Sex Sells: Richard Phillips redeems himself with 'Sasha Grey' (VIDEO)
Stills from ‘Sasha Grey,’ a film directed by Richard Phillips
A week ago we posted a story about contemporary painting star Richard Phillips' filmic debut, 'Lindsay Lohan,' a stunningly banal minute-and-a-half portrait of the blonde super-celebrity in the style of sexy fragrance ads. In keeping with the commercial theme of the mobile video show which it was made for, currently sailing down the canals of central Venice for the 54th Venice Biennale, Phillips second film for the floating screener, 'Sasha Grey,' leaves 'Lohan' in the dust.
Unapologetically interested in selling sex — and rightly so given the context — Phillips' muse for the eponymous film is Sasha Grey, a lesser known star recognized largely for her work as a performance artist working in the adult film industry, as well as her lead role in Steven Soderbergh's 'Girlfriend Experience' (and even lesser known as the front-woman and brains behind aTelecine, her brooding electro goth-rock band). Phillips' film was shot in the San Fernando valley, the site of many of Grey's previous adult film performances, and the film fluctuates between alternate portraits of the adult film star turned cinematic screen siren.
'Sasha Grey' is blanketed in raw sexuality, almost a complete 180 from the energy phoned-in from Lohan. L.A.'s Chelsea Wolfe provides the score for the film, which feels surprisingly painterly. The still frames of Grey's face, on her back on a sofa (in the famous John Lautner Chemosphere House off Mulholland Drive), evoke rich ties to portraiture and recall Phillips interest in the figure.
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