It is 1972 and muscularly handsome blond Peter heads off to an exclusive Virginia university, unsure of what to expect. He joins a fraternity house where he meets William, a classics major who has a strong attraction to h... more »im. Despite their flirting the reserved Peter becomes romantically involved in a menage a trois with his roommate Joe and Joe's girlfriend Bess. When the trio's social blis is disrupted by a violent episode Peter is taken in and protected by Ian, his poetry professor. recuperating at Ian's idyllic country house, Peter soon falls in love with his hunky professor. Of course, their hot and heavy affair which includes skinny dipping, passionate sex and bathing outdoors is taboo. When jealousy rears its ugly head, Peter and Ian's happiness is threatened.« less
Grady Harp | Los Angeles, CA United States | 10/10/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Anne Misawa deserves watching: her directorial debut demonstrates a talented artist who is unafraid to follow her instincts and offer her version of the way the world becomes distorted/magical/surreal/confusing/terrifying when first passions of sexual awakening explode. Based on a true story written by Jerry Meadors and Hart Monroe, EDEN'S CURVE introduces Peter (Sam Levine - first seen sun-bathing in the nude on his father's roof), an handsome and wholesome 18 year old lad from the north who enters an all male Southern college, is assigned a roommate Joe (Trevor Lissauer) who is involved with a free-spirited girl Bess (Amber Taylor). Sharing the corridor of this fraternity house of essential rednecks is a wealthy but fey Billy (Bryan Carroll) who spends his spare time using heroin and his alert time lusting after Peter. Peter is attracted to Joe and gradually becomes involved with Joe and Bess in a true menage a trois, awakening Peter's closeted need for same sex relations while sharing the seductive Joe over the guise of Bess's grounded reality. The trio begins to avoid parents, all of whom reject the possibility of 'improper behavior'. Billy understands the dark side of Joe and attempts to warn Peter that his impending realization of passion for Joe is dangerous. When conflicts begin to disintegrate the menage a trois and jealousy implodes the trio, Peter is physically harmed by Joe and is rescued by Ian (Julio Pirrellan - the poetry teacher with a dark background of his own) who takes Peter to his woodsy cabin for a natural life of recluse and healing with the land (the title references a turn at the sign marking 'Eden' which is the idyllic location of Ian's raw cabin by the river). Ever so slowly the two men reveal their pasts and are drawn to each other, resulting in a sexual coming together that, while not explicit, is one of the more passionately captured moments on film. Peter now accepts his being gay and the fallout is naturally expulsion from the fraternity, Ian's expulsion from the university teaching staff, and Joe's returning to the family who rejects his true identity forcing Peter to escape back to Eden. How this all ends is so beautifully realized that it would be a disservice to reveal it to those fortunate to view this film.
There is so very much to like about this tiny budget film that the overindulgent choices made by the director can be forgiven. But the viewer should be aware of these: Misawa has an elegant eye for mood and elects to have the camera play with the picture frame and diversions into distortion to such a constant degree that the story line at times becomes secondary to these artsy cadenzas. The cast is uniformly excellent but the sound mixer is unable to filter/Dolby out the ambient noise, making much of the dialogue simply inaudible. Misawa has an obvious passion for the color purple (and all its variations) and has that color in every frame, whether in the sweaters and shirts of all of the characters, walls, bibelots, smudges on doors, the surface of the beautifuly captured rushing water of Ian's river (cleansing?)- so much so that one wonders if Misawa is suggesting the religious period of Lent - that time in the church calendar when all the elements of religion are draped in purple in the period of sacrifice before the passion of the crucifixion and Easter. But given all these elements of self-indulgence, this remains a story worth telling and the message definitely remains intact. One of the more artistic gay films in a time when the industry seems to be eager to explore this once verboten arena."
Eden's Curve:Romance. Passion. Sensuality. Tragedy and Love.
Alex Hackworth "Filmmaker" | New York | 10/01/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Anne Misawa's debut as the director of Eden's Curve takes a rare and candid look through the camera's eye into the first foundations of man to man love, loss, tradegy, sex, passion and the trials of same-sex love that face every new generation of those who dare to follow their God-given instincts and defy the oppression of unending misunderstanding from the traditional world.
Her camera moves inside the act of love. It makes you nervous and brings on heavy breathing like the act of love itself. See it with someone you can sit close to, someone that holds you tight, or someone you want to have hold you tight. Bring a handkerchief.
The acting. The writing. The production is the best of what strapped and free independent movie making is about."
Powerful story could have been told better
Bob Lind | Phoenix, AZ United States | 09/12/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The time is 1972, and 17 year old Peter (handsome, blonde and hunky newcomer Sam Levine) is entering an exclusive Virginia university. Rather innocent (having lived under the shadow of his parents at home up to now), he enjoys the ready friendship of Joe, his fraternity roommate, who invites him on a picnic with him and his girlfriend. Several dozen joints later, the threesome *become* a sexual threesome. Golly, isn't college GREAT???
That's the opening tone of 2003's "Eden's Curve", which eventually becomes a rather dark "coming of age" drama set in the post-Woodstock era (though the music seems to be more mid-60's, in the folk-rock vein). The dynamics of Peter's relationship with Joe and his girlfriend turns sour. We also learn that this has all happened before with Joe, who apparently encourages the three-way relationship but then gets jealous if he ceases to be the center of attention. Peter finds himself attracted to Joe, although he is turned off by the attentions of the a more effeminate frat brother, Billy, also interested in him, who instigates part of the problem with Joe (No, it's not a gay fraternity. Apparently Billy is kind of tollerated, but Joe's bisexuality is not widely known.)
Joe eventually turns violent and Peter is taken in by Ian, a graduate student teaching a poetry class in which Peter is enrolled. At Ian's remote cabin in the woods, we learn the "back story" on his last relationship, and the duo get close as Peter recuperates from his bruises in the fight. Ultimately, the relationship becomes known, creating strife in both of their lives, and separating them, forcing Peter to finally decide what he wants out of life.
The pluses: A powerful story (supposedly based on true incidents that "happened to a friend" of the screenwriter), and, especially for an indie film, the acting is rather good. Unfortunately, the dialogue is predictable and often lapses into "dueling cliches", the direction is occasionally disjointed, the pacing sometimes boring, and the cinnematography overdoes "special effects" (every other scene fading to "blur" or a bright white light, cameras shooting between planks in a fence, bars in a railing, dividers in a window, etc.) to the point where it ceases being "artsy" and borders on the laughable. It's a shame, since this story does deserve better. It had no real theatrical relase, other than gay film festivals throughout 2003."
Poor production value ruined the movie...
J. Autrey | Asheville, NC | 05/07/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)
"This movie MIGHT have had a great script and great acting, but I'm not actually sure about either. The sound quality of the film was so poor that I could only hear about half of what the actors were saying. Also, the visual production of the film looked like something I could have made with my parents' 1980s camcorder.
Amos Lassen | Little Rock, Arkansas | 04/22/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
Amos Lassen and Cinema Pride
"Eden's Curve" (WaterBearer) is the story of Peter (Sam Levine), an eighteen year old boy who is on a journey of self discovery while studying at an all male university in the South. His roommate, Joe and his roommate's girlfriend, Bess help him to learn more about himself and as he learns his values become crushed by those who love him. He also learns that he cannot do anything without relying on the strength of strangers and the decisions that he makes as he begins to discover himself will affect him his entire life. The beautiful style of the film remains in the memory long after the movie is over. The movie itself is based on true happenings at a backwoods Virginia University in the early 1970's and beautifully conveys both the time and the spirit. The framework of the action is a bisexual ménage-a-trois and the coming-of-age of a young college student. Yet there are other themes as well--identity, commitment, and the extent of romanticism. Sam Levine plays the boy who is the paragon of innocence--a blank page that is waiting to be written upon. The film concentrates on the beautiful landscape of Virginia and the subjects of longing and desire come across as narration as opposed to characterization. We watch as Peter's tender love becomes jealousy and rage and the ethereal quality of the movie contributes heavily to the overall quality. What we get is a refreshing view of what mainstream America gets from the people who live there and not the standard representation of [...] life. We see life with all of its challenges and its ups and downs. All of this presented as one youth enters adulthood. Imagination, imagery, and reflection play heavy roles in this film and they hit us hard and raise our spirits simultaneously. I have heard it said that this is a depressing film; that there is no compassion, no thoughtful revelation and no redemption. I disagree with this completely but then I suppose the way one lives influences the interpretation of what I consider a beautiful film. The believability of the cast enhances the quality of the film. For someone to discredit a film like this is a grave injustice. Because one has to think and feel the movie makes it that much more realistic and personal. The emotion is touching and it sets the tone in the opening and never lets go. The story is totally believable. Everything about the film is done with the utmost taste; especially the nudity and the issues that are dealt with by the characters are real and genuine. The rawness of the photography matches the storyline and the story is certainly sad but exceptionally honest. The atmosphere of an earlier time is completely captured and the sexual and substance exploration was not decadent but beautifully handled. What especially stood out to me was the totally non-stereotypical approach to [...] life. It is natural and it dealt with difficult issues with the utmost of reverence. "