Featured Review For Bedways
RP Kahl's Bedways promises to explore themes of love, sex, bodies and cinema itself. Some might consider this a tall ask for a 76 minute porno. They'd be right.
Bedways. I don’t know what Bedways is. I don’t think RP Kahl knows what Bedways is, and he wrote and directed it. How can a film that concludes with a quote from Michel Foucault be taken seriously when it wears the Exploitastic “Only Lars von Trier has been more explicit lately” proudly across its DVD cover?
Stuck somewhere halfway between exploitation and philosophical meditation, then, Bedways revolves around film director Nina Bader (Miriam Mayet) as she is joined by two actors (Lana Cooper and Mathias Faust) in a grand, dilapidated Berlin apartment block. Together these three conduct ‘rehearsals’ for the explicit scenes of an unnamed movie they are making. These ‘rehearsals’ essentially amount to a series of entirely static and increasingly graphic sex scenes punctuated by the three of them talking about the entirely static and increasingly graphic sex scenes.
If that sounds fairly straightforward it’s not. The relationships between the characters in Bedways are never fully explained. Nor are the relationships between the characters they play in the unnamed porno they are filming. Factor in the conscious decision of the director not to more obviously delineate the rehearsals from the actual lives of the actors and you basically have a film that fails to form any kind of coherent narrative.
Judging by the press release it seems pretty pleased with itself that it managed to pull off this little post-modern manoeuvre. But really, how hard is it to blur fiction and reality when you haven’t taken the time to define either? And how do you expect to build a coherent movie and adequately explore the other (more interesting) proposed themes of love and sex when you start by performing a confusing post-modern coupe?
I don’t have the answers to these questions but I can tell you that I made it through the mercifully brief 76 minutes by keeping myself entertained with that other post-modern device: irony. “I can’t really tell you anything about the project… even though I’m in it” muses Faust’s character, before concluding “The movie is a failure”. Quite.