Friday, 28 March 2014

RUN RUN IT'S HIM - Review By Greg Klymkiw - Underground doc on Porn Addiction the real DON JON

RUN RUN IT'S HIM (2010/2014) ****
Dir. Matthew (Matt) Pollack, Co-Producer/Cinematographer: Jamie Popowich

Review By Greg Klymkiw

This is the real DON JON. The real thing.

It's the straight-up cum-shot to the face that Don Jon's writer-director-star Joseph Gordon-Leavitt could not nor would not do, even if he had a loaded gun shoved up his ass demanding he wipe that annoying smirk off his face whilst making the theme of obsessively wanking to XXX hardcore so horrendously false and, dare I say it, palatable for bourgeois nitwits.

RUN RUN IT’S HIM is an obsessive, hilarious, shocking, touching, imaginative, inventive and altogether astonishing personal portrait of a young man’s addiction to pornography and masturbation. It’s a genuine underground film about WANKING that’s delectably imbued with plenty of WANK qualities. Any obsessive will respond to this, not in spite, but BECAUSE of the picture’s meandering, borderline structure and roughness - its HONESTY! Pollack’s film touches the soul (and a few other, uh, personal places) because it's so goddamn, heart-achingly real. (Oh, and you don't have to be an obsessive to enjoy the movie, but it sure ups the ante if you are a bit out of your fucking gourd on the addictive personality front.)

And make no mistake when you watch this film - this is an underground movie. It's no dull TV-style doc, no slick feature aimed at a wide theatrical market and it is most certainly not some overpriced, earnest National Film Board of Canada documentary about children with learning disabilities who find teachers they can really relate to. It feels grotty, grainy and filthy. It looks like it was shot with a Hi-8 camera from the late 80s and is even framed in one of my favourite aspect ratios - good, old fashioned, square box standard frame. Sometimes the sound is so muddy, the filmmaker needs to affix subtitles to it. Does this mean the movie is badly made or amateurish? Not in the least. It's gorgeously shot. It employs the aesthetic of the very kind of film its director is obsessed with.

This is a dirty movie; not in the usual sense of one's notion of "dirty movies", though it is about dirty movies and the dirty business of seeking out images - almost always degrading and most often infused with sexual violence and subjugation of women. That the movie is about its director's lifelong addiction to an activity that shuts him out of genuine relationships with the opposite sex, is what channels it into very brave places.

Pollack and his small, but dedicated team charted his addiction for 7 years. What we experience is a genuine insider view. We see Pollack's DAILY routine of travelling all across the Toronto streets in search of XXX porn at his favourite purveyors of whack material. He recreates actual whack-off sessions in the privacy of his home. He interviews a porn-shop clerk who turns out to be a veritable Heidegger of porn philosophy. Most hilariously, sadly and entertainingly, he visits with old girlfriends, female friends and women he's long had crushes on and selects his favourite scenes of pornography. It's this latter sequence of footage that is absolutely astounding. We watch the women as they watch the porn, respond and discuss it with him.

This is a wonderful picture. It's at once all over the place and completely whole. The movie might seem structurally thin, but only on the surface since the picture's fierce, personal independence is such that one spends less time admiring (like most terrific pictures) its adherence to all those elements contemporary audiences (especially) have been spoon fed into needing. What we respond to is the experiential journey of a brilliant, funny and honest filmmaker laying the truth before us - no matter how dirty it gets.

RUN RUN IT'S HIM is not available on ANY traditional delivery source. It is available via VOD/download via its own website via Big Doll House. This seems wholly appropriate. For a measly 10 smacks, visit HERE and see the movie. I'm hoping some cool Canuck cinemas have the balls to play this movie theatrically with personal Q and A appearances by its director AFTER the launch. Come on Royal Theatre, come on Bloor Hot Docs Cinema, Come on Tiff Bell Lightbox. DO IT! Display thine aesthetic cojones!