Female Pervert Trailer: The Latest Festival Movie Being Unfairly Likened to Girls

By  · Published on January 20th, 2015

Matt Johnstone Publicity (Photo by Alexander Sablow)

“No testicle is safe” is my favorite phrase in the long synopsis for Female Pervert, a new feature about to premiere at the Slamdance Film Festival. “Like Lena Dunham” is my least favorite. Not because I have anything against Dunham, but her name and her show are mentioned way too much in the promotion of other women filmmakers and other movies and TV series about hip femmillennials, especially those living in the big city. Last year, on the eve of Sundance, Obvious Child was being likened to Girls, sight unseen. And Appropriate Behavior writer-director Desiree Akhavan was heavily compared to Dunham (now Akhavan is actually a cast member on Girls for the new season). There was also Fort Tilden, which debuted at SXSW, easily looked at as a Girls wannabe. For some it can in fact be a positive selling point, but for many others it can be a negative.

Female Pervert is the latest from Jiyoung Lee, an up-and-coming Atlanta-based filmmaker who does happen to be female, and the movie does happen to be about a young woman in the city (Jennifer Kim, who also had a small part in Obvious Child), and maybe its focus on sexual perversion has something in common with bits of Girls but it also just looks like an awkward comedy that could very well be its own thing. Does Girls have a scene involving a dildo and a theremin? I don’t think so. Female Pervert seems a lot less real, but not necessarily in a bad way. Kim’s protagonist, a sex-obsessed video game designer looking for love, should appear to be a kind of alien creature, so socially handicapped that her struggle to fit in and be normal is a major endeavor. And I’m addressing the tone more than the actions in that regard. I am sure that there are true female perverts out there so fascinated by asparagus pee and the size of guys’ balls.

Watch the new trailer for Female Pervert below followed by an extended clip of the theremin scene and official synopsis. The movie will bow at Slamdance on Saturday, and it’s also one of the female-driven first wave selections announced for the Atlanta Film Festival, which takes place in March.

Here’s the official synopsis:

Phoebe, a painfully awkward, sex obsessed video game designer meets a series of men in hopes of sparking a love connection as she follows a twisted path to self-empowerment.

Phoebe is a lonely young woman seeking a true connection in the modern world. Unfortunately, she doesn’t relate to people like most in “normal society.” So she starts seeing a therapist, she changes her diet and joins a book club. As her path to self-improvement unfurls, some of her more eccentric interests lead her down a darker path. She meets a series of men along the way, hoping to spark a love connection. But her perversions are hard to suppress, and she scares them away with her unsettling, absurd behavior. Will she be able to change? Or will she accept her fate as a female pervert?

No testicle is safe in this deft, razor-sharp comedy that empowers women by playfully objectifying men. Actress/musician Jiyoung Lee (writer director of the 2013 feature film Moral Sleaze) steps behind the camera to give viewers a hilarious yet introspective film that pokes fun, and sometimes sex toys, at feminism, masculinity and Millennials. Featuring a star-making performance by Jennifer Kim (Mozart In the Jungle), whose Phoebe character is as endearing as she is crass, FEMALE PERVERT delivers more than just laughs. Like Lena Dunham, wrier/director Jiyoung Lee joins the ranks of a select group of women filmmakers whose unapologetically bold work turns society’s notion of female sexuality on its ear.

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Christopher Campbell began writing film criticism and covering film festivals for a zine called Read, back when a zine could actually get you Sundance press credentials. He's now a Senior Editor at FSR and the founding editor of our sister site Nonfics. He also regularly contributes to Fandango and Rotten Tomatoes and is the President of the Critics Choice Association's Documentary Branch.