CHASING CHASING AMY
12-year-old Sav Rodgers watched the film Chasing Amy, and his life was forever changed. Developing a kinship — and maybe a slight obsession — with it as he grew into his queerness, he decides to fund and direct a documentary that examines its role in LGBTQ+ film culture. He makes significant progress, even garnering the support and collaboration of its director, Kevin Smith. However, as the production of the documentary continues, Rodgers realizes that the legacy of the film and his relationship with it might be changing. So where does that leave him?
Sav Rodgers brings Tribeca audiences a personal story of self-discovery, being othered, and catharsis. Kevin Smith‘s 1997 film CHASING AMY is a snapshot in time. While younger generations might perceive it as problematic, for those who saw the movie during its theatrical run, it represented a sexual awakening, a different point of view, and an “oh shit” moment. A complicated love letter to a controversial LGBTQIA+ film CHASING CHASING AMY is one of the best docs at this year’s fest.
The moment Sav Rodgers meets Kevin, it’s fireworks. Kevin gives Sav access to everything the rest of us have always wanted to know. Smith confesses that Holden is him. The film plays through his lens, and much of the story comes from real people in his life. Some conversations are word for word. Just ask a close friend of Kevin and GO FISH screenwriter Guinevere Turner, who put much of herself into Amy when collaborating on the script.
The film includes interviews with critics from all generations. Each has a different perspective on the characters and the dialogue. This aspect is fascinating, filled equally with smirks and head nodding for a Gen Xer such as myself. Jason Lee talks about his hesitancy in some of Banky’s dialogue. Everyone involved understands that the film would in no way fly today.
Joey Lauren Adams, who gives us the iconic performance as Alyssa, explains her power in the role through archival interviews and a sense from the film. Kevin was, perhaps, ahead of their time in featuring a strong bisexual woman. But, the biggest irony may be Joey’s truth about CHASING AMY. This pivotal interview changes everything for everyone. Both Kevin and Joey get into their complicated past with Harvey Weinstein. Their experiences are vastly different. I am so grateful for their honesty. It means so much to so many survivors. *Waves hands in the air*
Intertwined with everything else in this glorious doc, Sav lets us into their relationship with his girlfriend, Riley. Delving into deeply personal issues, he may or may not realize how universal they are until now. One part fanboy film, another part film history, all self-discovery story, and a love letter to Riley, CHASING CHASING AMY is tailor-made for Smith fans and indie fans, the queer community, and allies.
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