EIFF 2009: Modern Love Is Automatic

Film Review by Erin McElhinney | 25 Jun 2009
Film title: Modern Love is Automatic
Director: Zach Clark
Starring: Melodie Sisk, Maggie Ross, Carlos Bustamante, Diana Cherkas, Rebecca Herron, Morgaine Lowe
Release date: TBC
Certificate: TBC

A wicked pastiche of contemporary life, Modern Love pulls off (no pun intended) the impressive feat of making you fall in love with a character who utters around 50 lines of dialogue in total. The lead character's exquisitely tuned sense of apathy makes her an anti-heroine for a generation. With her bubblegum pink outfits and helmet hairsprayed hair, on the outside Lorraine looks like a 1970s air stewardess, an unlikely candidate to fulfill the position of enforcer of female sexual domination. It seems no-one is more surprised than she, however, when Lorraine finds herself placing an advert for her fledgling dominatrix service.

Writer/director Zach Clark displays an aesthetic confidence that at first seems surprising in a new director – until a quick glance at his CV shows he’s had jobs in sound, editing, production and acting. Meanwhile, actress Melodie Sisk is breathtakingly adept at portraying an ennui so unforced it’s cool; her performance in the film’s final scene leaves you with a weird conflict of heart-breaking joy. A delicious dissection of love, sexuality and relationships, Modern Love is filmic rock n’ roll. Just don’t see it with your Mum. [Erin McElhinney]