|© 2007 by C.E. Murphy. All Rights Reserved.
2006 NewFest where it was among the more
talked about entries, ROCK BOTTOM, Jay
Corcoran's documentary about the epidemic of
crystal meth use among gay men received a
theatrical release. This is an important film in
that it both identifies the problem and helps to
publicize it. Yes, there have been plenty of
articles in the gay press about the dangers of
meth use and its effects, the "party 'n' play"
attitude that results in unsafe sex (barebacking)
and possible infection with HIV.
Shot over two years on digital video, Corcoran's
documentary profiles a handful of gay men in
Manhattan who fall prey to the drug. It looks at
the struggles each faces: one man's use
threatens his stable relationship, another is in
and out of rehab to the consternation of his
concerned family, yet another begins using when
he decides to pursue a career as a porn star
while yet another cannot perform a certain sex
act without being high.
Corcoran also includes comments by activists
(like Peter Staley of ACT UP, who launched what
seemed like a one-man crusade against the
drug) as well as health care workers.
ROCK BOTTOM is a frank look at the
devastation that addiction can cause. It is a
cautionary tale and one that needed to be told.
Yes, there are some flaws, but they are made
negligible by the subject matter.
Running time: 61 mins.