Thursday, June 29, 2006

Friends & Lovers, Sex and Interviews with Real Couples (2005) X

Blowfish Video from San Francisco has produced this erotic and beautifully filmed explicit video. The film is purchased from their web site for $29.95. The film interviews three couples and then films them making love. All three couples are either married to each other or are in a permanent relationship with each other. Each interview is about 10 minutes and shows that the couples are really in a relationship with each other. In fielding the questions the couples joke with their partner, disagree at times but work towards consensus. What is interesting is not the answers but the process. By the style of their answers, the viewer sees a man and women in a committed and loving relationship. It is then so erotic when we get to see the couple make love. The couples are not having sex they are making love. It is highly erotic. It is also very real. Penises don't always stay erect, women don't always have orgasms, bodies are not perfect models and sometimes positions seem clearly uncomfortable. However, the couples laugh about it, whisper jokes to each other, look into each other's eyes and direct their partner to more pleasurable actions. Their real relationships are what make the film erotic. The photography is also so clear and real that it feels live. I only wished the couples were in their 40's or 50's rather than late 20's.

I found this video to be erotic and enjoyable. Frequently, the quality of erotic videos are poor. One of my favorite web sites is because of the high quality of erotic writing. The site recently posted an article by a Chris Bridges titled "Help! I'm turning Into an Anti-Porn Activist", that sited the poor quality of erotic videos. Here are Chris's suggestions on how they can be improved.

1. Normal looking people who at least look like they're having fun.
2. No one looking at the camera.
3. No movies that describe the women as sluts, whores, or bitches, or use the words "molest" or "gang" on the cover.
4. No anal, please. Nothing against the act itself, but it's not particularly aesthetically pleasing. Not a big fan of the camera-between-the-legs shots anyway, or the extreme, can't-get-any-closer-or-she'll-swallow-the-camera close-ups. I'd rather see the whole body and the lovers' growing arousal.
5. Woman-woman scenes that looks like they might be enjoying it. You know, with kissing and maybe even some foreplay before they whip out the 20-inch double-headed dildo or try to go up to their elbows.
6. An entire movie without silicone or implants of any kind. Try it, I dare you.
7. Women who don't feel obligated to stick their entire tongue out of their mouths whenever they kiss or lick anything.
8. Look, if you show me a guy pulling out of a woman's ass and moving around to her mouth, which seems to be the trend these days, you've lost me. Forget it, I'll turn the thing off and go watch cartoons. I mean, eww.
Women that aren't made up to look underage or like an 80's hair band groupie
9. Guys that look like someone you might not run away from on a dark night. Or a sunny afternoon.
10. Lighting that makes the actors look soft and sexy instead of plastic and poorly shaved.
11. Sounds that weren't dubbed or forced. I'm sorry, no one moans with ecstasy while they're giving a blowjob.
12. People grateful to get oral sex instead of standing there looking haughty and all conquerors.
13. Movies that don't have the same sex acts, in the same order, every time.
14. And, hardest to find of all...playfulness! I have absolutely no interest in watching people fuck that look too fake, too insensitive, too shallow, or too scary. Don't fun people fuck? In front of a camera, I mean?

A follow-up note from another reader listed these recommendations.
1. A semi-believable plot for at least the first half of the movie.
2. Realistic positions, changed frequently
3. No more cutting and splicing the explicit scenes just to stretch out the movie
4. Women in the movies? Please. Kick off those damned high heels. Yes you have pretty legs and dainty feet and we've all seen them - now be real.
5. Lingerie ladies! Naked gets boring very quickly
6. HUMOR! I saw an X-rated western once that was great. I'd rather watch porn that has some quality humor in it than the best of what passes for porn today.
7. Can't be stressed enough - get real, especially females. Tone down the makeup, let your hair actually move and get messy, walk and move like real people, not wannabe models, and stop acting like semen is a precious Gift From The Gods.
8. How about men and women in their 40?s to 60?s

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Anatomy of Hell (2004) UR

Anatomy of Hell is an explicit, complex and at times shocking film by Catherine Breillat. The film has many themes, but certainly a central topic is the women’s menstrual cycle or more specifically having sex during menstruation. Breillat asks why is this a curse, why do men avoid sex during menstruation and why is women’s blood “unclean” and Jesus’ blood redemptive? As with all her films the plot deals with women and their sexuality. However, the sub-plot in this film is sex and Christianity. I believe only Catherine Breillat could direct and produce this film.

Catherine Breillat is a French film director and producer. She is a woman who admits that all of her films are about sex. Critics say that she is uniquely concerned with a women’s understanding of her own sexuality. She focuses on women and sex with such explicit and graphic detail that she is known as “the auteur of porn.” In all of her films the actors have real sex. Breillat believes that a “visual display of sex is inseparable from the representation of the consciousness of her female characters.” Translation, her actresses have to have real sex to play the roles and the audience has to see real sex to understand her films. And yes Martha, we see real sex and much more.

The sub-plot of this film is society’s, specifically religion’s prejudice against menstruation. That, of course, brings me to Jesus Christ and menstruation. The Pulitzer Prize author Garry Wills in his recent book “What Jesus Meant,” argues that Jesus publicly broke Jewish religious laws to demonstrate that God lives “within our hearts, not through religious rules.” Wills illustrates this point by Jesus’ actions towards menstruating women. Wills traces the gender separation in Islam, Judaism and Christianity to the belief that menstruating women are impure and untouchable in “God’s eyes.” Since religious leaders cannot tell which women are having their period, complex and elaborate rules are created to either segregate woman from sacred locations or to separate menstruating women from men. Wills teaches that Jesus purposely and publicly violated Jewish rules regarding menstruating women. He sites the story of Jesus and the women at the well. Jesus asks for her to give him a drink in spite of her warning him that she was unclean (menstruating). Jewish laws forbid menstruating women to serve food or drink. Wills also noted that Jesus draws attention to the women who touched him in a crowd. The women sought healing from a menstrual flow that would not stop. Despite Jesus’ teaching, it took less than 200 years after his death for the Christian “fathers” to reinstate Jewish type laws segregating women particularly during menstruation. The paradox of Christianity is that the blood of Christ is what redeems mankind and is “drank” at each communion service. This paradox is not lost on Catherine Breillat.

The film’s story centers on a women played by Amira Casar. The woman invites a gay man home and pays him to accompany her for four nights. She undresses and is nude throughout the rest of the film, nearly 90 minutes. The woman at first invites the man to watch her in various erotic poses. The gay man becomes more and more curious to explore every part of her body (and we really mean explore, as in an ob-gyn exam). He is surprised by his erection, which is not left to the imagination. They have sex. She begins to menstruate at the end of day two. Sex is only part of what the couples does during day three and four. Among other things, Amira teaches her suitor and the viewer all the details of replacing her tampon. I will hold back describing all the details, but you clearly get the idea.

Throughout, Catherine Breillat shoots the film from views of Jesus on the bedroom wall. Part of the sex scenes turn into a worship services including communion (I will let you figure out whose blood is drunk). The film at times is erotic but mostly is an explicit curiosity. Nonetheless, I really liked the film. I really like Catherine Breillat’s films however many would find them too shocking. I like her bold, unblinking study of women and sex. As she puts women under a magnifying glass, men become in better focus. Amira gay paid suitor ends up “converting” to heterosexual love. Catherine Breillat and Jesus therefore both teach to touch women when they are “untouchable.”