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Vimeo Short Film Of The Week: ‘The Flesh Of My Lovers’

Short films matter. Vimeo wants you to know it. So do we. That’s why every week we’ll take a look at some of the short film world’s best and brightest. This week, we bring you Joshua Giuliano’s violent, pitch-black comedy The Flesh Of My Lovers.

The Plot: A timid man given to violent fantasies tries to change his ways when he meets his new neighbor.

The Film: Hey, it’s been one hell of a weird week in the news. Why not take a little break from the insanity with a warped but inspired little horror film? Here’s The Flesh Of My Lovers.

Why Press Play?

Some of you may not be able to watch The Flesh Of My Lovers. I should make that clear upfront. The good news is, you’ll know about 30-seconds into the action whether or not you can. The bad news is, you won’t be able to unsee that 30-seconds. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Just know that Director Justin Giuliano is only warming up. What follows is a twisted tale of psychosexual debauchery and pseudo-cosmic comeuppance. One that takes enormous pleasure in its shocking nature while asking one seriously complicated question – do bad thoughts really make bad people?

Giuliano wisely doesn’t offer any answers. Those of you who stick with The Flesh Of My Lovers will be rewarded for your patience. The Flesh Of My Lovers often feels like Gaspar Noé and Pedro Almodovar got together to cut I Stand Alone (1998) and The Skin I Live In (2011) into a J-horror flick. Like those audacious films, The Flesh Of My Lover never shies away from difficult topics like morality or justice or the potent oft-unnerving nature of the male gaze. It just happens to explore those questions with mannequins, ball gags, fake blood and dildos. Lots of dildos. Again, don’t say I didn’t warn you.

The Flesh Of My Lovers is one of the bleaker films you’re likely to see. It might be one of the funniest, too – in that exceedingly dark and patently absurd sort of way. But it’s also one of the most stylish. There’s a three-minute dream/hallucination sequence in The Flesh Of My Lovers that sees the story step inside the damaged psyche of its central character. That’s obviously not a safe place to be. Giuliano & Co. execute the moment with such calm and dexterity that it’s impossible to look away. The action is as eerie to experience as it is lovely to witness. Like the rest of Giuliano’s film, it resonates long after the credits roll.

Meet The Crew:   

Directed by: Joshua Giuliano Written by: Joshua Giuliano & Luis Pineiro  Starring: Aaron Pont & Kristina Pesic  Director of Photography: Toshihiko Kizu Edited by: Emily Mendez  Production Designer: Robert Brecko

I hope you enjoy The Flesh Of My Lovers! And if not, I hope you at least watched it all the way through. There aren’t many horror shorts that so completely mesh style with substance and Joshua Giuliano should be commended for executing such a complex vision. Hopefully he’ll bring the same wrenching style to his followup. We won’t have to wait too long to find out. He’s already wrapped production on his next short film, Grandma’s House. You can catch a wicked little teaser for that film over at Giuliano’s Vimeo Page. While you’re there, be sure to check out a few of the thousands of other short films – animated, live action and documentary – the Vimeo team have made available for your viewing pleasure (via desktop or mobile device – SWEET!). You’re sure to find something interesting and you may just stumble across the next great filmmaker.

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Patrick Phillips is a contributing writer for CutPrintFilm and geekinsider.com. When not critiquing the work of others, he spends his time drinking coffee, buying records, writing fiction and wondering why he never started a band. Follow him on Twitter at Patrick Phillips @savagedetectiv

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