“Please. You need to do something. This is my life. This is my job.” Frantic and desperate, Alice begs policemen to track down whomever has stolen her camgirl account and online persona as “Lola”. After slyly expressing “it’s a shame” Alice does not engage in sexual activity with her clients in real-life, the officers tell her “if you don’t want to see stuff like this, then stay off the internet.”
This is just one relatable example of accusatory sex-shaming women, especially sex workers, face on a daily basis. Director Daniel Goldhaber and writer Isa Mazzei further explore the notion of agency and freedom of sexual expression through their sex-positive horror film, Cam. While many genre films utilize sex workers to drive the plot forward by killing them off in the first act, Cam enables audiences to empathize with Alice as she fights to take back her stigmatized, although chosen and loved, profession.
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Netflix recently premiered its newest hit horror film, Cam. A festival favorite that earned a seal of approval from Stephen King, the film follows a cam girl named Lola, whose identity and account has been hijacked by a doppelgänger. Fighting to recover her online persona, she must navigate exposure to her family, obsessive male viewers, and judgmental authorities to reclaim her chosen profession.
The use of doppelgängers shines either a dreamy or dismal kaleidoscopic depiction of one’s identity through the self’s exploration, preservation, or destruction all within a duplicated projection of an individual. While the concept of duality is stereotypically explored with themes revolving around good versus evil, Cam utilizes a doppelgänger to challenge societal norms, specifically concerning females and sex industry workers. For women, social conventions focusing on appearance, sexuality, and demeanor warrant the use of a paradoxical double in film: the need to be attractive, to be submissive, to be modest, to be a mother, and to be both fragile and durable simultaneously.
In Cam, director Daniel Goldhaber and writer Isa Mazzei (a former camgirl model herself) subvert these feminine ideals and sexual stigmas in a uniquely bold and badass style. To celebrate such a killer sex-positive and feminist thriller, I’ve compiled five other impactful films within a feminine doppelgänger paradigm.
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In this day and age, you can get anything and everything online, especially when it comes to pornography. There are even sites where you can watch guys and girls live on webcam and pay money to get them to perform certain activities, sometimes even those that are non-sexual. But one cam girl is about to find out what happens when the world of social networking creepily turns on her just as she’s finding online fame in the Netflix original thriller Cam.
Watch the Cam trailer below. Read More »
In Nietzsche’s philosophical book, Beyond Good and Evil, he penned the phrase “he who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.” He chronicled a critique in favor of the perspectival nature of knowledge, the idea that there is no way of seeing the world as taken definitively as truth since there are many perspectives and conceptual schemes in which the judgement of truth and value can be made. The lines between good and evil are thus blurred as the construction of self can be a detrimental yet malleable effort.
In the modern day, social media and the image we project online can vastly differ from our true selves in person. Similarly, the truths behind deviances or taboo cultures such as sex work can be misunderstood by the general public with limited knowledge of what truly goes on behind closed doors, or sleeping monitors. That brings us to director Daniel Goldhaber as he slyly tackles philosophical notions of morality, the idea of self, and concepts of good versus evil all within the world of webcam pornography in his debut feature, Cam.
Find out more in our full Cam review below. Read More »