Monday, March 24, 2014

BFI Flare: Concussion (2013)

BFI Flare

Subverting conventional media stereotypes, debut writer/director Stacie Passon has created a lesbian fantasy film with little interest in the gaze of male audiences.

Abby (Robin Weigert) is a sexually frustrated upper-middle class housewife living with Kate (Julie Fain Lawrence) and their two sons in the suburbia around New York State.  After being hit in the head by her son’s baseball she begins to question her happiness and ends up buying a property in Manhattan as a renovation project to escape her mundane family life. 


After losing all sexual advances from Kate, Abby explores the world of high-end prostitution with the help of her friend Evan – firstly as a client and then as a call girl herself.  She insists that she has a coffee with all potential patrons first, and only choses sophisticated and well-read liberal women.

The apartment that Abby is developing becomes a metaphor for her increasingly complex libido, as she becomes more adventurous as she brings more clients to the space as she continues to develop it.  When she finally does catch Kate in the right mood back in their house together, Abby’s sexual enjoyment has changed after her new experiences and Kate can’t understand it, which leads to even greater tension between them…


For a film about female-only prostitution, there is only a small amount of onscreen sex and it is never gratuitous and always works as character development and not as gratification for male audiences.  That said though, the cinematography is rich and the performances are sexy.  The concussion referred to in the title is the genesis of Abby’s midlife crisis, suggesting that people need to be knocked out of sexual banality and to try something new.  A message that will resonate with straight or gay audiences.

No comments:

Post a Comment