Love and Saucers

Studio: The Orchard
Directed by Brad Abrahams

Dec 12, 2017 Web Exclusive
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This film screened at the 2017 New Orleans Film Festival

There’s nothing like a first love. The excitement, the longing, the newness of a shared intimacy: the memory of a first-time love can last a lifetime. It’s no wonder artists have been inspired to attempt to capture the experience for millennia. For painter David Huggins, there’s something extra memorable about his first paramour and the paintings he creates to capture her: Huggins lost his virginity to an extraterrestrial.

The quiet, introverted 72-year old New Jersey resident had, for years, lived what many would dub an ordinary life. He was married and had a son. He had a job and artistic talents that he had once hoped to explore professionally. He was a typical family man, until the memories returned. Huggins began to recall a six-year-long sexual relationship he had with a being of another world, which began when he was 17. Until he was in his early twenties, Huggins was routinely visited by unearthly creatures and carried out a lascivious affair with the same female caller. Aside from her above average height, pale face, and large black eyes, she appeared largely humanoid, though her companions were often far less so. As memories of this affair returned to him (and contributed to his subsequent divorce), Huggins felt compelled to capture them in oil, painting dozens if not hundreds of scenes from that six-year period.

It would have been so easy for Brad Abrahams to treat his subject as a fanciful, delusional man (or worse, as a joke), but Love and Saucers remains laudably deferential to David Huggins. The documentary operates under the assumption that Huggins’ experiences are genuine, regardless of how far-fetched they might seem. (As Huggins’ employer remarks on camera, people believe what they believe, and there’s no legitimate reason to doubt their truths. Abrahams approaches the documentary with the same open-mindedness.) Huggins doesn’t carry the cross of a man whose life has taken an unwanted and uncontrollable detour; he is simply a man who lost his virginity to an alien and has spent decades painting his affair. Laughable as some moments are, Huggins’ conviction of what happened in his youth compel one to consider—if not actually believe—that he might have experienced something atypical. Did aliens actually visit him through a portal that fed into his bedroom each night? Did he sire half-human progeny in another world? Does it really matter? His beliefs are sincere, and as a result, so too is his art, and everything else is secondary at best.

Author rating: 6.5/10

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