On the Saturday just before writer-director-actor Rob Moretti's latest film Truth (2014) premieres in New York City at the Quad Cinema, the same theater where his previous and debut film Crutch premiered about ten years prior, Moretti admitted he was more nervous this second time around. When asked why, he said because "more went into it." Even though it seemed unlikely that Moretti could have put more into this film than his first, given that his first was extremely autobiographical, he was able to do more. The emotional and physical demands like losing thirty pounds, as well as Moretti's collaboration with former adult film star Sean Paul Lockhart who stars in the movie and who contributed to the screenplay, allowing elements of both their life stories to bleed through, really speak to the "more" that went into this project.
When I caught up with Moretti by phone, he candidly told me that he is now celebrating his 17th year in recovery from alcoholism. The character Jeremy Dorian, which he portrays in Truth, states that he's been in recovery for about as long. "Sober for 15 years," he says. Yes, the "more" that Moretti put into this film includes his own personal struggle with addiction. Moretti isn't playing himself or acting out scenes that happened in his real-life per se. That was more the idea of Crutch. It's merely that the issue of substance abuse and its related problems were so great and affecting in Moretti's own life that he needed to include it here.
If you haven't seen his first, Jeremy essentially reiterates the plot of Crutch. What happens is a young man starts down the road of addiction after suffering under his mother's addiction problems, while also contending with an older man who has homosexual feelings for him. Those feelings start out as mutual but then things become antagonistic. Substance abuse problems come between them and his wayward mother continues to be a disruptive factor as well. This basic idea is then replicated for Moretti's Truth. No, the two movies aren't identical, but the parallels between Crutch and Truth are apparent. The parallels are not simply in characterization but also in structure. Both films have the young male character sitting down and telling the story of his relationship with the older male. In both films, Moretti plays that older male.
What was interesting though is in Crutch, the young male is the fictional version of who Moretti was as a teenager, and Moretti's character lusts after that teenager. Basically, Moretti played a character who lusts after a version of himself. It's almost a strange form of narcissism, but looking at it objectively it's a fascinating psychological analysis.
As such, so is Truth. The difference is that instead of being a psychological analysis that specifically echoes Moretti's personal life, it's more of a piece that echoes Sean Paul Lockhart's personal life. Around 2011, Moretti started reading about Lockhart online and found some similarities between their two lives. Moretti felt he had found a kind of kindred spirit in Lockhart. He was also struck by the incredible things that Lockhart had experienced or of which he had been a part.
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