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Hard-hitting, intensely sexy and wildly controversial, American Translation is a twisted Bonnie and Clyde for a new generation.
This movie shows a lot of skin and is a disturbing drama.
The film begins well enough, with Wagner recruiting Max and training him to take over his job.
Then, about two-thirds of the way through, the film abruptly changes direction and seems to go off on some kind of crusade to educate the world about the dangers of video games on impressionable young boys.
The BBFC has permitted comparable explicit images in a number of previous features at the '18' level (eg L'EMPIRE DES SENS, 9 SONGS, SHORTBUS and Lars von Trier's earlier film, THE IDIOTS) where it has been clear that the purpose of the work - and the individual images in question - is not simply to arouse viewers but to illustrate characters, relationships and themes.
Old professional killer Wagner seeks someone to teach what he knows as long as he is already dying, and he chooses Max, young and passionless thief to be his successor.
First and foremost, yes, there is a lot of explicit sex and it is as explicit, but fortunately not nearly as unrelenting, as many pornographic films.Still, the sex never threatens to overwhelm the rest of the film - this is no soft-porn dressed up as art, by any means.At '18', the BBFC's Guidelines state that the more explicit images of sexual activity are unlikely to be permitted unless they can be exceptionally justified by context and the work is not a 'sex work'.They had a sincerity and depth of feeling that is rarely if ever seen in pornos, and whilst I know the actors are only doing their job and were not a couple in real life at the time, both seem completely at ease with the raw intimacy involved and even display significant on-screen chemistry.Neither O'Brien nor Stilley are typically attractive in the Hollywood, plastic, overly-made-up artificial sense of the word; rather they are real and human, and beautifully imperfect.From the moment they meet, brooding Chris (Pierre Perrier) and the beautiful Aurore (Lizzie Brochere') fall instantly and passionately in love but it s not long before their intense connection is consumed by Chris s dark obsession with gay men.Before long, the pair embarks on a violent and sexual journey filled with seduction and destruction of young gay hustlers.A movie that does not care if you like it's main character but has an interesting journey to follow.Not to everyone's taste, but if you like weird movies, then try it.The brief images of explicit real sex (sight of a penis penetrating a vagina during a consensual sex scene and sight of the man's penis being masturbated to climax) are exceptionally justified, in this context, by the manner in which they illustrate the film's themes and the nature of the couple's relationship.Their relationship is depicted throughout in a graphic and unflinching fashion, both psychologically and physically.