Saturday, October 25, 2008

Private Lesions (1981)- R

I do not believe this film could be made today. The storyline follows a wealthy adolescent boy played by Eric Brown seeking sexual excitement. He spies on a family maid, played by the very attractive Sylvia Krestel. The maid and the family butler conspire to sexually seduce the boy and then blackmail the family. The plot is thin and the acting is worse, with the exception of Eric and Sylvia. The film is controversial even today, because of highly erotic and explicit sexual scenes of an older women and younger boy. What makes this film noteworthy is the very real life “non-acting” of a sexually immature boy and a very sexually mature older woman.

I was amazed at how young the directors made Eric Brown appear until I researched his age. The film was released when he was 16 which made him 14-15 when the film was produced. He looks every bit of 14 in the film. Sylvia Krestel, from Emmanuel II fame, was 27 at the time of the filming. The film contains a number of highly explicit sex scenes between these two actors. One scene is where they bath together and Eric Brown is clearly fondled beneath the water while enjoying Sylvia Krestel’s breasts. The acting reflects the real life awkwardness and embarrassment of a young boy. Simultaneously, Krestel plays the real life comforter and almost nurturer as she tries to makes him feel comfortable in this very erotic scene. Maybe that is what makes the scene so erotic.

Both today and in 1981 the actions in this film violated the statutory rape and child pornography laws in many states. Nevertheless, this film captures the erotic fantasies of most 15 year old boys and is a major theme in erotic films for both adult men and women. Recently, there have been a number of highly published convictions of female high school teachers taking similar liberties with their students. The film does a good job in capturing the ideal fantasy of an older lover guiding a younger person into their first sexual experience. Unfortunately, in real life these encounters frequently leave both young men and women feeling distraught. The hormones of the young people work fine but the emotions are working at a much younger age.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

En La Cama (2005)- NR

Is this a lasting treasure
Or just a moments pleasure
Can I believe the magic in your eyes
Will you still love me tomorrow

I thought of the lyrics of Carol King after seeing Matias Bizes excellent film En La Cama (In the Bed). There are few albums that capture a generation. Carol Kings Tapestry surely is one. The haunting lyrics tell about sex, tell about being a woman and tell about being human. Her lyrics capture so much more than 1971 feminism. They capture the wish of a generation to embrace a freer sexuality without dishonoring its value. Carol Kings lyrics are the better prayers of my generation.

As with the lyrics of Tapestry, the dialogue in En La Cama will haunt you for many days. We meet the couple in a hotel room bed making love. The couple found each other at a friend’s party. They do not know each others first names. Over the next hour and 25 minutes we watch the couple make love two more times. The scenes are explicit with ample nudity. However, between these brief explicit scenes we are riveted by their dialogue.

This is a story about a one night stand, a one night sexual emotional experience. Both partners know they will likely never see each other again. The talk begins with playful games of ‘do you remember my name?’ It leads to multiple and sometime painful deceptions then disclosures. As with psychotherapy, it ends with each finding out more about themselves then their partner.

This Chilean movie with sub-titles is filmed solely from a hotel room. Even with subtitles the screenplay of this film is brilliant. As with the lyrics of Tapestry, the words will remind you of your own brief love experiences. People who the chemistry was perfect, the intimacy immediate and who were just as quickly gone. Maybe the chemistry was so perfect because it was only for one night.