AGORA
: Dragged from her chariot by a mob of fanatical vigilante Christian monks, the revered astronomer was stripped naked, skinned to her bones with sharp oyster shells, stoned and burned alive as possibly the first executed witch in history. A kind of purge that was apparently big business back then.


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4/3/08

Water Lilies: Filmmaker Sex Fantasies And Borderline Kiddie Porn

Water Lilies Movie Review

Borderline kiddie porn featuring sexual girl-on-girl garbage sniffing of one's favorite female object of desire, post-feminist burying instead of burning bras as female self-hatred, and gal pal how-to tips on deflowering your best friend.

Koch Lorber Films
Unrated
0 stars

Am I missing something here, or are movies increasingly becoming the new legally protected venue for filmmakers with dubious motives, to engage in borderline kiddie porn? Over the past year or so, both studio and indie films have cropped up in which underage actors simulate graphic sex and masturbation, and perform oral sex on adults.

And now Water Lilies has arrived in theaters, an admittedly occasionally poignant but reprehensibly lewd and voyeuristic cinematic obsession with teenage sexual and emotional turmoil. In other words, a filmmaker can request minors to posed nude and indulge in sexual behavior for the camera, however simulated, that would land anybody else in handcuffs. So ironically, the MPAA goes to great lengths to create a stringent regulatory system as to what minors can see in movies, but not what they can do on screen.

French director Celine Sciamma's film debut Water Lilies, is a coming of age tale playing out around swimming classes at a suburban Paris high school. Three glum teens in contrasting states of physical maturity, also represent the most deplorable generic female caricatures. There's the popular beautiful blonde bitch (Adele Haenel) who cock teases everyone in sight but is also frigid and possibly a closet lesbian; the shy, mousy introvert (Pauline Acquart) who looks about twelve and may or may not also be a lesbian, feeding her erotic fixation on other females by hanging around the pool ogling the bathing nymphettes when not stealing and sniffing the garbage of her primary girl object of desire, and later deflowering her as a favor; and finally, the chubby, slovenly outcast and butt of ridicule (Louise Blachere) who divides her time between stuffing her face, what else, and luring the handsomest high school hunk into hot sex because she's desperate for any male attention. Though her eventual act of revenge against her sexual humiliation is as ridiculously unreal as a scene in which she buries her bra in the garden to protest her fate as the designated town fattie.

In the end, one comes away from Water Lilies with absolutely no idea who any of these young girls are aside from their carnal sexual urges. How do they feel about the world around them, what joys in life fill them with wonder, who are their families and nurturers, what books are they reading? Minor details this filmmaker apparently couldn't care less about.

Prairie Miller

2 comments:

  1. This one of the more beautiful film i have ever seen. How can you see some kiddie porn here ? Be honnest,maybe yçu don't like the film, no problems, but to say that it is shocking is incredible.

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  2. What books are they reading? lol I don't think I know that about most characters in films, but I agree less extremely over the lack of character development. I see the film as less so a coming out story as it is a coming of age story that puts the carriage before the horse. The idea of a female want to obtain and obsess over male attention and gratification to instill that sense of identity and security that comes with following a gender role. I think the victim role Pauline Acquart plays is realistic beacsue it seems like , but I think Adele Haenel as the typical lesbian trope of the "cock teasing" bisexual or closet lesbian contrasted with Pauline's character makes for a mostly not empowering view for gay women. No female in the film including Louise Blachere gets what they want, and I think there are alot of lesbian oriented films (made more commonly by men) that glorify and make a specticle of a projected "dysfunction" of homosexuality however subtley. Contrary to the youngness of our characters, I did not see it as a borderline kiddie porn, I actually took the characters feelings if anything quite seriously- I think its important to have young people represented in film and other media just as much as adults even if it does explore sexuality but that is just my take on things. Their experiences are just as valid as adults and I think young lesbians need to feel included in the dialogue for support (not to be condescending) through tough emotional experiences and for a lack of good sexual education in certain countries etc.

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