Crystal Clear

***

Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

When making films, one of the most important things to master is time. It doesn't always move as one might expect. Cinema can concentrate time or stretch and expand it, finding whole universes in details; it's a fractal medium. The same might be said of sexual desire. Crystal Clear recalls one woman's sexual desire for another in the three minutes it might have taken for this encounter to serve its purpose. Beyond that time, it is suggested, many more sexual acts might take place; but behind the sensuality and passion is an awareness of the wider world, and an urgency that stems from the feeling that the magic might soon die.

How much of sex is about bodies and how much about imagination? Here we are presented with blurred, red, wet imagery that might include body parts but might not. Sometimes they seem to move and yield unnaturally, reflecting desire rather than reality. The narrator tells us what she wants to do and makes the wanting a thing in itself; whether or not her desires are fulfilled seems less and less relevant in the moment. Hands move, seek to take control, but something remains elusive.

What's notable here is the absence of another person, almost the elision of that person. The desire is for a body. Reminders that other people have interacted with this body are unwelcome; they threaten to pollute the imagined future, to reveal that this moment will end and recede into the past.

Director Max Disgrace uses erotic imagery to draw viewers into a story with a deeper subtext, and this in itself is a reminder that sex always comes with a subtext. There's tension between realistic and instinctive perspectives, between the human and the animal. It's an intense three minutes - and then, of course, it's over.

Reviewed on: 17 Jul 2017
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A portrait of one woman's sexual desire for another on a one night stand.

Director: Max Disgrace

Year: 2017

Runtime: 3 minutes

Country: UK

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