3 Stars
Year Released: 2003
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 14 minutes
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What goes on in the ladies room? Gentlemen, you may or may not want to know. From makeup to menstruation, Kate Bernstein’s short film “Ladies Room” reveals what commonly happens in public and private bathrooms. The film begins with a young girl sniffling as she wipes off makeup from her face. It then cuts to a graffiti-covered restroom where two teenaged girls, who look more like drag queens, are inspecting themselves in the mirror. In fact, there’s a lot of “inspecting oneself in the mirror” in this film. Alternating between black-and-white hidden camera aesthetic and color film, “Ladies Room” plays around with questions like why girls take so long when they’re in a restroom. The bathroom is a private and biological space. Not only does a girl transform herself from natural beauty to unnatural beauty in this room, but she also cleans herself and sheds liquid and solid waste. The bathroom is also the site of multi-tasking, as demonstrated by the brunette who can smoke, write in a journal, and sit on a toilet waiting for nature to complete its call. Shudder to think, right? Not entirely. Bernstein handles the subject of the ladies room quite well. Her film is humorous, especially the mock commercial about a tampon shaped like a candy bar. Perhaps for her next project, she’ll tackle the reason why girls go to the bathroom in packs.

Posted on March 30, 2004 in Reviews by

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