The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
by Garon Cockrell
DVD Review: Sexual Tension: Violetas
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By Garon Cockrell
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Nov. 4, 2013 5:15 p.m.

Sexual Tension: Violetas is actually six short films about lesbian
encounters, written and directed by Marco Berger and Marcelo Monaco. These
films are mostly about mood, emotion and the moment rather than plot. But it is
in those elements that these films find their strengths. There are also lots of
very well framed shots, and it is those shots and the mood of the pieces that
tell the stories. All of these (except the last one) are about initial
attraction, not about established couples.
The first film, Sleep With Me, is about what we can
assume is a young woman’s first lesbian experience. She arrives at a hostel and
sees another young woman seated on the steps. The other woman doesn’t have a
room, so she invites her up to hers. Before she does, there is a nice shot of
the woman looking down at the other girl in the courtyard. After a moment she
pulls back out of frame, but the camera lingers, as if she might reappear. As
if perhaps she should. And when she does get the other girl into her room, she begins awkwardly flirting with
her. The film established that she knows the girl is a lesbian, so it’s not
like she’s taking a chance. And when the girl responds to her flirting, it’s
done so quietly and innocently. A very nice moment.
The film then cuts to
later, with the woman seated in the dark, crying. She tells the other girl that
she’s not a lesbian and accuses her of taking advantage of her. Clearly she
doesn’t know exactly what she wants, or if she should have what she wants.
What’s great is that the other girl has no delusions – she knows exactly what’s
happening here. And the last shot of this film is wonderful, as it leaves us
wondering just what the woman is thinking, what she’ll do next.
Most of these films
actually end very well. And most of the films themselves are quite good. I’m
particularly fond of the fifth one, A
Night And A Robot, in which two female prostitutes are hired for the night
by a male client. Like the others, this short film has nicely composed shots.
The women shower, because the man has told them to. And when they come out, he
tells them to touch each other. What’s really interesting about this is that we
don’t see the women then. We see the man on the bed in the lower right section
of the screen. We only begin to see the women emerge from the shadow in
reflection above the bed. So then later when they wake and eventually kiss each
other, it’s like they’re touching for the first time, because for us it is the
first time we’re seeing it. There is something quite beautiful and sweet about
Guadalupe, who’s been working as a prostitute for only a year (Mariana, the
other woman, has been at it longer).
The only short that
doesn’t work is the fourth one, Sweetheart.
Unlike the others, this one has a lot of dialogue, and none of it feels quite
natural. A heterosexual couple stops in at a café on the way to the movies.
They’re talked about by a gay man and gay woman at another table. And then
Juli, the supposedly heterosexual girl, excuses herself to go to the bathroom.
Eventually the female server joins her in there. And then they end up hanging out
in there, talking, while the boyfriend waits outside. It goes on too long,
feeling like an improvised scene in an acting class that the actors don’t know
how to end, and so keep repeating themselves. Of course they eventually kiss
and strip. We keep cutting to the boyfriend impatiently waiting for his girl to
come out so they get to the movie. And then it ends with a ridiculous
implication that that’s what goes on all the time in women’s bathrooms.
But the other five are
all worth watching. There are some truly interesting frame compositions. And,
as I said, most of these films end with a great last shot. The final film, The Other Woman, ends on the bed and
single pillow, empty of the two women we’ve come to know. It’s an excellent
final image.
The DVD also includes the
film’s trailer.
Sexual Tension: Violetas was released on October 8, 2013 through TLA

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