All Over Me

DIRECTOR: Alex Sichel

Expected guest: director Alex Sichel

Hailed by PopcornQ as “The Hottest Lesbo Romance You’ve Ever Seen” All Over Me is a timeless coming of age story set amidst a fierce riot grrrl soundtrack. Claude and Ellen are 15-year-old best friends growing up in Hell’s Kitchen in the late '90s—they are riot grrrls-in-training practicing barre chords on electric guitars with no amps in Claude’s pink bedroom. The duo plan to start a band, which is prevented by Ellen dating thuggish, homophobic, highly-strung, cocaine-dealing Mark.

Up and comer Alison Folland earned an Independent Spirit Award nom for her endearing portrayal of Claude, whose bright red hair and budding baby-butch demeanor make her visibly queer. Luke, a gay musician who has just moved into Claude’s apartment building, senses Claude’s isolation and convinces her to check out a place where she might find “other girls looking to start a girl band”. At a dyke bar, Claude meets Lucy (a very pre-The L Word Leisha Hailey), an adorable pink-haired guitarist who is playing in the house band. A romance blossoms haltingly with endearingly authentic teenage clumsiness. A friend’s violent murder rocks the neighborhood—and someone in the group knows something about it, but what will it take to make them speak up?

This 1997 Teddy Award-winning drama by the Sichel Sisters (director Alex and writer Sylvia) received funding to make a film about the riot grrrl music scene. The hard-hitting soundtrack is core to the film and features Ani DiFranco, Sleater-Kinney, Babes in Toyland and high-priestess of rock, Patti Smith. By the end, there is a queer riot going on—and the guitars do get plugged in—with the distortion pedals cranked up to “10”.

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