"Lust for Life"
This month's screening from the Film Arts Foundation is a program of love- and/or lust-oriented shorts. There are two obvious standouts in the latter category, both employing formal techniques to defamiliarize overly common images -- something that in our society of sexually charged CK ads on every bus becomes harder and harder to do. In The Operation, a film of hard-core porn rendered otherworldly by an infrared surveillance camera, the appropriately named Jakub Pander directs actors by the names of Gina Velour and Otto Wrek through their hospital-gowned and ungowned paces. The infrared reads as black-and-white negative; organs bloom like fantasy fungi and variations in skin temperature register like rot spreading over fruit. Less clinical and more natural, Lynne Sachs' Drawn and Quartered divides the screen into four images as two lovers twirl on a patio, displaying the color and skin tones God gave 'em. In Beth Dewey's excellent Outcall, a dominatrix bickers with her chauffeur en route to yet another tedious gig. Dewey shows us real human beings -- creatures as rare in experimental films as in Hollywood fodder. Dean Santomieri's Twin uses images lifted (mostly) from Twin Peaks to tell a disturbing tale of the narrator's obsession with that show and its effect on his love life -- a tale almost as unnerving as any of Lynch's movies. Of the remaining films Erin Casey's amusing Dead Duck Romance displays a nice eye for well-shot and -edited images, no mean feat.