Visiting Desire

  • 1996
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Documentary

Back in the old days, when adult entertainment needed to demonstrate some redeeming social value in order to avoid charges of obscenity, scenes of couples in flagrante delicto often opened with a commentary from a real-life medical sexpert, dressed in a white lab coat for extra authenticity. In a sense, former No Wave filmmaker Beth B has made her very...read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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Back in the old days, when adult entertainment needed to demonstrate some redeeming social value in order to avoid charges of obscenity, scenes of couples in flagrante delicto often opened with a commentary from a real-life medical sexpert, dressed in a white lab coat

for extra authenticity. In a sense, former No Wave filmmaker Beth B has made her very own "white coater," opening her latest documentary with shots of several psychotherapists discussing the nature of erotic fantasy before moving on to what's really the meat of the matter. Taking one talking

head's opinion -- people are more likely to enact their sexual fantasies with a stranger than with someone they know -- and running with it, B sets up the scenario that endlessly repeats itself throughout the film: Two strangers meet in a room furnished with only a bed in order to act out their

forbidden desires. No doubt B expected to explore the politics and parameters of desire (a pet theme), but what she's wound up with is a little cuddling, a lot of banal chit chat, and a damning critique of documentary filmmaking, whether she wanted one or not. Occasionally something amusing does

occur, but the fact that it usually involves one or more of the director's performance-artist friends -- Lydia Lunch and Kembra Pfahler are not exactly new to this line of inquiry -- only underscores the artificiality that eventually undoes her silly and pretentious project.

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  • Released: 1996
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Back in the old days, when adult entertainment needed to demonstrate some redeeming social value in order to avoid charges of obscenity, scenes of couples in flagrante delicto often opened with a commentary from a real-life medical sexpert, dressed in a wh… (more)

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