Getting Go, the Go Doc Project (2013) (Unrated)
I'm not sure that "Getting Go, the Go Doc Project" could even be likened to the underground cinema of prior years, yet it is the thing you could haphazardly lump it in with. It belongs instead with the resurgence of these queer indie movies meeting soft-core pornography and calling it "intimacy". It is beyond hateful in so many ways, and yet the movie's charm is so surprising that it is the only redeemable thing found within.
Saying all this, it's hard to forget that there were scenes in the movie that I could barely contain a smile watching...yet there were also moments that I felt repulsed by the very notion of it, by its campy nature, and by it itself.
"Getting Go" sets up the cyber hipster, young virgin trope right from moment one, when we open to see our lead actor (Tanner Cohen) masturbating in front of a video camera. In this way Cory Krueckeberg (a staple in indie queer films) tries to make something a little edgier that "may get into some festivals". This almost college graduate is making vlogs online to let his limited audience know that he is obsessed, obsessed with a go-go dancer whose name we are never told.
In fact the whole anonymity of the piece is annoying, even though it's supposed to transcend the screen and be applied broadly to the queer community like a healthy dollop of aloe vera; but its pretenses are nothing if not its hindrances. We are never shown anything beyond what is digitally represented. This is purposeful. Maybe it's Krueckeberg's way of showing that we all place a facade on social media, or maybe it's trying to make us have genuine human interactions instead of just masturbating (physically and mentally) to pixels on tablet. Then again, I think analyzing the movie this much gives it an intelligence it does not possess.
Our lead man one night drunkenly sends an email to this go-go dancer asking if he can use him as the subject for a documentary film for college. He gets a hearty yes as a response and then meets said go-go boy at the club...and from there, the two begin an interesting relationship.
Besides the fact that this is all a ploy and that the lead man—who gets the coy nickname "Doc" just as his muse, the dancer, is known as Go (Matthew Camp)—is manipulating someone into exposing themselves emotionally to him just on the off chance that he might get to touch them...it's all rather distasteful; but it's played out super cute, like it's supposed to just wink glitter at the audience and then it'll be alright.
Eventually the question of homosexuality comes up and Doc starts making his point: he's not "the typical gay man" just as Go supposedly embodies this cliche. *insert eye roll here*
Aside from the fact that Cohen and Camp are two unprofessional actors who rarely do a good job (notable exceptions include the unnecessary yet still tactful sex scenes), "Getting Go" presents the problem with the digital sweep. The movie feels like it was made in a hurry, without the proper time set into it, just thinking about where it wants to go.
Because we are addicted to social media, the whole movie is shot like a lost footage type of film...it would have been much more interesting with witches.
The movie sets us up to have our hearts broken, it makes us think that love is some elusive, mysterious charm found only in post-coitus whispering, and it makes us hate the notion that we have to conform and/or break from society's stereotypes.
All this said, there is an element of goofy fun that the movie employs and there are times that it is genuinely moving, entertaining, and damn charming. These moments dissolve when you start thinking rationally about it all; but at least it tried, right?
Doc and Go's relationship gets closer and closer until it becomes inevitable that the two will end up in bed together. Krueckeberg seems to be speaking vicariously through both his lead men...but the whole Andy Warhol thing doesn't make sense...hence, the reference to underground cinema.
There is nothing in this movie as experimental as Warhol, yet the motifs return to him, recreating some of his films with modern lenses and ideas. It's an interesting facet of the movie; but useless and limp.
The gay and queer youth seeking validation in films should not be steered towards something like this, even if a doomed romance is your idea of amazing film. Instead, look at "Weekend"; but that's another story.
The film is somewhat childish in the way that it lines up the "stripper with the heart of gold" routine just to juxtapose it next to "I fuck anything that moves". These differences are enormous yet the film treats them with a shrug of the shoulders. There isn't enough complexity for Go to encompass both, so we're just left with a monogamous idea of shattered romance. It's kind of unnecessary.
Still, the film was never designed for large screens and critics, it's very medium is the digital technology it seems to be at war with.
But there are surprising emotional moments that make it all worth seeing once, if nothing else will possibly do.
Posted by Micah Jones