Saturday, July 04, 2009

SIFF 2009, Day 22

June 12, 2009

Talhotblond (2009) Dir. Barbara Schroeder

From Blogger
After seeing the insightful documentary We Live in Public, I wasn't going to miss the other internet related documentary, Talhotblond, especially since some of the programmers were very excited about this film. Talhotblond has the tone of a Dateline or 20/20 story. It is sensationalistic and a bit lascivious since it is about a sex triangle between three internet personalities that results in a murder.

Depressed about his life, Thomas Montgomery, or marinesniper, found himself caught up in a fantasy where he pretended to be himself at 18, a tough marine in order to impress talhotblond in a chatroom. And this roleplay continued until talhotblond, a young, blond cheerleader found out about the lie and begins to torment marinesniper by throwing her other online relationship with beefcake in his face. beefcake was Brian Barret, a 22 year old who works with the much older, ex marine Montgomery. And as tensions increased and jealousy raged, Thomas Montgomery murdered Brian.

The film doesn't dispute that Tom was ultimately the man who pulled the trigger. What it does dispute was the legal system that finds only Tom at fault for the crime. And my issue with Talhotblond stems from my agreement with a legal system that only prosecuted the man who committed a murder, not the woman who lied about who she was and instigated a rivalry between two men in a chat room. And while I agree with Barbara Schroeder that it is wrong to use your own daughter to lure men into a fantasy relationship and manipulate them, I disagree that it should be a crime to do so.

Ultimately, the film was entertaining, but too sensationalistic and misogynistic. I foresee this getting scooped up for television, I just hope that Barbara Schroeder drops the narration from the point of view of the dead Brian before then. It is plenty to hear Tom's story from his point of view, making the movie from Brian's perspective, when he's DEAD, is going a bit too far.

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