Domino

Film student combines her extraordinary job as a mistress and her complicated long-distance relationship to secretly shoot her final year film project.

Genre: Drama

Length: 27:12

Free To View

2.5 out of 5 stars

Producer/s : Rad Thrill Films, Artin Vision Film Academy

Director/s : Radoslav Radoslavov, 

Writer/s : Radoslav Radoslavov, 

Actor/s : Tsvetina Petrova, Konstantin Sokolov

 

Whipping girl

Maggie is a film student, secretly filming her project at home. It has to be said that if the logline didn’t highlight this, we might not grasp the full significance of the film posters in her flat, nor that her looks to the static camera are to herself, not to us. But that’s okay, because the film is not really about filmmaking. Nor is it about her Facetime relationship with her boyfriend, studying abroad.

No, it’s about her sideline as a professional dominatrix. Of course the boyfriend objects, but she chooses job over relationship, then blows the job too when she switches from paid dominant to unpaid submissive.

Domino boldly travels a byeway of sexual transactions. Even if the specifics of professional domination leave us cold – and this film is chilly to its bones, and completely unerotic – some well executed and telling details raise wider themes.

There’s empowerment versus exploitation as she takes money from her cashbox before going out. It’s a film by a film student about a film student, so there’s something here about introspection. Her momentary desire for a kiss from her client, after having callously snipped the flower off the pot plant he bought her, speaks of her loneliness.

So it touches on all these, but fails to explore them across its spacious 27 minute timeframe (the  writer-director Radoslav Radoslavov calls it “slow cinema”). It prefers to dwell on an unsubtle thread of her relationship with her trusting but safe houseplants.

The emotional detachment prevents us fully engaging, and Radoslavov forgets that less is more. Domino seems not to know what it most wants to do, and in trying to cover too much, it falls foul of the tradeoff between breadth and depth. Nevertheless, this shows commendable ambition and sophistication; Radoslavov is worth watching for.

No screener available