Migrating Forms

80 minutes 1999

Chicagoan James Fotopoulos directed this stark 1999 drama in which a man and woman meet repeatedly in a mostly bare room for nearly wordless and apparently passionless sex, filmed in low-contrast black and white. Usually when they commence, an electronic screeching begins and Fotopoulos cuts to the man's cat, which appears to be watching the action with greater affect than either human displays. The woman has a grotesque growth on her back, and soon the man is infected by it. A few mundane incidents, such as an exterminator wanting to spray the apartment for roaches, take on wider significance later, as when the man finds a roach and myriad dead flies. Flickering white and shots of water open and close the film, enclosing the action like a prison cell; Fotopoulos seems to suggest that life itself is a form of disease—hopeless, meaningless, and ugly.

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