Saturday, May 6, 2017

Acting out an Ideal Version of One's Self

Empathy (2016) - Rovinelli
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Em Cominotti works as an escort. In brief introduction in the beginning, we get to know her background a little bit - a Pittsburg native, currently living in New York, trying to kick heroin habit. Shot on mostly long takes, Empathy is a empathetic, intimate look at a girl's life. Cominotti is a beautiful young woman with warm beguiling smile. You want to get to know her. We see her with a Shakespeare quoting client. Their long take sexual act is graphic but also very natural.

She is back in Pittsburg, hanging out with some old friends, going out to clubs. Then she is in LA. She treats her work as sort of a performance art, playing an ideal version of herself.

Empathy is a collaboration of director Jeff Rovinelli and Cominotti, a real sex worker and a junkie. It's a scintillating cinema - seductive yet nitty-gritty, near pornographic yet undeniably intimate. It is a fascinating watch. To top it all off, it ends with 10 minute long take of Cominotti in the back sit of convertible as the car drives through a windy Los Angeles highway.

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