Friday, April 26, 2013
Introduction by director Ulrich Seidl and star Margarethe Tiesel!
Paradise: Love starts its theatrical run at Film Society on April 26! For more screenings click here.
Inexperienced middle-aged sex tourist Teresa (Margarethe Tiesel) travels to a luxurious Kenyan holiday resort looking for carnal satisfaction, having deposited her teenage daughter Melanie (Melanie Lenz) with Teresa’s sister Anna Maria (Maria Hofstätter). Mentored by a trio of similarly middle-aged female sex tourism veterans, she embarks on a series of sexual encounters with young and readily available natives, participating in a role-playing game of mutually agreed deception she doesn’t fully grasp. After initial awkwardness gives way to confidence, Teresa gets to see how the other half lives via “escort” Munga (Peter Kazungu), but discovers that her adventure in exotic sexual gratification comes at a price. The first installment of Austrian writer-director Ulrich Seidl’s trilogy on the trials and tribulations of three related women in search of fulfillment makes for uncomfortable viewing. But Seidl maintains a cool and detached stance, underlined by the work of co-cinematographers Ed Lachman and Wolfgang Thaler, who refrain from closeups and frequently arrange the visuals into strange tableaux-like compositions. Maintaining a steady gaze, Seidl doesn’t judge any of his characters, regardless of how grotesque and callous their behavior becomes. At the same time he challenges viewers to consider their own unexamined attitudes toward and assumptions about a scenario fraught with questions of power and exploitation.