We’re so excited for this one, guys. One of the most talented and respected queer writers and editors has stopped by to answer a barrage of questions from us. Welcome Sacchi Green, editor of Me and My Boi, out today!
What are your five favorite movies with romance or romantic elements?
Describe your favorite scene from each one (you can include a Youtube clip if you want as well).
Since I write for and edit lesbian erotica anthologies, my preference is for GLBTQ-themed movies, but, since there aren’t all that many of those to choose from, some of my choices are more of a mainstream nature.
- Bound: A thriller with a romantic core. Violet (Jennifer Tilly), longs to escape her relationship with her mafioso boyfriend Caesar (Joe Pantoliano), and enters into a clandestine affair with alluring ex-con Corky (Gina Gershon.) There are plenty of memorable (and often violent) themes, but my favorite part is the extended sex scene between the two women, which I’ve discovered was directed and “choreographed” by Susie Bright, the well-known feminist writer and sex educator. I’ll just say that she made sure they got it right.
- Cloudburst: Stella (Olympia Dukakis) and Dotty (Brenda Fricker) are a longtime couple separated when the daughter of Brenda’s character (who is blind) forces her mother into a nursing home—until Stella springs her from the place and they head for Canada where they can be legally married. Every scene deserves to be a favorite, especially those where Stella displays a vocabulary worthy of any sailor (which is pretty much every scene), but my favorite is possibly when Stella tries to describe a seashore sunset to her blind lover.
- Always: Everybody is straight in this movie, but that doesn’t keep it from being gripping. Pete Sandich is a daredevil aerial forest-fire fighter. Pete finds True Love with Dorinda (Holly Hunter) but won’t give up the job. When he takes one risk too many, Dorinda faces deep grief and cannot easily put her life back together. In a crucial scene Dorinda takes a plane up by herself to rescue trapped firefighters, but almost doesn’t make it back, until Pete’s spirit, left temporarily on earth for this very purpose, guides and strengthens her, as well as encouraging her to take advantage of a new potential love that has entered her life.
- While You Were Sleeping: Sandra Bullock and Bill Pullman, coming gradually together in spite of the slight complication that his family thinks she’s his unconscious brother’s fiancée after she saves him from a fall in front of a train. Many nice scenes, including one where they both slip on an icy sidewalk, grip each other for support, and end up laughing in a clinch on the cold ground.
- Sense and Sensibility: Emma Thompson’s version of the Jane Austen book. The most touching scenes for me involved the younger sister, Marianne (Kate Winslet) and much older Colonel Brandon (Alan Rickman), who falls in love with Marianne at first sight. However, foolish Marianne considers him an old bachelor, incapable of feeling love or inspiring it in another—until the day when Colonel Brandon finds her fallen and distraught in the rain and brings her home.
Did you have any of these scenes in mind when writing scenes from your latest release?
None of these scenes, but “Gargoyle Lovers,” my own contribution to my latest anthology, Me and My Boi, involves a lesbian couple honeymooning in Paris, and the narrator starts out with:
“I’m siingin’ in the raaiin…” But that song was from the wrong Gene Kelly movie, and it wasn’t quite raining, and I was only whistling. My speaking voice gets me by, but singing blows the whole presentation.
Hal glanced down, her face stern in that exaggerated way that makes me tingle in just the right places. I shoved my hands into my pockets, skipped a step or two, and knew she felt as good as I did. Hal’s hardly the type to dance through the Paris streets like Gene Kelly, especially across square cobblestones, but there was a certain lilt to her gait.
So you might say that both Gene Kelly’s An American in Paris and Singin’ in the Rain were on my mind while I was writing.
If you could only read five books for the rest of your life, what five books would they be, and why?
Well, they might as well be very, very long books, to last that long. I’ll start with The Complete Shakespeare (and make sure to take along a magnifying glass, since the copy I own has very tiny print.) There’s so much to be found in Shakespeare, and so many possible interpretations, that it could keep me busy. And I’ll also take The Complete Sherlock Holmes, because I became enthralled by Holmes when I was very young and impressionable. Other than those, I’d have a harder time making choices. Something by Ursula LeGuin, but what? The Left Hand of Darkness wins out because it’s the one that made the most profound impression. And one by Jane Austen, but I’d really have to roll a die to choose, except that it wouldn’t be Mansfield Park.
Hmm, just one more? It should be a long, detailed history book of some sort, but I can’t make up my mind, so I’ll default to one of the better translations of Sappho’s poetry, and use my imagination to fill in the blanks in what has survived.
Who are your book boyfriends? (list a maximum of five) What do you like about them? What characteristics do they share with the hero from your latest release?
Since my latest release is an anthology of lesbian erotica, with a wide variety of stories, I can’t draw any specific comparisons, but I can say that characters in the stories range from dominant bad-bois to sweetly vulnerable lovers with all kinds of intriguing permutations. As far as actual men in books goes, I suppose I can pick a few of the traditional ones: Rhett Butler, Mr. Darcy, Aragorn (although Eowyn is my true crush from Lord of the Rings,) Horatio Hornblower, and, let’s see, what the heck, I’ll pick a non-male—Brienne of Tarth from Game of Thrones, even though the character is not, unfortunately, lesbian.
Everyone has a favorite couple (an “OTP” in ‘shipping terms) in romance, whether in a romance book, movie, or television series. Who is your favorite couple, and why?
My new favorite couple is Stella (Olympia Dukakis) and Dotty (Brenda Fricker) from the movie Cloudburst, which I described above. A lovely, intense, and overwhelmingly poignant relationship.
FIRST ROMANCE (AKA My First Time):
What was the first romance novel you read?
I can’t really remember, but it may have been The Sheik by E. M. Hull, a best-seller from 1919 (and inspiration for the iconic movie.) I found a copy in the depths of a stack of old books in a thrift shop many years ago.
What do you remember about it?
The desert setting, the culture of the times, the vivid sexuality.
What did you like most about it?
I liked the courage and rebellious nature of the heroine, Diana, a rich girl tired of luxury and determined to travel in the desert on her own terms.
What did you like least about it?
It was kind of a cop-out to have the Sheik turn out to be actually the son of a British aristocrat, but back then (and now, too, come to think of it) racism wouldn’t permit a hero to be anything but white.
Have you ever reread it? If you did, how do you feel about it now?
I did reread it many times, but not at all recently. As I recall, though, it stood up pretty well, if you can take into account the culture of the times, which I can.
Darcy or Wentworth?
(bonus: who’s your favorite Darcy or Wentworth on screen?)
Darcy. Colin Firth.
Christian or Gideon?
Who is Gideon? Besides a son of Jonah. Anyway, I’d choose anybody other than Christian Grey.
Rochester or Heathcliff?
Spock or Kirk?
Sunrise or sunset?
Angst or humor?
Tea or coffee?
Wine or beer?
Cake or pie?
Scruff, beard, or clean-shaven?
Um, you may not really want to know what clean-shaven means to me.
Blue-collar or white collar?
Jeans or a suit?
Car or motorcycle?