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Destricted Breaks Down Boundaries

A highlight of this year's Black Box programme, Destricted is a challenging and visually arresting examination of contemporary attitudes to sexuality. Destricted is an undoubtedly ambitious project, c...

A highlight of this year's Black Box programme, Destricted is a challenging and visually arresting examination of contemporary attitudes to sexuality.

Destricted is an undoubtedly ambitious project, comprising seven short films made by some of the world’s foremost visual artists and filmmakers. The remit for each of the contributors is the same: to create a film examining our attitude to, and representations of, sexuality.

Each of the filmmakers inevitably puts their own personality and style into their response. Matthew Barney, the visual artist famed for his Cremaster films, merges man and machine in a sequence set to stun. British artist Sam Taylor-Wood took her lone participant to Death Valley and filmed him from a distance of some 500 feet, giving a literal isolation and loneliness to his solo sexual act. Irreversible director Gaspar Noé provides an entirely different, and altogether characteristic, study of masturbation.

The longest segment of the film is given over to director Larry Clark, whose representations of teenage sexuality in Kids and Bully courted controversy. Here he examines a group of porn consumers, young American males, who he then pitches in with their idols. It’s a fascinating and funny contribution, exposing the insecurities of its subjects.

Perhaps the most technically impressive piece comes from Italian filmmaker and artist, Marco Brambilla. At only a minute long, his incredible image sampling of adult entertainment is a fantastic sensory assault. American artist Richard Prince also uses adult films as his source, disintegrating an excerpt from a porn movie through repeatedly replaying it. Marina Abramovic presents a recreation of the sexual rituals of Balkan folklore, explicit acts performed to harness the energies of higher powers.

In turn provocative and explicit, innovative and humorous, Destricted is a portmanteau like no other.

Destricted is showing 17 and 19 August at Cineworld.

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