|He draws a lot of Water in this town...|
|Written by Tim Lofton|
|Thursday, 06 May 2010 20:00|
Part of the appeal and/or detestability about Jackie Treehorn is that we all know people out there like him: aging playboys who have built careers or reputations out of treating objects like women… uh, man. Some reside in Malibu, even a roadside bar can house a character of this magnitude, usually nursing some cocktail that hasn’t been in vogue since Kennedy was assassinated. Their clothes tend to be wild, and their language tends to be coarse, but the experience of meeting one can be unforgettable. That’s what filmmaker Andrew Cohn has captured with his short documentary “Dynamic Tom: Portrait of a Cocksman” which can be found on Vimeo along with a brief FAQ. (Just a heads-up; Tom’s got a bit of a mouth on him, so if you’re at work or around impressionable ears, grab some headphones.) After finding the film’s subject in a skeezy bar connected to an infamous “by-the-hour” hotel on Indianapolis’ northeast side, Cohn decided to follow “Dynamic Tom” and see what it was like to be a 68 year-old bachelor who derives his persona from his (presumably self-applied) title.
We never find out much about his personal life, but according to the FAQ Tom designs, develops, and builds trailer parks around the state of Indiana. In addition, (and surprising no one,) he’s also part owner in several strip clubs, bars, and restaurants. Throughout the documentary, we see Tom actively on the prowl for a new companion, or preparing for it. He makes wild claims about the amount of women he’s had, and tells stories of his “good old days”, when he could rip a married woman away from her husband with little effort.
Yet in between these exploits, we are treated to Tom’s philosophy of life, love, and purpose, which might not be what one expects from a Treehorn-like exploiter. Tom once was once a Catholic student who had dreams of the seminary, and acting as a legal intermediary for juvenile delinquents. When that dream didn’t jibe with his lifestyle, he decided that being a father would be more suitable to his ways. It seems rather fitting that he states his life lyric as The Man of La Mancha’s The Impossible Dream – Tom wants to be a pillar of virtue and purpose, but will never attain that goal as long as he continues philandering. He now meets women for dates at dingy bars, pre-gaming at his barely appointed home, and feels some tinge of regret for the life he's lived.
Even the shadiest of characters can be well-intentioned. Jackie Treehorn spends his conversation with the Dude explaining his excitement over advances in the field of publishing, (By the way, have you seen the new Member T-shirts?) not celebrating his status as a known pornographer. Dynamic Tom gives us a look into a similar character that we rarely see, but leaves us with a lot of questions about how badly Tom wants that Impossible Dream. Sadly, he may be stuck in the same predicament as Don Quixote himself, just a step Over the Line in his pursuit of the giants.