Breaking Glass // 2009 // 90 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // December 2nd, 2010
Claude Pérès pushes the actor/director relationship to its breaking point by asking an actor to make love with him.
Unfaithful should spark interesting debate since it is basically a director who sets up a camera and invites his lead actor to make love with him on film. There are no rules, the two men are their own crew, and the director is not even sure what his star will do. Well, the actor says yes to his advances and the result is the film on DVD of them doing the deed and reflecting about it nonstop. It captures all the negotiating, talking, and yes...all of the acts of carnal lust for your viewing enjoyment. So is the film pornography or an interesting experiment? Can it be both? What is interesting is the sex seems easy and it is the talking which is hard and painful to watch. Director Claude Pérès keeps asking actor Marcel Schlutt how he feels and why he feels it so incessantly that is almost a relief when the condoms and lube come out. The sexy parts move all too quickly, and soon enough we are back to the awkward intimacy of two guys trying to make conversation who don't know each other very well. The question of the film is does the sex help them communicate or does it simply muck things up even more?
DVD Verdict was sent a screener for this production, so we can not address the final product in regards to technical merits or extras. The visual transfer I saw was problematic only because of the shooting conditions. There are only one or two cameras ever involved, and they are both controlled by the participants. Lighting is also dictated by what is available, and not always perfect for the film. Through the first part of the project which occurs at night it is near impossible to see much. We hear conversation, occasionally see flickers of faces when a cigarette is lit, and only witness the grunts and groans of anything clandestine without ever seeing anything. It's a total tease. The second half of the film takes place in the morning and during daylight, and it is pretty clear and far easier to see. It is here where the "money shot" is so to speak if you are looking for that solely. Strangely enough adding to the film's intimacy issues is that all the exchanges are in broken English. One guy is French and the other is a German, so perhaps English is their only mutual ground for communication. It is sometimes hard to understand them, and quite often their words can get muffled.
It's a bit too artsy to be labeled porn, but far too titillating to be regarded as much else. Unfaithful is an unusual film that asks an age old question about if it is easier to talk with someone or just get naked and do things to each other? Apparently the answer is intuitive and inevitable. Sex between two gay men is the easy part, and anything remotely involving emotions or thinking is tedious. This one is purely for those who think My Dinner with Andre would have been better as a porno. It's a little bit of action and a whole lot of talk.
Guilty of being sexy, and action with tons of talk.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Breaking Glass
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
Running Time: 90 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* Official Site