WE SAW OTHER THAN "AMERICAN PSYCHO":
January 24, 2000
"With painstaking detail, director James Ronald Whitney does
an amazing job telling the story of his abusive grandfather, Melvin
Just... "Just, Melvin" is receiving a tremendous amount
of praise around Park City and deservedly so."
-- Joal Ryan
The Buzz - Making art from pain.
"Sundance documentary filmmaker confronts an abusive past in
January 27, 2000
"If not for one small detail, director James Ronald Whitney's
"Just, Melvin" might simply be a powerful feature about
the continuing circle of violence that stems from one man's (Melvin
Just) repeated sexual assaults on several generations of children.
If not one small detail: Melvin Just is Whitney's grandfather. Whitney,
who prefers to go by his middle name of Ron, came from a very different
place than most Hollywood film makers. The 36-year-old former Chippendales
dancer turned Wall Street executive made the film to expose his grandfather's
crimes and hopefully bring some sort of peace to the extended family
he so terribly effected... With such a weighty topic, one might expect
the film to be a start-to-finish downer. While the feature is extremely
disturbing at points, Whitney had no interest or intention of making
a film without humor. "Education is not what I'm into,"
he says. "Entertainment is what I'm into... " Vowing to
continue his project until his grandfather was either dead or in prison,
Whitney reached his goal (go see the film to discover which option
came through) and in doing so, gave his family something to hold on
-- Jim Bartoo