A painter ('the artist') and a lounge-room singer ('the girl') continue a passionate lesbian love affair. 'The girl' is actually a high-class prostitute whose pimp ('the man') is putting the pressure on both women to end the relationship. Words like 'prostitute' and 'pimp' seem too harsh for the sexy-smooth atmosphere of this fascinating look at obsessive love. Written by
This movie can't quite commit to being noir and so comes off as a pale translation of what a woman might imagine noir to look like if it was focused upon the female characters. All foreplay and no action. What non-sexual action that does take place is anemic. The toughest thing in the movie is the attitude that affects an insouciance while betraying that indifference in the plot. The thing about tough guy noir movies is the action the pace of plot development hits you repeatedly like a drunk boxing champ down on his luck and only doing what the boss paid him to do. The personal and emotional indifference is as hard as the cold cement reaching up to claim your face as you fall. None of that is in this movie. It is, as another reviewer points out, self conscious and pretentious. The emotions in noir hard scrabble movies are always embedded in the context while greed, lust and power play out in the service of hard reality and the rules of the game. That is why the "dames" are treated the way they are and why they betray husbands and lovers for their own advantage. This movie brings the emotionalism to the foreground, (maybe in service to an assumption that the audience they anticipate will want that), and places the action into the context. In doing so they lose the plot of what a noir-ish thriller is about and all we have is the atmosphere without any content. If they wanted to do lesbian porn they should have done so explicitly, as it is, it is neither a good sex film, a good art film nor a good thriller. Like the singing in the movie, it has all the pretense and none of the soul.
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