Empty Days

Monday, April 19, 2004



What about love - who knows

I've seen a rather interesting film the other day - by a french guy but staged in London and with an all-british cast. Called "Intimacy" - about a guy who silently bangs an unknown woman, who turns out to be married with children. The guy himself is divorced and lives in permanent loneliness. Basically this is a film about extremely lonely people who are pretty much lost in their personal situational prisons but are trying to make out nonetheless - to fill the void, so to speak.

One remarkable feature of this movie is the portrayal of sex: I found it admirable and uncanny, compared to what we are used to in cinema. First of all, all the sex is filmed direct as is, without any editing to the upper body or shying away from hard-core occurrences, or mellow music. That's what I call "unblinking camera" - not voyeuristic in any way yet fearlessly prosaic. All people, except teenagers, know that actual sex is not about gloating over private parts, cum, and close-ups - it's about body-contact with some spark, hopefully and not always. And that's what this film managed to show somehow: including episodes of oral sex, pretty convincing erections and slipping-on condoms, banging away, rolling around and all the rest. And it felt like the most natural thing in the world - as it should, for pete's sake.

I guess that's the new euro-cinema - they're definitely quite a bit more relaxed about facts of life out there, as opposed to hollywood and such. But still this film is different in that it doesn't stress sex as the focal point of the universe (as many French films tend to do) - it's a component of loneliness and life-searching, not the cure of all woes.

The real subject-line of the movie is thus existential in a down-to-earth kind of way - life is a pointless affair because no one really knows what to make of it and how to survive. People get by - they get into things, and can never get out. Relationships fail, hopes fail, some hopes are hopeless from the start, but you cling to them anyway and get by. It's a damn sad film.

Very life-like.





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