The New Hollywood Podcast landed in Park City to spread inclusivity and representation at the Sundance Film Festival. In one of two live panels focused on LGBTQ inclusion and representation, we chatted with Adam director Rhys Ernst and star Bobbi Salvor Menuez as well as Sister Aimee directors Samantha Buck and Marie Schlingmann.
Although the two films take place in two totally different time periods, they are cut from the same cloth when it comes to sexual liberation and exploring sexual identity. Adam follows the titular awkward, self-conscious teen (Nicholas Alexander), who spends the summer with his hip and queer older sister Casey (Margaret Qualley) in New York City. While he is there he falls for Gillian (Menuez) — but she mistakes him for a trans man and he can’t quite bring himself to correct her error as the two grow closer. Before long, what started as a simple misunderstanding evolves into a comedy of errors that lays bare how out of his depth Adam truly is.
Based on a true story, Sister Aimee follows evangelist Sister Aimee Semple McPherson (Anna Margaret Hollyman) who pulled a fast one on all of her followers — she has vanished in plain sight. Of course, the whole thing was a clever orchestrated ploy to run away with her married lover Kenny (Michael Mosley). Outfitted with new identities and a courageous guide named Rey (Andrea Suarez Paz), Aimee and Kenny head for Mexico, searching for inspiration and adventure. When Aimee tires of Kenny’s literary ineptitude, she enlists Rey’s help to ditch him in the desert.
The panel gives a lively conversation on how their films change the landscape in terms of much-needed diversity within LGBTQ narratives and their hopes for the future of inclusive storytelling.
Listen to the episode below.