Voyeurism in Potential Inertia
As many of you know, I wrote, produced, and directed a feature film entitled “Potential Inertia” that is readily available worldwide. What you probably don’t know is that there’s a whole lot going on in the film’s story that you most likely didn’t catch.
Aside from the character of Willie mysteriously disappearing from the narrative shortly after the third act starts, I explored a lot of voyeurism which you see taking place on the screen. It’s, a lot of times, something we don’t often think about when it comes to watching movies, but ultimately as moviegoers we’re actually becoming voyeurs ourselves by the simple act of watching a film. We’re peering into the lives of those characters on screen and they have no idea we’re doing so.
Not only do we become voyeurs, but the characters themselves show their own personal voyeuristic tendencies throughout my narrative. For example, there is a brief moment of our main protagonist, Declan (and I use that term loosely, because one thing I tried to do with the film is blur the line between the classical protagonist and antagonist by actually making them the same person,) looking at his own sister’s chest during the bar sequence. It’s subtile, quick, but it’s there. It’s also a moment of foreshadowing to a later scene. It wasn’t intended to foreshadow, but like many happy accidents it works. Later in the scene, Declan and Kevin gaze across the bar at Katie with different points of view about why she’s there. They’ve placed themselves into her moment without her permission – Declan wondering about her motives, and Kevin confident he knows them yet still a little interested if he’s got them figured out.
Randy, our hopeless romantic, pines from afar for Sarah, who is ultimately revealed as the entertainment for the fraternity party scene, notices the “cute little dimples in her shoulders” instead of looking at the obvious woman parts every other fraternity guy is gazing at. Voyeurism runs deep in the situation of stripping for a living, with a stripper giving as much of herself as she can visually with minimal physical contact. It’s a strong, intimate act to allow yourself to show people physical parts of yourself which you normally wouldn’t show without being intimate in the first place. Yet Randy makes this voyeuristic act two-fold by taking the moment to notice something even more intimate – shoulder dimples – something you normally wouldn’t notice unless you knew every part of someone’s body, someone you’ve had an emotional bond with. It’s a revelation for him that is both sexual and emotional. Yet, for some reason, when he reveals this revelation to Jacob, we as a voyeuristic audience giggle at his discovery. Whether we are laughing because it seems outrageous that he even noticed something like that, or we feel like an uncomfortably guilty audience because we were staring at breasts, we have to admit to ourselves that either way we enjoyed the situation.
And that’s why we inadvertently all become voyeurs, because we feel this intrinsic need to compare our lives with others’. A lot of times that comparison is born out of the want to see others fail worse than we do which, in turn, makes us feel better about ourselves when that occurs.
There are more instances in the film that display voyeurism, but I won’t spoil the fun of watching it so people can find out what those instances are.
Our lives are full of voyeurism. Embrace it, but be aware of it. Watch a movie and enjoy it.
Copyright (C) 2015 Matt Croyle. All Rights Reserved.