Review by Victor Westman
The completion of his feature film, The Lost Door did not stop Roy Stuart from continuing to work on his Glimpse films and produce a new opus, the ninth in the series. Collection is more the word: heterogeneous and baroque, like a cabinet of curiosities. Here the order of scenes matters little. The organic unity of the ensemble is assured . the elegant apartment; the Parisian streets; the European cities …..
The spectator percieves some models from past Glimpse films, recurring situations, succeeding chapters separated by sober fade outs to black. Several scenes presented in the Glimpse teaser from the Taschen book”ROY STUART V” can be seen here in their complete version. The action revolves around the main themes of the filmaker : masturbation in the armchair, urologie, sex on the carpet or in the woods, semi exhibition in the street. A minimum linear narrative but with a connection….. Is the filmaker repeating himself? Not so simple. It’s as if a formal poet or a classical dramatist is at work-, Stuart seeks to register in a rigid framework the inalienable liberty of sex, his perpetual credo.
The basic format of the series implies repetition but it is the subtle vartiations that interest us. For example Stuart doesn’t hesitate to film the man in the raincoat (reversing the roles of macho pornography) and the beauty of the black man, his perfect body literaly pinning the body of his partner. One recalls the astonishing scene where a girl counts down seven ,six ,five, four three, two, one to an ejaculation, a technique to control, indeed to program an explosion. Everywhere the faces smile, swoon or grimace. There does not seem to be any rules besides that of orgasm.
One could add that in this ninth Glimpse it’s not only an aesthetic and an ethic that is evident but a definite esprit de corps . If there is theatricality it’s because what we have here is a “troupe”: There is Stuart himself, his favorite actors and actresses (despite several new venuses), a technical team, equipment in plain sight. The spectator will be seduced by these furtive moments where for example the troupe will assemble after a filming session. If Stuart chooses to show us backstage it’s because he experiences also a satisfaction in producing a Glimpse.
He’s telling us that behind the sophistication of a filmed production (sex on a trapeze for example) is the reality of having passed a special moment (or time) together. Isn’t this, in the end what Stuart is after? Before all is forgotten, the record of all the hours working together creating pleasure.