7.10.2005

Coyote Beach

An abandoned beach and two lovers may sound romantic, but two lovers of the unhealthy sort can change all that. Markus Griesshammer opposes the traditional romantic view of lovers in “Coyote Beach”.

A couple prances down a sandy slope toward a wide open beach. Your first impression may be that this is a romantic short, but it is quite the opposite and it becomes obvious with the first word uttered by the female protagonist. The Woman is a beautiful, cold, French that is bossy and unpleasant. The Man, entranced with The Woman’s sexuality, abides to her every order but not without resentment. Their silence is a tense volcano ready to erupt, and soon the couple’s judgmental views of the other come spilling out into an exhausting argument.

Griesshammer uses the camera to emphasize distance but also pulls in close to create discomfort to an unpleasant situation. It is very much like watching “Whose Afraid of Virginia Woolf” (1966) as two supposedly devoted people duke it out in galling argument that is this couple’s expression of their love. Not only does Griesshammer construct argumentative dialog that is well played, he utilizes his scenery effectively to transition from this desert-like beaches to a Midsummer’s Night, Garden of Eden that is anything but a dreamy play.

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