Film Series : Recently Restored 2017

Desert Hearts

1986, Donna Deitch, USA, 96 min. With Helen Shaver, Patricia Charbonneau.

Show Times

  • Sun, Sep 3rd 8:15pm
  • Thu, Sep 7th 6:00pm

"Delightful film...remarkable in its sense of place, its mesmerizing stream of music, and its sharply observed supporting roles. If only more gay films had that kind of richness and humanity." — Camille Paglia, Bright Lights Film Journal

When Todd Haynes’s CAROL triumphed in 2015, several astute reviewers noted that it was following in the footsteps of this trailblazing thirty-year-old indie, similarly based on a vintage novel (by Canadian gay author Jane Rule), and similarly dedicated to the proposition that lesbian romances need not have unhappy endings. Vivian Bell (Shaver), a prim Columbia University professor, arrives at a Reno guest ranch in order to wait out the requisite six-week period for a quickie divorce. She quickly catches the eye of Cay Rivvers (Charbonneau), a rowdy young casino worker with an actively gay lifestyle. Cay’s determined pursuit sends Vivian into an identity crisis, until the walls come tumbling down in a memorably authentic love scene, but Cay, for the first time in her life, wants more than a brief affair. Director Deitch concentrates on the process of self-discovery rather than melodrama, framed by the neon-and-desert-sun tones of Robert (THERE WILL BE BLOOD) Elswit’s elegant cinematography. 4K DCP digital restoration from Janus Films. (MR)

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