GOAT…..Sundance Film Fest….The Dance of Pan



I saw this film (directed by Andrew Neel) and wondered what was it that I was seeing…..? It was at once Lord of the Flies and also a bit of Pirates of the Carribean in that everyone was a rogue….a danger in the rough. I saw only too much pain and too much sorrow for the main character someone who became immediately a lost boy of Pan. Would he ever be found? I did not believe or dare to hope for such redemption for a man of barely 21 if even that…on his way to college after a traumatic event. It was too much for my eyes I had to leave….and watch…peeping from behind the curtain the most scary thing to happen (#1 for this film) a car jacking/kidnapping/potential murder in the making….I didn’t think he would make it. He was Becky for sure…..(anyone who’s seen those scary movies with the one girl who knows she should leave, but doesn’t and continues on anyway….I call them a Becky….and since he was guy…I dubbed him ‘Becko’ via inspiration from a friend)….he was in the wrong place at the right time when he shouldn’t have been.

See this film.


I was stunned into silence and bouts of leaving and returning because I’m that way now: too sensitive for the sight of foreshadowed doom. He was simply born too soon. He was Lord of the Flies….a ‘Knight of Pan’ in my own words and eyes that was Ben Schnetzer. In the way of Faery….Nick Jonas was Pan….the type of Pan as seen in Once Upon a Time (ABC TV Series) and dangerous guy….one who has your back, but you have to play the game. He helped and sometimes hurt as can be the case with a worldly Pan, but never Pan of Faery unless you’ve crossed him wrong. That’s when Tink is on the move with the Sprites and they’re on your heels.

I found the two lead characters (Ben and Nick) to be intriguing…their dynamic was at once brothers and also best friends. And the entire cast…I found alluring and at once repulsive with their denials and turnings…the main character Ben having gone through something horrific. It was difficult for his friends to be around…his cracked cell phone was too difficult to see…an ugly souvenir from the event. It seemed like it would never be repaired….like him. So off to the Fraternity it is….and this is where we get to Goat….a Pan…initiatory pathway for men in general….everyone has one….why I even went through my own initiation journey via Zeta Phi Beta at University of Michigan (Ann Arbor)…a means to bring one to some form of ‘hood whether it be brother or sister. I joined one so why not him. We were all with him on this path…it was crash waiting to happen. This Goat thing would not leave. It was title of movie for Pete’s sake and everyone knew it was coming….everyone had perhaps seen Animal House. It was dire. I wasn’t sure he would make it like anyone who dares to pledge…back in the day it could be really hard…take a look at School Daze (Spike Lee’s movie) and off course you can’t forget Animal House (John Landis’ movie) which this one really seemed to follow. He was doomed. I remember thinking joining a fraternity would be perfect for him. He needed the brotherhood and more importantly he needed the initiation into something more and better but could Phi Epsilon Mu (I believe those were the letters shown) bring it to him?

Enter James Franco….Alumi for certain…ugh! He was the guy…everyone has one…who’s in a Fraternity or Sorority….the person caught between undergrad and grad. He’s graduated and he’s still down…he’s around to make sure the undergrads are good and alive and still speaking the speak. Phi Epsilon Mu forever! He was too funny and at times too drunk…I thought he was great because I could immediately identify him. He was well placed and easy to follow…you believed him and regretted it. The fraternity would live on….the new guys were coming in…the scenes that followed were expected the initiation and then the swearing in…you’d made….but what of the goat? Did the initiates do the goat? More importantly did Ben? (as his character was going from one trauma to another) I couldn’t watch. I wanted him to heal more and I wanted more from Phi Epsilon Mu…does Lord of the Flies build men or lost boys…? Peter Pan was long gone by the end of the film and I would wager that he would say that there were more lost boys than men (who become full Pan); which is maybe not what he would prefer, but such are the Mysteries of Men.

Now when it comes to the goat…the doing of it….did he or not? I’ll leave that for you to see and find out. As for me, I wondered more if Ben ever got that cracked phone fixed. But such are the mysteries of women.

See the film. It was that good.


As for Zeta Phi Beta…we’re not into goats…and we’re not into that….check out more on Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc. here.

This movie made me think about initiations…and fraternities and sororities…and movies like Rize (David LaChapelle’s movie) showing modern day initiations. I may talk about the topic of Initiation in another blog post why initiations without purpose and meaning are detrimental for the initiates and just bad business.

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