TRANSACTION

4 Stars
Year Released: 2005
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Running Time: 14 minutes
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The mellifluously-named Jacques Thelemaque knows that people have seen call girls and their clients in the movies, if not in their own lives. The men who usually visit these women look like they have been through many of them. One glance at their face and their intentions are fully revealed. Michael (Edmund L. Shaff), portly, balding, and watching TV in a hotel room, is not that easily understood. In fact, Thelemaque and director of photography Matyas Erdely, as well as Shaff and Diane Gaidry as Angela make absolutely sure that Michael and Angela cannot be figured out right away. Angela, the call girl, enters and before he even starts speaking to her, she asks for an ID card from him so she can call her agency and confirm it. After that, some small talk, a payment, and then some sex. But who’s telling the truth in their conversation? Of course Angela can say whatever she wants to please a man and in fact, her remark about Michael’s peenie seems pre-programmed just in case he’s one of those guys who needs that confidence. He claims to be from San Francisco, on business. He’s married, and it looks like there’s trouble in that sex life. She attended an art institute in San Francisco for a time, and that’s the extent of her life beyond screwing for cash. Thelemaque cleverly leaves out Angela’s face so we have time to study Michael’s, and then during the hokey-pokey, she’s gradually revealed. Once we think we know him, it’s time to wonder about her.

Thelemaque’s got a unique eye for humanity. He surely has his feelings and opinions about Michael and Angela, and steps aside to let us discover our own. It’s enough for him to lead us to them. It’s a rewarding experience, and a rarity in camerawork.



Posted on January 20, 2006 in Reviews by
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