When you think of Ottawa, what comes to mind? Quiet, orderly streets, the boring bustle of bureaucrats, pampered politicians, Paul Anka? Think again. Ottawa is also a place of lonely, marginalized figures haunting its postcard cityscapes. Cinematically speaking, we need only recall the works of Ottawa's late Frank Cole and, in more antic versions of marginality, the films of Lee Demarbre. Ken Takahashi's dramatic short, produced at the Independent Filmmakers Cooperative of Ottawa, is the disturbing tale of Gary, a grimy and sad character who brings a bag lady back to his cramped, subterranean apartment for some of the most awkward and decidedly twisted sex in all of Canadian cinema. Gary's Touch flirts with the pornographic as it pushes deep into the psychoses of its protagonist. And Gary's is indeed an obscure psychology, a slimy admixture of narcissism and self-loathing; his obsession with his own semen (he keeps, a la Howard Hughes, the stuff in a freezer) reflects both his isolation and his pathological obsession with reproducing himself. Reminiscent of the creepy early works of Guy Maddin and Jeff Erbach, and mining similarly febrile veins of desire and disgust, Gary's Touch is a gritty, realist work that impresses with its consistency of tone, mise en scene and rigorous, troubling intelligence. All this, plus a version of the Immaculate Conception worthy of Luis Bunuel.
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|Title Annotation:||SHORT TAKES|
|Date:||Sep 1, 2005|
|Next Article:||The Scene Stealer.|