On this episode, we discuss the work of bisexual Iranian-American filmmaker Desiree Akhavan, who is best known for the films Appropriate Behaviour and The Miseducation of Cameron Post, as well as the TV shows The Slope and The Bisexual.
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The episode features Editor-in-Chief Alex Heeney. Executive Editor Orla Smith, and special guest Lena Wilson.
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On this episode
- Why this episode (4:37)
- Appropriate Behavior (9:14)
- Akhavan’s great casting (12:23)
- The Bisexual (13:02)
- Bisexual identity (13:49)
- Coming out narratives (36:44)
- The Bisexual‘s emotional experience of casual sex (43:46)
- Structure in Appropriate Behaviour and The Bisexual (48:50)
- The Miseducation of Cameron Post (54:15)
- Chloe Grace Moretz (1:22:18)
Appropriate Behavior (2014)
Appropriate Behaviour, which was released in 2014, follows Shirin, played by Desiree Akhavan. Shirin is a young bisexual woman in New York getting over a breakup with her ex-girlfriend Maxine, played by Rebecca Henderson. The film cuts between flashbacks to Shirin’s relationship with Maxine and the present day, where she’s trying to get her life together. That involves clumsily rejoining the dating scene, and switching careers from journalism to teaching preschool kids to make movies on GoPro cameras. In the film, we get a comedic insight into Shirin’s struggles dating as a bisexual woman, and her reluctance to come out to her Iranian family.
The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018)
The Miseducation of Cameron Post is based on Emily M. Danforth’s novel of the same name. It’s the ‘90s-set coming-of-age story of Cameron, played by Chloë Grace Moretz, a young teenage lesbian who is sent to a gay conversion therapy camp by her very Christian aunt. There she befriends misfits Jane and Adam, played by Sasha Lane and Forrest Goodluck. She also faces emotional abuse at the hands of the camp’s icy leader, Dr. Lydia Marsh, played by Jennifer Ehle, and her “ex-gay” brother turned camp counselor, Reverend Rick, played by John Gallagher Jr.
Desiree Akhavan episode notes
- Read Lena’s 2018 review of The Bisexual on The Playlist
- Read Orla’s interview with The Miseducation of Cameron Post DP Ashley Connor
Desiree Akhavan related episodes
- Ep. 96: Girlhood and compulsory heterosexuality: Water Lilies and Jennifer’s Body
- Ep. 93: The Films of Agnieszka Holland
- Ep. 85: The Films of Naomi Kawase
- Ep. 79: Sundance 2021, Part 2
- Ep. 78: Sundance 2021, Part 1
- Ep. 66: Francis Lee’s God’s Own Country and Ammonite
- Ep. 45: The films of Anne Émond
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