A great film in so many ways….
“Princess Cyd” is a wonderful film in many ways. I was surprised because my expectations weren’t particularly high. As a result, I’m gonna seek out more of writer/director Stephen Cone’s films.
The story begins with Aunt Miranda (Rebecca Spence) attending a lecture about her books, as she’apparently a famous writer. But her dinner afterwards is interrupted by a phone call…her brother-in-law needs a break from his daughter, Cyd (Jessie Pinnick), and asks Miranda to take her in Chicago for a couple weeks. She’s happy to and soon Cyd arrives. Cyd seems like a pretty normal teen and it’s obvious at first that she thinks Aunt Miranda (who she hardly knows) is a dull lady…just like EVERY adult. But over time they hit it off well and Cyd learns that her aunt is a pretty cool lady…not just because of her books but because she’s incredibly chill about Cyd’s sexuality. Instead of being scared to discuss sex or Cyd’s bisexuality, she’s supportive…which is great because soon Cyd meets up with Katie (Malic White) and they fall for each other.
I noticed that the other review referred to this as a Lesbian film. Well, perhaps Katie is gay…but what makes it interesting is that Cyd is clearly bisexual…something you rarely hear about in movies. I talked with the director/writer and it turns out he’s openly gay and he did seem to have a very female-positive attitude in this film. His female characters were exceptionally well written and I also appreciated how he avoided a mistake some other filmmakers make. There is a rape (or attempted rape) scene in the film and he chose to show very little and mostly imply the attack….and this is great because sometimes these scenes are just too vivid and disturbing. This could either trigger PTSD responses in some viewers OR possibly excite the prurient interest of some sick viewers…so thanks for NOT going there!
Overall, the story does an amazing amount without a lot of money or scope. Just a lot of real people acting in ways we can believe…and I really, really loved this film.
The best lesbian film at the Rochester LGBT festival
Princess Cyd (2017) was written and directed by Stephen Cone. Reviewers have described it as a coming-of-age movie, and that’s what it is. However, that’s only partly what it is.
Jessie Pinnick plays Cyd Loughlin, a young woman who is visiting her Aunt Miranda in Chicago for the summer. Cyd hasn’t clarified her sexual identity, but, as far as we can tell, she’s bisexual. As you’d expect, experiences during the summer help shape who Cyd is, and who she wants to be. OK–fair enough, but nothing truly unusual.
Rebecca Spence plays Cyd’s Aunt Miranda. Spence gives a riveting performance as an adult who has come of age. She knows who she is, she knows what she is, and she knows where she wants to be. It would have been easy for director Cone to make Miranda a fussy aunt, or a drunken aunt, or a sexually promiscuous aunt. She’s none of those. She likes her life, she loves Cyd, and she is a whole person in herself, not just in relationship to her niece. It’s wonderful to see the skill with which Spence portrays this role.
Princess Cyd was shown at Rochester’s excellent Little Theatre, as the opening night selection of ImageOut, the great Rochester LGBT Film Festival. My prediction is that it will win the audience award as best narrative film. It was certainly my best narrative film. It will work well on the small screen. It’s definitely worth seeking out and watching.