Headspace (2002)

Genres - Culture & Society  |   Sub-Genres - Sexuality, Biography  |   Run Time - 53 min.  |   Countries - USA  |  
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The debut film from producer/director Mia Olin, this immensely explicit digital-video documentary explores the BDSM (bondage, discipline, and sadomasochism) scene in Los Angeles. Herself a fixture at such L.A. clubs as Sin-A-Matic, Olin populates Headspace with her friends and acquaintances. "Batman," a former drug addict who loves heavy pain, works as a professional dominant and adorns his teeth with cemented-on fangs. Justine, a Wiccan priestess who says she's happiest when "naked and bleeding," came to the scene via the writings of lesbian activist Pat Calafia. In interviews, these and other BDSM participants explain the psychological and spiritual aspects of their practices. (The film's title comes from the extreme mental and physical gestalt state which BDSM practitioners seek to achieve via pain, pleasure, dominance, and submission.) The majority of the film, however, comprises extended "play scenes" in which the participants enact their BDSM scenarios -- which rarely include conventional sexual activity -- at clubs and private dungeons. Individuals cut, beat, flagellate, and torture one another, all consensually and in some cases before a private audience. Inspired by Sick: The Life and Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist, Headspace received its world premiere on February 9, 2003, at the San Francisco Independent Film Festival.

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Keywords

alternative-lifestyle, fetish [sexual], pain, sadomasochism, sexual-deviation, sexual-identity, subculture, submission, torture