her upcoming projects. Eventually, she involuntarily let slip some spoilers on the 6th and last season of The L Word. Not that much actually, but enough to arouse my curiosity, and many others’ too I guess. If you don’t want to know it, just skip the last part of this post, otherwise just read on...
Easygoing and fascinating, Rose Troche catalyzed all the attention on the panel “Soggettiva”, organized by the lesbian association Arcilesbica in Bologna. Women stalked her at the beautiful cloister-garth of the Women Library, asked for photos and just packed the (till then half empty) hall when screenwriter Francesca Manieri and producer Anna Passarini interviewed her. Almost everybody stared at her as if she was a resurrected Madonna (the most sexy one that is though), but she didn’t look bothered at all. Surprisingly.
Most questions dealt with lesbian representation in The L Word. Lesbians from Bologna have a long political tradition and have always been militant, so everybody knew Go Fish as the first filmed manifesto on lesbian love. Many, on the other hand, were quite disappointed that The L Word resembles more Sex and the City than I Shot Andy Warhol.
Troche’s answers were quite frank. “Go Fish was made from and for the lesbian community”, she said, explaining that’s the reason why it could be much more radical than The L Word, a show aimed at a much broader audience. “We tried to get more political, but we had the impression the fans didn’t want it” she added, telling that the show’s creators constantly referred to the online forums to get fans’ reaction to storylines and characters. “The forum and the comments were mostly about dating and meeting women”, she said, “And as soon as there were four episodes in a row without any sex scene in them, we got thousands of e-mail asking: SEX SEX, SEX”.
Apparently, The L Word represents a very specific community, the LA and West Hollywood one. “They are mostly lipsticks lesbians”, Troche told. “The East Cost is more ‘rough’. I don’t mean that all lesbians wear flannel or Birkenstocks”, she added, “Or that they all look like me”. The last [comment] I found very disappointing, indeed.
She also explained the glamorous side of The L Word with a sense of activism failure after years of political fights. “We are coming out of a dark period in the Us, where we all lost touch with the government”, she told. “When I did Go Fish we where in the first Bush (senior) administration, coming out of the Reagan Era and we hoped to be able to do something. Then we lost touch with the government and we thought: What the hell! Let’s only care about make up and fashion”, she said jokingly.
Being open to criticism, doesn’t mean that Troche isn’t proud of her work. “The L Word wasn’t perfect, but it was necessary”, she said, “We paved the way for other shows. And I’m very happy that we have done it, every time a woman from Uganda writes me saying that there homosexuality is illegal, but she can secretly watch clips from the show on YouTube and feel like she’s not alone”.
That’s for the serious stuff. We also got to know some insider gossip. When the writers decided someone was going to die, she didn’t want to condemn Dana. “I was all: Kill Tina! Kill Tina! But they never listen to what I say”, she explained, telling that nevertheless she likes the dedicated work Laurel Holloman does with her character.
Finally, Troche told she’s trying to do her own series, about four New York University students with pedestrian superpowers. “I’d like to show women in their 20s who are neither whores, nor bitches, nor virgins”, she told. Troche is also working on a movie about two women from Florida who want to adopt a child. “Unfortunately Florida forbids lesbian couples to adopt, so they end up adopting a 30 years man who lives with them”. I can’t wait to see it; just the thought of it made me laugh.
And, speaking about adoption, here it comes: the spoilers! As I said, tiny ones. Troche was talking about The L Word attempts at going political. She said that the transgender thing is now very important in the Us lesbian community. “I had more ex girlfriends getting together with men and more younger friends becoming men in the last 5 years that in my 30 years of business being a lesbian”, she noted (I like her business!). And she added that we’ll see a lot going on about Max. Besides, she spoke about adoption and the desire of many women to find a partner in order to have a child. “We also did a storyline about adoption and how difficult it is for a couple to adopt”, she said. “Ops! I’m giving away things about the 6th season! Please do not translate this!” she wittily asked the interpreter. Too late! Now, the question is: Who’d want to adopt on The L word? What do you think?