Sitges: J.T. Petty's S&MAN

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"I'm not really comfortable calling S&MAN a 'documentary', though I should also say that I'm skeptical of most movies that call themselves documentaries." - J.T. Petty, as quoted in Jeremy Walker + Associates Inc.'s press notes for S&man

J.T. Petty's hoaxumentary S&man is scheduled to have its European première at the 39th Sitges - International Film Festival of Catalonia in Spain on October 11th, and to subsequently be screened there on October 14th. It had its world première at the South by Southwest Film Conference & Festival (SXSW Film) on March 10th, and its international première at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) on September 13th.

The screenplay for S&man was written by Petty. The movie stars Erik Marcisak as the fictional character Eric Rost (a.k.a. Erik Rost), Fred Vogel as himself, Bill Zebub as himself, Debbie D as herself, Carol J. Clover as herself, Richard B. Krueger as himself, and Meg S. Kaplan as herself.

Here's a description of S&man from Jeremy Walker + Associates Inc.'s press notes for the movie: "S&MAN is a movie about voyeurism and underground horror, focusing on our balance of sympathy and sadism when we watch death. JT Petty, a filmmaker responsible for his own underground horror films, tracks down and interviews psychologists, scholars, actors, and - most importantly - the underground and extreme filmmakers themselves. ¶ Horror, S&MAN posits, is a specific pleasure: the more we suffer in watching it, the better. We want horror movies to hurt us. S&MAN explores and exercises that idea, asking why we are compelled to watch, and more than that, why we like it. ¶ The brains of S&MAN are structured around interviews with a horror scholar, a sexologist, and a forensic psychiatrist, who describe for us the connections between voyeurism, culture, and sadistic watching. The heart of the film, however, comes from the filmmakers who choose horror as their specialty. Through interviews, on-set filming, and home visits, JT and his crew are pulled deeper into the world of underground horror. ¶ The film scrutinizes subjects who are, if not outright liars, at least intent on blurring the line between themselves and the movies they make. Boundaries are crossed: between filmmaker and subject, witness and participant, reality and fiction. The movie hones in on the topic of violence and sadistic watching, boiling it down to a discussion about snuff, about real murder on film, and the audience who's watching."

Sitges: S&man
S&man trailer (downloadable 5.3 MB MOV file)
S&man official website
HDNet Films: S&man
Jeremy Walker + Associates: S&man press notes (downloadable 260 KB Word document)
IMDb: S&man
The Observer: "British link to 'snuff' videos" (article on the 'Necros Pedo' case)

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