The Character Inside Me


Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

The Character Inside Me
"Even if you find it had to relate to Markus' desires, there's a lot here that's interesting."

What do you do when you can't find anything online that helps you explore your sexuality? This concept may seem incredulous to some. Older readers will remember the days when one had to pay for porn (and water was always free), and its abundance on the internet means it's easy to miss the fact that most of it is the same, leaving big gaps as far as some fetishists are concerned. Markus' fetish is for watching men pissing, and in the absence of existing videos that turned him on, he decided to make his own.

Markus had no background in modelling. We see him looking at carefully posed still shots of himself, liking some of them, clearly feeling that he doesn't measure up to his own standards of attractiveness in others. He seems naturally shy, not one of the world's natural porn stars. To do what he felt he needed to do, he explains, he had to create a character. He distances himself from the acts he performs. On his blog, which has filled one of those aforementioned gaps for others, further layers of fiction are provided by fans, one of them photoshopping his penis to turn it into the stuff of more conventional fantasy. The next step is to explore these ideas in art, through a video installation which incorporates functional urinals as part of the experience.

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Even if you find it hard to relate to Markus' desires (which might make more sense when you consider that urination is an instinctive way for most male mammals to mark their territory, and can signal alpha status), there's a lot here that's interesting. The very fact that pornography is so easily available to most people these days means that its absence creates a form of social exclusion. Markus' response to this seems not merely about satisfying his own urges but about fulfilling a sense of duty - where something is missing from the internet, people create. If necessary, they change themselves so that they can become creators.

Marrkus is not creating great art. Some of his video work is very rough, but he has sharpened up his skills over time and he is clearly connecting with his audience. Boschmann's documentary catches him at a critical point in his life, when he is beginning to feel too old for it. Can he no longer play this character? Without the character, who will he be? The Character Inside Me will challenge many viewers' ideas about fetishists and, like the best documentaries, it captures moments of shared humanity.

Reviewed on: 30 Sep 2016
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A documentary about a man who reimagines himself as a character in order to explore his fetish through film.

Director: Andreas Boschmann

Starring: Markus

Year: 2015

Runtime: 16 minutes

Country: Germany


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