Family & Companions
Described by critic J Hoberman as looking like a 1940s film star dressed as a Little Rascal, the delightful Guinevere Turner made her acting, screenwriting and producing debut with Rose Troche's indie "Go Fish" (1994). Centering on Chicago's Wicker Park lesbian community, "Go Fish" marked an expansion within the "New Queer Cinema" movement to girl-oriented themes. Turner starred as the confident if lovelorn Max, a hip, verbally attuned "Generation X" lesbian who ends up in the arms of a gay veterinarian, and her script, stronger in its ripe, knowing ripostes then in its simple yet meandering girl-meets-girl plot, revealed urban lesbian life in an almost documentary fashion. Initially shot on weekends in 1991 and 1992, the project ground to a halt when funds ran out, but a call to Christine Vachon helped secure completion money from Islet. Vachon and Tom Kalin were stabilizing influences as executive producers, and the no-budget, black-and-white feature, which was the first film at that year's Sundance Film Festival to land a distributor, found a crossover audience in limited release.
Turner next played Cheryl Dunye's lover in Dunye's "The Watermelon Woman" (1996), a quasi-documentary look into black lesbian culture which utilized still photos and film recreations to create the fictional character of a black lesbian screen actress from the 30s and 40s. She acted in "Kiss Me, Guido" (as an "indignant lesbian"), "Chasing Amy" (as a singer) and "Latin Boys Go to Hell" before starring as an American dominatrix abroad in Stuart Urban's "Preaching to the Perverted" (all 1997), which she followed with roles in Scott King's "Treasure Island" (premiered at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival) and Kevin Smith's "Dogma" (1999). As for screenwriting, she collaborated with Mary Harron on the script of Harron's controversial "American Psycho" (2000, in which Turner had a small part), helping to take out the violent, repulsive stuff that most people could hardly stand to read in the Bret Easton Ellis novel to concentrate on its scathing 80s satire. She and Harron have also collaborated on an as yet-to-be-produced screenplay about 1950s pin-up girl Bettie Page with Turner attached to portray the starring role.
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Title Design (Feature Film)
Screenwriting, acting and producing debut, "Go Fish"; premiered at the Sundance Film Festival
Appeared in Cheryl Dunye's "The Watermelon Woman" as Dunye's lesbian lover
Had small role as a singer in Kevin Smith's "Chasing Amy"
Starred as American dominatrix Tonya Cheex disciplining unruly Londoners in "Preaching to the Perverted"
Portrayed character identified as indignant lesbian in Tony Vitale's "Kiss Me, Guido"
Acted in Scott King's "Treasure Island"; premiered at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival
Made cameo appearance as a bus station attendant in Smith's "Dogma"
With director Mary Harron, co-wrote screenplay of "American Psycho", based on the novel by Bret Easton Ellis; had a small role in film; premiered at the Sundance Film Festival
Starred in the independent film "Stray Dogs"
Wrote and directed the short, "Spare Me"
wrote, directed and co-starred in the short, "Hummer"
Appeared in and directed episodes of Showtime's "The L Word"
With director Mary Harron, co-wrote the screenplay, "The Notorious Bettie Page" (HBO)