IFC has put on a couple of new movies as part of IFC Midnight, airing on their channel, and available on demand. If you aren't familiar with IFC Midnight, it showcases films that are "horror, sci-fi, thriller and erotic arthouse". The two I'm reviewing are Sex Magic and The Orgasm Diaries, and tend to lean towards the last category. Two indie-like films with sex as a central theme. Having viewed screeners of both, I can report that they are not softcore porn, as you would find on certain Showtime networks later at night. Neither are they the typical indie film.
Sex Magic reminded me very heavily of HBO's risque documentary series, Real Sex. Lasting about an hour and twenty minutes, much of the movie was a look at Desert, a 'school' in Arizona where a man named Dez teaches others about sex magic, a way to achieve your goals through sexual energy. a documentary crew interviews Dez, his clients, and other teachers to discover what happens at Desert, his retreat. I was confused as to whether this was a real or false documentary, but it turns out, this is real, or at least billed as such.
The other element is a slightly voyeuristic look at how Dez tries to win a woman named Maya. Dez is polyamorous, until he meets Maya, but after losing her, he uses sex with other women to try to win her back. Dez is earnest, often seemingly trying to convince himself, as much as the camera, that the lifestyle he has devoted himself to is rooted in something real. It is an interesting and sad story. One wonders how much of Dez's monologues were staged or pre-written, and much was actual interview. Perhaps that is a cynical way to look at things, as it could all be authentic. Either way, it's certainly a unique case study of an individual.
In The Orgasm Diaries, the central couple is much happier... at least at first. A young photographer named Manchester is living in a garage with a beautiful woman, Noon, who is his lover as well as his muse. However, soon he achieves some level of success, and the woman leaves him when she discovers her naked body adorning art gallery walls. This sends the man into a deep spiral of depression, but their story isn't over.