Posts Tagged ‘porn’

Beauty (short)

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-color

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

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This is an uncomfortable discussion.

 
Apparently Icelandic ministers are trying to ban pornography in the nation — an almost impossible task that opens up another can of worms, concerning how?

Gail Dines has been on a feminist Jihad to ban pornography for quite some time. She writes:

“Here was a politician who was unapologetically opposed to porn because it undermines women’s equality, and equally bold in his willingness to create legislation that limits Icelandic men and boy’s access to hard-core, cruel porn. He said this at dinner, repeated it two days later at a public conference on pornography and the law, and is saying it again in his efforts to draft a law that will be the first of its type anywhere in the world. Never before has a country tried to limit porn because it is seen as a violation of women and children’s civil rights.”

Slippery slope here we come. The American ACLU has long defended the rights of consenting adults to produce and choose to view sexual material. We should be clear that adult material is exactly what this law is seeking to ban, and it is unfortunately couched in the words “women and children’s civil rights” which may be completely irrelevant to the discussion.

The law described is not about child pornography, which is already banned pretty much worldwide — and not enough law enforcement is brought to bear on it, particularly in countries where it is most rampant. No, this is about adult material, which the internet is brimming with. Her argument is to try and qualify her target better with the words, “hard-core, cruel porn.” That is certain to scare off opposition, as no one wants to be seen as publicly endorsing such material.

Thus, governments would need to begin employing people to scrutinize what is “hard-core, cruel porn,” and what is not. Entire bureaucracies of censors would need to begin policing a near infinite amount of materials, which flow freely around the world in volumes unimaginable. The idea of creating bureaucracies to censor the internet is a terrible one in itself. It’s a monumental waste of resources, and the criteria for determining the banned vs. non-banned material would be a matter of opinion. This would legislate that people have opinions on what sorts of graphic materials should be permitted vs. which should not.

Frank Zappa once debated several pro-censorship establishment talking heads, concerning proposed government censorship, and he made some great points:


 

The government should not be in the business of censoring internet traffic, art or speech. This is for the public to decide.

If the practices of a small number of pornographers is the real concern, then those should be investigated for violations of the law. Is the “cruel” pornography consensual? Was an assault committed? These are matters for local law enforcement to police. If women are victimized, they are not on the other side of the world, and initiating censorship half a world away is not going to affect their lives in any way, shape or form.

Gail Dines continues:

Ministers and senior staff I met there understood their role in honoring the integrity of their culture and saw porn as a form of cultural imperialism, since the porn Icelandic men consume is churned out by a small group of producers in Los Angeles. So the question is this: If the government does not protect us from global corporations, then who will, since as individual citizens we are powerless in the face of their enormous economic, cultural, and political power?

This claim goes way beyond a straw man fallacy and into straight out lying. Pornography is not a giant corporation in Los Angeles. That is so absurd to be laughable. There is very little barrier to entry in the business. Anyone with a phone and the will to participate can start filming each another. Porn is produced globally, and by every strata and every type of person imaginable. There is no evil corporate oligarchy. This is a political maneuver by Dines to try and capitalize on the anti-corporate sentiment out there, when her target is simply not appropriate.

Numerous women produce their own material, quite voluntarily. Would Dines ban them too? Even if they need the revenue to survive? Would Dines decide for the whole world what is permitted and what isn’t?

I hope Iceland’s government doesn’t make this error and insert itself into people’s bedrooms, its internet viewing and its sexual preferences. Censorship may seem like a good idea at first, but it brings with it increased government power, surveillance and arbitrariness. It thus disempowers the people and creates a chilling climate where art, speech and ideas are no longer freely offered. This is the exact wrong way to go, despite some real problems with the pornography industry. The idea of censoring one’s way to a solution, however, ignores the reality of it and presents a false panacea, as well as an unworkable solution.

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This is jaw dropping, and yet should probably be expected — even normalized by now…

lNow there’s a face: Craig Brittain – the owner/operator of isanybodydown

“Revenge porn” scammer boasts no-one will sue him

“CBS has a story on “revenge porn” sleaze Craig Brittain, whose website solicits private photos, then funnels the victims’ takedown requests to a non-existent “lawyer” who advertises outrageous fees.”

But it gets better!  The Legal Satyricon sez:

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Such sweet boys.  Want to get to know them better?

Or go deeper down the rabbit hole with Adam Steinbaugh

“If you’re not yet familiar with IsAnybodyDown.com (NSFW), here’s a synopsis of the controversy surrounding it:

Involuntary porn: IsAnybodyDown.com is an “involuntary porn” or “revenge porn” site, posting nude photos, names, phone numbers, hometowns, and Facebook profiles of over 700 people. The photos are posted without consent and are purportedly submitted by jealous ex-lovers, but may be culled by the site from deceived Craigslist users. The site, hosted in Romania, claims immunity from U.S. copyright law and posted emails mocking those asking to have photos removed. Its owners view the site as a “weapon.”…”

PS

Did I mention my Italian heritage?

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UPDATE

Interview with “involuntary porn” webmaster

And a newer photo of the little darling:

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Apparently the monied lifestyle hasn’t been too kind.

At the Good Company Bar and Restaurant in Briargate, where we’ve met for afternoon drinks, the bartender calls him “Craiggers.” Good Company is close to home, and Brittain often drops in for late-night karaoke, singing “Folsom Prison Blues” or “Bohemian Rhapsody.”