The Watermelon Woman and Q.U.E.E.N.: my thoughts

Hi all,

I really liked the plot of “The Watermelon Woman”. The first 20 minutes were confusing for me because there is a lot of place- switching in this movie and I did not know what to expect. Cheryl makes a movie about Faye Richards because she thinks that something in the way she looks and moves is interesting. I liked how dedicated Cheryl was to finding information about the watermelon woman and how she started her research by asking different people on the street who the watermelon woman is. I think that the style in which “The Watermelon Woman” was made, makes it very authentic and it is easy for the audience to get emotionally involved with Cheryl’s but also Faye’s story.

Cheryl’s and Diana’s story reflects the lesbian relationship between Faye and Martha and I think this made Cheryl even more dedicated to find more information about Faye Richards. My favorite scene was in the video store: the boss is trying to flirt with Diana but Tamara calls him and says that there is a woman on the phone who claims to be his girlfriend. This gives Cheryl the chance to talk to Diana which leads to the sex scene in Diana’s apartment. Diana seems very confident, while Cheryl is a little intimidated because she has never kissed a woman before. I found that the film-within-a-film relationship between Diana and Cheryl and Faye and Martha is a smart concept.

When I watched “Q.U.E.E.N.” for the first time, I was so distracted by the costumes the dancers were wearing, that I did not pay attention to the lyrics. I found the woman in the gold/ white costume disturbing and also the red stripe on the woman’s face gave the video a special touch. I did not really know what to make out of it until I listened to the lyrics once more that ask “Am I a freak for dancing around? Am I a freak for getting down? Say will your God accept me in my black and white? Will he approve the way I’m made? Or should I reprogram, deprogram and get down?”. It turns out that the singer is self-confident and comfortable with being herself although it could “make others uncomfortable”. She also points out that she does not only like the way she is, but that she “will love who [she is]”. Another important fact is that she says that if others categorize her, she defies every label. While watching the video, the singers gave me the feeling that we as the audience should also accept ourselves for what we are and stop caring too much about things that other people think of us.

I am looking forward to our discussion on Tuesday!

Best,

Melanie

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