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The Story

“Love longs for closeness, desire thrives on distance.”

The Girls Were Doing Nothing is a study into the conflicting nature of love and the human soul – our basic needs for stability, comfort and routine which clash with equality strong desires for novelty, variety and freedom. It subtly discusses gender roles, female oppression, the collapse of masculinity in modern society, the role of sexual fantasy and play and more. For in-depth analysis and reviews, click here.

Compared to Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut and von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, The Girls Were Doing Nothing tells the story of Marta and Jake, a married couple in their late 30’s. Working in senior professional positions, they live in a luxurious cosmopolitan home while spending much of their free time eating at expensive restaurants and exercising at private gyms. Their idealistic lifestyle is a grandiose means of concealing and deflecting the strains of their spousal dynamics. For Jake and Marta, communication has become an obligation; intimacy has become a rarity; and love itself has become a cliché. All of that is about to change when Andrea, their attractive and affable neighbour, asks Jake and Marta for a favour while she goes on holiday.

The film is part of an anthology feature, for more information about the project visit The Eros Trilogy page.

 

Early reviews of The Girls Were Doing Nothing –

… Berenson’s latest affair is among the most memorable and outstanding concoctions of its type I’ve witnessed all year…an absolute knockout. This is guaranteed to be a surefire hit at cinema festivals and with spectators alike… Such directly explains the hypnotic, subtle and clandestine tone of this erotically charged tour de force, this presentation calls to mind Stanley Kubrick’s underrated masterpiece Eyes Wide Shut (1999) and Lars von Trier’s same held Nymphomaniac Vol. 1 and 2 (2013). This parallel is visible in the sheer craftsmanship on display. It can also be spotted in its mature handling of carnal subject matter.… Despite this brave stylistic approach, another telltale sign of Berenson’s incredible risk-taking capabilities, the engaging plot thread is never lost. Even when we find ourselves unsure of why some sights are unfolding, Berenson forces our imagination to fill in the blanks. ” – Andrew Buckner, Film Critic

“…This film carries the mood that stays with the viewers long after they stop watching. all these things – HUGEAleksandra Rychlicka, Writer

“Even in it’s unfinished state it is quite a striking piece of film that doesn’t shy away from some very provocative scenes. Your actors are extremely brave, the shots are flawless and the locations are great. you’ve done a sterling job so far especially noting that you wrote, directed and produced the whole thing yourself, it must have been and absolute nightmare.” – Joseph Stacey, Producer

The film is breathtaking, at first glance slow and not a lot of events happening but it captures all the attention, so half hour for me was like 3 minutes . I totally lost track of time. Love how you captured small details, love your bravery and frankness. The actress is stunning. The sex scene was so sexy …. I have no words. I am amazed and so happy you made it.”

“Katie Alexander-Thom performs a phenomenally relatable character, who presents a woman at her weakest, struggling to love and value herself again. She depicts truthfully, the later stages of a relationship, realising she is an individual, and finding her own strength. The film’s flawless aesthetic should not go unnoticed. The modern setting, and bland tones reflect Marta’s impression of her life. The soft lighting helps us see her unclear mind. After she begins to sense some self-empowerment, she is sexualised in red, and the shadows become bolder as we realised she has began to form a somewhat hidden agenda. As part of a trilogy, I am excited to see the depiction of the whole story, or common theme emerging. Do look out for the film in festivals and programs, and prepare yourself with an open mind.” –  Siona Davis, Producer

Behind The Scenes 360 Video

The Production

inq01Production of The Girls Were Doing Nothing commenced in May 2016 when Dekel decided to abandon his studies at The London Film School. The first draft, titled The Vacation was very different from the final script as it underwent 43 rewrites. Almost all of the locations are set in Soho, including Coco de Mer at Seven Dials for the lingerie store, Timber Yard Soho on Noel Street for the office scenes, Wardour 100 for both the restaurant and bar scenes, and the bathroom scene was shot at 168 Wardour Street, at Dekel’s apartment block. Interestingly the first draft of the script was written at Timber Yard, where also much of the film was edited. The script was originally written in 2008 and was rewritten, from memory, in May 2016.

 

Pre production included meticulous planning with more than 40 storyboard panels which were later turned into an animation. Later the entire script was shot on an iPhone in a single location, a process that took more than 7 hours, and the material edited together to create a 15 minute version of the film. This process resulted in a reduction of 30% in the planned shot list.

Production “adventures” included the replacement of three would be producers, three focus pullers, and replacement of the Director of Photography one week before shooting, due to a variety of reasons.

On the 4th day of shooting, when filming the first take of the sex scene, Katie Alexander-Thom had accidentally broken her arm and went on to continue shooting for another two days. Only after wrapping she rushed to the hospital for her arm to be put in a cast.

Selecting the suitcase:

Suitcases

Pre-Production Photos

Here are some pre-production photos showing some of the work that went into the production of the film.