Exotica, Erotica, Etc. (2015)

BFI London Film Festival This film was presented at the London Film Festival, introduced by one of the programmers and the filmmaker, who returned afterwards for a Q&A session.

Only last week a film was released to British cinemas about sex and container ships with Odyssey allusions (Fidelio, l’odyssée d’Alice), though that was a narrative film, whereas this one is very much in a more artistic vein, having developed from a long-standing photographic project by Greek director Evangelia Kranioti. The title of this evocative documentary may perhaps be a little bit of misdirection, but it’s not entirely inaccurate, as it follows a container ship on its route around the world in a series of elliptical images overlaid with voiceover commentary and appearances by a fascinating woman in Brazil, Sandy, who used to be a sex worker in this particular environment. The imagery, then, is gorgeous and transfixing, with plenty of wide shots of the ship out in the ocean or plowing through ice, or its crew on land in various exotic ports. Their interactions with sex workers are seen only obliquely, with most of the commentary on that point offered by Sandy, who is transported into a trance-like state by her recollections. A fascinating document of a way of life that can sometimes seem strange to those of us land-bound viewers.

Exotica, Erotica, Etc. film posterCREDITS
Director/Writer/Cinematographer Evangelia Kranioti Ευαγγελία Κρανιώτη; Length 73 minutes.
Seen at BFI Southbank, London, Tuesday 13 October 2015.


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