Cherries is a salon piece in black and white from Friedl vom Gröller’s series about aging. Monsieur and Madame are a cheerful, no longer quite youthful couple. He is wearing a polo shirt and she is in a print summer dress. He puts his arm around her, a cherry is eaten. The camera pans to the table. A short prologue like in a porn film.
“This afternoon I arrived in my maid’s uniform, wearing my little bonnet and apron and tight black skirt, my hair pulled back – but for a single strand that did not want to stay in place. The apartment is furnished in an everyday kind of way – a small sofa, bookshelf, vases, candles, a beautiful table. I prepared the bowl of cherries, filled the carafe with water, laid out the bodice and patent leather underpants for Madame and Monsieur.” This is how the young chambermaid, Josephine, might have told it.
And now, as to the amorous play of Madame Martina and Monsieur Martin: backlit in silhouette, we see a well-laced corset and a bare bottom in shiny black latex. Josephine also appears, rounding the corner. Cherries are on the table. Naked back, fishnet stockings, hands caressing. He sucks at her breasts, no longer wearing a bodice; her head is lustfully leaned back, cunnilingus. We see the man’s black latex underpants flex and shine, her bra has left impressions on her flesh, beauty marks, spectacles, a lover with a belly. The filmmaker circles the pair. Gestures and blurs, intuitively precise in-camera edits condense the situation of debauchery and digression. The skin of the film is a love relationship. The gaze of the “chambermaid figure” is a stand-in for the gaze of the camera, taking part in the excitement with a smile, as an insistent outsider. Madame briefly turns away from a kiss and her lips receive a cherry, elegantly handed to her from a silver tray by the chambermaid. In the final unfocused shot, the chambermaid poses next to the pair like a tourist in an amateur film.
Translation: Eve Heller
Friedl vom Gröller