Two aging lesbians have a heated argument that leads to an unexpected outcome involving a traffic accident deep in the California desert.

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Jennie Ventriss ...
Irma
...
Fern
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Caterpillar Girl
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Storyline

An elderly lesbian couple living in the wilds of Death Valley prepare to set out to go to a friend's house to play bridge. After an argument over a dessert they get in the truck and continue to argue about the speed of driving. But an encounter with a girl dressed as a butterfly will change their relationship for good. Written by bob the moo

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Short

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Not Rated
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9 December 2001 (USA)  »

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2.35 : 1
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If it speaks to you then you'll like it - me? I didn't get it at all
20 September 2002 | by (Birmingham, UK) – See all my reviews

An elderly lesbian couple in Australia prepare to set out to go to a friends house to play bridge. After an argument over a dessert they get in the van and continue to argue about the speed of driving. But an encounter with a girl dressed as a butterfly will change their relationship for good.

The death of a short is that it is so personal or so artsy and `meaningful' that it fails to pass over onto an audience. Sure, the director can stand and say `this was inspired by X' and `this bit symbolises Y' but if the audience don't get it at all then what does it matter. Here the film seems to be about an unhappy lesbian getting out of a ill-suited relationship via a dramatic event.

However how it brings this idea to the screen is, at once, obvious and shrouded in symbolism. We know the couple fight as they do so on screen - it is clear one feels repressed by the other, but the way the relationships ends distracts from this central theme. Instead I found myself focusing on the crash victim rather than the selfish couple. Also why was the girl dressed like that? Was it meant to mean something? I understand they needed to have something happen to bring this relationship to a head, but surely something less dramatic would have been better. This is then contrasted by a very lazy final scene where the `liberated' partner smiles broadly and watches as a butterfly spreads it's wings. Well - I wonder what that can mean.

I don't mind something being clear, but why mix it with symbolism that is annoying in it's use? The cast do OK but their characters are too broadly painted, with no room for any common ground between them that would have brought them together in the first place. The over-reacting one annoyed me because she hammed it up, while the other partner got to me because she was only concerned about her own relationship while a girl lay dead due to her.

Maybe the girl is their relationship that now lies dead or injured and one expects the other partner to ge out and fix it. However the other partner refuses to get out and make any repairs or help, preferring the relationship to die and thus be freed. But this is all a guess - I got no help from the film to come up with this.

Overall I didn't get it and thus it immediately lost marks with me. Sadly I didn't appreciate it on any other level either and I'm afraid it was an unmemorable and slightly wasted 10 minutes of my life.


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