Remember The Velvet Coat?


It is an unwritten law of the Italian screen that as soon as there is talk of lesbians, Alessia Barela must make at least a cameo appearance (not that I would be complaining).

In the wake of the build-up to Italy finally – FINALLY – breaking trough the Vatican barriers and establishing a civil union law for its same-sex loving citizens earlier this year, consider  “IO e LEI” (trailer comes with English subs) by Maria Sole Tognazzi about the in Italy still somewhat novel depiction of a day-to-day, middle-aged lesbian couple, with one of them fearing being out (hence drama ensues).

Well, you had me at middle-aged Italian lesbians because if I have a weakness other than mezzo-sopranos, that might be it. Italian or Spanish. Both. Both are good.

I haven’t seen the movie yet, but if you look at just the trailer, you will get some Maca/Irene vibes, and then I had to rewind because, hello, don’t we know that face?

It looks like Marina got a queerer haircut when she signed up for a civil union license with one Esther B., or at least that’s my take on it.

It’s always good to see Barela, who in this case seems to be the sounding board best friend of the more out character (the brunette smolder seems to be another law of the Italian screen).

I have no idea how the film ends, but if Brunette Smolder gets dumped by Hesitant Despite Queer Sensible Haircut, look above and consider your life choices. Sometimes, a brunette pediatrician is the answer to everything (that, or 42. Or an Italian brunette aged 42? – Asking for a friend).

Just this evening, I found the following in my stats: It looks like Marina and Esther are not yet forgotten.

TdU callback.png

And while I tied that saga up with a bow (“Dare”, over at the Writing Desk), I will gladly take more queer-acting Barela on my screen.

8 thoughts on “Remember The Velvet Coat?”

  1. OMG!!! Happy indeed to watch Ms.Velvet again! Let me tell you that the spanish translation of Dare [in my Mis Gaviotas blog] is very active indeed! Many readers every week. I will make a post to link to this post, hope you don’t mind! [translation into spanish included] Thanks for the news and the trailer looks interesting indeed.


    1. That would be great Sam. Brings back good memories of our collaborations, too! (perhaps we manage to finish La llave this summer…?)


    1. sheer coincidence!
      (just as I realized only know that The Song of The Lark also has a velvet coat thrown around Thea’s shoulders at some point (and is that book ever fan fiction!) — contexts colliding!)


      1. Yup that’s a song with lots of deep and poignant memories for me, falling in love for the first time in boarding school aged 11 and listening endlessly to the Beatles when I was on holiday.
        “The Song of the Lark” was written by Cather just over a hundred year ago and set in a fictitious Colorado town called Moonstone, but also mentions Denver, where I live. A few months ago a friend and I did a thousand mile drive and traveled through the sand-hills of Nebraska (Cather’s state) on our way back home. I also lived (a long time ago) in Tucson and Flagstaff, Arizona. Cather had a serious, but I think un-reciprocated, thing for Olive Fremstad, so yes of course you are so right in making the fan fiction connection! Maybe its time for me to make a pilgrimage to Red Cloud this summer and perhaps also get a copy of her letters even though they might be the boring remnant after the best were burned.


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