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Secret Things
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by Greg Muskewitz

"Not so secret: it's lesbian sex!"
2 stars

One of the newspaper quotes attributed to Jean-Claude Brisseau’s film says, “Trust us, this film has everything — you’ll be left rubbing your eyes in disbelief!” The biggest disbelief that I find in that statement (next to the claim that it has everything) is that eyes are what Brisseau was after to be rubbed.

It opens with Coralie Revel laying down on a bed, intensely masturbating. As the camera slowly peels back and Revel gets up, it’s revealed that she’s performing on stage, in what turns out to be her last night before she is fired along with the bartender (Sabrina Seyvecou) who is crushing on her, following which, they strike up a friendship and more. Determined to get better work using their sex to advance them (why didn’t Donald Trump recruit them for “The Apprentice”?), they hatch a plot to work their way up the latter and empower themselves sexually without the baggage of love and the pain that comes with it. Myopically told, darkly shot, the focus remains harnessed on nudity and sex, and lots of it (though that tends to be mostly unintrusively shot by Wifrid Sempé), but the monotony of it all sets in long and hard before the occasional distractions and the silly diversion it takes on path to a close, involving a very Eyes Wide Shut-ish orgy sequence. (The absence of cloaked figures does little to help warm the blood.) For such a studied and concentrated peep movie about sex — specifically, lesbian sex — the movie is stiflingly trapped in a very theatrical presentation, cold, rehearsed, forced, artificial, and stagy, and with the exception of the adorable Seyvecou (not as committed to the nudity as Revel), all of the “performers” rigidly adhere to the theatrical mentality. That is not to say, however, that there are not some stunning or surprising images to be seen, as well as some nicely planned humor (Seyvecou stripping behind her boss’ open door), though just as well with some unplanned humor. With Roger Mirmont, Fabrice Deville, and Blandine Bury.

[See it if you must.]

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=8441&reviewer=172
originally posted: 04/07/04 02:21:41
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Vancouver Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Vancouver Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Seattle Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Seattle Film Festival series, click here.

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