A strange throwback of a film, Julie Rubio’s Six Sex Scenes and a Murder evokes the label “film-school project” for many reasons, the lifeless dialogue and assignment-like title chief among them. Film plays San Francisco for one week before moving to other cities. Box office prospects are very low.
The film begins outside a burlesque hall where small-time criminal Nick (Richard Anthony Crenna) has just been murdered. From the murder scene, we jump back in time eight years, then three, then seven and see the tandem developments of Nick’s life in crime and his relationship with Reagan (Kristin Minter). Once we reach the present tense again, the drama that culminated in Nick’s murder unfolds in various directions and establishes some of the sex-addled context in which the burlesque hall (owned by Nick’s brother) operates.
Ultimately, the only thing holding this film together is its dedication to its thesis of a title, which it follows to the letter. Very little in the film seems relevant. The characters are flat and uninteresting; the story is simple (a requisite for time-jumping), but since the characters mean nothing to us, the simplicity of their stories don’t leave us with anything to concentrate on. Additionally, the film is sort of predicated on the erotic, and the sex scenes (for what they’re worth) sort of hinge the character’s stories together. This feels sternly like soft core but without as much flesh shown.
As a text, the movie speaks to film models we don’t see much of anymore. Six Sex Scenes could sell as a grindhouse feature if it weren’t for the explicit attempt to ape B-grade noir. It’s a regionally made film and looks like it. The dialogue lacks any attempts at subtext or self-awareness, and the overly orchestrated costume/makeup (a 2008 version of sixth-generation retro/swing) is conspicuous, and as a result, the whole film feels like a game of dress up. And yet, the Six Sex Scenes are wholly without irony. Sure it’s selling itself with sex, but otherwise, this one’s sincere to a fault.
East Meets West Productions
Cast: Richard Crenna, Kristin Minter, Jasper Watts and Michelle Chantal
Director/Screenwriter/Producer: Julie Rubio
Running time: 114 min.
Release date: May 30 SF