By Adam Donato
Some topics are hard to make a movie about. That doesn’t mean they shouldn’t be made. Due to the world’s necessity for content, there’s so much opportunity for a movie about anything to get made. Almost certainly, there is a movie that represents every aspect of human life throughout the modern age. The new is a scary place to explore, but it is the responsibility of filmmakers to trailblaze. No matter what your movie is about, as long as it is part of the human experience, there is an audience that will be able to relate.
PVT Chat is a film about a young man and his obsession with a girl whose profession is to produce interactive pornography over the internet. Small-time actor, Peter Vack, stars along with Julia Fox, who recently made an impression with her role in the hit film Uncut Gems. Ben Hozie basically did everything as he wrote, directed, and edited this film. The subject matter is bold and for that, this movie is to be admired, to a certain extent. The camera is handheld for the majority of the film, which adds to the personal tone and makes the audience feel like they’re seeing something they shouldn’t. Borderline found footage means that the story primarily follows Vack as we see his day to day in a more than intimate fashion.
The movie this most resembles is Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut, Don Jon: a story about a man who was addicted to pornography. The big difference between these two films would be that pornography has evolved over the years. Cam girls are much more frequent and accessible these days. Audience members are likely to know someone who either uses these sites or works with these sites (no judgement). Before, there was a relationship with the computer, but now, pornography is a relationship with a real-life human being. PVT Chat explores the complications and intricacies inherent to the situation.
The best part of the movie is deciding whether or not the film condones or condemns the main character for his obsession and the medium altogether. An activity that is known as shameful is shown openly for all to see. For that, it’s a very uncomfortable experience. If an uncomfortable experience makes a movie bad, then nobody should watch Requiem for a Dream, a notoriously great and disturbing movie. That being said, PVT Chat is not high art. Points for going for it and definitely some food for thought for anyone familiar with the subject.
It is certainly interesting to see movies that explore the uncharted and outrageous territory. Certainly, character-driven and plenty to say, PVT Chat makes for an interesting watch. Explore this subculture of pornography with Ben Hozie at the helm. It will be of note to see where he along with cast members, Vack and Fox, go after this seeing as this picture is so out there. If watching, the best recommendation would be to watch it alone.
PVT Chat hits VOD on February 9.