Posts Tagged ‘porn’

Caligula-cast

 

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5 Reasons Pornstars Hate 50 Shades Of Grey

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SHOCKING PINK: ‘BACK ISSUES: THE HUSTLER MAGAZINE STORY’

 

 

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The pacing and plot lacked.  Despite a beautiful and talented lead, and the talents of Heather Graham and James Franco, this melodrama didn’t really deliver especially, in terms of plot and story execution, anyway.

This slow character study is filmed gorgeously, but a lack of urgency or strong motivation leaves it a bit flat (no pun intended).

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On later reflection though, it has a method to its madness.  The theme involves the legitimacy or illegitimacy of stripping and of pornography.  It tries to locate where lines should be drawn and how society falls back on reactionary Puritanism, despite being impure itself.

Some obvious choices, and the expected character study beats.  It does get a bit interesting as it changes venues up to San Francisco.  The introduction of Heather Graham takes the story to new areas and considerations.

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I can’t help but think on how reactionary Puritanism is wielded like a bludgeon in the real world, by opportunists.  I can’t help but remember James Bamford’s (mostly obvious) revelations: NSA “exploiting” U.S. Citizens’ online porn viewingThis ties into blackmail, as revealed by NSA Satellite Analyst Russell Tice.  As NSA becomes more pervasive, targeting not just the powerful and noteworthy, but also lower and lower levels of unfriendlies (or even unfavored business competitors), the pornography card will be wielded against targeted individuals.

So back to About Cherry, the narrative seems to have been produced and supported by known name stars because of its underlying message: there are lines of course, but porn is decidedly a legitimate racket.

The film actually comes up a bit ambiguous on even that point, but the question remains and lingers.  The repercussions of this question, this avenue for blackmail and pressure to apply to people across the society, are serious.  Political leverage is always a serious business.  The nature of the Age of Surveillance itself is now metastasizing before us.  Now that’s not in the movie, and it came from my own experience and knowledge of these matters.  What came from the movie is whether our adult daughters should be photographing other adult daughters, if they want to do it?

And then what?

3/5

 

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Posted: January 18, 2014 in -
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lovelace

Strong performances from all involved, and an unexpected turn elevate this biopic.  Linda Lovelace’s story of coming of age and rising to stardom is worth noting for a couple of reasons.

She became an icon, largely the result of being in the right place at the right time.  Taboos were fading fast, and oral sex was suddenly out of the closet.  Now that it was suddenly permissible to mention it in the media, the wave of success swept up Lovelace unexpectedly.

Across the spectrum this sexual discussion became a joke, a source of ridicule and even a symbol of liberation and empowerment.  The idea of empowerment through porn is exposed during the film when set against the reality.  It was a disempowering experience, in the extreme.  A strong patriarchal oppression runs throughout both her home life and in the larger society.

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Her life and the narrative take a hard turn because of a particular party, the pimp whom she married.  The film has a real bad guy, and he’s the central focus.  The story is based on Lovelace’s telling in her book, and events are filtered through her.  She may not be a completely reliable narrator, and then again the filmmakers may not have included enough of the story for it to make several points clear.  They did keep the movie moving along pretty well though, and the look and feel are fluid and cinematic

What is clear is the abuse that she suffered at the hands of her husband, and that he was the motivating factor to push her into that world.

 

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Not for prudish Americans.  This film is rated X for extreme situations, sexuality and brutality.  I’ve heard that some of the sex is actually real, and controversy has surrounded the film ever since Penthouse agreed to co-produce it.  With a script written by Gore Vidal, this is pure mind blowing depravity from start to finish.  Never again would such a film come together, one that reveals the decadence and the psychosis of a society so clearly, while pulling no punches, alleviating no concerns.

Caligula completely ignores the mores and taboos of its audience.  It exists in another realm, another time and place without regard for the conventions of the multiplex set.  Except for its English language tongue, the milieu is eerily authentic in its sadomasochism, torture, mass insanity and raw exercise of power.

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Malcolm McDowell’s finest role in my opinion, and perhaps Peter O’Toole’s as well.  This is top notch over the edge of the precipice stuff, and I really do shiver when thinking of this film.  In an age of banal comic book boy scouts and robot battles written by the mentally retarded, a film like Caligula might as well have been produced on an alien home-world.

The British miniseries I, Claudius tells part of the Caligula story, in a less grotesque fashion, and each telling has its value and place.  But to really tremble in awe of the empire, its power to dehumanize and to disembowel its opponents, Caligula is the cautionary tale for the ages.

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The recent post on Phillip Zimbardo’s psychology of evil is relevant here.  For that is where Vidal plumbed the depths.  Beyond character flaws, beyond triteness and childhood pop-psychology, the ultimate power of the Roman Emperor and the society constructed around him, is what warps and degrades everyone involved.  This lust for power and the terror of being on the wrong end of it form the situation that destroys the humanity of all concerned.  It is Millgram’s experiment and Zimbardo’s prison writ large, a mega-experiment that ruled the earth for centuries.  Versions of this absolute tyrant power linger on today, and to lesser degrees in so many other milieus.

I would place Caligula near the top of the list of the most important films of the 20th century.  It’ll turn your guts inside out, but you won’t forget the experience, not for a long time, if ever.

5/5

Also ranks on the Top Political Movies List.

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Blue is the Warmest Color’ Stirs Up Feminist Controversy
Julie Maroh wrote the graphic novel that was adapted into the film…

“Because — except for a few passages — this is all that it brings to my mind: a brutal and surgical display, exuberant and cold, of so-called lesbian sex, which turned into porn, and me feel very ill at ease. Especially when, in the middle of a movie theater, everyone was giggling. The heteronormative laughed because they don’t understand it and find the scene ridiculous. The gay and queer people laughed because it’s not convincing, and found it ridiculous. And among the only people we didn’t hear giggling were the potential guys too busy feasting their eyes on an incarnation of their fantasies on screen.”

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Also film crew complains of being cheated out of overtime pay during the production.

 

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You see?  This is why you come here.  From Dangerous Minds….

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJvYprLDcRs&feature=player_embedded