By: Addison Wylie
If I have one positive to say about Matthew Pollack’s autobiographical documentary, it’s that the film is rightfully titled. By the end credits, I didn’t want anything to do with Pollack. I actually wished I hadn’t bothered with this icky film in the first place.
Run Run It’s Him is supposed to serve as a coping tool and a means of comprehension for Pollack with his obsessive addiction to pornography. Matthew’s fascination with adult entertainment began at a young age where he was caught peeking at his brother watching a dirty movie. It’s one of the many memories he can vividly remember to a point where he can act out every beat.
Pollack explains his addiction in graphic detail including the feelings he emotes during the erotica and his detailed system of how he goes about collecting material to pleasure himself to.
It’s a film that doesn’t ask the audience to empathize with the self-loathing subject, but Run Run It’s Him lacks any fragment of compassion. An element that’s much needed in order to make Pollack and his compulsion worth caring about.
Matthew Pollack directs the film, and that’s ultimately why the movie can’t get off the ground and earn credibility. There’s a scuzzy nuance that accompanies this unpleasant film that suggests the documentarian is missing the point. Instead of using the film as a window for the audience, Pollack is abusing this opportunity to navel-gaze into his own self-destruction. It’s an ego trip that requires Pollack to shame himself ad nauseam – he happily does so.
I tried to be patient towards the filmmaker. It takes a lot of courage to bare yourself and be honest to a randomized moviegoing audience. But after experiencing what Pollack would consider an intimate look into his world, I couldn’t help but be fed up with him.
Watching Run Run It’s Him is like watching someone throw a public fit and trying to see things from their perspective. However, once the loud instigator is throwing things and yelling obscenities, you’re inclined to pin him back and ask him to leave – worrying he’ll endanger others.
Pollack has no boundaries. He’s offensive, inappropriate, and insensitive to those he interviews. I can only buy his sexual dialect shallowness to a point. When he starts to immaturely paint a picture for his interviewees, he’s completely disrespectful and out of line. Everyone who isn’t Matthew looks as of they’d rather be anywhere else.
The point where I threw my hands over my face in recoil was when he surveyed a number of his female friends, asked them what their perceptions were on pornography, and then asked them to watch a tape of his favourite scenes and discuss their thoughts afterward. It’s a drawn out sequence that glorifies the filmmaker’s own noted flaw as he excitedly asks follow-up questions, including “did it turn you on?”
Run Run It’s Him has also been shot and compiled over 7 years, meaning the film has a tattered quality to it. Pollack could’ve at least tried to make the end product look decent, but he settles for a film that looks like an artifact that should belong in a police station’s evidence lockup. Each interview is presented in a way that feels as if the audience is watching the final moments before a murder.
Pollack gives viewers a look into his decrepit lifestyle, but doesn’t offer any insight. He instead makes the embarrassing endeavour uncomfortable, sleazy, and worthy of hating.
If this process has helped the filmmaker overcome his addiction, then I’m sincerely proud of Matthew Pollack. I just wish I wasn’t part of it, nor do I ever wish to run into him or shake his hand.