DATELINE: On Pavement
Remy Mars is a name known to a subset of adult movie fans. For the most part he has played in dozens of films with all-black, all-gay casts.
However, director Matthew Doyle has given him a role not too far removed from reality in Chasing Pavement. Remy plays Elijah, aging in the wood porn star wanting to escape that world. He is his own manager and agent, watching out for HIV reports and making personal appearances. It challenges him. He longs to be a real actor.
This character surprises on all levels: he listens to opera, and he chooses to live in a conservative town outside the city in suburban splendor. He cooks, has friends, dinner parties, and is leading a life of quiet desperation.
The film is an astounding achievement for the price of $22,000. It has gloss, shine, sincerity, intelligence, and emotional wallops.
Its subject matter likely will limit its viewership, which is a shame. Remy Mars breaks the barrier to being a real actor, not a sex puppet. He is understated and heart-breaking.
Produced and co-starring one of Remy’s former adult movie partners, Antonio Biaggi, there is so much of the autobiographical that we are disbelieving of the notice that this is a film of fiction.
Elijah takes in an educated, straight roommate, Tak (Tokio Sasaki), a Japanese man also escaping a life he does not relish. He is invisible in America as an immigrant—and Remy’s Elijah insists he is not a person. He is a fantasy.
In an era of big budget, special effects monstrosities, we are always pleased to see high-quality in a low-budget effort. Chasing Pavement is a gem.