A mysterious forest, a picnic basket with cherry pie, a boy (Alex MacNicoll) and a girl (Madeleine Waters) on a romantic outing: these are the ingredients of Elizabeth Jaeleigh Davis’ La Petite Mort (The Little Death), which recently found its way online via Short of the Week after a successful festival run that included pit stops at the international film festivals of Seattle and Rhode Island.
Davis’ short allegorically takes on the awkwardness and confusion that accompany a young girl’s quest to lose her virginity. The title signals the moment of orgasm but also the interrelatedness of the death and sex drives.
Suggestive shots abound in a work that weaves contradictory feelings related to the potentially mortifying nature of first-time sexual experience. Darkly comedic yet tragic, intimate yet over-the-top, La Petite Mort is a “feminist exploitation film couched in a fairytale” that builds to a sticky climax and is memorable in all the right ways.
Watch it right now and die just a little.