Carmen’s Team Pick:
Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you’re eating a lot of chocolate and feeling really loved right now. I also hope you’re in the mood for some gay love stories to come into your life, because Autostraddle Reader, A-Camper, and Klub Deer Twerk Team Member Allison Tate-Cortese and her girlfriend Jennifer Vogel whipped up a super-short, super-retro, super cinematically wonderful one just for you.
“A Kiss From Your Lips” is a one-shot short that puts a twist on all those classic dance scenes where the girl gets swept off her feet by some guy who may or may not have any rhythm – and instead focuses on one woman’s attempt to push a dude out of the way and dance with her lover. I’m down with that, TBH. The three-minute video, which was released for Valentine’s Day, is part of a larger love story Allison and Jennifer wrote together.
“We are, in our hearts, swing dancers, not that you can tell that from our actual moves,” Allison told me. “It’s one of the things that brought us together. When we’re out dancing people assume we’re only dancing with each other because we’re waiting for gentlemen to ask us to dance. Not the case! We couldn’t help but imagine how different things were decades ago, when simply dancing together, not to mention loving each other, was something that was much more dangerous.”
Indeed, the film questions all the overarching narratives about fairytale romances that were prevalent in the times of Suzy Q and Pleasantville – and reminds us that even if queer visibility wasn’t at an all-time high during the days of yore, we were there.
“This is a Valentine,” Allison said, “for people whose stories haven’t yet been told.”
If watching this over and over again just isn’t doing the trick, check out the behind-the-scenes video and the Allison Films website to fall deeper and deeper in love. While you’re at it, check out the Allison Film Tumblr and Facebook page and follow the filmmakers @allisonfilms and @jentlebelle on Instagram on Twitter.