David Hamilton – Premiers désirs AKA First Desires (1984)
Three young women on a holiday with friends decide to visit a nearby island, risking a dangerous night time trip by boat. As a storm moves in, the boat is dashed against a beach, and the girls separated. Lost and soaked through, they are saved by some local boys. Now safe, the girls decide to spend time basking on the beach and exploring the island. They experience the first stirrings of love during a Mediterranean vacation as each girl follows her own path with local boys, the husband of a beautiful pianist, with another girl or dreaming on a platonic love.
Though better known for his still photography than for his work in film, David Hamilton explores similar themes in each medium. Because his favorite subjects tend to be nude young girls, Hamilton has endured much criticism (especially in the United States). His books, like those of fellow photographer Sally Mann, have enlisted much controversy because of the provocative way in which they depict young people. Unphased by his critics, Hamilton has progressed to create a large body of work that includes several soft-core erotica films. With the stunningly shot PREMIERS DESIRS, Hamilton turns once again to familiar ideas and images. The film–which revolves around three young girls adjusting to adolescence and their own sexuality after being stranded by a boat wreck in the Mediterranean–explores issues of innocence, purity, and sexuality. While many object to Hamilton’s subject matter, it can’t be denied that he addresses all his work with true eye of an artist, creating visually appealing images through careful manipulation of color and light. By infusing his films with such visual sensitivity, Hamilton makes an argument in support of his claim that erotica and pornography are two very different things.
Subtitles: English [SRT]