Written by CNN Staff Writer
“Pam & Tommy” isn’t really a love story. It’s more of a sex-fueled rockabilly tale.
That’s according to the director, German filmmaker Thomas Riefenstahl. He set out to make a rock ‘n’ roll movie, not a beautiful love story.
“This story is very anti-feminist,” Riefenstahl told CNN. “It’s kind of like the metrosexual subculture.”
According to Riefenstahl, Pam’s late husband, Tommy Lee — the drummer from ’80s pop punk band Motley Crue — was more than willing to adopt the role of a serial wife-beater, wife-stealer.
“He was very masculine and not nearly as polite as he looked,” he said. “But there was no character development (as far as) who he was as a person.”
Riefenstahl, whose film debut was 1972’s “The Bicycle Thief,” said he wasn’t sure why Tommy Lee wanted to make the film. The musician and reality television personality was no stranger to the camera. However, Lee’s “edgy” persona — hence the infamous mullet — “wasn’t characteristic of his early career,” Riefenstahl said.
“Basically it was something very spontaneous and something that he wanted to do,” he said. “We only had scenes where Pam is with Tommy.”
In the trailer, Pam can be seen arguing with Tommy, jumping on him, performing sex acts, having sex with him, taking him back to bed and removing his clothes — all while his band plays some fabulous music.
“That’s a very strong group of sexual scenes with the bandmates,” said Riefenstahl. “It’s two people having sex while the band’s playing.”
Riefenstahl described the role of the groupies, including Paula Crandall, an actress who starred in “Petulia,” as “terrible.”
He found some positive aspects of the film, especially when it comes to Tommy’s son Brandon, who portrays his father as a young man.
“Brandon was at a very tender age. I made it out of sympathy with him,” said Riefenstahl. “You can see in the movie how young he looks and how much he loves his father.”
Riefenstahl, 65, says the film’s exposure won’t be limited to the transgender community.
“It’s a male movie,” he said. “The burlesque performers, the women-only burlesque dancers in the strip clubs, they all have a huge part to play.”
“It’s, of course, because there are many sex scenes between these kinds of people,” he added.
“Pam & Tommy” — which will premiere on the German streaming service, Atomwerkstatt, in November — goes by the working title, “Hero Ruf.”
“From the one first idea I had, it wasn’t impossible to create,” Riefenstahl said. “I worked for the whole seven years on the film.”