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Reviews: Feb. 17, 2008

17 Feb, 2008 By: Home Media Reviews

Michael Clayton
Street 2/19

After Dark Horrorfest: 8 Films to Die For 2008
Prebook 2/20; Street 3/18

Street 2/26

Street 2/26

Tick Tock Lullaby
Prebook 2/19; Street 4/8
Wolfe, Comedy, $24.95 DVD, Unrated.

The questions that accompany the deep commitment of having children transcend the boundaries of heterosexuality, marriage or even coupledom in this slim but provocative dramedy from the United Kingdom.

Comic-strip artist Sasha (Lisa Gornick, also the writer and director) narrates the proceedings, and it's unlikely that any heroine in previous cinema has thought as hard or deep about having a baby. She and her girlfriend Maya (Raquel Cassidy) seriously want a child, but don't have the appropriate gay man in their life to help them out. They feel that more procedural methods are unnatural.

As a juxtaposition, three more wannabe parents are introduced: A couple (Joanna Bending and William Bowry) who seem far too miserable with each other to procreate. The same woman's sister (Sarah Patterson) is single and desires only a baby, not a relationship, so she creepily auditions young men to unknowingly be her baby's father.

Clocking in at a bare 73 minutes was a bright decision on Gornick's part. Being inside someone's head can be a neurotic experience, and Sasha's thoughts on relationships, sex and parenthood are so naked and intimate.

The short running time, and the natural moments of awkwardness — such as when Sasha and Maya pick up a man at a coffeehouse — lighten the film. The use of charming pen-and-watercolor drawings by Sasha — from sweet mother-and-child visions to the heterosexual sex she must imagine if she and her partner are to conceive the natural way — also lend an urbane charm to the film.

What's most impressive about Tick Tock Lullaby is the balance Gornick finds in the three versions of parents. Sasha and Maya's story may take up 70% of the film, but by showing other tales of the unique and sometimes misguided ways people of all proclivities find themselves making children, it normalizes it all. This isn't a gay film; it's a movie about people who are of that age when lullabies are stuck in their heads, and it's about the obstacles — emotional, physical and sexual — they face on their path to parenthood. — Laura Tiffany

Quick Take: Dawson's Descent

The raw brutality of sexual violence is on display in Descent, a savagely disturbing psychological thriller from director Talia Lugacy now on DVD from City Lights Home Entertainment at $26.98.

Rosario Dawson plays a shy college student coping with the aftereffects of a sexual assault by planning a shocking retribution. Dawson's effective performance runs the gamut from naivet? to recklessness to vengeful while the film questions the nature of the relationship between sex and identity. Descent is not for the faint of heart — the movie depicts two brutal rapes that earn every bit of its ‘NC-17' rating.

The DVD contains insightful interviews and commentary, plus two deleted scenes that enhance the message without the need to be included in the main film. John Latchem

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