Intimacy—at its most anguished, cruel, erotic, and even embarrassing—is the focus of this unconventional documentary. After discovering a suitcase filled with reel-to-reel tapes, director Jane Gillooly culled 60 hours of audio into a cohesive narrative documenting the course of an affair in the 1960s between the otherwise anonymous Jeannie and her married lover Tom.
Gillooly uses visual imagery sparingly—the circular motion of the reel-to-reel; glimpses of a shoe or an empty, rumpled bed; a peek into a curtained window. Given minimal visual information, the viewer must focus only on the words of the lovers and the sound of their voices, which seem that much closer due to the hiss and distortion of the obsolete analog medium that captured them. The result is a simultaneously enthralling and discomforting sense that we are eavesdropping on very private conversations and sexual experiences.
Bringing this material into a public forum raises intriguing questions about the human desires both to record our secrets and to court their possible exposure, as well as the modern compulsion to reserve such an important place for technology in our private lives.