The process for this was: It was the strangest week in L.A. it rained every day I was there. It had cleared up a bit but not enough to keep us from losing the light early.
I love working with Kathleen, so we kept things going trying to do the best we could with truly deplorable lighting.
This was the last thing we did. It was just an notion: a figure behind the glass casting a shadow–I’d been thinking about the opening to the Pang Brothers’ The Eye (it’s extremely well done).
My film was massively underexposed. You could only see the vaguest hint of separation between three frames. I thought about just using the one with Kathleen pushing against the glass but it seemed underwhelming being just a minimal element amidst a sea of inky black.
The inspiration for these shots had been something moving–so I thought maybe that’s what I’m missing. (Also, I’m interested in a lot of what
I’m really piss poor when it comes to Photoshop. @jacsfishburne pointed me in the right direction and I was able to put this together. It’s the best I can do right now. And that’s probably a good thing because I see it as sort of in the same vein as Inside Flesh; I wanted it to appear interlaced and glowy. But that’s a couple instances of glitching pretty much an exact quote from them, and why would I do that. This can be better. It was an exercise. Still kinda better than I thought I’d be able to do–and that’s the secret (the longer you do it the better you get at it.)
I think most ‘curated’ Tumblrs are like gifs? Pshaw!
I mean there is something undeniably obnoxious about a grid layout on a infinite scrolling blogs filled with gifs.
However, I think there’s an insane amount of potential for creativity within the format–like Vine’s that don’t suck or something.
I’m super not enamored with all Teknari’s work–too much of it is Jenny-Holzer-joins-a-Burzum-cover-band–but as far as someone who is actively exploring the outer boundaries of what gifs can accomplish, he is pretty much the bleeding edge.
I love the minimalism of this–it’s not one of those where there’s only a factional movement that makes you question whether it’s a still image or not. But scrolling through my dash, the movement is timed in such a way that I scroll back because I wonder if you saw it right.
In theory, Erika Lust’s approach to making pornography–outlined in her oft referenced TEDxVienna speech–appeals to me: an emphasis on context (characters are more than the performance of their respective sexualities) and diversity of modes of sexual expression are all v. on-point.
And it’s totally counter-productive but… the traditional trappings of porn are low-production values, improbably scenarios and exaggerated sexual performances. Thus, when you preempt the traditional with a more thoughtful diversion into the who, where and why instead of rushing into the what and how, you raise audience expectations with regard to ultimate quality whether you intend to or not.
That’s the great failing of Lust’s promise: by setting out to make better porn she sets her sights too low. She’d do better to expend her efforts trying to make art that just so happens to be pornographic.
Which is not to say that the above scene is without certain moments. Placing equal emphasis on graphic depictions of sexual expression and the physical response to those depictions is unquestionably inspired. However, those moments are ultimately diminished when they are spliced together in such a rough-shod, pretentious fashion.
And it’s entirely possible that I am putting too much emphasis on the fact that this scene was shot handheld. The current preponderance of handheld camera work in motion pictures is an enormous pet peeve of mine since with the exception of Lars von Trier (who is preoccupied with using a subjective cinema-verite approach in combination with editing to stylize ellipses of perception by a fly-on-the-wall observer) or the Dardenne Brothers (who have pushed subjective handheld cinematography to something perhaps not objective–framing necessarily precluding questions of inclusion/exclusion–but unblinking and entirely unselfconscious), there is a total obliviousness to the history and functionality of handheld camera work.
Granted, I haven’t seen the full scene but the excerpted clips suggest that the handheld nature of the shots is intrusive–it is supposed to be noticed. The audience exercises some sense of active voyeurism, a passive co-authorship. And while, yes, this arrangement allows for scenes like the young woman’s face in the third frame from the top and the lubing up of the strap-on in the sixth frame from the top, my response is that any narrative motion picture instructs the viewer how it is supposed to be seen in the first third of the first act. The expectations that this film establishes are cribbed from art-house/international cinema but it can’t follow through in execution once it arrives at the place where it’s always intended to be.
Credit where credit is due: although I’m not especially interested in visual depictions of fellatio, I am consistently captivated by Inside Flesh’s treatment of the motif. (Fig. 1 | Fig. 2)
My fascinating has always and unfortunately been tempered by the post-industrial-detritus aesthetic and the monotonous mechanically repetitive sex they tend to favor.
In that way a glitched .gif loop addresses half my problem with their method of exhibition. And, I’m pleased to see them pushing their leather/latex/balaclava fixation in more religio-mythical directions. (Here: I love the fuck you, True Detective insinuation, the way the light accentuates her skin and dramatically emphasizes the cavity between her sartorius and gracilus muscles–which in turn emphasizes she’s doing most if not all of the work.)
The videography on this is utter shite–(Jerry Seinfeld voice) I mean: what is the deal with that corner where the walls meet? Is this a demonstration of every degree angle between 85 and 100 that isn’t 90?
But this isn’t about the videography. It’s not even about the ejaculation, it’s the way he’s trying so hard to hold back and then just begins to writhe due to the stimulation overload of his orgasmic response.
I don’t think I’ve ever seen a double-fisted hand job before and I’d wager this is from a gay porn source.
The thing that I wonder–and if you aren’t in to TMI, you can skip this part: I really don’t know why after the initial spurt, the hand job provider ceases to stimulate the glans/corona. Yes, both become SUPER SENSITIVE after ejaculation; but, where I come from heightened sensitivity is just another part of the total experience. And can, in the right hands, be used employed to transcendent effect.
With the ubiquity of un-sexy Hollywood sex scenes, why can’t someone figure out how to make a film with a layered, nuanced, well-developed female protagonist with a relate-able, accessible and engaging story and put the above scene in it.
Excepting regressive and prudish attitudes towards female sexuality, there’s no reason this scene couldn’t be part of an awesome indie feature. Yeah, maybe she wouldn’t be completely naked but notice how in the throes of ecstasy even though her pose is cheated toward the viewer for maximum visibility, this scene–based on the what 60-something frames in this gif–is about her pleasure.