Saturday, May 6, 2017


Womb (2017) - Barley
Scott Barley fixes his gaze from his native Welsh outdoors onto a human body in the darkness. Womb can be a little brother to Grandrieux's White Epilepsy, yet still unemcombered by narrative or genre conventions of traditional 'movie-making'.

There is a gaping hole in the universe in the shape of a womb. Barley's internalization of the universe is unwavering. With amazing sound design, Womb is another hypnotic concoction and nice addition to the prolific young artist's growing filmography. There is always something more primordial about Barley's work. His images are devoid of symbols or layered contexts but completely bare and visceral. And I like that about his films. Here he is furthering his cinematic adventure and exploring a new territory as an artist. I love it.

Ideal Version

Empathy (2016) - Rovinelli
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.