Monday 10 October 2011

Room In Rome

Cunning Linguists

Room In Rome Spain 2010
Directed by Julio Medem
Optimum Region 2

When I first saw the poster for this “arthouse-cum-soft-porn-movie” I was immediately looking forward to seeing it. Not for the promise of naked lesbian sex implied in the poster but to study the fine textures and shapes made by such a union on film in terms of the colours, tones and general mise-en-scene.

Oh, and by the way, if you took that opening sentence as the gospel truth without question then, seriously, you are not reading my blog the right way. Read better!

Woohoo! Lesbian porn starring Elena Anaya from such films as Van Helsing, Sex and Lucia, Pont Blank, Mesirine and The Skin I Live In! I couldn’t wait for this one to hit my local cinema. I was waiting and waiting... and then I stumbled on the DVD going for just a few quid in Fopp records. Oh well. No cinema release then. On the other hand, the bonus when watching such films is that... at least on DVD you have pause and zoom features. :-7

Ok... so if you haven’t figured it out by now, Room In Rome isn’t technically a lesbian porn film. Although it might just as well be... it has a little more depth than that though. But not too much, it has to be said.

The film tells the story of a one night encounter between a Spanish lesbian and a Russian lady in a hotel room in Rome. They talk, they get naked (and stay naked most of the time actually... so there’s no way someone of my... err... subtle mindset was not going to enjoy this movie), they make love a few times and swap stories to try to penetrate each others real souls... after a shaky start where they are both a little less truthful with each other than you might expect someone to be (am I really too honest with people, I ask myself often these days).

If truth be told, a lot of the long conversations and emotional fallout of these are a lot less in terms of intelligence or poetry than I’d been hoping for. Perhaps I’m just getting too old for these kinds of movies and am just finding some of the writing naive? I don’t know. However... there are other things about this movie which do, at least, guarantee that this is an interesting watch.

Number one on that list is of things is, of course, the fact that the two lead actresses spend 95% of their time naked and this can, obviously, only be a good thing to watch. But the really interesting thing about this movie is that all the camera action takes place in the hotel room... even when the action is not actually set in the hotel room.

To explain, the film starts and ends cyclically with the opening where the girls decide to spend the night in one room together and the last shot where the girls say goodbye. Both scenes take place in the street outside the hotel room but the camera stays in the room, which is a couple of floors up, and captures the action in the street from the window in the room. So that’s kinda interesting stuff. But there’s more to this one basic idea which drives the movie. Because the girls have a laptop at their disposal and so GoogleEarth also comes into play and helps to take the action away from the hotel room, while still being imprisoned in it’s confines. This is all kinda intriguing and the only thing really wrong with this, of course, is the question... well why? It’s a nice gesture and all but those sequences really arent needed. Luckily they don’t ever seem at odds with the atmosphere created by the film's central premise so, thankfully, there is never really a sense of intrusion or betrayal to the way the lighting and atmosphere works with this film.

And that’s all I've got to say it would seem. Short review I know and not an absolute recommendation either. The verbal content never seems quite clever enough to be totally engaging but this is offset to some degree, perhaps not enough, by the two naked ladies romping around the set. I guess if you love looking at women, as I know some of my male and female readers do, then you might find this film an interesting diversion... but to be honest, I couldn’t say the film ever raises itself above that level. There is a very emotional core to one of the characters which gets pushed into the foreground a lot... but I never really bought into it enough to be that terribly moved by the ending of the film, which is trying too hard to be a one room, lesbian encounter version of Before Sunrise or Before Sunset. It never really makes a lasting impression. Watch only if you like the powerful beauty of the female form... stay away if you’re expecting anything more is my best conclusion to this one I’m afraid.

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