Thursday, December 03, 2009

Her fingertips are holding onto the cracks in her foundation.

Yesterday evening, me and ma Lukebung were at the Little Theatre taking advantage of Orange Wednesdays by watching Glorious 39 (s'alright). The most memorable thing about the cinemagoing experience, however, aside from the fact that my phone was out of battery so I couldn't check the Chelsea score just as well really, was a rather mesmerising trailer I saw, for the film Cracks.


Starring British star Juno Temple (who herself starred in Glorious 39), it tells the story of a group of girls in a British boarding school and their enigmatic swimming instructor Miss G, who, from the trailer, it's pretty obvious that many of the girls, particularly Temple's character, has a bit of a girlcrush on. Miss G seems nice enough, a bit distant, but an encouraging instructor who particularly takes a shine to Temple's character Di, who in turn laps it up. However, this special relationship is called into question with the arrival of Fiamma (relative unknown 22-year-old María Valverde, stunning), whom Miss G transfers all her affections to. Unlike Di, though, Fiamma does not take so well to being scrutinized and adored by her teacher, and the teacher's increasing obsession with her, coupled with her continuing rebuffing of her teacher, leads to her fellow classmates to despise her.

Have a clip. One can almost cut the lesbian tension with a knife:

Furthermore, Eva Green's Miss G indulges in a bit of naughty shennanigans, which the bbfc website tells me about: SPOILERS AHOY

Although Miss G's sexual fascination with Fiamma is hinted at subtly and discreetly throughout the film, it manifests most clearly in a single, pivotal scene. After Fiamma gets drunk at a party and passes out, Miss G offers to take care of her, ostensibly so that the other teachers will not discover her drunkenness. However, she subsequently abuses her position of trust by sexually abusing the unconscious girl. Miss G unties the ribbon of Fiamma's camisole to expose her cleavage which she strokes repeatedly but gently. Then she leans forward and kisses Fiamma on the lips. Moments later, Miss G presses her head against the sleeping girl's implied bare breast, which is in the shadows, before the scene ends. '12A' Guidelines say that mature themes are acceptable but their treatment must be suitable for young teenagers; and that sexual violence (which this scene of sexual abuse clearly comprises) may only be implied or briefly and discreetly indicated, and must have a strong contextual justification. While there is no violence in the scene and no explicit sexual detail, the scene depicts the sexualised abuse of an unconscious pupil by a teacher in a fashion that was too sustained and too strong to be allowed at '12A'. However, the scene was containable at '15' where Guidelines state that any portrayal of sexual violence must be discreet and have a strong contextual justification. Because the scene is relatively discreet in terms of what is shown (there is no nudity and no actual violence) and because it is crucial to the narrative in marking the turning point in the teacher's downfall, it was considered that an '18' classification was unnecessary.

Dirty bitch!! Good on the bbfc for not rating the movie an 18 just for this scene, as it doesn't sound that terrible. And again, good on them for not being all "oh, it's woman-on-girl, hardly rape. Pretty hot actually. Let's give it a 12A." But, I must say, my fascination for this movie is piqued significantly, especially from the clips which show some scintillating dialogue, amusing banter between the teenagers and quotes like "the most important thing in life is... desire". One suspects that I, like Juno Temple's Di, might find myself falling under Eva Green's lesbionic spell when Cracks hits English screens this Friday.


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