Saturday, January 25, 2014
A TEACHER (2013)
Written & Directed By: Hannah Fidell
Cinematography By: Andrew Droz Palermo
Editor: Sofi Marshall
Cast: Lindsay Burge, Will Brittain, Jennifer Prediger, Julie Dell Phillips, Jonny Mars
A high school teacher in Austin, Texas has an affair with one of her students. Her life begins to unravel as the relationship comes to an end.
I like that the film gives us a glimpse into what might drive her to make the decisions that she does, unfortunately they come off as vague and doesn't truly endear her to the audience or make us understand her. Maybe if partially it was she was a sex addict then at least there would be a clinical reason.
The sex scenes are not very erotic they just seem to happen which helps not make the film explosive and shows a deepness for the material and a maturity in direction though there are quote a few sex scenes.
The film is more matter of fact with it's material and action. No real overlays though it lets the action sit there at times. It also leaves itself open ended not only in ending bit in motivations throughout the film.
As far as the movie goes it seems like the reasons for her behavior are that in her liaisons. It is the only one she can let herself be emotionally open with anyone and through this intimacy it is the only time she is close. So it's more seen to her as making love then just sex which is what her lover seems all about.
I thought also the scene with her going to a party with men her own age and seeing how it seems guy's her own age were more immature, thinking insults and being too open is witty and not seeming to appreciate women their own age basically saying anything right or wrong to them. It is a interesting scene that could have been explored throughout the movie making it more suggested that one of the reasons for her taking a underage lover is that he appreciates her and see's her as a fantasy come To life the forbidden fruit and that through this he becomes over confident. Instead even when it begins he seem to be more in control and making the rules. He basically comes off as a jerk. Which didn't help my viewing of the film as neither was sympathetic enough to me to justify a connection with the film to care.
I am not saying a film always has to have likeable characters, but it is harder for me when a film asks for me to see the character as sympathetic. Just as the film plays more like a tragedy with it's vagueness it also feels like a horror film where we never learn the motivation for the killer. Which can work, I just felt here it's enough to work with, but not enough to believe.
The film is brief, but is long enough to make it's story felt. It doesn't really have any points to make so it's not overlong. Though a more sure ending would have been satisfying. Though as this films seems to be a combination of all the true life cases of this situation. Not as sensationalistic, You generally should know how it will eventually end. As this film seems to want to give insight into what might motivate cases such as this. I wish that the film delved a little deeper rather then just skimming the surface with many minor suggestions yet no real answers, nor subtlety.