CIFF Review: Clip


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Sex sells, whether it’s in entertainment or in art. I’m not gonna lie: I chose Clip as one of the first films to cover for this year’s Chicago International Film Festival simply because of its synopsis (which basically hinted at overtly sexual teenage girls using their bodies for attention). However, I held a grain of hope that this film would carry more weight than its sexuality, that the rest of the film could “justify” gratuitous sex scenes.

Well, about that…

Clip (Klip)
Director: Maja Milos
Rating: TBD
Country: Serbia

Jasna (Isidora Simijonovic) is a teenage girl that does what every teenage girl does: she gossips with her friends, parties all the time, and has a penchant to record everything around her with a camera phone she inherited from one of her uncles. And much like every other teenager, she’d rather pay more attention towards her crush, Djole (Vukasin Jasnic) than her parents, despite the fact that her Father is dying of cancer. As her relationship with Djole intensifies, her priorities shift towards pleasuring him instead of what really matters.

What separates Clip from other similar films is its sex scenes, which are shot POV with Jasna’s camera phone. The problem, though, is how gratuitous and unnecessary they are. Sure, a few establishing scenes are necessary to shape and characterize the relationship between Jasna and Djole, but the level in which Milos goes is pretty far. I guess I can be pretty conservative when it comes to sex, especially in films, but did the film really need multiple POV shots of Jasnic’s penis?

I don’t usually go in-depth, but Clip kind of warrants an exception. To cement and solidify Djole’s sexual exploitation of Jasna is a scene where she role plays as a dog, going so far as to barking and having a leather belt tied around her neck, obviously ending in doggy-like shenanigans. Okay, it makes sense to shoot such a scene to demonstrate the imbalance in their relationship, but Milos is too obvious and heavy-handed with it.

Jasna as a character isn’t likable, either. There’s the argument that any piece of fiction shouldn’t need a likable protagonist, but what interest is there in watching a teenage girl snort coke and attempt to act sexy in awkward ways, just to puke all over herself? We don’t like ratchet girls in the real world, so why would we like them in our films? The subplot of Jasna’s Father dying of cancer and her treatment towards the rest of her family could have led to some sort of redemption, completing some sort of resemblance to a character, but it’s never properly utilized, and ends up as a missed opportunity.

And it’s that notion that I ultimately had a problem with Clip. What others might see as “edgy and sexy,” I find “pointless and unnecessary.” I was hoping that there would be more senses of humanity and/or emotion to complement the rawness of the sex, but I was left with nothing but a bad taste in my mouth. I was hoping for a thoughtful, sexy foreign film, but all I got was a psuedo-snuff film.