Note: This site is in the process of being migrated from its former home. Please be patient, everything will be here soon.
It’s been twenty years since I had this idea that I wanted to take my film studies background and my love of lesbian film and have a place to plant my thoughts. Six iterations of this site later (and years of neglect from time to time) and Kissingfingertips is still going.
This blog is dedicated to the queer, lesbian, bisexual, non-binary, wlw, and transgender communities (however you choose to label yourself!) who make films, and to queer visibility in cinema. It is however, all about women (with a deliberate nod to trans men on occasion - hey, it’s my blog). As well as film reviews, I’ve just moved the site here to substack to include commentaries, longer form film essays and other thoughts as well as reviews.
To be clear, this site is trans-inclusive and always has been.
Who am I?
I'm Nancy Amazon (obviously not really). I’m non-binary, queer, live in Melbourne, Australia, have a BA in Communications and Film, a Masters in English Literature, and several certifications in obscure marketing technologies which are my day job. I aspire to be the lesbian Roger Ebert (RIP Roger) or the queer Lois McMaster Bujold, whichever I can accomplish first.
Why did I call this site "Kissingfingertips"?
I wrote a paper for a film class a looooooong time ago entitled "Kissing Fingertips: Hiding Queer Desire in Mainstream Cinema". Do you remember how Antonio Banderas passionately kissed Tom Hanks' fingertips in Philadelphia right before the man he loved died? Yeah, that pissed me off.
I realised much of the gay and lesbian desire we saw was expressed through the kissing of hands or fingertips instead of showing real intimacy. While the situation is much better now than it was back then, the name stuck. This menace still pops up, and it's important to stay vigilant and call this bullshit out when we see it. (Of course, Taylor Hickson basically reclaimed the whole kissing of hands thing and made it hot, so who knew?)
What is “Bury Your Gays”?
BYG is a trope that exists because of the sheer number of queers that getting bumped off on TV. Why does it happen? Depends on what theory you subscribe to. Some say it’s punishment for trangressive sexuality that homophobes demand for the privilege of seeing ourselves on TV. Some say it's pure coincidence, some say it’s what we deserve (seriously?), some say it causes noteriety because it tends to make us mad and we talk about it on the Internet, so it's our own fault really (again, seriously?). If you can explain it to me (and Joss Whedon, and Jason Rothenberg, and all the bloody others) you'll be doing me a huuuge favour.
I love this Bury Your Gays list by Autostraddle, it's a phenomenal piece of work that is being added to all the time. More get added every year. (Read the Jenny Schecter entry - GOLD!) And I'm trying not to take it personally that Lucy Lawless dies FOUR times in this list, plus they're actually totally missing the death of her queer character on Salem so that's just getting ugly...
What is "Sweeps Lesbianism"?
In 2004, Liz Friedman (ex-Xena writer/exec producer who went on to do many fabulous things) coined the term "sweeps lesbianism" in the Bravo documentary TV Revolution: Out of the Closet. She described it as the phenomenon of TV shows presenting otherwise heterosexual women kissing women during the American sweeps TV months in order to attract higher ratings and generate noteriety.
The episodes are highly publicised, and the women magically snap back to being straight once the show's regular season resumes. The women they kiss are often hastily dispatched (either just removed from the show or actually killed off). I refer to this phenomenon often, as even today it has never really gone away.
Who do I need to thank?
The ewok for her inspiration, now and always. The people who have written to me requesting reviews, arguing with me, sending me copies of films I can’t find, and basically engaging in some way, you’re all awesome. I’d also like to thank all the fans out there of whatever wlw show and ship you’re into - you all are helping to force change and make the film and TV landscape a better place for queer people, so keep fighting the good fight!
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