View Post

Honoka Matsumoto: Taboo in Japan

The young actress featured in two taboo-breaking feature films at the Okinawa International Movie Festival: My Father, The Bride and A Life Turned Upside Down: My Dad’s An Alcoholic.
View Post

Use Me

Australian, Australian New Wave Filmmakers, Film Festival, Review, This Week 1 Comment

Of all the many and various kinks out there, and crikey there are a lot, surely none is quite as confounding yet intriguing as that of the “financial humiliatrix”. For those not in the know, that’s when a woman – usually fully clothed, always dripping with disdain – takes your money, often employing blackmail or vicious verbal humiliation, and you get off on the whole process. Ceara Lynch is a real-life professional humiliatrix and Use Me, an indie thriller from writer/director/actor Julian Shaw, seeks to explore what makes such a person tick, and why that would be so powerfully erotic to a certain type of man.

Except, that’s not entirely true. See, Julian Shaw – a talented New Zealand born director who previously helmed the award-winning documentaries Darling! The Pieter-Dirk Uys Story (2007) and Cup of Dreams (2011) – is delivering something a little different here. While the movie uses many real-life personalities, including Joe Rogan, Ceara Lynch, Julian himself and even FilmInk hefe Dov Kornits, Use Me tells a fictional tale that utilises the stylistic trappings of a documentary. Fiction dressed as fact, if you will.

The end result is fascinating, coming together as a sort of post-truth thriller which feels deeply era appropriate and cleverly engages with its subject matter, morphing from a warts-and-all look at a strange part of the sex industry to something else entirely. Its ambition does occasionally outstrip its execution, mind you, with some of the latter twists straining credulity in ways that feel reminiscent of David Fincher’s The Game. Still, performances are natural, with Shaw’s oddly wholesome energy making him an agreeable protagonist and Ceara Lynch is an excellent subject/foil whose motivations remain ambiguous right up until the tale’s twisty conclusion. Also worth noting are Jazlyn Yoder and genre vet Joseph D. Reitman who both make an impact, although for very different reasons.

Ultimately, Use Me is an engaging, intriguing ride. Blurring the line between fantasy and reality in ways both subtle and overt, it manages to keep you guessing right up until the end. And while it doesn’t answer the question “why would anyone be into that” it may make you wonder about any undiscovered kinks you might have lurking in your own psyche, and what the cost of exploring them might be.

Use Me is screening June 02 / June 03 at Brooklyn Film Festival. Tickets, trailer and showtimes @ https://www.brooklynfilmfestival.org/film-detail?fid=2050

 
View Post

PREVIEW: Animals

Ahead of its Sydney Film Festival screenings, we take a look at Sophie Hyde’s highly anticipated international debut.
View Post

Mirrah Foulkes: Proud as Punch

With her feature debut, Judy & Punch, the writer/director is chuffed to bring her film home to compete for the Sydney Film Prize after its premiere in competition at the Sundance Film Festival.