Erotic Moments from Eva Midgley
The erotic short films of Dutch-born Eva Midgley (1967) are simply stunning. A multi-award-winning fashion director and filmmaker, Eva’s attention to detail and her sumptuous visual style combine to create works charged with emotion, beauty and elegance.
Eva first attained international attention with the short film Honey and Bunny (2004), a sweet little kinky story about two flapper women making a movie. Honey and Bunny was awarded an Honorable Best Mention at CineKink (2006).
After this success, Eva wrote and directed Erotic Moments Collection (2008), featuring seven erotic vignettes based on real people’s erotic fantasies that were collected by Sam Roddick of Coco de Mer, which commissioned the films. All vignettes display Eva’s eye for esthetic detail in each and every shot, accompanied by a soundtrack that not only matches, but further lifts and moves the picture.
The vignettes’ titles are: “Matryoshka (an allusion to the Russian doll, the camera in this sensual vignette caresses the curves of a naked woman’s body, a strawberry on top of her pussy, before freezing on her porcelain doll face); “Footsie (foot flirt between a foot and a penis); “Clean Laundry (a playful spin on a typical porn clichÃ© where a woman arrives in a basement laundry and has sex with the guy she finds hanging out there with his guitar); “French Maid (a woman dressed as a French maid strips, for another woman, as it turns out; and for the first time \’ according to Eva, many straight women wrote that they fantasize about sex with another woman). Then there is “Heavy Petting (where a young woman is stroking a goat, at peace out in nature, soft fur, warm sunshine on her face; she closes her eyes and enjoys, before looking straight into the camera. It’s innocent, perhaps, but in this context troublingly close to bestiality).
And “Pollinate (the only animated vignette on this collection: a swarm of bees attacks a woman who’s sleeping in the shade of a tree, she writhes in pain, or pleasure?). And, finally “Drum Bum (where a naked woman’s buttocks replace an African drum).
Most of these “erotic moments are not particularly explicit, but several have been shown in conjunction with festivals for alternative porn in the US and Europe, including Berlin Porn Film Festival. The vignettes were awarded a prize for Best Experimental Short Film at CineKink NYC in 2009.
“Clean Laundry is the most “pornographic of the collection; but also the most amusing “ a playful twist on mainstream porn filmed in retro style with animated effects accompanied by a groovy rhythm and psychedelic jingles.
While “Clean Laundry is the most humorous of the short films, “Footsie is the most lyrical and esthetically exquisite. “Footsie was shown at the Institute of Contemporary Art in London in conjunction with the short film competition Destricted (2007), which it won. Judge Larry Clarke (known for his movie Kids) said this about Eva’s film:
Eva Midgley is a fresh talent, I predict great things for her ¦ [“Footsie is] original, creative, erotic and really addresses the question where art and pornography meet.
Interviewed about this film, which shows the foot flirt between a foot and a penis, Eva explains that she wanted to capture ejaculation in slow motion; she had heard about a special camera used in scientific research that is capable of shooting in just about any frame rate. I though it would be just “amazing to see, she adds. And truly, it is.
Strictly choreographed, the camera frames only the man’s penis and a woman’s feet; naked skin in soft shades. The picture is accompanied by dramatic piano play. At first dark serious notes. Eventually light promising key strokes are blended in; slow and lingering. Before dark strokes on a cello’s strings are added. Then deeply vibrating violin notes; complexity and harmony. A soaring longing high pitch on top of all. The excitement mounts but the foot sex remains tender and intimate; the picture soft. As ecstasy impends, the film’s tempo escalates in the shots’ cutting and the movement of her feet, stroking his penis. The feet continue intently with their stroking movement in slow motion while the penis ejaculates for an entire minute and a half, the camera resting as the music lands. The picture resembles that of an athlete at the finish line captured in reruns, as if the penis were shaking out his sweat in a glistening glory around his head, spitting. The shimmering drops of sperm beaming out into space; a trickling fountain of sparkling drops that fall on the women’s feet, the man’s abdomen, and his hips.
In contrast to the lyrical quality of “Footsie, “Drum Bum\’illustrating spanking\’is distinguished by its joyous celebration of life. According to Eva, spanking was the most popular erotic experience reported, especially in the UK. And not as fantasy, but as experience. And usually as a sudden and surprising pleasure for a novice introduced to spanking by someone more experienced.
“Drum Bum features a naked woman’s white bum and the hands of a black man merrily drumming away on it to a rhythmic African beat, cymbals added on eventually. While I had imagined being spanked in a sexual context for the first time would carry with it the deep undertones of unfamiliar depths and tensions, “Drum Bum just has such a playful and lighthearted feel to it; when I watch it, I just want to dance! Perhaps this (also?) explains this short film’s popularity? Or is it simply the case that this is how one feels after having been spanked sexually for the first time?
In 2009, Eva made the short film Peep Show (2009), a poetic narrative about a man who falls in love with a stripper, and who desperately tries to track her down and have her return to that job when she leaves to work as a waitress in a diner. Director of photography for this and Eva’s other films is her husband John, a fashion photographer. Explains Eva:
I guess I still approach a lot of my film work the same way I approached my fashion work. The people I work with come from fashion, not film, so they all bring a certain different aesthetic and style with them, and a lot of attention to detail.
In an email to me she added this:
I am a subtle subversive. I rebel against the overload of bad porn, warped ideas of beauty in the fashion industry, and against music videos and commercials where so much is sold on the hidden promise of sex but god forbid you would ever see a nipple!
This is why I have humor in the midst of a sex scene, dirty feet in a beauty piece, bees that are pleasuring a woman but wait are they really?
I’m communicating ideas and feminist opinions in a very lush package.
(This post is an excerpt from my book After Pornified: How Women Are Transforming Pornography & Why It Really Matters, forthcoming fall 2012.)