The history of traditional portraiture is about status and branding. With this portrait we were interested in breaking down those layers of constructed perfection. Initially in renaissance portrait painting, women are often pictured in a profile view, detached and passive. This painting was one of the first to have the female subject confronting the viewer, meeting your eyes without appeasing or smiling. There are parallels in the expressions in this film and in the painting.
And so in sex, submissive women are presumed to be passive, detached receivers of the desires of others. This isn't always the case. The role of submissive, and the potential for transcendence in consensual degradation is powerful. Endurance is powerful. Subverting perfection is powerful.
Emotion in sex is interesting, we're used to dealing with expressiveness (both ecstasy and pain). Something like Attrition is an example of heightened emotions on film. This is uncomfortable for me in a different way, it's the visual detachment rather than the emotion that's interesting and potentially complex.
This film is designed to be watched on a portrait screen, for example your phone. A portrait needs a frame and our screens are our frames.