Exposure and Criminal Conversation
Kieran Hickey's Exposure is most remarkable for its subject matter, the sexual repression and, ultimately, the utter despair of the Irish male, uncovered mercilessly but with a sensitivity (to a taboo subject) rarely seen in films from any country. Hickey isolates three Irish men, surveyors on a week-long assignment, in an otherwise deserted country inn. The whiskey-bolstered surface tension of the men - already slightly uncomfortable in this stark, new setting - is busted open entirely upon the arrival of a French woman photographer. A series of subtle "exposures" - captured in looks, in overheard telephone conversations with the wife, in drunken raps - builds to a violent climax more embarrassing than dangerous, with remorse for a denouement. Winner of the second Irish Arts Council Film Script Award, Exposure brings the short fiction film into its own, its story told with the economy and punch required by its limits, photographed as beautifully but unlingeringly inside the inn as it is on the stark and rocky Irish coast.