Movie Review: Lost and Delirious

By Moira Sullivan
Movie Magazine International
Lea Pool's Lost and Delirious is a film about a boarding school for girls where
two students Paulie and Tore fall in love. Boarding school films with the
uniforms and rules seem to be fertile ground for clandestine lesbian love
affairs. They crop up every once in awhile in film history such as the classic
'Maedchen in Uniform' directed in 1931 by Leontine Sagan and Radley Metzger's
'Therese and Isabelle' from 1969 , both of which inspired many school girls to
declare their love for each other. Lea Pool grew up in Geneva and now lives in
Canada. 'Lost and Delirious' is her first English language film based on Susan
Swath's literary work 'The Wives of Bath'. An interesting cameo of the closeted English
instructor played by Jackie Burroughs is fabulous and will make any filmgoer fall
in love with poetry. Paulie is played by the carnivorous Piper Perabo who rips
into her part like a carcass of beef. Tori Jessica Pare is totally credible as
the straight woman who admires her girlfriend for her daredeviledness until it
conflicts with Sis and Dad's provincial morals. Paulie shares a room with Mouse
who finds their relationship quite natural, that is until Tori's sister walks in
on them. Then its a downward spiral like the badd ending lesbian films of Mark
Rydell's 'The Fox' and Robert Aldrich's 'The Killing of Sister George', both
made in 1968 where cruelty jealousy and revenge are the MO. Defying these
period pieces, 'Lost and Delirious' stands out for depicting the bravery of
Paulie despite the social snubbing, who finds solace in the love of a wounded

The film was not selected at the äCineffable Lesbian Film Festivalä this October,
the largest European film festival for a lesbian public . The public was not
smitten by what appeared to be an old lesbian theme disguised in glossy color.
It did win the audience award however at the 2001 Stockholm International Film
Festival which is a predominantly heterosexual film festival, but in a land where
domestic partnerships are national law. With such a film however the public
insists that it does not belong only to lesbians but anyone who has ever been in
deep emotional pain. What Pool's film does reveal is that the political North
American climate towards lesbians is still very much against their existence.
Paulie changes very fast in the course of a film from a bold and outspoken woman,
willing to defend her lover and defy the school's authority, to an hysterical and
paranoid creature. Such is the power of love when answered and then denied. But
for all its paper doll cutouts of lesbian role models, it powerfully reveals that
it hurts to be in love.

This is Moira Sullivan for Movie Magazine International, Paris France.
More Information:
Lost and Delirious
Canada - 2001