I used to be hooked on watching films put out by “Something Weird Video.” One of them was so bad I could not figure out how it ever got made. Even for trash cinema, which I love, this was not a film I could get through. Then I saw another film, with a commentary track by Samuel M. Sherman. He said, very plainly, that at that time in the 1960’s making films was a job. Period. No fun, just work, and you had to turn a profit, or you were done for in the business. The director of the “so bad I could not get through it” film, Al Adamson, wanted to make a film that was “big and important.” Sam Sherman told him, “Look, you have to put food on the table. Just get it done. You’re lucky to be making any film at all.” He went on to talk about movie posters. He basically said, sell the poster. Sell the idea. Nobody will care about the film. They just want to get out of the house and watch something dirty. It made sense to me.
We care about the films we make very much. The social subtext of the art we are producing is, to us, most important. Things are bad all over. There are all kinds of things you could make films about. Photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson said that art should be about finding your truth and sharing that with others. So that is what we are doing. One of my truths is that my sex life is non-existent because I was not taught how to be intimate with women. I learned though pornography and my peers (my Catholic parents were silent on the subject) that intimacy was something you faked so you could get laid. As I grew older, sex made me physically ill. I could not figure out the ensuing inevitable panic attacks I had after sex. I don’t have it entirely sorted out, but I’m pretty sure that I wanted to love, or at least to know, some of these people beyond between the sheets, and I had absolutely no idea how to do that. So I quit sex. I try to be a better person all-around, minus any gender training, and not worry about it.
Violence is all over, and violence against women has always been a marginalized issue. This film deals with sexual violence against women and deeply troubled men. Men who think it is their right to have sex with little to no effort on their parts to be decent human beings, without being terrifying. Many things men were taught are charming, funny or acceptable ways to treat women (like follow them around making eye contact) are, in fact, terrifying to many of them.
Hollywood appears to be saturated with rapists, who all got a pass for a very long time. My fear is that the progress that has been made will ultimately revert back to how it always was, because people have short memories and are obsessed with fame and fortune.
This is really a horror film. Much of what is in here is a reaction to what I have seen in other films, or things I have actually heard said by men. Perhaps not verbatim, but the attitude is what troubles me most. The Boys’ Club. They want it back.