Saturday, March 26, 2011

Naughty Film Corner: Brilliantlove aka "The Orgasm Diaries"

Once in a while, there are things that challenge my level of comfort. I am no prude and I've had my share of art house hits, but none that comfortably delves into an unbridled passionate love with simmering frankness.

Such is Ashley horner's "Brilliantlove" aka "The Orgasm Diaries".

It's a sweltering summer in an English countryside. 18 year old Manchester (Liam Browne) spends his lazy hours sleeping, shoplifting, and constantly engaging in raw, enthusiastic, passionate sex with his plucky girlfriend Noon (Nancy Trotter Landry) who's magnetized by the youthful frolicky charm of the struggling photographer. Together, nothing else matters. They spend their days in Manchester's rundown garage, unmindful of concerns that inhabit most other human being. One day, Manchester inadvertently leaves (at a pub) a set of random photographs he has taken of their intimate sexual games. A wealthy gentleman named Franny (Michael Hodgson) finds them and instantly recognizes Manchester's talent - one that eventually thrusts him to the realm of the lucrative Erotic Art.

Though initially oblivious to Franny's offer, Manchester soon discovers the pleasure of a wad of british pounds; of owning a car; of sleeping in a posh British villa; and the adoring appreciation of art aficionados. In fact, every item from his exhibit (of his and Noon's love making) gets bought! There's one problem: Noon is unaware of the source of Manchester's expeditious accumulation of wealth! Suddenly, the innocence of summer is threatened by the brisk turn of events in the lives of the young couple.

With a surfeit of uninhabited nudity, sexual and otherwise, the exposition tackles the nature of a youthful and passionate romance in vivid, albeit provocative narrative strokes. We see the couple in various states of undress, in manifold angles and views, giving the impression that nudity, in its natural state, is not an affliction we have to avoid.

I have to salute Liam Browne and Nancy Trotter Landry for their brave, instinctive (and even pragmatic?) performance that have them in various states of undress. Browne, particularly, gets to wash his genitals on screen; brave the freezing English oceans (despite what cold water does to the male genitalia); masturbate to a sleeping Noon; urinate and even (suggestively) "orgasm" (thus its alternative title) in front of the screen. Too graphic? You have to watch it in the context of the way this story has been "calmly" and eloquently told. Cinematography captures the essence of an Indian summer, as well as the atmosphere of unadulterated affection. In fact, some of the more powerful scenes involve dialogue-free scenes. The thematic sexual burden initially provokes, but such unease eventually dissipates.

The film gets mixed reviews, but it is a gem in my book.

If you're not too prude of in-your-face nudity, this movie (unlike 90% of sex-oriented Philippine indie movies) will impart a degree of catharsis far removed from orgasm.

Machester (Liam Browne) and Noon (Nancy Trotter Landry) enjoying a hot summer before "opportunity" knocks at his door.

Liam Browne will appear next in another British film that tackles hedonism, "Lotus Eaters".

Here is an excerpt from Mr. Browne's interview with Mr. Eric Sclapack at the Edinburgh Film Festival:

Film Festivals Examiner: How did you come to be an actor, was this something you always wanted to do or did it come later in life?

Liam Browne: Well it was something I kind of enjoyed at school as I loved f^@%^# about and this gave me a whole hour to f^$# about without getting told off. People said I was good so I sort of stuck at it, then I got a bit older; thought it would be a good way to get girls which, let me tell you, at drama school being straight and normal, it was! I then went to train with David Johnson, who taught me a hell of a lot about acting and I was still trying to be an actor for many years, getting the odd small part, but nothing major and was working as a window fitter full time.

I always find auditioning very hard and am no good at being over nice to new people so I struggle getting parts. Acting is not something I have ever put 100% of my time into as I have met actors who have and their lives seem limited.

I love to travel and won’t just wait around in hope that a part is going to turn up. I actually gave up acting for almost 3 years whilst I was studying surveying at university. I moved away from home to London, met a lot new people with new ideas, artists and people I classed as cool and I no longer thought I had to be famous or have crazy ambitions and want everyone to look at me. So after university I didn't know what to do so I decided I wanted to get back in to it as I thought I would kill myself if I took the route of a graduate and work in the city in an office. I feel that I now come at acting from a different angle a more mature angle, I don’t want to be famous, I don’t want to be rich, and I don’t want to just get girls. I just want to find challenging projects that excite me and that I would like to watch myself. I feel that having my heart broken has also helped me a lot as I can now understand and covey this emotion.

Before I got the part in brilliantlove I was actually planning give up acting to go travelling for a few years teaching English and doing charity work.

FFE: What is your favorite part of being an actor, least favorite?

Browne: At the moment I wouldn't actually say I was an Actor, as I have done very little work since finishing the film, so I am just a bloke looking for work as an actor. That's the worst bit, I learnt so much working on brilliantlove and I want to keep learning and getting better, and I need work to do that. The best bit is being able to lose yourself in a character and see which bits of yourself and others around you can take and put into that person. It’s also intriguing to have conversation about what motivates that character and what their background is, I guess it’s like reading a book, everyone will have a different imagination.

FFE: Why did you do this film? What drew you to it?

Browne: I loved the script, I loved the love in the script and being a romantic I was drawn to that! After reading it the hairs on the back of my neck stood up and for me that's a sign that something is amazing and it’s had a major impact on me. Even though the script is so graphic, dirty and raw there is a soft sweetness that the writer possesses, which portrays love and emotion in such a beautiful way.

I would say the main reason for me doing the film is what I stated above but then when reading the script there are still so many questions, about how the sex is going to come across and how it would be dealt with and who is making this film. I then met Ashley at the audition and immediately liked him but still I had questions as my agent was not keen on me doing it. I found Ash warm, calm, and reassuring, but honest. After this I went away and researched Ash, Sean and Pinball films, this made me want to do the film more than I ever wanted anything. Ash was in an Indie band, Sean was labeled as a f^$*#^@ genius by Rankin, and the Pinball website was f^$%*@# cool. They seemed to have similar interests as me and and I knew they were the dream combination for my first feature film!

FFE: How did you deal with the scenes in the film where you were intimate with Nancy, or yourself? I guess, it seems like it is one of the more difficult things an actor is asked to do, so how are you able to do it?

Browne: Well me and Nancy were both new to this, we didn't know the etiquette actors have, so we just made it up! We talked in depth about it, coming up with ways to make it as believable as possible. We knew everything was in place for a great film, great script writer, great director, and crew and we didn't want to let anyone down. We wanted to be at their level so we said we have to just throw ourselves at it a million percent make it as raw and believable as possible, make the love seem as if it about to explode at any given moment and that passion and commitment for one another pours out of the screen.

I think the rehearsal process helped a lot with this as we broke down a lot of barriers with the help of Mr Horner which made actually performing on set comfortable and knowing that we had a lot of respect from the crew for what we were trying to do.

The reason I was able to do it is that I have very little fear, if something is scary I will want to do it. I love challenges and new experiences, and I like the adrenaline I get when I am out of my comfort zone but I survive. Manchester goes through a roller-coaster of emotions during the film, and often he portrays his emotion in a sexual way, as some people do. As I have said before, I found doing the emotional scenes that didn't have a sexual content more difficult as it wasn't my body on show but my inner feelings I had to use to get me to a place I needed to be. I personally would have preferred a closed set for these scenes than the sex scenes. A cock is a cock, but a heart and a mind are very fragile personal things that are very hard to lay bare.

(Read the entire interview here:


the libidista said...

Oh! Nancy, Nancy!!

Please give me a copy..

Naglalaway ako sa pelikulang 'to.


Cathy P. said...

Told in pure libidista fashion. LOL

It is one for the "collection", RM.

Richard said...


Cathy P. said...

Smokin! LOL