Friday, September 22, 2006

Much ado about something

Last night I watched the documentary Inside Deep Throat which is about the 1970s porn movie Deep Throat starring Linda Lovelace and Harry Reems and the cultural impact it had at the time. I can never say no to any documentary about anything 1970s so this seemed like a natural choice for me to get from Netflix. It was definitely an entertaining watch, but, like the porn that inspired it, it ultimately left me wanting more and wanting it to be something that it wasn't.

Deep Throat was at the center of the obscenity litigation and Supreme Court decisions during the mid-70s. It was probably the first porn film to go mainstream -- and this is well documented in the documentary. The documentary starts out with the production of the film, its public reception, the political machinations that resulted from it. It was interesting to watch as it is probably one of the first times that the religious right in the US really got its act together enough to effectively stop something that they considered to be morally degrading and not worthy of being called art.

Not that I would call Deep Throat art, but I'm certainly not about to deny anyone else the right to define what art is to them.

What I loved most were the interviews with participants in the movie -- and guess what? They all got old. They interview Harry Reems, who was made an example in the obscenity litigation and was sentenced to 5 years in jail for his role in the film, the first time an actor had ever been convicted of a crime over a performance in a film. They also interview some other adult film stars of the day and man, they have not aged well. Although I had no idea that Andrea True who did the disco ditty "More, More, More" was an adult film actress!

Ultimately, I think I wanted the documentary to be less about the movie and more about the effects the movie has had on us today. And they did address this a little bit - mostly as captions over still shots, detailing how video pretty much did in the adult theater business and how in one year (can't remember which) Hollywood produced 400-some movies and the adult film industry produced 11,000. Whoa baby!

And after seeing this documentary, I've seen enough of the actual movie to negate the need to actually see it. Although now I really need to read that book "The Other Hollywood," but that requires me to find it as my brother was looking at it the last time he was here and now I can't find it!!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i didnt steal your book dan..check the bookshelf in your den...