To the extent that eroticism is about arousing acceptable forms of sexual desire, then, Elle tries to separate its motivations: using sex because one needs it, i.e. to satisfy a compulsion or dominate another through rape (unerotic), or enjoying it as an end in itself (erotic).
Instead of immersing us solely into the experience of the immigrants arrived at Lampedusa, Rosi winds us around the small island again and again, meeting its lifelong denizens and newly arrived, feeling its culture and traditions and how they have or have not been affected by the influx of refugees from abroad.
Ironically for Park Chan-wook, idolized for his male revenge fantasy Oldboy, the film is an attempt at feminist filmmaking. Its structure embodies not only the female gaze but also female subjectivity, the subconscious, memory, and so on, with swift camera movements and alternating chronologies.
In Aquarius, a woman in her sixties faces threats (some real, some perhaps imagined) to her continued existence in the titular three-story beachfront apartment building she has lived in for decades and which developers hope to raze and replace with a lucrative high rise project.
It is hard not to perceive something darkly subversive in the making of a film in which a beloved cinematic icon sits in bed, made up like a poodle and festooned in wig, frills, feathers, and fabrics, rotting away from gangrene while a whirlwind of bland and ill-equipped hangers-on try vainly to keep him preserved.
The tension in Sieranevada is between the various lies told and recalled by its characters and the relentless objectivity of its camera, which swoops, pans, hovers, lurks, sulks, and retreats in sync with its subjects but, crucially, does not embellish.
While the New York–set Hermia and Helena carries on the alternately fastidious and freewheeling sensibility of his previous Shakespeare films, it is the first to be set outside Argentina, as well as the only one thus far to engage with the Bard in English.