Director: Donna Deitch

96 mins, USA, 1985, 35mm

This film screened 13th June 2016.

Our monthly strand in which a key film is presented in the context of a notional film canon.

Todd Haynes’ exquisite Carol may have encapsulated the torments, uncertainties and infatuations of a 1950s lesbian love affair but this earlier film, based on Jane Rule’s classic novel, offered a rawer, less effortful portrait. Cut-off denim meets academic suit in a sun-kissed 1950s Reno of quickie divorces and ranch life where uptight East Coast Viv falls for free-spirited sculptor and casino worker, Cay. Regarded as the first mainstream lesbian film, it depicts a passionate relationship with positive outcomes for both women – neither of which involves returning to a man.

Marking this year’s Pride Festival, journalist and broadcaster Una Mullally will present Desert Hearts for The Bigger Picture.

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