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USA, 1997 (MIFF 1998, Exotic Erotic)

Director: William E. Jones

Experimental filmmaker William E. Jones opens Finished with a shot of a small image of a male porn star in an advertisement for a gay phone line. The porn star is French-Canadian Alan Lambert, who took his own life at 25, leaving behind an elaborate 10-page suicide note explaining his desire to die at the prime of life. Jones sets out to make a cautionary film about the vanity of contemporary gay culture, but what he encounters along the way confounds, and eventually surpasses, his expectations.

Dispelling the myth of the hidden, neutral filmmaker, Jones immerses himself in the process of collecting everything he can in reconstructing Lambert's life. Part (auto) biography, part elegy, Finished recounts the director's obsession with the porn star, paralleled with Lambert's obsession with sex, drugs and fame - even delving into the atypical relationships Lambert had with those who knew him. In his search for the idiosyncrasies behind the bare facts, Jones discovers surprising truths, such as Lambert's confusing political and philosophical theories and his anticipation of the end of capitalism.

"I used video boxes, rented tapes, and images shot off a monitor. I looked for the marginalia of the porn industry... I wanted there to be a distance, a sense of the generic or the anonymous." - William E. Jones

"Though his initial motivation for the project seems to have been to satisfy his own voyeuristic fantasies, Jones has turned in a cool, accomplished film about the nature of sexual obsession, the power of the moving image and the marketing of desire as a commodity." - Time Out

William E. Jones was born in Ohio and now lives and works in Los Angeles. He teaches at California Institute of the Arts. Jones' works include the short video Other Families (1992) and the feature length film Massillon (1991).

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