Sunday, October 23, 2011


(Julia Leigh 2011)

Sleeping Beauty is really terrible. One of those films that pushes well done cinematography that comes from nowhere because there is nothing in the script to call for it. Everything is so over composed, even the mise-en-scรจne is properly aligned in the frames. The lighting is over done, harsh whites contrasted with vibrant colors and darks just for the sake of it. The cinematographer, Geoffrey Simpson, along with the literal army of art direction (this film had a set designer, art director, and set director), made this film remotely viewable, so it is really the only thing that can be commented on, being that the story is devoid of anything thought provoking.

This film just seems to be an excuse to see a 'attractive' 20-something white woman nude for 2 hours. Suggesting that the film is trying to be a polemic against white male patriarchy or sexual submission wouldn't even be accurate if the film was made during the second wave of feminism in the 1970's or even really in 1950's. The topics really have just already been covered and done by other filmmakers in much more challenging and critical ways (Breillat).

Julia Leigh shows us sexual submission, she shows us white male patriarchy, she shows us a girl who is promiscuous, she shows us a girl having desire, she shows us a girl who kind of feels guilt about sex in a manner that isn't heightened or deafened- just matter a fact and obvious. The movie doesn't let us think or really wants us to, but knows it is well shot fluff for those who think this film-really akin to hanging out in a art class while some stereotypically beautiful model that takes their clothes off in a class run by a teacher (Leigh) who thinks they're radical for making such a thing happen-possibly could constitute some sexual radicalism. It also like someone saw Eyes Wide Shut, but then proceeded to make a fully empty film.

This film is coming out in Philadelphia in December/January. Skip it then and at this festival.


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