Saturday, March 30, 2013

Stoker: Dark, Erotic, and Unforgettable

Anyone interested in dark sexual themes should see Stoker, which hits every deep Freudian thing with brutal grace. The movie is shot with amazing visual poetry, and is rife with sexual symbolism that strikes uncomfortable and arousing places. See, for example, the way a Daddy Long Legs crawls up India Stoker's leg while she plays the piano. Later, once she becomes more of an adult, it crawls higher, disappearing beneath her skirt.

Stoker plays hard. It hints at incest. It indulges in the twin thrills of sex and death. But for all that, it's not lurid. It comes on strong but subtle. The most suggestive scene to me involved India playing a piano duet with her uncle. They don't even kiss, and yet I was breathless by the end of it. The passion and transgression in the way they played came through hotter than so many straight-out sex scenes I've experienced.

This movie is about awakening and self-acceptance, though it has disturbing visions of both. I highly recommend it.

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