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Taking over from Woody Allen as cinema's resident neurotic narcissist, Caveh Zahedi turns self-confession into high art with this Brechtian troll through his own sexual obsessions. Zahedi plays "Caveh Zahedi," a not-so-successful filmmaker whose major relationships have been derailed by his attraction to prostitutes, and, more to the point, a belief that his girlfriends won't mind such affairs. Framed as a wedding-day confessional by "Caveh" (shot during Zahedi's real-life wedding), the film chronicles our hero's five main loves: his three girlfriends, his sex addiction, and himself, above all. In Paris "Caveh" is living with a high-strung French woman when a chance encounter with streetwalkers awakens his first illicit desires. In Los Angeles his long-term affair with a stable, caring woman seems to be working, until his desires return in ever stronger (and, this being California, more car-oriented) forms. Even an encounter with a seemingly supportive woman results in disaster, as "Caveh" remains unable to break free of his sex addiction, or his desire to inform his lovers of it. Zahedi insists that I Am a Sex Addict is entirely autobiographical; his decision to play himself, and re-enact key moments of his own life, layers fact into fiction in a way reminiscent of the works of a Makhmalbaf or Kiarostami, though with a Seinfeld-like persona. Drolly painting a portrait of a man whose guilt complex needs to be massaged as frequently as his penis, I Am a Sex Addict is uncomfortably frank, and frequently hilarious, as it lays bare the secret neuroses of the male ego.
Caveh Zahedi studied philosophy at Yale and film at UCLA. His feature films include A Little Stiff (1991), I Don't Hate Las Vegas Anymore (1994) and In the Bathtub of the World (2001). He lives in San Francisco.
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