"But the great news about the modern world, Blithe, is that everything, oil spills, assassinations, earthquakes, are converted so rapidly into images, that we don't even feel them." - Walter
"And this is a good thing, why?" - Blithe
The Exhibitionists, directed by Michael Melamedoff, struck me as a treatise on the quality of American media. The story takes place on New Year's Eve in Walter's apartment after he returns home from directing his film. Walter's cinematographer, Gordo and intern, Lynn, accompany him. There he finds his wife, Regina and Gordo's wife, Gretchen. As the story unfolds, we see each persons' dirty secret get revealed, to Walter's delight.
Apart from all the perverted secrets, I think the most fascinating aspect of the story is how Walter's obsession with the fine line between exploitation and pornography, reveals his heartless, vapid desire to find the dirt in every thing and everyone around him for entertainment's sake. Blithe, a dominatrix-type musician, asks Walter for a pitch on a potential music video to promote her new album. Because of her look and her artistic history, all the cast and crew worship her as a queen of exploitation. In the story, she acts as the leader of the Greek Chorus, exposing the shallowness of Walter's attitudes and the lack of integrity of his crew, by interacting with them and making insightful comments into the nature and deterioration of the media and it's place in American culture.
Even though American society seems so open today, there are lots of things that are considered outside of social norms. So many things are out of the norm, that everyone can appear to have dirty laundry. The more integrity one has, the better able they are to handle breaks with the norm without shame which was shown by some of the characters in the film (no spoilers).
The performances were strong. The writing was engaging, and subversive. Very high production values for an independent production that took only ten days to shoot.
Posted by Jean Jessup. Posted In : Drama