The opening scene of Exotica, Erotica, Etc. is magnificent: a sea port, dark waves crashing all around it, a looming jet black sky. We hear the voice of Sandy, a woman of the night, recounting her sensual exploits. Sandy has always “let herself be loved,” but now older and alone, she surmises that she was deceived and deserted by the beautiful sailors she was once paid to make love to. For Sandy the sea represents love and loss; sensual pleasures and abandonment; possibilities and endings. Her words are juxtaposed with scenes of the ship and dimly lit sailors, all rendered in tones of bronze, rust, and smoky lavender. An unknown man, a sailor, also speaks: “Legend has it that to break a spell, one has to cross forty waves. Imagine how impervious to spells the sailor who has crossed thousands of waves.”
Photographer and director, Evangelia Kranioti, paints a captivating love story with her lens. While beautiful to look at — visually, it is superb, and I could stare at stills of this film all day – I found the narrative overwrought. The starry-eyed ruminations of both Sandy and the unknown sailor are too plodding and indulgent for my liking. Hence, I, like those many sailors Sandy loved, abandoned the poetic documentary midway.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Chaka V. is a writer, journalist and the founder of The Winehouse Mag.