Desert Hearts:

Third Thursday: Pride

Thursday, June 20 | 5:30 pm 

Free with admission to Third Thursday: Pride


Disembarking after a long, cross-country rail journey, strait-laced English lit professor Vivian Bell (Helen Shaver) arrives in Reno, Nevada with the intention of ending her stolid marriage. Picked up at the station by sociable, mother-hen type, Frances Parker (Audra Lindley), Vivian mostly avoids the other female residents of Frances’s desert ranch. However, she finds herself drawn to free-spirited Cay (Patricia Charbonneau), a twenty-something casino employee and artist who openly sleeps with women—a rarity, even in Reno, in 1959. As Vivian and Cay grow closer and eventually submit to their passions, Cay and Vivian both run afoul of the judgmental Frances, the widow of Cay’s father. Beautifully shot by famed cinematographer Robert Elswit (There Will Be Blood), the deeply sensual Desert Hearts is a groundbreaking work of LGBT cinema, adapted by screenwriter Natalie Cooper from Jane Rule’s novel, and directed by first-time filmmaker Donna Deitch.


Director Donna Deitch | 1986 | In English | 91 minutes | R (for some nudity and adult situations) | DCP  

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