Hooked / 2006 MVD / http://www.hookedmovie.com / http://www.musicvideodistributors.com /

Being a member of the GLBT community, it never really startled me that so much of a large section of the movement’s life was spent on gay.com and other GLBT-oriented chatrooms. I would go on and troll, but it was never for actual companionship. To be truthful, a number of the individuals that are interviewed in “Hooked” really make much more out of the whole scene than I did, but the fact still remains that most of the GLBT community has somewhat often landed at these gay chat sites. The use of webcams for capturing some of the interviews with the chatters really gives the documentary a gritty feel that shows the vitality of the scene but the grunginess associated with it.

The depth in which Todd Ahlberg conducts this documentary is nothing less than amazing; clocking in over 11,000 miles, there is no lack of information that would bias eir final finds. A great thing about the documentary in particular is that Todd has kept it short and sweet; the movie only runs for a total of an hour. However interesting a topic is, it does get a little tiring after talking about the exact same topic for hours and hours. While the movie opens up individuals’ eyes, it is not only for those individuals that wish to know about the subculture but for individuals that want to find other sites to go on. The beginning of the movie shoots out quite a few links to go on; people might have to stop the movie and jot these down. Aside from the actual interviews, the presentation of the movie is very impressive; a minute instrumental breakdown acts as a visual introduction to the scene in a way that primes individuals for the interviews that follow later.

What really acts a strength for Todd is that the individuals interviewed are not all the same type of individuals; you have older, younger, bears, goth, straighter-acting individuals all describing their time on gay chat rooms. The first thing that is really shown about the scene is that lying is evident. This is not that surprising of a finding, as it honestly seems like all forms of chatting are predicated on the basis of fudging information. Another thing that is striking about the average individual interviewed by Todd is that they are all extremely well spoken and noticeably less creepy than most of the people that I’ve personally talked with on the gay chats. This erudite, smartly-speaking nature of the interviewees really makes the documentary flow much easier than it normally would if individuals were just picked off of the street. The study is exhaustive, which is just absurd considering the shorter runtime of the movie. While the movie was done a few years back, what is being said is still salient for individuals. The gay chat world is not scary, but individuals would always benefit understanding the lingo and assumptions of that specific world. Hopefully there can be an update to see how things have changed (if at all) in the next few years.

Rating: 7.4/10

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Author: James McQuiston

Ph.D. in Political Science, Kent State University. I have been the editor at NeuFutur / neufutur.com since I was 15. Looking for new staff members all the time; email me if you are interested. Thanks!

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