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“I Had a Lot of Growing Up to Do”: Director Tahir Jetter | How to Tell You’re a Douchebag

How to Tell You're a Douchebag

In every film, there is the story that you knew you were telling, the story the audience perceives. But there is always some other story, a secret story. It might be the result of your hidden motivations for making the film, or, instead, the result of themes that only became clear to you after you made the movie. It might be something very personal, or it might be a story you didn’t even know you were telling. What is your film’s secret story?

The story behind this movie is one in which I came to realize that I had a lot of growing up to do. This was something that I knew when I initially started writing the film, but by the time that I had finished the script (and a few other things had happened) I felt as though the movie was really just a mirror of my own behavior as I pushed various relationships to crash and burn over the past few years.

The movie is a large projection of my own frustrations and insecurities surrounding a particular failed relationship, and finishing it shed a lot of light on the ways in which I’ve come to treat others poorly, and how, perhaps, I shouldn’t take things so personally (or feel so entitled when it comes to pursuing other people romantically).

If anything, I think the story presents an earnest plea to other reform-douchebags like myself, which is, “guys, just try to do better.”

[PREMIERE SCREENING: Monday, January 25 at 5:30pm — Prospector Square Theatre]

Sundance Responses 2016

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