In this business, self-proclamation arrives on a regular basis with every new phase of the moon. Epithets like "legend" and "classic" are bandied about as freely as roach clips at a Grateful Dead concert — months before a product is available for review, or even shot. To survive the hype, one subconsciously grows a skeptic's hide; thickened with wariness and salted with grains of cynicism.
Elements of Desire is a blast of pure fresh air that will penetrate even the heaviest of coats.
Director Cameron Grant, the grand master behind this opus par excellence, has not only been passed Andrew Blake's Olympian torch of high-end erotica, he's taken the damn thing and set fire to the very concept! There's not a minute that doesn't burn with intensity or beg to be framed. Where Blake sought to sculpt motion from marble, Grant paints in sublime washes of neon; while Blake created in two dimensions, Grant operates in a three-dimensional universe of electro-sexual energy, (Xot that there's anything unsavory about Blake — far from it; without him Elements, and a whole marketplace clamoring for just this kind of entertainment wouldn't even exist.)
Like Blake, Grant is an artist who works from the surface inward, and deep is not a word in his vocabulary (yet). Elements is basically just a sweet, highly polished candy apple for the eyes; with a rudimentary theme rather than a full-blown plot.
Ostensibly it's "about" Julia Ann's fascination with a late night cable channel that beams captivating erotica; which stimulates not only her imagination but also her moist little panties. She can't break away. Given the hypnotizing images, neither will the viewer. The "elements" in question refer to the natural forces: earth, air, fire, and water; subtly incorporated into a feature with a dreamy ambience.
Squirming around in languid pools of liquid violet, an opening solo with Maeva sets the tone; billowing lace curtains create an airy mood for a lesbian encounter with Daisy and Draghixa that ups the pace; but when Grant starts literally playing with fire, the temperature rises accordingly. Within the confines of a candlelit room, Julia Ann performs a seductive tease for the benefit of Aaron Colt; intercut with a bonfire dance by Tracy West that rivals The Coven for pagan hip-wiggling. She dominates him for a bit until the strapping lad sets her up for doggie entry, pouring hot wax over her ass to let her know who's boss. No complaints from Julia.
Elements may be as elegant as the first blossoming rose of spring, but it never shies away from hardcore. Woody Long pops off the gusher of his career in a oil rubdown sequence with radiant Celeste, who greedily gobbles up his load as if it were the last cock she'd ever suck. Likewise, Mark Davis showers Tiffany Mynx after a rigorous stand-up fuck.
Outstanding editing serves these sequences well, adapting to the natural rhythms of the performers without protracting the inevitable climax beyond reason. With ten full sex scenes, Elements never seems overpacked, nor does it cheat the viewer with abrupt endings — each section runs just the right time to say its piece.
Where it falters, however, is following through on the slight storyline. The problem lies in treating Julia's character not only as a metaphoric voyeur (which works well) but also a real person with problems. A consultation with tarot card reader Dyanna Lauren sets up a romantic girl/girl encounter, but Julia's desire to clean her psychic clock is never mentioned again. Stranger still is a scene where she catches Shayla LaVeaux cheating with Colt. In an eyeblink, Julia's anger turns to lust; though the three-way action is relatively hot, the motivation is weaker than a Menendez alibi.
An inclination for wrapping the girls in fishnet stockings, bondage gear, faceless hoods and leather strap-ons in the lesbian outings may be a bit of pandering to the foreign market, but these are minor quibbles in face of the enormous canvas that Elements covers with masterful strokes. It leads one to wonder what Grant might do with a full-blown story, if so inclined. The possibilities are staggering. Regardless, Ultimate Video has found a successor to the astonishingly popular Andrew Blake "look."
Don't feel too bad, Andrew. Even wise old Yoda knew when Luke Skywalker was ready to take on the universe. So, universe, take on Elements of Desire! May the forces of nature be with you. Also featuring Misty Rain, Asia, Paula Price, Deidre Holland, PJ. Sparxx, Victoria Andrews.
Striking boxcover featuring Julia Ann graced the AVN April issue.