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KEMBRA PFAHLER & LYDIA LUNCH STAR IN NEW YORK UNDERGROUND
FILMMAKER BETH B's RARE & SEXY 1996 FILM VISITING DESIRE. A
MUST HAVE FOR UNDERGROUND FILM & CINEMA OF TRANSGRESSION
COMPLETISTS.
"Visting Desire" is a homemovie about the possible meeting the
impossible--a low rent version of "Last Tango in Paris." Beth B
places her camera in front of a bed and creates a temporary
autonomous zone for twelve strangers. Where for a half-hour in
pairs they can try to create a place for unbound desire. The
tension of the first 10 minutes where random individuals are
invited to speak about what they would do, given the chance--with
overlapping commentary by community sex experts about nature of
sexual fantasties--creates a strong visual act of foreplay. Of
course the foreplay of the possible rubbing against the impossible
is that the foreplay cannot fullfill the frenzy that it incites.
The twelve strangers must deal with the reality of another's body
and of another's desire. And the viewer must navigate their own
desire between both of these bodies.
As the strangers began to arrive, the lines of flight, the
blockage, and the orgasms started being mapped out between all
parties--as basic contract questions: how far will I or they go?
Will my fantasy be the main narrative? What is my fantasy--is it
boring? Do I even want to be here? Who is this other person?
Suddenly, the deterritorialized space of desire became a space of
re-enactment of self-definition, communication-as-definition and
not as desire. Only one couple allowed the imaginary to emerge as
its own ritual --silent bodies inventing micro-zones of desire. The
scene was composed of a blindfolded transexual and a man with a
whip, who never spoke--learning and improvising their desire
without ostensive language games. The arc of visiting desire became
quiet visible as the couple became something more than their state
of being-as-confession.
The other strangers became trapped in a state-of-confession:
sexuality is now defined as a daytime talkshow, where desire is
blocked by the need to confess to the Screenal State, and no longer
into the psychoanalytic ear, or even our lovers. Even the scene of
an orgasm between two women, the only one achieved during the
filming, was mired by the desire to confess and speak. As in "Last
Tango in Paris" the will-to-speak and know the stranger beyond the
autonomy of the silent room kills the invention of desire. Recall
that in 'Tango' the Woman shoots the Man.
Let us also recall the Lacanian drift of re-marking desire as a
purloined letter--a stolen moment without signs.
SHIPS IN A PLAIN SLEEVE WITH NO ARTWORK