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Hardcore porn on Netflix, Amazon Prime – Caligula, Last Tango in Paris and 9 Songs [sfw]

Shared without comment for your… edification?

Hardcore porn on Netflix Streaming

Lets be honest. Youve never heard of most of the movies available to stream on-demand through Netflix. Many are ranked by users between the one and two star range. But, where these films lack in such things as say, plot, they often makeup for their cinematic shortcomings with explicit nudity. The below list of streaming Netflix films containing hardcore sex was compiled in part from titles cross listed on MrSkin.com under the category, “real explicit sex.” While I have seen many of these titles, for the others Ive had to take faith in the fact that Mr. Skin categorized these films alongside the hardcore sex tapes of Kim Kardashian, Kendra Wilkinson, Montana Fishburne, and Tila Tequila. (via Daily Loaf.)

Okay, I lied.  Commenting now.  The movies cited include 9 1/2 Weeks, 9 Songs, Caligula, Inside Deep Throat and Last Tango in Paris, at least some of which you have probably heard. And they are not just available through Netflix.  You can also watch many of the films on demand through Amazon Prime.

Of those, 9 Songs (2004) is the most recent and possibly the most interesting, at least at this point.

Caligula (1979) was fun when it came out because it was sort of the Claytons of dirty movies: the porn you’re having when you’re not having porn.  Lots of sex, but a gloss of culture (which was maybe just the gloss of money) that made it seem somehow less disreputable, lent to it in large part by a cast that included Helen Mirren, Peter O’Toole and Malcolm McDowell. Plus history and costumes, which always lend a bit of gravitas. (Witness Downton Abbey.)

And both Last Tango in Paris and 9 1/2 Weeks were more or less sensations when they came out—because they were what Caligula only pretended to be: serious movies (or attempts) that nonetheless featured what was supposed to be serious sex.  But looking back at those two now that the sensation has faded, it’s clear they weren’t very good movies, and the sex wasn’t all that great either. I think they’re almost unwatchable, whereas Caligula at least has the virtue of looking pretty campy and silly, cheesy, and that has a certain pleasure to it, whereas the seriousness of the other two now just seems dreadfully pretentious.

9 Songs is also trying to be a serious movie with serious sex in it.  But —and this is a big difference—the sex is pretty good.

Though we might need to think about what constitutes “pretty good sex” in this context.  Genuine hardcore porn is very focused stuff, in more ways than one.  The camera angles, depth of field, lighting, even the cutting are all directed at maximizing scopophilia and sexual arousal. And you’re never in any doubt about what is going where at any given time (though in group scenes you may occasionally loose track of exactly whose whats are involved).  And you’re never in doubt about when the action has reached its… climax.  It is designed to have a direct appeal to our nether regions, and I find that directness appealing in its own way.

The sex in 9 Songs is not that. It is not hardcore sex, whatever the Daily Loaf might think.  It’s sex.  Sex as you (hopefully) know it, assuming you haven’t been utterly conditioned by porn.  It’s a little vaguer. The people are focused, internally and on each other, but the scene, the details are more blurry.  It’s not brightly light and in sharply focused close-up. And the camera spends much less time in what I think of as gynecological intensity mode.  It is real sex, both in the sense that the actors are genuinely doing the things they seem to be doing on the screen, and in the sense that it is sex as people outside of movies (in Western society) often/generally experience and enact it.  At least when they are that age.

Here’s what Roger Ebert had to say about the sex in his fairly positive and very smart review:

The sex scenes betray the phoniness of commercial pornography; when the Adult Film Awards give a prize for Best Acting, they’re ridiculed, but after seeing this film you’ll have to admit the hard-core performers are acting, all right; “9 Songs” observes the way real people play and touch and try things out, and make little comments and have surprised reactions.

What Mark Kermode found most interesting about the film was that Winterbottom had made “the least titillating, most explicit movie around.”  He found the movie irritating, but still appreciated what the director, Michael Winterbottom, was doing with the sex.  But he hated the people.

As for it being a serious movie, a movie that is serious about being a movie and actually tries to think through what that means… Well, it was made by Michael Winterbottom who I find to be one of the more interesting directors currently making movies.  His movies aren’t always good, but they are always interesting, even if on no other level than as attempts to interrogate productively what it means to be a popular film, and how popular films might be other than they are, or tend to be  (ie, everything from Transformers: The Dark of the Moon to The Master). His filmography includes Welcome to Sarajevo, Wonderland, 24 Hour Party People, and A Cock and Bull Story. He’s an intelligent and interested filmmaker, interested in what it means to make films, who thinks about what a popular narrative cinema is and might be, and about how to push against the medium and its structures and expectations in (hopefully) productive  and engaging ways.

9 Songs doesn’t always work.  Both the narrative and the characters feel a bit too sketchy, and that’s pretty fatal. Kermode’s irritation with, even hatred of, the two main characters is not, sadly, a wildly idiosyncratic response.  But I think it gets an A for effort, or at least a B, for giving us such good sex—that is, such real sex—in something approaching a mainstream English-language film, and doing that within a film that tries to play productively with both the visual and narrative qualities of mainstream film.  (It also has a very good soundtrack.) It’s not an art film, and it’s not pornography.  It’s something kind of new.  Possibly the beginning of something.

For more…

Filed under: Movies, , , ,

Doctor Who’s Amy Pond – Karen Gillan – gets naked. Again. For real. Maybe.

Teh Interweb is all a-buzz with stories of an apparently trashed, post-party Karen Gillan wandering the corridor of a NYC hotel naked in the early hours:

Doctor Who star found naked in NYC hotel corridor:

A trendy NYC hotel played host to actress Karen Gillan allegedly laying naked and mumbling in its corridor. According to reports Gillan had tried to get into another guests room whilst naked and trying to cover herself with towels, before collapsing to the floor mumbling.
(via snarkerati.com.)

Doctor Who star Karen Gillan naked at a riotous New York part:
Doctor Who star Karen Gillan was found naked in a New York hotel corridor after a night of riotous partying.

Miss Gillan, 23, who plays the Time Lord’s assistant Amy Pond, was seen ‘whimpering’ in the nude by guests at 7am before security arrived, wrapped her in a sheet and escorted her to her room
(via Mail Online.)

Karen Gillan caught nude in a hotel hallway? ‘Doctor Who’ star’s awkward morning:
British tabloid The Mirror reports that 23-year-old Gillan found herself locked out of her New York City hotel room… without her clothes. Gillan, who was staying at the Ace Hotel with showrunner Stephen Moffatt and co-star (the latest Doctor) Matt Smith, tried to cover up with towels, but 7 AM is not an ideal time to be trying to hide your bare derriere in a busy hotel hallway.
(via Zap2it.)

Well, we’ve had previous indications that Gillan was a bit of a party monster, though not of course in a league with some of LA’s trashutantes (Lindsay Lohan et al):

Of course this may all be a mistake. It may not have been her at all. Or there may be a perfectly reasonable explanation for why she was naked in the hotel corridor at 7am. Happens to me almost every time I stay in New York. No, seriously. That photo above could be any of us dancing at a party, and there have been no confirmations that it really, really was Karen Gillan. No denials either. And it is hard to think of a reason for ending up naked in a hotel corridor that doesn’t involve poor judgement calls and heavy over-indulgence.  The real question, for me, is where the hell were her friends?  Friends don’t let friends drink and run around corridors naked.

But in honor of the story, I wanted to pass along some more naked fakes (see earlier post). There’s a whole pseudo-site of them for your perusal, so I won’t bother to upload any. Remember, kids – no kids.  Teh Interweb is only for consenting adults.

Filed under: TV, ,

How Porn has Hijacked our Sexuality

Pursuant to my earlier questioning of the deployment of porn stars and sexualized imagery by PETA and to the “pornification of Amy Pond”…

An excerpt from Pornland: How Porn has Hijacked our Sexuality by Gail Dines.

The reality is that women don’t need to look at porn to be profoundly affected by it because images, representations, and messages of porn are now delivered to women via pop culture. Women today are still not major consumers of hardcore porn; they are, however, whether they know it or not, internalizing porn ideology, an ideology that often masquerades as advice on how to be hot, rebellious, and cool in order to attract (and hopefully keep) a man.

You can read more from the excerpt on Scribd.com or order the whole book from Powells.com or Amazon. Here’s the summary of the book from Powells.com:

Professor Gail Dines has written about and researched the porn industry for over two decades. She attends industry conferences, interviews producers and performers, and speaks to hundreds of men and women each year about their experience with porn. Students and educators describe her work as life changing. In Pornland–the culmination of her life’s work–Dines takes an unflinching look at porn and its affect on our lives. Astonishingly, the average age of first viewing porn is now 11.5 years for boys, and with the advent of the Internet, it’s no surprise that young people are consuming more porn than ever. But, as Dines shows, today’s porn is strikingly different from yesterday’s Playboy. As porn culture has become absorbed into pop culture, a new wave of entrepreneurs are creating porn that is even more hard-core, violent, sexist, and racist. To differentiate their products in a glutted market, producers have created profitable niche products–like teen sex, torture porn, and gonzo–in order to entice a generation of desensitized users. Going from the backstreets to Wall Street, Dines traces the extensive money trail behind this multibillion-dollar industry–one that reaps more profits than the film and music industries combined. Like Big Tobacco–with its powerful lobbying groups and sophisticated business practices–porn companies don’t simply sell products. Rather they influence legislators, partner with mainstream media, and develop new technologies like streaming video for cell phones. Proving that this assembly line of content is actually limiting our sexual freedom, Dines argues that porn’s omnipresence has become a public health concern we can no longer ignore.

I suppose I particularly wish that this book might be read by, or the perspectives and information in it conveyed to, the young women and men, the kids, on tumblr who talk about stuffing each other’s inboxes on that system as “raping” and who use graphic language and imagery, imagery influenced I think by the larger “pornification” of our culture, to express their affection for and connection with, eg, Doctor Who.

Of course, I haven’t read the whole book yet, and maybe I will think less of it then, but it is at least raising these issues in a serious and well-researched fashion.

Filed under: Pop Culture, ,

PETA Porn [SFW]

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I quite enjoy these pictures, but the dour, humorless leftist in me can’t help but raise some objections…

When PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) was objecting to the meat industry, there was a real critical and subversive edge to their use of naked women to draw attention to the fact that the “meat industry” is in fact the slaughter of other creatures on a massive scale. Marking out sections of a woman’s body with the lines of the different cuts of meat had great rhetorical power. Those lines cut both ways: they drew attention to where those shrink-wrapped cuts of meat really come from (this or that area of the body of another living creature), while at the same time pointing to our objectification of women, our “meat market” attitude towards women.  So—at least potentially—those PETA anti meat eating ads simultaneously critiqued our unethical treatment of animals and our unethical treatment of women.

But as PETA ad campaigns have branched out to look at issues like spaying/neutering pets, the circus, and leather and fur, the double edge of that critique has been blunted. Now it sometimes feels perilously close to all those other advertising campaigns based on the premise that “sex sells”—using those attractive unclothed or semi-nude bodies to hook us. The fact that what they are selling might be something we see as good shouldn’t change our response to how this message is conveyed. If using objectifying images of women to sell cars or beer or whatever is wrong, then it is still wrong when those images are being used to “sell” the idea that our treatment of animals in the circus is bad.

A related issue is the use of porn stars such as Sasha Grey and Jenna Jameson as tools in the PETA marketing machine…  Back in the day, vegans and “people for the ethical treatment of animals” would have been natural allies with, or even the same people as, those attacking patriarchy in general and porn in particular. I think that the original feminist critique of porn got it wrong in all sorts of ways, but given the fact that women and girls are still routinely trafficked, around the world, and essentially sold into slavery as part of that other meat industry, the sex trade—an industry in which porn plays a role—we clearly need to spend a bit more time thinking about such old school feminist concerns as the objectification of women, attitudes towards sex and sexuality, the sex trade… and porn.  The PETA ads simply blow off all these issues in their concern to save the fluffy bunnies.

I am also a bit troubled by PETA’s call to spay/neuter our pets.  I think we should spay/neuter our pets. I also think that spaying/neutering is, when you get right down to it, “elective” (in the sense of not medically necessary) surgery performed on animals against their will in order to make it more convenient for us to have pets—literally cutting them to fit our lifestyle.

I don’t think there’s any easy way around it: if we are going to keep pets, particularly in built-up areas, then they really do need to be spayed/neutered. But it is something we do to them, which it seems unlikely they would choose, to make them fit into our world, our lives, our needs.  It may be that there is no way to reconcile a truly ethical treatment of animals with our desire to keep dogs and cats in our city apartments and suburban homes. If so, we should face that fact; we should at least be talking about it. But PETA gets its funding and support from animal lovers, and saying that pets are possibly simply unethical would cut into their base.

Finally, in keeping with journalistic standards of disclosure, I should say that I own pets, and the dogs and cats have always been spayed, own porn and consider myself a feminist, and recently started eating meat again but feel guilty about it… Make of all that what you will.

Filed under: Stuff, , , , ,

Doctor Who’s Amy Pond – Karen Gillan – Gets Naked (NSFW)

or, The Pornification of Amy Pond

Science Fiction and fan-created erotica (ie, porn, in fancy clothes) go way, way back… Slash—a term for fan fiction depicting romantic or sexual relationships between fictional characters—began with fan-written stories, often very sexually explicit, about Captain Kirk and Mister Spock from the original Star Trek TV series.

Since then, slash-type fan produced material has blossomed to cover a wide-range of television shows beyond Star Trek, and even some non-televisual popular cultural texts, and has been the subject of a number of academic studies. Science fiction and fantasy is still the genre within which most such fan creation takes place, though fans have branched out somewhat into other genres—and also into other forms beyond the original fan fiction short stories.

In recent years, fan videos have also become popular ways of exploring romantic or erotic subtexts—with fans splicing together clips from TV shows depicting steamy or suggestive moments with an appropriate song as soundtrack. Needless to say, both the use of the song and the clips violate copyright, but in general producers and studios have preferred to turn a blind eye to such practices.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer for years proved particularly fertile ground for fans’ imagined relationships between favorite characters. Of course, Buffy made it pretty easy, what with the soap opera-like love lives of its characters. But even before Willow had come out and gotten involved with Tara, fans were already writing lesbian sex scenes between Willow and Buffy. Similarly, fans depicted a romance between Buffy and Spike long before that relationship actually actually appeared on the show, near the end of the series.

Given Doctor Who‘s strong fan base and long history, it’s no surprise that there has been, for a long time, a great deal of fan activity associated with what is perhaps the most popular sci-fi TV series of all time. And given the Doctor’s penchant for scooping up attractive young women to accompany him on his adventures in time and space, it’s also no surprise that there has been a fair amount of fan-created material exploring romantic and sexual relationships between the Doctor and his companions.

I was surprised, though, at how quickly a large amount of faked nudes and pornographic images of the latest companion, Amy Pond, played by Karen Gillan, appeared on the internet.

Fake nudes and fake pornographic images of pop culture figures are not slash, and mostly are not associated directly with the fan communities that spring up around TV shows such as Star Trek, Buffy and Doctor Who, and that generate the slash (and non-slash) fan fiction, fan videos and the like. (There is a related phenomenon of artistic, often drawn or painted as opposed to photographic, images of an erotic nature, generally pretty soft-core and romantic, and that does arise within fan communities.)

These fake nudes and porn shots have been around since the early days of the internet, when they circulated in usenet newsgroups devoted to such images of popular celebrities and public figures. They are made from nude photographs or porn images, downloaded or scanned in, which then have the faces or features of a celebrity “photoshopped” onto them, with varying degrees of skill. Most often they are clearly identified as fakes, but every now and then one is taken as possibly genuine, though usually not for long, and it seems to be a point of honor with many of the fakers to identify their work as such, and even to sign it.

These fakes might be dismissed as little more than technologically sophisticated versions of crude caricatures in toilet stalls, but it is also possible to see them in a much more disturbing light—as the products of, or fuel for, the deranged sexual fantasies of celebrity stalkers. The truth is probably closer to the harmless end of the spectrum. As long as there have been stars, and hormonally-addled teenagers, there have been sexual fantasies about stars. Photoshop and the internet have simply provided a way of producing elaborate visions of those fantasies, and sharing them (for which I am at times, against my better judgment, quite thankful). (All that being said, I do want to acknowledge that the women—and occasional man—depicted in this way may find it disturbing and offensive.)

As I said, though, I was a bit surprised at how quickly faked images of the Doctor’s newest companion appeared. Before the second episode of the new series of Doctor Who had aired, I’d already stumbled across one fake—albeit a fairly mild one, shared via a link in a chat session on a website devoted to Doctor Who (see below; there is some mild NSFW material below the fold, but nothing hardcore).

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Pop Culture, , ,

Playboy to Publish Naked 3D Centerfold

“What would people most like to see in 3D? Probably a naked lady.” (via mashable.com.)

Technology: finding new ways of bringing you porn since the beginning of history…

(Actually, I bet there are racy cave paintings out there.)

Roger Ebert has very thoughtful provided an example of a 3D centerfold – who appears to be the famous Bettie Page – shot by silent film and physical comedy star, Harold Lloyd.

Filed under: Pop Culture, Sex,

Separated at Birth: Nikki Dial and Susanna Hoffs

Bangles singer/guitarist Susanna Hoffs and porn star Nikki Dial

Filed under: Separated at Birth, ,

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zerode

is an over-caffeinated and under-employed grad school dropout, aspiring leftwing intellectual and cultural studies academic, film buff and occasional reviewer, and former private detective. Raised in San Francisco on classic film, radical politics, burritos and soul music, then set loose upon the world. He spends his time in coffee shops with his laptop and headphones, caffeinating and trying to construct a post-whatever life.

 

What's in a name... The handle "zerode" is a contraction of Zéro de Conduite, the title of Jean Vigo's 1933 movie masterpiece about schoolboy rebellion.

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