If you’re looking for a film with lots of flesh, lots of moaning, and a sprinkling of assorted items of discipline, then the Korean film Lies will send you into raptures. The story centres on a young girl who decides to offer her virginity to a famous artist that she rather fancies, and follows her extensive efforts to complete her sexual education.
There’s more sex than your remote control can cope with, in full and glorious detail. There’s a surfeit of discipline, exacted with a variety of tools, leaving stripy thighs. There’s flesh, groaning, moaning, tangled sheets, and all the usual accompaniments of quality porn, with little of the ridiculously stylised screaming in ecstasy and writhing about common to most porn.
But although the film rises above porn, it never really succeeds as erotica. It probably wasn’t intended to. But it does succeed in being surprisingly dull and unedifying, even for some of the more serious arthouse fare. The characters are poorly defined, and there is little story aside from the sexual exploits which litter the film. To be honest, it’s difficult to care much about either of the main two characters, and their encounters quickly become as dull as a medical textbook (apologies to my friend, who’s a doctor, and who doubtless thinks of medical textbooks as the pinnacle of excitement).
If it wasn’t for the occasional glimpse of a bit of Korea that I’ve seen in person, I’d have stopped watching out of sheer boredom. As it was, it took me three days to get through this, and quite a trial it was.
However, if all you ask is a succession of bonking scenes involving a young Korean girl and a middle-aged Korean man, then you’ll be delighted. Maybe. If you’re not put off by the interminably slow arthouse pace and lack of story.