Departing (or Not) from the Norm

We all know that there are many ways we depart from the norm sexually. Pornography thrives on it. ’50 Shades of Grey’, in book and movie form, has made copious coin from it too. And, of course, you can make humour out of it, like everything.

I must say I was not a fan, not one little bit, of Josh Lawson’s 2014 attempt to do the latter with the quirky sexual deviance featured in his half dozen or so vignettes for ‘Little Death’. This Aussie movie had a limited cinema release and ran to lukewarm reviews.

But strangely, almost illogically, it was picked up by Spanish comedian Paco Leon and given an Almodóvar-ian makeover. Leon stuck to Lawson’s basic premises, including acting out a rape fantasy, being turned on by drugging a sexually repressed rather boorish wife and another about a man in crisis when his partner shows lesbian proclivities. Seemingly disparate adventures come together in the end in a manner patently, but cleverly, stolen from ‘Slumdog Millionaire’. At the commencement we are introduced to Leon’s film by joyous evocations of the sexual act, templated from the equivalent for television’s ‘Masters of Sex’. If it’s all not taken too seriously ‘Kiki Love to Love’ is enjoyable enough but, as Jake Wilson in his Age review remarks, it is not a movie to take a potential lover to, out on a first date.

Now, what if ghosts really do wear a white sheet? That is the nub of David Lowery’s ‘A Ghost Story’. If you’re expecting ‘Ghost’ or ‘Truly, Madly, Deeply’ with this one, you’d be severely disappointed. It wasn’t remotely akin to these two, but I was disappointed nonetheless. I was keen to see what Casey Affleck followed up his remarkable and heart-rendering performance in ‘Manchester by the Sea’ with. He did so with an outing retaining essentially the same downbeat demeanour before throwing said sheet over his head. He then took us through a helter-skelter, back and forth journey through the history of a house. It’s weird, but in my opinion not good weird.

Affleck’s sad-sack, vague character is killed in a freak accident, but comes back to the house he cannot leave to watch his partner (Rooney Mara) do just that. Then he proceeds to haunt it, as retribution, in all the stereotypical ways.

In their own ways ‘Kiki Love to Love’ and ‘A Ghost Story’ aim to challenge – one does presenting uncomfortable sexual manners in a mildly entertaining way, the other by just making its audience uncomfortable.

Tralier for ‘Kiki Love to Love = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kuciY0jnHxc

Trailer for ‘A Ghost Story’ = https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_3NMtxeyfk

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