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I Want Your Love
IMDB Rating: 5.4/10 from votes
Release: 1 May 2013 (France) /

I Want Your Love

Genre: Drama
Director: Travis Mathews,
Stars: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Synopsis: After a decade of living in San Francisco, Jesse is forced to move back to his Midwestern roots because he can no longer afford the city. On his final night in the city, friends and ex-lovers gather for a going away party that promises to heighten Jesse's already bittersweet feelings about leaving. Written by Websurfer

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Critic Reviews


I was having problems with this film. It sagged heavily half way through. However it did continue to produce flashes of originality, the main points i list below:

1. Whilst struggling to stick with the film (see below), in an attempt to scrape the bottom of the barrel, i was gratefully amused for the slogan 'lesbian bed death' - referring to the condition of the cessation of sex in long term relationships.

2. The film documents a kind of fin de siecle moment for a San Franciscan gay generation who interestingly are not particularly defined by any significant notion in the political struggle for gay rights; a detail which is startling for the fact of it's final appearance after effectively 60 years of multiple generations entirely defined by successive phases of political struggle. The film also focuses on the twilight of youth, where the protagonist, Jesse, sensing his impending maturity into full adulthood seeks to return to the place of his youth and to leave the city which has defined the first part of his young adult experience. It is a timeless right of passage and small details capture that strange sense of change and reappraisal with a quiet sophistication.

3. Characteristic of this generation's gay themed cinematic work, perhaps because of a diminishing sense of identity rooted in oppression and struggle, lies a problematic vacuum. Films such as this and also for example, The Lost Coast, also set in San Francisco, evoke a genre, which though not so much narcissistic, display a lack of capability or willingness to dream up a relationship with the future and consequently portray an intense over involvement in the experience of the present. This creates a genre which has a tendency to over dramatise what could be undeserving issues. Relatively minor events in the path of life are over magnified and their importance exaggerated with a post/adolescent preoccupation whose departure is at times long overdue. One is left with a sense of a potentially lost and tragic generation, who have been entirely defined by a profoundly conservative free-market ideology and show no sense of having engaged in any real spirit of rebellion. What we see is reassuringly quotidian, but also lacking any connectivity to a wider social context.It's essentially stuck at the inward looking. Jesse's departure offer's no sense that this wider malaise is due for a change. It's frustrating to sit through, because cinema in the past has been so much more than this. It raises the question, where are we headed as this generation comes to power ?

4. Something the new generation do offer and which is seen extensively in this film is the growing trend to show explicit sex as an extension of the cinematic language of emotional intimacy. This film raises the bar and pushes that to greater heights than the plethora of recent films which have exploded with a laid back approach to cinematic (gay) sex. However, because the last third of this film is literally saturated in sex it did raise an interesting question. As i gagged and squealed my way through the images i wondered if sex in cinema was like sex in literature; namely incredibly hard to do well. It's not enough just to show the whole ugly load. You need to do something cinematically. Certainly i would not say this is manufacturing moments of porn. But it was also uncertain what it's intention was other than to revel in a new found freedom to let it all hang out. period. That's just not enough. It's immature because as happens in this film, it detracts from the essential flow of energy in the work as a whole, especially for a film whose story is so incredibly thin on the ground. What happens is the sex becomes just another symptom of the portrait of a generation who don't really have anything to say for themselves at all and remain largely undefined and invisible as an entity.

5. Regarding the title, 'I want your love', the meaning is ambiguous on inspection. Certainly the protagonist Jesse, spends the film contemplating the cessation or diminishment of his emotional bonds in general. He may be sensing a future to come where the definition of love is going to have to be far broader than his previous assumptions. The title could also refer to the short-sightedness and frustration of emotional bonds and sex in young adult groups in general. The people we meet here stand in contrast to the old 1970s and 80s San Franciscan gay 'communities' defined by a celebration of hyped up promiscuity as a mark of liberation and also the more recent era preoccupied with AIDS and death. But either way, it remains unstable as a title. It speaks more of insecurity, of a need unfulfilled rather than a love successfully acquired. To this extent it supports the idea of a new generation who remain undefined and occupy a vacuum, despite ironically, finally inheriting the legal right to fully love in public. Is this a depiction of a generation in shock at the arrival of the 'you are now normal' identity and it's options ?

I gave this film 4 because i do remain impressed with this new breed of actor who is willing to share their body so intimately. I also gave points for the 'lesbian bed death' slogan. But i remain concerned at the appearance of yet another film which portrays an emerging generation caught in a sense of unarticulated and broody crisis about their sense of purpose.

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