Wednesday, 14 October 2015

LFF REVIEW - EXOTICA, EROTICA, ETC. (EVANGELIA KRANIOTI)


An invisible protagonist, neither seen nor heard but felt throughout, haunts Exotica, Erotica, etc. It is the filmmaker herself, Evangelia Kranioti, conducting a study of solitude, an anthropological examination of the ways of seamen and their loves and lovers in which Kranioti's active participation begets a palpable depth of emotion. She, a photographer and this film's sole crew member aboard these ships, captures images of bracing beauty and power, yet it is their precise significance in this precise context that imbues them with Exotica, Erotica, etc.'s essential emotive strength. The expression of the subjectivity of her experience, and of those whom she features, is pure in its delivery and intense in its recollection; her editorial fragmentation produces a melancholy disconnect, layered elements almost like early Frederick Wiseman, like waves of memories and messages from the past. There's a bruised physicality to Kranioti's images, a sense of physicality in them, a textural richness that is appealingly matched by the erotic remembrances of Chilean prostitute Sandy, whose segments provide Exotica, Erotica, etc. with a salient perspective that helps to characterise the film, even if these lack the gravity that the more abstract segments themselves provide. But all parts of this film combine to form a sumptuous, seductive snapshot of a way of life that is perceptibly disappearing, regressing into remoteness, briefly brought back to life in this film - a whole life, many whole lives, in a mere few minutes.