The Little Death

COMEDY; 1hr 35min

STARRING: Bojana Novakovic, Damon Herriman, Josh Lawson, Patrick Brammall, Kate Mulvany, Lisa McCune

Private lives: Lawson and Novakovic

Meet Paul and Maeve (first-time writer-director Lawson and Novakovic). She wants him to surprise her with a pulse-quickening rape. Dan (Herriman) and Evie (Mulvany) test the limits of role-play. For Richard and Rowena (Brammall and Kate Box), sex is pancake-flat until his tears turn her on. Phil (Alan Dukes) falls for his shrewish wife, Maureen (McCune), while she’s zonked in a drugged sleep. Video-relay operator Monica (Erin James) and her client Sam (T.J. Power), both deaf, find each other through his phone-sex fix. Circulating pleasantly among them is a registered sex offender (Kim Gyngell) who bakes golliwog biscuits. Whew!


Welcome to Lawson’s racy neighbourhood, where everyone is chasing their tail for their moment of sweet release. The French, of course, have a name for it: la petite mort. That’s the little death, or, more prosaically, orgasm. The way Lawson sees it, sex is multifaceted and conventional rules do not apply. Three cheers to him and his hard-at-it ensemble for the envelope-pushing zip that smashes cheerily through social niceties. Some travellers fare better than others but their journeys are never dull and the phone sex segment is a mood-ranging masterstroke.