U.S., 1986, 96 min, 4K DCP, Dir. Donna Deitch, Rated R, Janus Films
“In Desert Hearts, Donna Deitch takes lesbian cinema back to its future.” – Armond White, Out
Donna Deitch’s swooning and sensual first film, Desert Hearts, was groundbreaking upon its 1986 release: a love story about two women, produced and directed by a woman. Critics hailed it as “brave,” “direct,” “loving,” and “romantic.” It was the standing-room-only Valentine Day’s gala at the 3rd Miami Film Festival (complete with an epochal post-screening soirée at Vizcaya). In the 1959-set film, a straitlaced East Coast professor (Helen Shaver) arrives in Reno to file for divorce but winds up catching the eye of a younger free spirit (Patricia Charbonneau), touching off a slow seduction that unfolds against the breathtaking desert landscape.
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