…authentic, honest, different, mundane and surprising … an insight into the professional world of BDSM that we have not seen before. – Gregor Torinus (Spielfilm)
(Translation below from Toby Tentakel.)
Review: Remedy (2014)
Rating: 4 / 5
The upcoming film adaptation of the soft BDSM bestseller 50 Shades of Grey is already casting its shadows. Now that suddenly a mass audience is interested in the former taboo subject of “BDSM,” other films with related topics are being released in cinemas. But Remedy is both visually and content-wise pretty much the opposite of 50 Shades of Grey. Instead of a smooth and overblown erotic atmosphere with some spicy touch of S&M, Cheyenne Picardo’s debut Remedy is much closer to the style of “cinema verité,” as recently seen in National Gallery. An authentic look that is further enhanced by the visibly low budget. The film was predominantly shot with a cheap camera in the basement [director’s note: it was actually in a barn] of the parents of the filmmaker, with the plot consisting mainly of a loose series of sessions.
According to Cheyenne Picardo, the film is based on her own personal experiences. She is active herself in the BDSM scene of New York, having worked in a BDSM studio there. As the writer and director of Remedy, she thinks that even though there are depiction of BDSM scenes all over the media, these only represent one side of this topic. What is missing are films about the various people who – like Remedy – stumble into the scene for mundane reasons. She is for example missing representations of students that start working in the summer holidays to earn quick money, and other women who do not come from “the scene”. How do such people experience working in a BDSM studio, where they give up control for an hour just for money? How can a slave separate her own personal feelings from her profession? These are exciting questions that “Remedy” pursues in a sensitive manner.
The leading role of Remedy is convincingly played by Kira Davies, who is not part of the BDSM scene herself. She manages to plausibly portray Remedy as a clever and at the same time naive young woman who stumbled into a BDSM studio, where she is trained by her jaded colleagues. Like in other jobs, there is swearing and blasphemy during breaks, and sometimes an amusing anecdote about particularly unusual clients. The clients and therefore all the sessions are really varied and different: some clients are nice and courteous, other are arrogant and dismissive and some are slightly crazy. But all these scenes are about the different human encounters.
People who like to see dark erotica or even sex won’t be satisfied with Remedy. Instead, Picardo offers a glimpse into a world that is excitingly different, but at the same time similarily banal like other working environments.
Conclusion: Remedy is authentic, honest, different, mundane and surprising and provides an insight into the professional world of BDSM that we have not seen before.
– Gregor Torinus
Click here to read the writeup in Kabeleins.de! (Translation coming.)