Sydney Film Festival Review: My Nudity Means Nothing bares all and nothing at all

It should come as no surprise that in My Nudity Means Nothing (Ma nudité ne sert à rien) the protagonist is naked. In this case, it is the French, Underground filmmaker, Marina de Van. She holes herself up in her flat and flitters between existential angst and some serious naval gazing. All this and absolutely nothing for a total of 105 long minutes.

This film is a lo-fi one that is self-shot by the filmmaker herself. The central tenant of the proceedings is that de Van is exposing her body. The nudity is not meant to be gratuitous or titillating. It just is what it is. It also makes a strange contrast at times because while she lays everything to bare here, there is also a certain mystery to this character.

de Van is a 40-something single woman who lives alone with her cat. She sets up dates through a dating app and these sometimes lead to one-night stands. You could try and draw something from this situation about modern life i.e. a world where people can be free, self-sufficient and independent, but also feel increasingly isolated and disconnected from society.

The protagonist’s mental state doesn’t deteriorate here (at least not to the extent of the character in her other film, In My Skin (Dans ma peau)). One could argue that she might seem depressed at times here, but then there are other scenes where she obviously takes care of herself with things like exercise and good nutrition. It’s hard to know what to say about this film when the filmmaker herself says the act is all about nothing, and when these everyday events are so banal. It leads you to question, “Why even bother making this documentary in the first place?”

In My Nudity Means Nothing the filmmaker may be playing with taboos and providing a slow-burning examination of the passage of time. That may be enough to entertain some viewers, but most people will find this far too self-indulgent, repetitive and boring. For my money, I can manage to sit around and wait for something to happen all by myself. I don’t need a film that’s the equivalent of watching paint dry but with a lot more skin on display. At the end of the day, My Nudity Means Nothing feels like it bares all and nothing at all.



My Nudity Means Nothing plays as part of the Sydney Film Festival. For more information and tickets head HERE.

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