Letter of the Week 1-14-2013

“Simon you are a gentleman and a scholar” – Nicole

Dear Miss Conn,
I’ve never written to congratulate a film maker before, despite having seen thousands of movies over the last 40 years (of all genres except gay). I am compelled to do so now because having just watched “Elena Undone” I am speechless.

I chanced upon the lesbian theme whilst trawling Amazon dvd’s looking for something I could be engaged by, and happened upon your film. I watched the trailer and thought “ok, this is different, this could be interesting”. That sentiment turned out to be woefully inadequate!

Although I can be entertained by big guns, fast cars and dying hard, the movies that stay with me are those that deal with the dynamics of relationships between couples, and as a straight guy I am always interested in learning more about women – how they think and how they are motivated, and I thought this film would give me some further insight (men are often so two-dimensional).

I suspect by now you’re thinking that mild titillation was high on my list of reasons, but not so, in fact the two leads were so convincing that I felt uncomfortable during the sex scene, as if I were intruding upon a very private moment, and having watched the dvd extras I can understand your reaction on the day of the final call-back for the role of Elena. Necar Zandegan is a supremely versatile actor, capable of imbuing a scene with such emotion that I don’t think I’ve seen before – truly captivating, and you’re right about Traci Dinwiddie – she’s like a grenade with the pin out – you know she’s going to explode with passion, but you’re not sure when.

As a formerly married man guilty of having an affair, I was struck by the realism in the scene where Elena won’t commit to leaving her marriage for Peyton, and the heartbreaking rift that seems to develop between them on the sofa. It’s the hardest decision to make, to leave your child (I know because I’ve been there), but this is by far the most human performance I have seen of such an upsetting conversation.

You and your team have produced a wonderful film, one that delivers real passion and longing, and I thank you for that. At times it didn’t register that I was watching two women find each other, Elena and Peyton were just two people – I wish I could experience that heat, that truth again for myself.

I’ve ordered “A Perfect Ending” on the strength of this viewing, and I’ll be interested to see where that film takes me.

All the best for your future projects,
Simon Bee

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