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Black and White and Sex (John Winter, 2012) Katherine Hicks, Anya Beyersdorf, Valerie Bader, Roxane Wilson, Michelle Vergara More, Dina Panozzo, Saskia Burmeister, Maia Thomas, Matthew Holmes; mockumentary; released Mar2012
Only feature directed by John Winter (not counting a telemovie).
"Through the eyes of Angie [nine of them] comes a film that will make you stop and really think about sex. Angie is a prostitute, a chameleon - a butterfly. As she reveals herself, layer-by-layer, she also exposes the man who is interviewing her."
Nine actresses on the same bare set talk about sex, strip, put their clothes back on, and then masturbate to orgasm.
The professional critics were really sucked in by this. Louise Keller thought a porno was a drama:
Foreplay, penetration, orgasms and happy endings are the pitstops of this ambitious, fearless film in which a sex worker called Angie is the means by which the topic of sex is explored. In his debut feature, producer turned director John Winter's concept of a single set, multi-cameras, a minimalist soundscape and striking black and white cinematography achieves its climactic intentions with eight actresses playing the central role of Angie, each one adding something unique to the offering.
Her partner, Andrew Urban, thought it was art:
The performances are spectacular; each Angie is unique, authentic and riveting. This is a singular film that is destined to be recognised and acclaimed in the future. Audiences will, one hopes, find the film, even if most of today's gatekeepers (many cinemas) stand in their way for now.
Luke Buckmaster thought it 'original':
The film industry, so the common wisdom goes, is chocked to the gills with carbon copy cinema, stuffed like a poisoned piñata with the bile and fluid of a zillion regurgitated ideas. Here is a bold, audacious and throbbingly original Australian film, particularly palatable for viewers partial to edgy, intimate and explorative interpersonal dramas. Cinetology.
Even Richard Kuipers discussed it seriously for Variety:
Concept never gets tired due to questions from the filmmaker that represent what many people would probably want to ask a sex worker, given the chance. Despite a couple of flat dialogue stretches, pic holds the attention with extremely frank descriptions of paid sexual encounters and a gradual shift in the power balance as Angie, who has a science degree, throws her own highly provocative questions at the interviewer.
Only Peter Galvin, writing for SBS, wasn't impressed:
Much of Winter’s dialogue is concerned with the difference between men and women, the difference being what turns them on. The argument isn’t very interesting, mostly because Winter actually buys into the very cliché he wants to damage, that of the 'professional woman’. Here, Angie is always right about absolutely everything; a 'Super-Sex Worker', all seeing, all knowing. Still, half way through, Winter introduces an irony that has some bite: the 'doco-maker’ is perhaps no longer interested in making a film, but is simply engaged in his own kink. That means that Angie is 'acting’, not being; she’s providing a service (she is thus a movie prostitute after all). It would play better, though, if the dialogue had a bit of punch. But most of the talk has the dry, pre-digested, lifeless feel of a self-help manual – it’s all catchphrases and aphorisms.
Garry Gillard | New: 6 September, 2020 | Now: 20 June, 2021