The principal reason I did not enjoy this film, which is composed of four erotic shorts, is the very conventional photography. The director, Kyle Henry, and his writers, Carlos Trevino and Jessica Hedrick, took a lot of risks in three stories (only one, Austin, which is about a hetero couple dealing with sexual boredom−they go to a sex store to reignite the fire of their affair−is straightforward and predictable), but the lighting, camerawork, and art direction of the sometimes very crazy sex scenes lacked any innovation or magic.
For example, Tampa, the most shocking short of all (it's about a man, Louis, who visits a public restroom in a mall and, after real and imagined sexual encounters, gets a blowjob from a famous prophet), has zero visual surprises or enchantments. There is no aura of erotic energies, no clouds of lust, no mists of desire. There are only the bland surfaces of an ugly bathroom and sex scenes that seem as dry and plain as plastic chairs. The last short, San Francisco, which is about a stunning transgender prostitute and a sad dying man, comes close to, but ultimately does not reach, the glowing realm of the gods of eros. What does it say that Michael Stipe is one of the producers of this drab-looking film? Northwest Film Forum, March 4–5 at 7 and 9 pm.