I probably shouldn’t base my opinion of this scene based on an 8 minute excerpted cut…
…but all the problems I have with Lust crop up in abundance: solid concept hindered by uneven/lackluster execution.
I think the problem–besides the fact that her grip/gaffe team can’t set up lights fer shit (sheesh, invest in some softboxes and close down that key light by 2.5 stops)–is that Lust seems inherently preoccupied with subverting the male gaze typically associated with pornography.
She does this by soliciting fantasies from women which she then enacts for her cameras. Take Pansexuals, it treats a group sex scene in a typically porn-trope turn by using strip poker as a throw away plot device. That’s something I’ve never understood–strip poker is such a means of symbolically addressing power dynamics, creating tension, building anticipation. In essence, the game itself is a chance to hone the subsequent eroticism, to contextualize it. This seems to skip over all that to hurry up and get to the fucking. (Watching this I felt exactly like my 16 year-old self fast forwarding to the parts that got me the wettest.)
So while: yes, I’m always going to support a FFMM group sex scene that skews full on gay once your too far into it to back out. (I love shit like that because as I’ve said if you like watching people fuck, you should be fine with watching people who don’t fuck like you in the process of finding representations of people who do fuck like you), I do think everything about this scene is almost to awkward to even be sexy.
I mean sex at it’s best is always a bit awkward and group sex–in my admittedly limited experience–tends to be awkward. So I feel like maybe kudos for being honest in the depiction?
Truthfully, though I don’t think it’s the right kind of awkwardness. Like in this scene it’s Ermagerd Girl level awkward. And really, it’s usually more tender, idiosyncratic and charming.
Also, I’m reminded of Pina Bausch’s prompts designed to get her dancer’s to enact a mood or desire:
- Copy someone else’s tic.
- Do something you’re ashamed of.
- Write your name with movement.
- What would you do with a corpse?
- Move your favorite body part.
- How do you behave when you’ve lost something?