“Fragments of Love”: a heterosexual woman in Colombia plays “catch of the month”

Fragments of Love” (“Fragmentos de Amor”, in Spanish with subtitles), directed by Fernando Vallejo and based on the novel by Hector Abad Faciolince, plays out an erotic fantasy with maybe tragic results.

The story is set in Colombia (the author’s home) but seems largely filmed (especially outside) in Puerto Rico.

A the film opens, Susana (Angelica Blandon) is making an impression mask of the face of her new lover Rodrigo (Jose Angel Birchir).  We learn that Rodrigo works as a piano tuner (I needed piano tuning until I switched to Casio) and actually has performed as a concert pianist and composed classical pieces.  In the background score, we hear him perform Chopin’s B-flat Minor Nocturne (accidentally missing from the credits) and an elegy by Faure, as well as some popular pieces.  But he had given up composing and performing as grief shut him up after his wife died.

But soon we hear that Susana is a serial lover.  Rodrigo is her “catch of the month”, one of a series of “fragmentary” or fantasy encounters.  She is rather like a heterosexual female version of Shane Lyons (Timo Descamps) from the film “Judas Kiss”.  She gets what she wants in the short run;  now she wants Rodrigo, just as Shane wants Danny.  Rodrigo starts go grow jealous as he learns he is one of many, and there is a mask for every lover.  She maintains what I used to call “the List”.  Yet, she realizes she needs her own skin in any encounter for it to satisfy her.  That’s true even of fantasy. The film will end in a putative tragedy.

There is an early scene of a street explosion at a business, that almost injures the couple, rather like the attack in New York City on 23rd Street in September 2016.

Somehow I am reminded of Jean Luc-Godard’s New Wave bifurcated experiment in 2001, “In Praise of Love” (“Eloge de l’amour”).

Name: “Fragments of Love”
Director, writer:  Fernando Vallejo, Hector Abad Faciolince
Released:  2016
Format:  1.85:1
When and how viewed: Complimentary screener on Vimeo from Strand releasing for review; DVD  street date 3/28/2017;  pre-book 2/28/2017
Length:  101
Rating:  R
Companies:  Strand Releasing, Wide Management
Link:  official

(Posted: Thursday, March 16, 2017 at 10:30 AM EDT)