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THE FIVE SENSES
USA: Fine Line Features
UK: Alliance / Atlantis Releasing
Cast: Mary-Louise Parker, Pascale Bussieres, Richard Clarkin, Brendan Fletcher, Marco Leonardi, Nadia Litz, Daniel MacIvor, Molly Parker, Gabrielle Rose, Tara Rosling, Philippe Volter, Elise Francis Stolk, Clinton Walker, Astrid Van Wieren, Paul Bettis
Director: Jeremy Podeswa
USA: 105 mins
UK: 104 mins
USA Rated: R for sexuality and language
UK Certificate: 15 for strong language and sex
USA Release Date: 14 July 2000 (Limited Release - Los Angeles and New York)
UK Release Date: 10 December 1999
The Five Senses are SEE, HEAR, SMELL, TOUCH, TASTE
SEE: To see something clearly is one of the most wondrous experiences of life, if you were to judge by the brain power devoted to it, sight is the most vital human sense. More than 70 percent of the body's neuro-receptors are in the eyes. In 'The Five Senses' Rachel (Nadia Litz) a rebellious teenager, observes rather than participates and discovers her 'maturing' self and her sexuality by watching other people.
HEAR: The human ear can hear frequencies between 16 and 20,000 cycles per second, an extraordinary range of almost ten octaves. Even deaf people report that they hear an astonishing number of noises. In 'The Five Senses', Richard (Philippe Volter), a middle-aged French eye-doctor is slowly going deaf and resolves to spend all his time collecting the sounds he will miss the most. Richard is afraid that when he completely loses his hearing, his world will compact and beome much smaller but then he meets a woman who shows him the reverse.
SMELL: Humans can detect over 10,000 odours and each and every person has a personal perfume that is as distinct as a fingerprint. And then there are pheromones, the perfume of sexual attraction, which scientists know exist yet no one has been able to bottle. The housecleaner Robert (Daniel MacIvor) is so attuned to smells that he can smell if any love is being emitted from a person and uses this well-developed sense to go on a mission to see if any of his ex's still care about him.
TOUCH: Touch is experienced through the skin, the body's single largest organ. What we experience as touch is actually electrical signals sent from the skin to the brain evoking a tickle at a light brush, pain with a sharp jab or wondrous ecstasy with a caress. Ruth Seraph (Gabrielle Rose), is a widowed massage therapist out of touch with people and hasn't herself been touched for years.
TASTE: Each person's saliva is chemically distinct, and each tongue has its own geography. Some people are more sensitive to salt, others to sugar. Rona (Mary-Louise Parker), a young cake baker in Toronto, suffers from a poor sense of taste and thinks her cakes need only look good rather than taste good, similarly in her love life she never truly invests herself with passion. But now, her latest Italian lover Roberto (Marco Leonardi), is trying to get her to try new sensations both in her work and her romance. Through Roberto, she begins to realize that intensity can be a good thing, even though it scares her.