In this article, the authors argue that the 2013 omnibus film Valencia: The Movie/s (US) presents a unique approach to collective filmmaking in its adaptation of Michelle Tea's queer coming-of-age memoir Valencia (2000). This approach creates a sense of cultural inclusion, expanding the definition of the subculture Tea so vividly represents in her memoir about the punk-dyke community of San Francisco's Mission District in the 1990s. The omnibus structure of the film, in which every chapter presents a disjunctive shift in the aesthetics and cast of actors, provides audiences with a contemporary vision of queer feminism that embraces a multitude of gender expressions. This approach can be understood in the context of the cultural changes to lesbian and queer communities over the past twenty years, shaped by the growing visibility and inclusion of transgender politics. The authors also argue that Valencia: The Movie/s provides an antinostalgic attitude toward the gentrification of Valencia Street and the Mission District today. In representing Tea's Valencia through the lens of twenty different directors filming in multiple locations, the film adaptation resists one of the defining aspects of the book—that subculture is rooted in a particular place and time. Valencia: The Movie/s presents a kaleidoscopic and celebratory vision of Tea's memoir while simultaneously presenting a notion of dyke community that transcends its once-defined physical boundaries.
Research Article|December 01 2016
Valencia: The Movie/s: A New Collectivity
Camera Obscura (2016) 31 (3 (93)): 165-175.