Cabaret Desire by Erika Lust – Erotic Film
Pleasure Panel review by Hella Rude
It’s not my usual forté to review erotic cinema, but as I was offered the opportunity to I thought I’d give Cabaret Desire by Erika Lust a whirl. As a writer and a seasoned viewer of adult films, I should be perfectly placed to give an open and honest opinion.
The first thing that strikes you about Cabaret Desire is that it isn’t going to be the sort of porn film that you’re used to watching. A lot of effort goes into creating an atmosphere in the opening sequence and continues throughout.
The film opens with a slow pan around a well-lit, intimate club as a very talented male pole dancer shows off his skills to the attendees. As the camera scans the audience, you notice they’re a varied bunch. You have your usual corseted and tattooed fet scene types and your smarter, well-dressed attendees alongside more casual onlookers in jeans and t-shirts. Voyeuristic and comfortable, the atmosphere is somehow both open and pretentious… as these sorts of clubs often are. One tick for realism… albeit the jeans, there’s almost always a ‘no street wear’ policy in these joints.
The scene takes focus on a single attendee who advises its her first time. She is joined by another woman, one of the story tellers, who advises that she is going to tell the new comer a very special story. As she begins telling her story, the club scene fades and the focus is on the newcomer, she has become the main character in the story.
The storyteller narrates the inner monologue of the character eloquently and with exactly the right pace to inspire anticipation in the viewer. Fans of erotic literature will be especially thrilled with the use of emotive language in the narrative, it’s punctuated with lingering descriptions, building empathy between the viewer and the scene which really helps the story line to flow. The film moves swiftly between the four scenes, each starting with a customer paying a storyteller to read their work.
What might surprise you is the diversity that is packed into this 75 minute film. You’ll witness a woman who meets a man and a woman and commences simultaneous relationships with them both, a cat burglar who steals sex from those she robs, a woman whose friends arrange sexy surprises on her birthdays and a couple who shared an illicit few days together, parted, and arrange to meet again.
In terms of sex acts, most bases are covered. Strap-on sex, sex with condoms, BDSM play (including a woman in a zentai suit forcing sex upon a man…which swiftly becomes consensual), sex with strangers and sex with someone you should never have let go. The crucial part which makes this film is the emotional connection that the characters share. Their inner monologues discuss fear, nervousness, anticipation, lust, desire and hint toward something much deeper than mere sex.
The style is beautifully arthouse. There is nothing to hate about the direction or the scene building in this film, even if you’re looking for a quick thrill. The action doesn’t take long to get going and when it does it’s surprisingly real. What becomes clear early on is that the artists in the film are not just mere porn stars, they’re erotic actors and actresses. They have style, they have consideration for their characters and best of all, they’re entirely believable. The script could easily have been left hollow for the want of better acting, but it wasn’t. Although at times contrived, it flowed elegantly and was articulated well by all involved.
The action is hardcore, but it’s far flung from the films we’re accustomed to viewing. There is a warm, captivating realness to the emotion displayed. In some scenes there is such passion and love that it pisses all over some of the sex I’ve experienced in genuine relationships. Exaggerated faces are kept to a minimum, the moans and groans are well placed and believable.
Best of all, not everyone in this film has a perfect porn figure. The women are curvy, skinny, in between, big breasted, small breasted, hairy and completely bald. The men are chiseled, thin, old, young, big dicks and little dicks.
Without giving too much about the plot away, as it is something to behold in itself, there is little more I can say. Was it a turn on? Definitely. But I can’t help think that this film is designed for viewing with a lover. Its appeal is unisex with the pleasure focus equally on men and women, making this an ideal film to take into the bedroom together.
– Hella Rude
Thanks to Pleasure Panel reviewer Hella Rude for this guest review of Cabaret Desire by Erika Lust (£12 for the DVD, £8 to download)
This film was made available to Hella Rude for the purposes of a fair and honest review.