Honey Lauren’s delightful short film Wives of the Skies disrupts the erotic expectations it sets while presenting a wryly humorous and stylish examination of those expectations. The year is 1965, and smarmy British journalist Derrick (Drew Brandon Jones) is wrapping up a travel assignment. He’s noticed his hotel is popular with attractive female flight attendants (in keeping with the times, he calls them stewardesses), so he decides to stay on for a week to do “documentary research” on the lives of these nomadic young ladies. Wink wink, nudge nudge.
Derrick catches the attention of Fran (Rachel Alig), and Marcy (Madison Bullock), who invite him to their room for dinner and “research.” They either are, or pretend to be, oblivious to his un-subtle lust, and he seems smugly empowered by having successfully picked them up. The setup would be pure porn, except the production value goes far beyond any return on investment for a porn shoot, and the film does not go where it seems to be headed.
“…he decides to stay on for a week to do ‘documentary research’ on the lives of these nomadic young ladies.”
Upon arrival in their hotel room with his awkward cameraman, Kevin (Sebastian Fernandez), Derrick is shocked as the vibe veers into serious fetish territory. He gets more than he bargained for, finding that Fran has been expertly rope-bound by Marcy in the Japanese Kinbaku style, and she’s perfectly comfortable awaiting her dinner and guests this way. Of course, she must understand the sexual implications of the situation, but she seems as wide-eyed and casual as she was in the lobby.
The implication is that Fran and Marcy are in some way sex partners, which also turns up the erotic volume. In a world where online porn is instantly accessible, generally speaking, the expectation is that this scene would progress along those lines. But this film isn’t porn, or rather, it isn’t meant for prurient purposes. However, it seems clear given the abundance of bondage material on the internet, Wives of the Skies could, in fact, serve as quality erotica for that audience.
In the span of only 21-minutes, the film offers a substantial reflection of the sexual power dynamic between men and women, particularly in men’s view of women. Derrick’s approach is sexist in tone, as he leverages the imbalance of power of the culture of the ’60s to ingratiate himself with the women in the hopes of sex.
"…offers a substantial reflection of the sexual power dynamic between men and women..."