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A three-part anthology film about love and sexuality: a menage-a-trois between a couple and a young woman on the coast of Tuscany; an advertising executive under enormous pressure at work, who, during visits to his psychiatrist, is pulled to delve into the possible reasons why his stress seems to manifest itself in a recurring erotic dream; and a story of unrequited love about a beautiful, 1960s high-end call girl in an impossible affair with her young tailor. Written by
Sujit R. Varma
I saw this movie at the Toronto Film Festival, on the suggestion of friends who were very excited about Wong Kar Wai's short in particular. I had never seen anything by that director, but I was interested enough in the concept of the movie (three short films by three directors of different nationality) to go along.
The first short, Wong's 'The Hand', is excellent; it is touching and powerful. The acting is so good that the sub-titles are barely necessary; the emotion in their voices conveys meaning in itself. I enjoyed this enough to want to see more of the director's work.
The second is Steven Soderbergh's 'Equilibrium', and it's the sort of film that I sometimes think the West has forgotten how to make. It's a funny, fast-paced bit of banter between two excellent actors (Alan Arkin and Robert Downey Jr.), both of whose professional lives are thrown off balance by women. Also, despite its short running time,it manages to stick in a number of amusing plot twists.
Which brings us to the third short, Michaelangelo Antonini's 'The Dangerous Thread of Things'. As my friend put it: "Like so many directors, he got old and he got horny". This is a shocking combination of bad acting, pointless storytelling, and unnecessary nudity...and this is not just my opinion; by about halfway through, most of the audience was laughing with embarrassment and more than a few were leaving the theatre.
So, in conclusion, Eros is a film of contrasts: two excellent pieces of cinema and one piece of garbage. If you like the work of Wong or Soderbergh, I highly recommend this film. If you are an Antonini fan, stay away...it'll just upset you.
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