Notes on Short Film

Lengthy diatribe on brief cinematic experience.

La Perra (2004)

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This 17-minute Chilean film directed by Hugo Maza and included on the World According to Shorts DVD was, in a nutshell, not my kind of satire. There are great lengths taken to assure the audiences these are appalling, grotesque people, and while it sometimes comes off funny it mostly strikes me as horrific. It invokes some of the spirit of David Cronenburg’s Crash (1996) with an exploration into the psychology of transgressive sex. The effect? Mostly it makes the audience feel dirty, and we feel for the innocent maid hired to clean the house and be the object of the upperclass couple’s erotic derision. The title, La Perra, is an insult turned into a fetish idol by this story; it may also point to the bored, manipulative female half of the skeazy couple as the true namesake. This film could have been effective if the director had chosen horrific over uncomfortably funny or vice versa, but the juxtaposition of both leave the audience baffled.

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Written by Alisa Hathaway

April 7, 2011 at 8:24 pm

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