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Co-directors Decker and Blockman





At a coffee shop in Austin, Texas earlier this year, two attractive young women were sitting on a couch together and offered us a flier for a movie that they made which had just recently shown at the SXSW Film Festival. Reading the flier, it said “Bi the Way: a documentary about the whatever generation. A new sexual revolution is here.”


This got our attention.


Brittany Blockman and Josephine Decker created this film and covered over thirty states in the grand old Us of A looking for bi-sexual human beings. They eventually found five subjects (mostly young) to share their experiences and questions on the topic. Other comments came from Savage Love columnist Dan Savage, the Village Voice’s Michael Musto, and even a sex researcher who places condoms on trees in a popular place where men (with child seats in their cars) go to meet other men.


Co-director Decker was laughing when as she said that she grew a lot from seeing the subjects in the movie be so open about their sexuality with people being so young and more open and mature than she was.


Here is what else she had to say…



Randomville: How did you come up with the idea for this film?


Josephine Decker: Brittany had the idea after watching girls make out on the O.C. and how it was like “Whoa! This is NOT what was happening on 90210 when I was in high school!”       



Rv: So with the state of the economy, global warming, and two wars, why does America need a movie like Bi the Way right now?


JD: We’re in such a time of transition. The great thing is that a lot of people in our generation have grown up in an America where they were not discriminated against for their race or their gender, but I think many people in my generation (twenty-something’s) have experienced discrimination for their sexual identity.  Bi the Way records the exciting way that discrimination is changing, and invites a discussion about how to continue to openly relate on a topic as previously taboo as sexual orientation.    


I think the fact that our country seems poised at a place where we can accept people regardless of our race, gender, or sexuality means that we are also poised at a position where we can once again become a world leader in the true sense of that phrase. That we can spread ideals that resonate to nations throughout the world, that we can invite new ideas from previously ‘threatening’ countries, that we are open to change, that we can tolerate challenges to our ways or thinking, that we embrace diversity. The instinct to leave judgment behind, to welcome discussion and to hold dear our rich diversity of people and beliefs; that is what our country was founded on, and the kids in our movie are the ones leading the charge to keep it that way.    



Rv: Josh (who is ten years old) seems to think that both genres are “hot.” But do you think this is more genetic or by influence since his mother is bi and his father is gay?


JD: I think Josh growing up in this situation is way less damaging than, say, Gossip Girls (laughing). It seems like he’s coming from a very healthy place because he’s been able to ask questions that other kids haven’t. Where as Tahj grew up in a place where he was taught that all of the encounters he has are immoral.



Rv: It was stated that around age five or six, Josh said he’d like to be gay when he gets older so his dad will love him. Should a six year old be thinking about this issue at such a young age?


JD: Well, I think we all did things to get affection from our parents when we were five or six. But yes, it’s true that his situation is unique and film worthy. I think it would be healthy for kids to have some option to discuss sex more than they are able to when they are young. Kids are curious when they are little. To me with Josh, he might just grow up to be a straight kid who is metro-sexual. And I think from a young age he’s had a very open door that most people don’t experience that young.



Rv: In the movie, you state that bi-sexuality has gone from a fad to a revolution. But do you ever feel like it was really a fad? Perhaps bi-sexuality is genetic, but it also seems that nothing is really shocking anymore.


JD: I think that bi-sexuality has a lot of aspects of a fad because it is wildly popular and seen as a “cool thing to do” in a lot of places. But I think the revolution part is that as a society, we are becoming open minded enough to not have to label our sexuality. In the end we called the movie Bi the Way but we really considered the Whatever Generation as the title because people have the option now to not define themselves. 



Rv: Why do you think that people NEED to have labels, such as gay/straight/bi, etc.? Is it similar to the importance of declaring an ethnicity?


JD: The need for labels has played a very important role in helping people of minority sexuality find each other and work together for change, and labels have successfully been at work bringing the GLBT community together for the past thirty years.  The great outcome of this is that right now, we’re moving beyond that need. A lot of people in our movie don’t label themselves as bisexual, or hesitate before doing so. As labels become less important, what’s more important is a person as an individual.  No stereotypes attached.  



Rv: David stated that he’s worried that his bi-sexuality won’t be taken seriously. But really, who cares and why DO we need to take his bi-sexuality seriously? Do you think that people are out trying to explain themselves and they don’t really need to?


David with his parents





JD: You see David with his dad and to some degree, what he’s reacting to is how his dad doesn’t understand his lifestyle. So it sounds like he does have people questioning him. And I think it’s probably more difficult for a man to be bi-sexual than a woman.



Rv: Why do you think women are more accepting with bi-sexuality?


JD: I think heterosexual men look at both bi-sexual and homosexual men as threatening because they tend to be dominant over women, so this is different and maybe confusing? Women are taught from when they are little that girls are beautiful, which guys are not. And I think when a woman sees a heterosexual couple, she thinks about how she would fit into that, but she doesn’t see that with a gay male couple. But if a guy sees a gay woman couple….



Rv: Was the racy, sex scene at the swingers’ party real, or was that choreographed? And was there an issue with the camera being at the party at all?


JD: Oh yes, it was real. It was in L.A., at this swingers’ party (which is mostly just flirting) and we invited tons of people back to our hotel. But when we arrived back at the hotel, there were people everywhere and doing everything. It was insane. And as for the camera, a lot of people thought it was kinky.



Rv: How did you find a bi-sexual person in Mississippi? Certainly not at a rodeo! And how did the casting process go?


JD: Similar to how it looked in the movie which is us on the road asking people if they knew anyone bi-sexual (laughs). A few people we found from word of mouth, and when we were driving around in Utah, this guy said “you should just go to Myspace and search for people under that orientation in the area you are in.” And then we felt really dumb. So we pretty much used Myspace as our casting system.



Rv: So if you had no real plan from the beginning, that was probably hard on the budget?


JD: Yes, the budget was our number one concern the whole time. I remember the day that I had to empty my life savings account to pay for our production insurance, I cried. Over two years is a long time to make a movie and it took a lot more money than we thought it was going to take.



Rv: Well, investing in that film might be better than investing in a 401k right now.


JD: That’s a good point.



Rv: Has the film had a lot of viewings?


JD: We screened at Outfest, Provincetown International Film Fest, SXSW Film Fest, festivals in Brazil and Taiwan. Probably about thirty to fifty film festivals so far, so it’s had a good run.  



Rv: The guy with the heavy tats and rotting teeth at the roadside shop in
Needles, CA said probably the best line in the film: “if you take away
genital organs, we all just react from the heart.” You had to be shocked
at this result…


JD: Yeah, he was a treasure.  We knew from the moment we filmed him that he was IN.  It’s not everyday that a man with no teeth speaks wisdom like a monk! 



Rv: What did you learn from making this film? 


JD: I learned about our biological limitations, that monogamy isn’t natural, about the evolution of man, about chicken sex, about relationship expectations, about the triune brain, about what NOT to order at Denny’s.   


Rv: Wait a minute. What did you learn about chicken sex?


(Sadly, Decker would not comment on the last question)   

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