Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Greek Pete (2009) - ★

Director: Andrew Haigh
Writer: Andrew Haigh
Stars: Peter Pittaros, Lewis Wallace

My motivation to watch Greek Pete was because Andrew Haigh directed one of the best LGBTI films I've ever seen called Weekend (2011). It's about Peter Pittaros, a man whose main motivation in life is to make as much money as possible. Sleeping with strangers 'escorting' is the easiest way he knows how, and London is the best place for male escorts. He says that escorting is all about the packaging and that escorts are more or less a 'product.' While this may be true, I can't help but find it to be a really degrading thing to call yourself. I'd hate to think of myself as a 'product.' rather than... you know, a human being?

It's filled with establishing shots where Pete's in deep thought. Then of remedial things like showering and getting dressed. There's copious amounts of full frontal sex and nudity... we even see a full-on threesome in the style of gay porn. Some may call this a brutally honest film with an interesting topic, but I disagree. It's hard to tell whether director Andrew Haigh concocted the 'plot' of the two escorts dating, or if it came naturally. It's a documentary, but something seems a little fishy about the romance aspect. The reason I don't find it interesting either is because of how blatantly stupid the people are.

They're uneducated, drug taking fools that have hardly anything interesting to say. The one thing I found interesting was when Pete spoke about his parents and their reactions to his profession. After that, it just delved straight back into sex, drugs, and a strangely unbelievable romance. It's quite a scary, disturbing world they're living in (I guess we're living in that world too). It makes me appreciate that I've got the opportunities and education that I have. I'd hate to have to live like these escorts do...

One thing that really disturbed me was when Pete talked about "Gift givers." They're people who get sexually fulfilled by transmitting diseases (or catching diseases) from others. Pete speaks of this in a very matter-of-fact manner, like it's just something people do. That happens to be one of the most atrocious things I've ever heard. The fact that our protagonist is OK with having sex with these sorts of people just puts me off his personality altogether.

The actual escort scenes were so freaking awkward! Ahh this movie gradually gets harder and harder to watch! He won an award for 'Best Escort', which is a competition out of 40,000 escorts worldwide... yet he seems so very terrible at his job! I guess having a good body and big penis is all that matters in the magical world of sex.

I have nothing against escorts of any kind. My philosophy is that if they're not bothering me, I won't bother them. They have a right to choose what profession they want to be in, and good on them if they enjoy what they do. This film just put me off that whole world altogether, because everything in it was just so dirty, unsafe, and downright disgusting. The biggest shortcoming of the film is that Pete just isn't very interesting. If there was much substance to Pete then this could have been a very intriguing journey to go on with him. I don't know what the intentions of Andrew Haigh was when he made this 'documentary,' but he's certainly lowered my opinion of the business. 

In the end I just felt sad, because all of these escorts lost their virginity to older men when they were very young. Finding out that you can earn money by selling your body at a young age would definitely have psychological implications. These were clearly troubled young men that didn't do well in school, so they resorted to the easiest way to earn money. I can't help but wonder how they might have turned out if they didn't have sex with older men at a young age. 

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