This edgy ensemble comedy from first-time director Josh Lawson takes us inside the homes of seemingly straight-laced Australian suburbanites to reveal a gallery of kinks, fetishes, oddball turn-ons, and pent-up repression let precariously loose.

Discovery

The Little Death

Josh Lawson

Take a stroll down any suburban street and you will see a lot of so-called ordinary people — but would any of them seem ordinary if you could see their deepest erotic fantasies? This edgy ensemble comedy from actor and first-time writer-director Josh Lawson peers into the homes of several Australian suburbanites and finds a gallery of kinks, fetishes, oddball turn-ons, and pent-up repression let precariously loose.

A young couple feels perfectly content with their sex life, except for her nagging need to taste the threat — if not the actual danger — of sexual assault. A woman discovers that she can achieve orgasm only when her partner sheds tears. A man whose self-esteem has been eroded by years of spousal put-downs finds that he can become a Casanova — so long as he renders his wife unconscious. A frustrated couple explore role-playing as a way to spice up their love-making, until one of them gets so carried away with the excitement of the game that it no longer has anything to do with sex. So consumed are these people with their bedroom theatrics that none of them notices that the new neighbour coming around with cakes has some proclivities of his own.

Expertly juggling his multiple narratives, Lawson also gives an endearing performance as the loving husband desperate to fulfill his wife's rape fantasy, and his co-stars include such fine Australian comic talents as Bojana Novakovic, Damon Herriman, Kate Box, and Patrick Brammall. Alternately hilarious and harrowing, The Little Death will have you laughing, squirming and, yes, nodding with recognition. If there's one thing that this survey of private sex lives proves, it's that there's no such thing as normal.

JANE SCHOETTLE

Screenings

Fri Sep 05

Scotiabank 7

Industry
2:00pm
Fri Sep 05

Scotiabank 13

Regular
9:45pm
Sun Sep 07

Scotiabank 8

Regular
10:00pm
Sun Sep 14

Scotiabank 4

Regular
3:15pm