If you’ll forgive me, I’m going to gush a little about my friend Joe’s movie Don Jon’s Addiction.
Don Jon’s Addiction is about a young man in New Jersey whose addiction to internet porn is holding him back from having real relationships. Joe could have done this as a naturalistic character study, with underplayed performances and subdued non-committal style, and I’m sure it would have been great.
But Joe did the exact opposite. Don Jon is hyper-stylized not just in the easy-to-spot realm of visual style and execution, but in the sneakier and more abrasive/subversive arena of characters, world and conceptual construction. It’s not a realistic depiction of sex, or male/female relations, or Jersey culture, or family dynamics, and trying to read it as any of these things will lead to the equivalent of critiquing skillful caricature as failed portraiture. Its characters are all exaggerated, magnifying facets of a meticulously constructed object, and the sum of its parts is a meditation not on a young man’s struggle with porn or even his emotional maturation, but on the myriad screens we all use as proxies for intimacy with other human beings. That’s pretty vital stuff.
Oh, and it’s also funny as hell and so much fun to watch. You guys are going to love it. I couldn’t be prouder of Joe, and I can’t wait for everyone to see his ambitious, brave and terrific movie.
Rian Johnson on DON JON’S ADDICTION, which is currently my favorite film at Sundance 2013.
- Reblogged from rcjohnso