The porn industry is fascinating. Not just because of the array of erotica on show but also the machinations of the porn industry itself. I have read widely on the subject (particularly the Cinema Sewer books by Robin Bougie – thank you Robin for sharing the most delectable cinema morsels on the planet) and I feel it has been a worthwhile and enjoyable feat. Films about the porn industry are rare but porn films are a dime a dozen.
I couldn’t find 10 films that deal directly with the porn industry without going into hardcore territory. So instead I have had to present 10 films that feature pornography as a main theme. They are all fascinating in their representation of their subject. Some take a very cynical approach to pornography – that it ruins and corrupts its performers, and some take a very lighthearted approach – porn connects the performers in love.
Whatever the approach to porn, it is a subject that will surely continue to entertain us, titilate us, and shock us
10. The Pornographer (1999)
Jacques Laurent filmed pioneering porno movies during the 1960s and 1970s. They were elevated above the average porno because Laurent injected his counter-culture ideas and aesthetics into them. Now a lot later on in his life, he finds himself making a porn movie again but finds that the business has changed a lot. The cash strapped producer wants to make a commercially viable porn whilst Laurent wants to inject some artistry into the film. Jacques is estranged from his son – Joseph – who turned his back on his father with fury when he became aware of what his father’s profession was. He has now reentered Jacques’ life just as his father is trying to find some way to revive the counter-culture movement.
The porn movie Jacques is shooting is a movie within a movie but there is less screen time on folk bonking than there is Jacques continually philosophising and navel gazing. This makes the film pretentious and self important – thinking it is making profound existential statements. This is typical French arthouse fare that thinks it is more interesting than it is and makes itself so ‘avant garde’ that it uses the mechanism of pornography to move the plot along. Tres chic. The sex scenes are highly contrived and unerotic and the film as a whole, is a bluff. There is no call for the sex scenes to be in this film anymore than sex scenes should pop up on Bob the Builder. A film that displays the worst ‘artiness’ of French arthouse cinema
This article was first posted on June 14, 2013