BLEEDING THROUGH (2012)
D. HENRIQUE COUTO
D. HENRIQUE COUTO
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This feature length motion picture from musician/filmmaker Henrique Couto is a marked change of pace from his previous work. Known mostly for his FACES OF SCHLOCK omnibus flicks that centered on tits and laughs as well as gross out shocks, BLEEDING THROUGH sets out to be something altogether more thoughtful and sublime. For the most part is succeeds.
Loosely based on a set of short films from Henrique's teen years that dealt with similar topics, the film tells the sad tale of a young, inwardly drawn lady played by Sandy Behr. She lives with her brother (played by Director Couto) because their parents have died in a car crash less than a year before. We however meet their parents in video tapes they made thus getting to know them a bit along the way (played by Georgia based filmmaker Andrew Shearer and one of his regular actresses Countess Samela, both of which are quite wonderful here). Our leading lady is crushingly depressed, so much so that she barely speaks, her communication crushed somewhere deep inside herself. Everyone around talks "at" her not so much too her. Even when she is present, she is not really there. She has a teacher that is trying to reach her, or so it seems because she is flunking out of his class, a boss that is fed up with her job performance, there are a group of disgusting boys in the neighborhood who torment her and she even has a boyfriend (friends with the scumwads) who has reached the end of his rope with her lack of affection.
Finally someone manages to reach her when a pretty young girl, quite our of nowhere becomes her friend, this girl, played with winning warmth by Ruby LaRocca breaks through her barriers. A large chunk of the movie becomes these two girls bonding, and clearly a girl crush is developing. But guessing by the title things are not going to go well, and it doesn't. I wont spoil it for the audience, except to say this ends up becoming a rather stark and poetic blood splattered revenge movie. But getting there might break your heart.
Going into this if you have any familiarity with Couto's other work this will come as a shock. There is a distinct lack of silly comedy, replaced here with an earnest attempt at characters. The first half of the movie is time spent with the people on screen as we get to know them, setting the stage for the downfall of the second half. It is pretty carefully plotted stuff with a keen eye for how the main character is feeling.
The final moments of the film present a very poetic confrontation on a beach that is rather haunting. Reminding me of similar moments in the work of Jean Rollin, the whole idea of the dead returning to the ocean is one that reoccurs in a lot of fantastic literature. It works here nicely as a melancholy cap to a violent and sad movie.
Review © Andy Copp