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Hollywood isn’t always the best place for school teachers to see their jobs glorified and respected. We’ve seen teachers with sketchy morals as well as just plain bad teachers. And it seems the best teachers are only teaching savant janitors, or are fake substitutes trying to infiltrate a violent Miami gang. And when it comes to the sophomore effort from writer/director Hanna Fidell, textbook education takes a backseat to more carnal knowledge – which, coincidentally, does actually get in a back seat at some point.
The above teaser trailer for Fidell’s A Teacher does a fine job of laying out the seductive relationship between the young teacher Diana (Lindsay Burdge) and her student Eric (Will Brittain), one in which flirting soon becomes increasingly more physical and sexual. The slow, jazzy soundtrack, lack of dialogue and constant shots of Diana and Eric in close capacity causes the film to appear more like a slick indie romance instead of the psychological thriller character study that it’s supposed to be.
Diana moves down to Austin and takes a job at a local high school, immediately hitting it off with Eric. Their sexual relationship grows, even as controversy looms on the horizon, and when their tryst is finished, Diana finds that she can’t just leave it behind. It’s pretty heady stuff, considering most teacher-student fling films - Pretty Persuasion - take the darkly comedic route instead of focusing on character mechanics and motivations. Considering the double standard that often belies older women and younger men hooking up, I’m anxious to see just how deeply embedded in emotions this story goes.
For a better take on the film’s overall tone, here is the far more pleasing full SXSW trailer.