It is strange to consider watching Ben Affleck’s 1993 directorial debut after reviewing his more recent works where he writes and directs “Gone Baby Gone” (2007) and “The Town” (2010) and “Argo” (2012) while continuing to act.
Jay Lacopo wrote and starred in this short film directed by Affleck entitled “I Killed My Lesbian Wife, Hung Her on a Meat Hook, and Now I Have a Three-Picture Deal at Disney” produced by Heroica Films.
Affleck directs a story revealing the protagonist, a director, played by Lacopo, physically torturing his actress Sandy, played by Karla Montana, as it appears he is delusional about a love affair he has created in his own head between the actress and himself.
Lacopo, directed by Affleck, portrays a character who blatantly acts anti-lesbian, anti-transgender, and explicitly hates women through behavior and language.
“Women in films then woman to woman … what’s next? Chicks with dicks?” Lacopo’s character belligerently taunts the actress who is being tortured.
Affleck places Sandy in positions of weakness such as hanging her appallingly off a meat hook or hiding under the bed.
Montana’s character struggles against the director’s selfish and ego-maniacal attacks.
Throughout the second half of the film, women are continuously presented as objects to be toyed with or positioned as lower status authority figures all together. When an actress leaves the audition room, every member of the casting call begins to judge her, yelling out “she’s too fat … too short …” as well as “too ethnic.”
While the film appears to express an anti-LGBT tone it is worth noting that in a scene where Lacopo’s character leaves the shower Affleck chooses to have Lacopo act shirtless, but unmistakably keeps Lacopo’s pants and belt on, which are absolutely drenched with water.
During an interview, Affleck once said a personal lesson he learned from director Roger Michell was “the value of casting every single part, taking as much time to cast a guy with one line as the lead of the movie, so you create this environment of reality.”
When asked about his 1993 directorial debut, Affleck describes it as “atrocious. I knew I wanted to be a director, and I did a couple of short films, and this is the only one that haunts me. I’m not proud of it.”
Throughout the last 20 years, Affleck certainly has elevated his cinematic bravado. In 1997, at age 25, Affleck received an Oscar for Best Screenplay alongside co-writer Matt Damon. “Argo,” directed by Affleck, won Movie of the Year at the 2013 AFI Awards organized by the American Film Institute. Affleck also won a Golden Globe for Best Director this year.