In a squalid apartment in Berlin, an unconventional director strives to capture unadulterated feelings, raw passion and undiluted sex for an experimental film project about love.
Don Simpson, JEster Entertainment wrote:
In a dilapidated and sparsely furnished Berlin apartment, an aspiring director named Nina (Miriam Mayet) and her two thespians — Marie (Lana Cooper) and Hans (Matthias Faust) — screen test for a yet-to-be-scripted film. The video project is is based upon a simple premise: Nina intends to capture authentic feelings, authentic love and authentic sex.
Nina attempts to maintain full directorial control by maniacally manipulating her actors as if they are puppets and she is pulling their strings. The borders between fiction and reality are promptly blurred as Marie and Hans try to decipher what their director really wants from them. According to Nina, Marie and Hans should not play themselves or anyone else — but what does that mean?
The sexual histories between Nina and both of her subjects further complicates the on- and off-camera scenario. The project quickly evolves into a warped seduction in which Nina pushes everyone’s emotions, including her own, to the limit. Nina, Marie and Hans experience a titillating tilt-a-whirl of emotions and desires, a disorienting ride that thrives off of jealousy, grief and anger.
Can cinematic authenticity be faked? Do Marie and Hans really need to fall in love with each other in order for Nina’s film to succeed? Can two people fall in love in front of the unblinking kino eye and an authoritative voyeur?
Nina is not the only voyeur in the equation as German filmmaker RP Kahl often positions the camera statically at distance in order to form a voyeuristic perspective for the audience. The camera does occasionally venture in for a closer view of the sexual encounters as if to verify for the audience that the penetration is authentic — like Nina, his onscreen avatar, Kahl is incredibly fascinated by cinematic realism.
By utilizing the film-within-a-film narrative format, Kahl creates a world in which it is practically impossible to decipher when the actors are acting for Nina and when we are witnessing the actors’ reality. In doing so, Kahl discusses how cinema blurs the identities of its actors and contemplates the relationship between their on- and off-screen persona.
Bedways is an experimental chamber piece that concentrates on three actors encased for the most part in one location. This incredibly intimate narrative technique is cleverly juxtaposed with the mental and spacial distancing of intimacy and sex. One of the more telling scenes — that purposefully bookends Bedways — is when we witness Hans and Nina masturbating in separate rooms while observing each other via monitors; eventually they reach their limits of torture, the separation becomes too much, and Nina commands for Hans to come to her.
A worthy attempt to merge the worlds of art house and erotic cinema (a la Steven Soderbergh’s The Girlfriend Experience; Michael Winterbottom’s 9 Songs; Atom Egoyan’s Exotica and Chloe; the films of Joe Swanberg; etc.), Bedways aptly blurs the definition of erotic cinema by giving us a well-crafted and incredibly dramatic film with some penetrating sex thrown in.
2.81GB | 1 h 15 min | 1440×1080 | mkv