The private obsessions of a woman in a search of self-definition form the thematic basis for “Wishing Woman,” a collaboration between filmmaker Thomas Roth and actor Molly Castelloe that minimizes narrative without maximizing its formal potential. Roth, a protege of experimentalist Peter Kubelka, tries to find visual correlatives for Diana’s (Castelloe) journey into her strange occupation as a “therapist” in occasionally kinky role-playing sessions for needy New York clients. Video exudes the thoughts and actions of self-involved urbanites, but is too roughly honed to travel beyond adventurous fest and alternative venues.
Leaving her job in a glass shop while continuing her graduate school dissertation in what appears to be biology, Diana gets the notion to set up a home business to provide “scenarios for unusual wishes.” These range from a guy wanting to be like a horse to morose stockbroker Anthony (Anthony Leone) who likes seeing Diana in a wedding gown. Diana and Anthony develop their scenarios into intimate and violent areas, even as the filmmaker’s efforts to make a visual work that burrows into their minds without resorting to standard dramatics falls frustratingly short of the mark.