First impressions go a long way. The debut movie for a filmmaker is no different. Softness Of Bodies is a first feature for writer/director Jordan Blady, and it stands as a promising one.
The story follows Charlotte, played by Dasha Nekrasova (“Wobble Palace”), who is a floundering poet living in Berlin with the hopes of winning a life changing grant while fighting against her past, a rival poet and her habit of stealing things.
Like any great poem, Softness Of Bodies has a natural prose, one which reigns true and is concisely told. The look and feel of the movie is well executed, and yet the camera work is not flashy, thankfully keeping in rhythm with the story itself.
Because Charlotte is a poet, Blady occasionally lets us into her head with voice over. The use of voice over was artfully written, I do feel we could have used a little more of it, during key scenes of action and drama.
The movie quickly draws us into Charlotte’s web, and all the obstacles she must overcome along the way. Without spoiling too much, her lifestyle, while we may secretly admire it, lands her in deep trouble.
She needs to come up with a lot of money fast, not easy for an unpublished poet in a major city. Another source of conflict is Charlotte’s love life. She seduces one man into an affair, while fending off Oliver, played by Morgan Krantz, who is an ex-boyfriend visiting from America.
Oliver is in Berlin for an art show of his work. He is a photographer, who is known for the naked female form as a subject. Charlotte instantly catches this artist’s eye, but will she give into it? These scenes dealing with relationships are the strongest and most interesting parts of the story.
Charlotte is the type of woman who is obsessed with her work and her own life. The kind who chooses ease over utility, her bike lock combination is as simple as it gets. She follows in the starving artist tradition, like Charles Bukowski and Kenneth Koch, a Poet we see she is inspired by.
She is not only self absorbed, but highly competitive. When she finds out Sylvia, a rival poet portrayed by Nadine Dubois (“37”, “Counterpart (TV)”) is a finalist for the same grant as her, well, let’s just say these women don’t just leave their rage on the page.
If you are jonesing for a modern indie film steeped in youth, art, love and betrayal, I highly recommend the Softness Of Bodies. The ending is pointed and impactful. Watching the movie brought many filmmaking influences to mind, such as Wes Anderson and Sofia Coppola.
The Softness Of Bodies premiered at the 2018 Los Angeles Film Festival and was granted a nomination for Best Film there. The movie is currently available digitally on Amazon and other platforms.