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Joseph Gordon-Levitt's 5 Best hitRECord Shorts and How They Formed His Vision For 'Don Jon'

Photo of Ben Travers By Ben Travers | Indiewire September 24, 2013 at 10:14AM

While we're still a few days away from Joseph Gordon-Levitt's feature-length directorial debut "Don Jon," you can watch his first efforts behind the camera right now.
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"Pictures of Assholes"

More of an exasperated release than a short film, Gordon-Levitt's second published piece under the hitRECord label literally turns the camera around on two paparazzi who were irritating the young actor. Perhaps I shouldn't say "irritating." They were certainly a bother, but Gordon-Levitt's playful tone in the video implies curiosity over annoyance. More than the shooting style—which is more practical than artistic—this video speaks to Gordon-Levitt's desire to question everything. It's as if Gordon-Levitt the "celebrity" is saying, "Two guys are hounding me with cameras, and I'm just supposed to take it? I think not. Let's ask some questions."

Similarly, you can imagine him saying something similar when thinking up "Don Jon." "I can't play a musclehead from Jersey who just wants to jerk off?" Or, more accurately, "You want me to star in another romantic comedy? Fine, but we're doing it my way, and I'm calling out the whole genre on its impossible standards." Gordon-Levitt has made a career out of bucking the system. The former child television star took on more independent movies than blockbusters as he got older, and now has seemingly attached himself to box office goliath Christopher Nolan, who's arguably the most original filmmaker working within the studio system. 

With original, anarchic films like "Brick," "Stop-Loss," "Hesher," and "Looper" on his acting resume, one can only wonder what his directorial slate will look like in 20 years. With "Don Jon," he's certainly off to a good start.

Other notable videos:

"And a New Earth"
"Mum and Me"
"Strawberry Bootlaces"

This article is related to: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, hitRECord, Don Jon, Videos, Short Film, Shorts, Shorts, Filmmaker Toolkit: Shorts







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