CLIP's Ejaculating Teen Penises Are Not Actually Underaged
"Underaged persons weren't involved in scenes of explicit sex and nudity" reads the title that announces the end of CLIP. The timing of this assurance is bad: It interrupts a shock-cut to black that the film has been surging toward, a despairing end that is both surprising and inevitable. Of course, that announcement couldn't have come earlier, as much of Maja Milos's aggressive and upsetting first film's dramatic interest lies in wondering whether—from aesthetic, moral, and legal standpoints—we should be seeing its teen characters' shaved labia and ejaculating penises. We do see them, often through footage captured on the smartphone that impoverished Belgrade teen Jasna (Isidora Simijonovic, raw and inspired) lucks into. Uncomfortable with sex, and uncertain talking to the hard-edged boys she knows, Jasna turns to what we could call self-pornographization: She goes down on angry lug Djole (Vukasin Jasnic) in a school bathroom under the guise of making a video—terrified to admit she might like him. Later, when she's finally alone with him in his bedroom, he fires up a video game, ignoring her until she plays a phone clip of her fingering herself. He only knows to get it up for the mediated her. Milos's film pulses with fuck-it-all abandon and chintzy eastern-Euro club beats. The milieu offers extenuating circumstances: Jasna's father is dying, and she can face neither him nor her family; the boys lead raids and raves in half-destroyed buildings, shouting "Fuck Facebook, Fuck America, Kosovo is Serbia." But it's not just in war-ravaged exurbs that kids have moved on from sex before intimacy to cooperative porncraft before sex before intimacy.
Get the Film & TV Newsletter
Stay up to date on the best new movies with our critics' latest reviews, interviews and trailers for the films coming to a theater near you each week.