Getting Go proves an extremely thoughtful piece of cinema, made all the more poignant in its simplicity.
From the start we are faced with something that is becoming increasingly prevalent in modern society, the use of the internet, and more specifically, social media and online video. This theme is explored throughout. The character of Doc (played by Tanner Cohen) is obsessed with a go-go dancer named, of all things, Go (played by Matthew Camp) after stalking him online. He then proceeds to drunkenly contact Go via email and proposes creating a film exploring Go’s world as a means to get closer to his crush. As all of this unfolds, Doc constantly updates his online followers as to the progress of both his film and his relationship with Go.
Cory Krueckeberg, in his directorial debut, is vigorously exploring one of the prime concerns of the modern age. The film looks at the ways in which we are more open and yet more impersonal than at any other time in human history. We present our darkest, most intimate feelings for the entire world to see at just the click of a button. Yet none of this is displayed to real friends, or even in person, but to faceless usernames on a message board.
However, as Getting Go illustrates, what we present is usually a false image. When Doc first enters Go’s club he finds himself only able to watch him from afar, just as those do to Doc when they watch his video blog. He is completely unable to talk to or even approach this man who he so badly wishes to have an intimate connection with. When faced with a real life relationship the character of Doc becomes almost a frightened child.
As the film progresses through Doc and Go become closer, with their relationship as filmmaker and subject progressing through increasingly intimate levels. Once more Krueckeberg is exploring one of the primary concerns of the effects technology has on our lives. It is so easy to gain instant, short term, gratification online. However, the real life relationship Doc develops with Go, that takes infinitely more time and effort, ultimately proves far more meaningful and rewarding.
In spending more time with one another they are able to begin to look past mere surface value. Doc begins to see that his crush is more than just an attractive man who dances for a living and starts to see the actual emotion and intelligence within him. Go is far from innocent in his vanity either. When Doc first comes to Go suggesting making a film about him, Go simply approaches it as a way to make money and get his fifteen minutes of fame, another issue which is often discussed as the ills of today’s society. Again though, there is a development as time progresses. Go moves from using the opportunity as a simple exercise in chasing fame, to using it as one where he can present his real self, thoughts, hopes and feelings to the world and, more importantly, to Doc.
As we can see then, Krueckeberg presents themes and ideas that are universal and mean something to us all. However, it is also important to remember that Getting Go is a film aimed largely at the gay community. When one bears this in mind, an entirely new layer of the film opens up. It is a sad fact that members of the gay community still face discrimination on a much higher level than most others. As such, it is understandable that many would want to hide behind a false image, presenting a version of themselves to the world which is not remotely their full selves.
Both Doc and Go have spent large periods of their lives hiding behind a false image. Doc lives on his computer, fantasising about men but never actually getting emotionally or sexually involved with anyone real. Go spends his working life as a confident, social go-go dancer when in reality he loves nothing more than to stay at home indulging his artistic side. Both are unable to escape the false versions of themselves until they find one another and allow themselves to open up, be it physically or emotionally.
Through exploring this very simple and very personal story Getting Go meditatively deals with some of the prime concerns of modern society. These come in the form of affecting all of us, but equally cross over to look more specifically at the gay community. It suggests that far too many people are lingering in the shadows, and even drifting further into them, when more than ever we need to be open about who we are and what we want, as that is where our happiness and acceptance, both as a society and as individuals, ultimately lays.
Getting Go: The Go Doc Project is out on DVD on June 23rd