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Concepts of Desire short film

Directed by Peter Coukis Short film review by Sarah Smeaton

Concepts of Desire does most certainly provide a portrayal of the origins of desire for heterosexual men. I’m just a little confused as to what its intention is as a piece of cinematography. Claiming to be based on the book The Joy of Sex, which was essentially a ‘how to’ manual, published in the early 1970s to confront sex in a colourful an explorative fashion, this video does little to align itself with the book other than be a succession of lurid, pornographic images.

Concepts of Desire short film

At times, it appeared as though director Peter Coukis’ intention might be to look at desire and how it has evolved over the years, how women have changed through the ages, but if this were the intent it was never properly rooted or explored as far as it could have been. The women in this film have become objects of attention, they are nameless, voiceless women who have no real identity. Not once do we see these women with anyone other than other women, as scantily clad as themselves.

The only men we see in the short film, in fact, are two Navy men in an embrace kissing. Perhaps a small nod of the head to The Joy of Sex, which being published when it was, only provided a definition of homosexuality rather than exploring this as an equally satisfying sexual act. Either way, times have moved on, and in a society and a culture that looks to embrace love in all forms, it is a shame that this film has not stepped beyond this historical, dated take on desire.

Not all men love women, not all men love the same shaped bodies. And what about the desires of women? The heart of this film appears rather narrow-minded and historic in direction. Perhaps it was the intention to stick within the boundaries of the stereotypical desires of old, but I think it’s missed a real opportunity here to step into the modern world that we live in today.


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