Nymphomania

Nymphomania ★★★½

Semiotically patterned, Nymphomania quite literally drills the mythologization of incessant voyeurism and sex, subsequent deconstition of fable, and the primal hysterical violence of such. The images are precisely effective, partially due to the transgressiveness of the scenes; a rupturing of expectations so to speak. Narratively, there is a departure from typical mythology, as the pan crudely and aggressively penetrates the young nymph (a fairy), plowing through any preconceived notions about the characterization. There was a time though, where I asked myself: “Is this all there is”; an exhausting, repetitive sequence -- an eye-rolling criticism of societal gender roles. However, the short evolves into something much more sinister as Tessa-Hughes Freeman subverts audience expectations and creates a haunting portrait of nature's intrinsic duality; the pan ripping through the stomach of the nymph, as he reaches an orgasmic conclusion. What is the cost of pleasure, she asks?

It’s titling, the gruesomeness of the imagery, but the abstinence it has from tropes or clichés is what makes it memorable. The nymph is most obviously the archetypal personification of female sexuality and the pan, a grimacing and lecherous over-exaggeration of male aggression; this pan, matter of fact, is massively phallicized. Nymphomania is outrageously lewd in its tone and scene-work. If you're of a delicate, prudish disposition, avoid this work. If not, although nothing wildly new, you’ll be presented with a nonetheless forward addition to post-secular cinema and a capstone for filmmaker Tessa-Hughes Freeman.

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