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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Picture the scene - an ageing lothario goes back to his old haunts
where he's had numerous love affairs with different women and wants to
recapture these moments on film with certain ladies through mainly
non-sexual means. He wants to capture the eroticism of the times he
spent with these women.
This is very much a film made by a man who's getting on in years. A man who's affluent enough that he can spend his time picking up women in different countries and continents. It's almost like a tick the box scenario in all the different countries and the clichés that come with it. Africa, Brazil and Philippines.
At the heart of it all, our intrepid lothario is wondering how you can frame eroticism on film. Personally, I don't think it's possible or that it's very much down to the viewers terms of what constitutes eroticism. For Leth, it's very simple, watch how the ladies look at you and how they swim naked in a pool, walk across a street, how they wash themselves in a shower.
There is one scene in particular where he asks one of his former lovers about a time they made love on camera and she herself thinks nothing of it because it was a moment of love between herself and her former lover and nobody else came into the equation. We're then unfortunate enough to see a snippet of the video in question which brought me back to a question I had almost at the start of the film - I wonder if any of these girls feel used by the experience of this film.
In the end, this film does have deeply distasteful moments and it's not a particularly enjoyable film. In some ways, coming back to the central philosophical question in how you frame eroticism, the answer could also be answered this way. If you try to frame eroticism, you've already betrayed the experience. And this film feels like a betrayal on quite a few levels.
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