1994, R Directed by Clara Law, Monika Treut, Lizzie Borden. Starring Tim Lounibos, Hayley Man, Kamala Lopez-Dawson, Priscilla Barnes, Michael Carr, Peter Kern, Camilla Soeberg, Priscilla Barnes, Ray Oriel, Ron Orbach, Bryan Cranston, Kamala Lopez-Dawson.

REVIEWED By Marjorie Baumgarten, Fri., Sept. 9, 1994

The producers of Erotique were motivated by the idea of making a compilation film of “intelligent erotica.” I suspect that's a classy way of saying “a stroke film for women.” Three internationally known women directors were commissioned to create short, erotic movies from the viewpoints of Nineties women; the encompassing title was French-kissed and emerged as the tantalizing Erotique, and crews were assembled on three continents to contribute to the making of this movie. Eroticism is in the mind of the beholder, to be sure, and there are as many forms of eroticism as there are “Nineties women.” So, for whatever it's worth, this particular beholder found little genuine eroticism and ample soft-core pornography. And by that, I mean conventional sexual imagery, tastefully shot, and calculated to achieve a sole purpose. American director Lizzie Borden (Working Girls, Born in Flames) co-wrote her segment “Let's Talk About Sex” with activist Susie Bright. The story revolves around an aspiring Latina actress who works in a phone sex office and becomes obsessed with one of her regulars. This caller is the only man willing to listen to her fantasies; she refuses to play “blonde and buxom” for the anonymous callers and she refuses to play the wordless prostitute roles that the casting agents offer her. The story's appeal is in the character's unwillingness to become anyone's fantasy yet her own fantasies are hardly an improvement over any else's. “Taboo Parlor” by German director Monika Treut (My Father is Coming, Seduction: The Cruel Woman, Female Misbehavior) tells the story of two lesbian lovers, who decide to pick up a man for an evening romp. Things turn decidedly ugly after a while, so the women find a permanent solution to their “problem.” The segment features a brief appearance by Tanita Tikaram, as well as a couple of her songs. Hong Kong director Clara Law (The Reincarnation of the Golden Lotus, Temptation of a Monk) is responsible for “Wonton Soup.” In it, an Australian-born Chinese boy reunites with his girlfriend in Hong Kong. Their culture clashes are resolved once he rediscovers his Chinese heritage by learning some ancient, acrobatic sexual positions. Each short film can boast of high production values and runs about a half-hour in length. Whether that's enough to get you off is a matter of personal discretion -- except for me, who has to go public here. I didn't, therefore it didn't.

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Erotique, Clara Law, Monika Treut, Lizzie Borden, Tim Lounibos, Hayley Man, Kamala Lopez-Dawson, Priscilla Barnes, Michael Carr, Peter Kern, Camilla Soeberg, Priscilla Barnes, Ray Oriel, Ron Orbach, Bryan Cranston, Kamala Lopez-Dawson

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