Saturday, July 12, 2014

Sex, Lies and Audiotape

Suitcase of Love and Shame (2013) - Gillooly
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Sound can achieve greater things than moving pictures. Oftentimes I feel there is something crass about visual storytelling that leaves just too little to your imagination. In Suitcase of Love and Shame, Boston based filmmaker Jane Gillooly achieves something miraculous with the suitcase full of reel-to-reel audiotapes she found on ebay. With minimalistic accompanying visuals, Gillooly charts an intimate correspondences of two lovers. Tom and Jeanine, who lived in the Midwest in 1965. I guess a portable tape recorder was a brand new technology. I don't really know because I don't watch Mad Men. These lovebirds - Tom a married man (a pet doctor?) and Jeanine a widow, exchanged these audio letters instead of written ones. Their conversations are salacious and downright naughty. Tom, sounding like a cross between Sam Shepherd and Chet Baker with that unmistakable Midwest twang and Jeanine, a sweet natured all American mousy missus, exchange I love yous and delicious morsels of woos and coos. They sometimes record it together in their sinful hotel bedrooms.

What is ultimately a third rate, x-rated extra marital love affair with a predictably sad ending, Gillooly elevates it with slight visuals and some suggestive photos that real couple took during their meetings. Suitcase of Love and Shame enables our deep tendency toward voyeurism that Hitchcock could've only dreamed of achieving.

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