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Anna is a modern, independent single girl, focused on her job and wary of getting caught in romantic relationships. Her life is all about fun. Strangers without strings. No commitment, no casualties. She has just found a new apartment, and is tempted to let her latest boyfriend, Frank, move in with her. Instead, she finds a tenant: The flamboyant, fun-loving Camilla, who shares Anna's views on love and commitment. But then an old boyfriend happens to knock on her door: Johan, the very man who five years previously broke Anna's heart. Anna is tempted. It's not good. More than ever, she needs to get back on the merry-go-round and move on. Fortunately, she receives an offer to design costumes for a theatre in Paris. As far away from romantic temptation as possible -- right?Written by
To achieve a realism beyond even Dogme95, the location used for Anna's apartment in the film is actually Gry Bay's own apartment in downtown Copenhagen. The steamy sex scene between Gry Bay and Thomas Raft, which opens the film, was staged in front of a huge window and witnessed by astonished neighbors while traffic and everyday life passed by on the busy city street outside. One particularly amazed observer was Thure Lindhardt, Gry Bay's co-star in the comedy Slim Slam Slum (2002), who happens to live in the building opposite hers. See more »
A friend once said that every woman needs three men. One for adventure and fun, one for stimulating conversation and one for good sex. Johan was all three.
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Innovative romantic film with successfully integrated hardcore scenes
All About Anna aims to be an erotic film for and by women that incorporates unsimulated sex scenes as a natural part of the storyline. This normalization of the pornographic content is further emphasized by the fact that most of the crew and actors had no experience with making pornographic films before All About Anna. Consequently the sex scenes are photographed and performed in a way that you would not expect in a typical hardcore pornographic film. In fact, the sex scenes even play with or against the conventions customary to pornographic films, and are also used to portray the personalities of the characters.
The leading actress, Gry Bay, in particular contributes a sensitivity to the sex scenes that is unlike what you would expect in a film with pornographic content, and gives a good portrayal of the young female single who longs for her one and only great love and tries to cope with her career, room mate and boyfriend. Supporting actress, Eileen Daly, adds both comedy and tragedy to her scenes, while French porn actress Ovidie is passable as a French actress who shows Anna around Paris and has a sexual encounter with her. However, it is Ovidie who contributes one of the trumps of the DVD release. Her audio commentary is very revealing on how different All About Anna is from standard pornographic films.
The storyline is told in episodes, an approach that works very well and obviously could allow for expanding with more episodes in the life of this young female. Unfortunately, the film, and particularly the cinematography, is a bit uneven, and it is obvious from the copious extra material on the DVD release that some of the original intentions had to be scrapped in order to make the final film. E.g. the sex scenes appear to have been originally intended to be longer and somewhat more explicit than in the final edit.
Despite the shortcoming of the production, I think the film successfully integrates the sex scenes into the storyline and character development. The DVD release is impeccable with several audio commentaries on different aspects of the production, a documentary on The Love-Making of All About Anna, trailers, unedited sequences, and even a director's original edit. As an extra bonus the distributor has added a third disc promoting pornographic films which gives further evidence to the stark contrast between All About Anna and the standard, more mechanical pornographic film.
I suppose that this film would appeal to a female audience, aged between say 18 and 38, who are able to identify with Gry Bay's portrayal of Anna, a young female looking for her one and only love. For the successful integration of sex scenes in the storyline, Gry Bay's portrayal of Anna, and the excellent DVD release, I give All About Anna 8 stars.
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