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Putting Porn Addiction on Screen

Sundance movie Don's Addiction uses its subject to explore objectification in general, says its director and star.

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Addiction is a leading theme at Sundance
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By Valerie Tejeda

01/23/13

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Drug addiction may be a leading theme theme of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, but porn addiction is on the agenda, too: In Don’s Addiction, Joseph Gordon-Levitt plays a young man who can’t kick his online porn habit—and has a relationship with a woman who loves romantic comedies. “I wanted to tell a love story,” says Gordon-Levitt, who also wrote and directed the movie. “But in my observation, what gets in the way of love is people objectifying each other. People put labels on each other and have a checklist of expectations. Rather than seeing what makes them a unique human being, it’s like well, what are her tits like, what is her ass like?" To make the film more authentic, Gordon-Levitt says that in the first version they included generic porn clips with no edits or crops, which didn’t go down well with first screeners. “It was jarring to have real porn in there, in the middle of a mainstream comedy like this. So we carefully edited and cropped to make you feel like you’re watching porn, when you’re not really seeing anything,” he says. He explains that the addiction in the film is an extension of the objectification of its main character: “I think people objectify lots of things, whether it’s about connecting with another person, friends and family, your spirituality...Rather than really connecting with it, people turn it into an object they can consume, and that’s what this movie is about.”

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