Billie and Emma, revolves around the romance shared by two teenage girls. In its charming simplicity, this touching comedy drama touches on delicate themes, such as homosexuality, teenage pregnancy, religion and the education system. Furthermore, while it carries on the director’s work of advocating for better representation of women and LGBTQ+ in her local cinema, it also speaks to an international audience.
Emilia is a fun-loving, free-spirited experimental actress, with the ideal non-committal lifestyle to go with her non-committal personality; she gets invited to cool parties with drama students, has drunken sex with her sort-of girlfriend Mariana, and has a laugh with a trusted group of pals in her spare time. The only problem? Emilia is 35, and while everyone else has grown up and found stability, she’s been stuck in the same rut for the past two decades. Second Star on the Right, explores Emilia’s reluctance to let go of her arguably childish ways, and gently mulls over the true meaning of maturity.
It’s scathing and satirical as it sinks its teeth into predatory men and far right conspiracy theorists, providing the broadest dark laughs while offering something far more groundbreaking for the vampire genre below such surface pleasures. It’s a humble film that has no intention above making horror fans howl in delight – but on closer inspection, it’s clear that it deserves far more credit than a film in this style is likely to receive.
There is a moment in Chanya Button’s long-awaited Vita & Virginia where all the adornments of the period drama fall away to peer within the timeless image of sexual discovery – as one Virginia Woolf, admits to her almost-lover Vita Sackville-West that she “cannot” give her what she longs for. Her body tense, her tone one of desperate confession, this insight into one of the greatest minds of the 20th century feels almost sacred.