July 11, 2005

Filming a documentary about pornography.

Looking at their film, the documentarians realize that they have simply made pornography. (Watch out: the link, to a NYT review, launches an audio track for "Mamma Mia.")

11 comments:

Dirty Harry said...

The people in the porn subculture are fascinating, but after you've seen "Boogie Nights," what's left to tell?

The films themselves are all pretty much alike. What's to document? That's why I've never understood people who have porn libraries. I would think 2 or 3 films would pretty much cover the genre.

Maybe the porn documentary is a way for certain individuals to watch porn without feeling like they're watching porn? "Inside Deep Throat" (which I haven't seen) felt that way when I read the reviews.

knoxgirl said...

Frontline did a show on the porn industry a couple years ago that had some things to tell... there's some stuff going on that's pretty shocking. Not in terms of sex, but violent content. Ugh, I'll say no more.

StrangerInTheseParts said...

I think I saw the Frontline episode Knoxgirk mentions. The documentarians go to film a shoot with a particularly 'cutting edge' pornographer, a woman who goes by the name Lizzie Borden, I think.

The documentarians leave in the middle of the shoot because they are so uncomfortable with what they are seeing done to the leading 'lady' by several men. They also begin to question if it is even legal.

Lizzie tells them she doesn't know what they're upset about. Lizzie and the leading-lady had a good time at the shoot. "We went out shopping afterwards!"

Turned my stomach a bit. And really made me think about how you measure (or legislate) something so..over the top...being done to women BY WOMEN.

Dirty Harry said...

The porn industry is pervasive out here. It's surprising how many and what kind of people get involved. But it is always almost guaranteed profit.

I have a friend who's a second grade teacher, her father's a wealthy lawyer, her mother a city official -- and they're all in the porn biz. When she told me I about fell over.

But her brother got in the business and they help out by cooking for the crew and delivering it during shoots. They also invested heavily in production.

She admits it's a sleazy business and all the actors are drug addicts but they're in it.

Matt said...

I saw "Inside Deep Throat," which was a singularly untitilating film, making it a failure as porn. What makes it work as a documentary is that it doesn't so much focus on the people involved, but the social battle over the film and its repurcussions.

chuck b. said...

"She is told that the best male porn stars are ex-marines." That made me smile.

miklos rosza said...

Lizzie Borden, if I'm not mistaken, years ago did a film about a girl working in an unaglamorous brothel in New York. Or maybe that was Bette Gordon. I'm close.

Andy Warhol was extremely interested in porn. So is Brian Eno.

Ann Althouse said...

Miklos: You are right. It was Lizzie Borden and the movie is called "Working Girls." It is unlike any other movie about prostitutes. Most movies that want to depict the downside of prostitution show violence and drugs. In this film, working in a brothel is a lot like having a crappy office job, with an annoying boss who lectures you about "office" procedures, customers you have to pretend to like, the sheer tedium of it all, etc.

Ron said...

I think Borden made this movie because of her disgust at "Pretty Woman."

But it doesn't have to follow that making a doc about porn necessarily becomes porn any more than, say, making a 9/11 film is necessarily obscene.

peter hoh said...

Usage question: why is "porn star" the common term for an actor in a porn movie? Can they really all be stars? Why are their no porn character actors? Or porn supporting actors?

Ron said...

peter hoh: You've hit upon a great idea, peter! There's a career goal: to be the Porn Warren Oates!