Paris/Sexy

Paris/Sexy

****1/2

Reviewed by: Andrew Robertson

In some rubbish bit of Scotland there is a small care home where Greer works. She cares for her father, a gamekeeper who jots down the whisperings of birds in an impenetrable scrawl. Her home is deep in the woods, "it's weird", she says, and she's right.

One of those in the care home is Tammy, and her son and his girlfriend visit. Seamus is played by Martin Compston, his talent still as bright as ever. Fran├žoise, exotic, leggy, apparently a model, is played by Elisa Lasowski - Greer describes her as beautiful, and she's right. Their arrival upsets her routine, with horrifying, numbing, consequences.

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The pace is slow, a sleepy village-type place somewhere in the wilds, an unfolding of events. As Greer, Kim Chapman is the key to the film, of and out of the world, isolated and odd. We see glimpses: theft, dinner, a mirror and a magazine, all enough to make us question what is going on. This isn't the same surrealism as Turning, more a worrying separation from reality. As her father, Finbar Furey is compelling, power and menace and abstraction, always accompanied by indistinct whisperings on the soundtrack.

As with many shorts, writer and director are the same, here Ruth Paxton. She has a good eye, perhaps a better ear - Greer's dialogue is always a little off, but in a way that feels right. Then there's the plot, such as it is, slight but shocking. With the aid of Tim Matthew's sound work Paxton has created a powerful film. While undoubtedly aided by four strong performances from a great cast, the source of the shock is Paxton's talent. After the fact there are other questions, most unanswered, but that isn't a weakness - in Paris/Sexy there is a film that is both compelling and haunting.

Reviewed on: 24 Jun 2010
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A girl on the verge of womanhood imagines life away from the constraints of caring for her father.
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Director: Ruth Paxton

Writer: Ruth Paxton

Starring: Martin Compston, Finbar Furey, Elisa Lasowski, Missy Malone

Year: 2010

Runtime: 24 minutes

Country: UK

Festivals:

EIFF 2010

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