Arts

Film showing at OIFF details damaging aspects of hookup culture

Photo: Courtesy of Matthew Lawson

In the past few years, hookup culture has becoming a highly debated issue in the media.

Whether it’s Mel Robbins at CNN asking if Tinder has “replaced dating with hookup culture,” Karley Sciortino defending it in Vogue, or popular movies like Friends with Benefits and No Strings Attached—hookup culture is everywhere you look.

Cody Campanale, an Ottawa-based filmmaker, has jumped on the hookup culture bandwagon with his new film Jackie Boy. But rather than the happy, romantic comedy endings that come with films like Friends with Benefits, Jackie Boy explores the darker side of casual sex.

Campanale will be showing the film at the Cineplex Odeon Lansdowne and VIP movie theatre on Oct. 18 as part of the Ottawa International Film Festival (OIFF).

“It’s a revenge drama, it’s kind of a character piece as well. It deals with hookup culture, young people and the emotional disconnect around sexuality,” says Campanale.

The movie is based on a play called Fragile Minds that Campanale wrote while attending the University of Victoria and put on at the now defunct Ottawa School of Speech and Drama in 2008. The play was inspired by Campanale’s own experiences as a student dealing with the hookup culture that surrounded him on campus.

“I was definitely seeing this in my world, in my life, and it was confusing, and it was complicated, and it was emotional, and there was a lot of feelings that were there, so I used the play as a way of me trying to find clarity in my own situation and what was happening around me.”

Most of mainstream media glamorizes casual sex, and ignores the way it can lead to confusing and emotionally disconnected sexual situations.

In Jackie Boy, Campanale aimed to be neutral on the subject as a whole, but gives the audience a chance to see that it can have its downsides.

“What’s unique about my film is that I’m not glamorizing it as much as I’m presenting it,” Campanale said. “I wanted to come at it from a voyeuristic, watchful lens and just be an observer, and to show people.”

Being from Ottawa, he has always been thankful for the support he’s received from the local film community, including being awarded with the Best Director award in the Narrative category at the 2015 Ottawa Independent Video Award last April.

Campanale says he’s eager to see the reaction from the Ottawa community. “I think that we’re going to be having a lot of college kids and people who relate most to the content of the film at the screening, I’m very interested in seeing how they react,” he said.

So whether you are supportive of the Tinder-crazy college campuses, or prefer traditional dinner-and-a-movie dating, Jackie Boy is sure to spark some conversations about the good, the bad, and the ugly of hookup culture.