conversation about sex, sadness and pornography

Call Me a Ghost was made to tell us that sometimes feeling blue is fine — even in the porn world

Somewhere in the city someone wakes up with the chest as heavy as a sad white whale. His room is orbiting a thousand leagues from Earth, his eyelids weigh a thousand tears. From everything he owns, nothing is in place. He is sad. And that’s alright.

Sadness wasn’t my first emotion choice when writing Call Me a Ghost. The original inspiration was about doing a good explicit film about the supernatural, something with ghosts and a good dose of mystery. But the more I thought about the plot, and the more I explored the details, the more I saw this sad atmosphere surrounding my character. At first I thought it was presumptuous (or even just wrong) and started to hysterically shake my hand over my character’s head trying to dissipate the dark clouds. But they just wouldn’t go away. And then I understood.

My character is sad because I am sad. Because we’re all feeling a bit lonely and insecure. It’s not that his life is pointless and everything sucks, it doesn’t have to be so desperate. It’s just that sometimes life can be hard, and we strive to push through and keep moving and cling to what we can in order to get up. In my character’s life, the climbing hook happened to be a ghost. A ghost! Like Casper, but for gay adults.

You see, connecting with a ghost is a lot easier as, unlike humans, ghosts don’t wear armours. Their soul is right there, asking to be touched. They’re not hidden inside themselves (or their houses, their job titles, their favorite songs at the nightclub). In a very delicate dialogue in the film, the ghost patiently explains that he doesn’t need a job, or money, or acceptance — so he doesn’t have to feel bad about any of that. Human life asks a lot. Human life offers a lot of gears for us to dig holes inside ourselves.

Life is tragedy. Speaking of it openly isn’t just a way of breaking with the illusory rules that oblige us to be happy and forget all that’s bad, but it is also a liberation from the laziness of not dealing with it. To talk about depressive feelings in an erotic film is an attempt to stop trying to eliminate sadness from our lives. Experimenting sad emotions, talking about them, or portraying them are a part of our constant struggle to overcome it — even in this happens in an adult explicit film.

A fuck with sweat and tears

Often, when trying to give adult films a more serious approach, directors tend to take negative paths. Feelings like sadness or depression are constantly linked to heavy conflicts like drugs, crime or social rejection. Even the most sex positive porn directors have a position of “sex has to be happy by all means”. I believe merging blue feelings and sex can be extraordinarily liberating, just as much as it is liberating in our most human, individual level.

Call Me a Ghost is a short film about sex in a dramatic and introspective context, a vindication of feelings in the peculiarity of the pornographic genre. It is a personal bet, trying to converge both things. It is also the result of a personal year of adaptation in a new city, Brussels, where feelings of loneliness and sadness are quite frequent.