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ECLIPSE

Canada, 1994 (MIFF 1995)

Director: Jeremy Podeswa

In writer-director Jeremy Podeswa's cool and decidedly erotic debut feature, sex circulates like a good rumour as ten people unwittingly form a complex network of friends,lovers and casual encounters in an eerie game of carnal musical chairs—a business man picks up a rent boy then goes home and sleeps with the family au pair, who in turn seduces a stranger...

At the epicentre of all this feverish activity is an imminent solar eclipse (becoming a character itself through the eyes of a precocious teenager whose school project is a videotape documen­tary on eclipse mania) set to plunge all into momentary darkness. And there's yet another character: the chrome, glass and concrete of urban Toronto, upon which the eclipse is about to fall its harsh unforgiving surfaces the perfect foil for these tales of alienation and anguish.

About much more than just sex, however, Eclipse captures frissons of longing, guilt and regret as the aligning orbits of the celestial bod­ies mirrors the crossing paths and bed-hopping. Fusing together his fractured mosaic on the nature of passion with a script marked by intro­spection and emotional timbre, Podeswa elicits subtle performances from his splendid ensem­ble cast. Each character uses their sexual liaison to break the aura of isolation that surrounds them In what ultimately is an intelligent meditation on love, loneliness and sexuality. A perfect antidote to the "just say no" eighties!

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