With upscale male porn in decline (cross-reference below) and freedom of expression on the Internet bringing new meaning to “anything goes” and “I dare you,” Claude Pérès’ latest film offers a different perspective on anonymous sexual encounters.
To be sure, the title does not refer to explicit cheating. Instead, it draws its meaning from lack of faith or belief and having no illusions about what might happen.
The filmmaker has invited Marcel Schlutt to spend a night with him—in front of the camera. They’ve never met before. They’ve come together to explore each other in as many ways and positions as possible in just a few hours. Either can say “no” and Schlutt is free to pack up and go anytime.
Intriguing as all of that sounds, when the premise gets, er, fleshed out (much of the closing half of the film could be used as a how-to primer for those just entering the arena of same-sex encounters) it occasionally titillates (for reasons that come as no surprise, Schlutt’s solo footage—after being asked to “tease” the camera—has a certain professional air that spoils some of the voyeuristic set-up) but seldom reveals more than two good-looking men.
Once the sun has risen and the temporarily satisfied “equipment” put to rest, the journey ends with a tell-all shot. Sitting on the floor—still unashamedly barethe sudden lovers seem miles apart. The intimacy of the previous hours wasn’t based on anything more than the shared need for physical contact and—ultimately—selfish, self-administered release. “Are you disappointed?” asks Pérès during the coda, “Would you have had sex without the cameras?” The predictable replies may stroke/stoke the filmmaker’s ego but viewers looking for more than sex scenes will feel cheated out of “a new experience.”
Lydia Lunch’s marvellously eerie tracks at either end of the film are at one with all that goes on in between. JWR