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"It Felt Like Love": Learning by Doing 

Wednesday, Apr 2 2014

You're a 14-year-old named Lila (Gina Piersanti), and in the beginning of Eliza Hittman's hypnotic It Felt Like Love, you're standing on the shore of Rockaway Beach, your back to the audience, getting your feet wet but stepping back whenever the tide comes on too strong. Finally you turn and look directly into the camera, your face covered with white sunscreen like a mask, one of many masks as you try to explore your sexuality — unsure how to wade, let alone how to dive in like your best friend Chiara (Giovanna Salimeni) with her guido boyfriend Patrick (Jesse Cordasco). Instead, you're forever on the outside looking in, knowing you're supposed to be the object of desire, but what do you do with that? Those thuggy, sexy Brooklyn boys like Sammy (Ronen Rubinstein) watch porn and pee in buckets and treat you like a bottom-feeder — and yet, those shoulders, those biceps, they compel you. And so many firsts: Your first time getting drunk at a party and passing out on someone else's bathroom floor, your first walk of shame... you fake it without guarantee of making it, tell lies that you hope will come true, and maybe it doesn't matter whether it's anything like love or not, just so long as you're feeling something.

About The Author

Sherilyn Connelly


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