subota, 15. prosinca 2012.

Xperimental Eros (seks za mozak) + PornOrchestra


Kolekcija kratkih eksperimentalnih erotskih filmova, od dokumentarca "King of Porn" o kolekcionaru pornofilmova do "Sexjunkie" o ovisnici o seksu.
+ PornOrchestra je skupina muzičara koja radikalno oživljava prezreni žanr muzike u porno-filmovima - na svojim živim nastupima improvizacijom stvaraju novu muziku za filmove koji se projiciraju (inače, uopće ne vole pornografiju).

 Mark Street: Blue Movie

 Naomi Uman: Removed 

 Oscar Perez: Pacifier


Jeff Krulik: King of Porn

Exploring realms both sacred and profane, XPERIMENTAL EROS invokes a shimmering fantasia of celluloid sensuality for the pleasure of our largest sex organ — the brain.
Using exotic tropes and erotic footage from the world’s oldest genre, our program of ardent auteurs spin grindhouse dross into arthouse gold with perverse panache.

 Be it tales of sexual obsession, rejected letters to Penthouse Forum, or the Mr. Nude Trucker Contest of 1976, no subject is taboo... nor above deconstruction. X-EROS strips bare the spectacle of sex in cinema, poeticizing the cinematic language of the body. 

 “The images of XPERIMENTAL EROS mingle in the mind like one’s own flashes of memory and fantasy. A fragment of an act, a snippet of sound – all play, replay, recombine and again, please! – for a collection of works that are confoundingly X-citing!”— Lisa Vandever, Cinekink Film Festival
  • Jeff Krulik - King of Porn
  • Mark Street - Blue Movie
  • Tom Palazzolo - Sneakin’ and Peekin’
  • Naomi Uman - Removed
  • Thomas Draschan & Stella Friedrichs - The Influence of Ocular Light Perception on Metabolism in Man and Animal
  • Lewis Klahr - Downs are Feminine
  • Peggy Ahwesh - The Color of Love
  • Julia Ostertag - SexJunkie
  • Oscar Perez - Pacifier
  • Two vintage stags with a special score by PornOrchestra
  • Essay booklet by Linda Williams (Professor of Film Studies, UC Berkeley)
  • New Releases from Other Cinema DVD
Curated by Noel Lawrence
(with assistance from Craig Baldwin)

Quicktime Clips

Ocular Light (excerpt)

Downs are Feminine (excerpt)

The Product:
Because of the Puritanical nature of our society, sex never gets a real 'serious' discussion. We're not talking about science facts and figures here. No, carnality frequently finds itself the butt of jokes, the source of scare tactics, and the questionable means to some patently political ends. But where's the artistic approach, the aesthetic appreciation of smut as a legitimate and thoughtful subject to contemplate and consider. Until now, there has really been very few examples of filth as fodder for incisive deliberation. Thanks to Other Cinema, and their latest DVD release, Xperimental Eros, we finally get a chance to see the titillating and the tantric discussed in a visually vibrant and mentally fascinating manner. The results may seem risqué, but they end up being more enlightening than exciting.

The DVD:
As a collection of short films and avant-garde animation, Xperimental Eros takes its title very seriously. The 11 mini-movies offered run the gamut from personal insight to universal understanding, each using the theme of human sexuality as its cornerstone. Discussed individually, we get a clearer picture of the ideas and elements that obsess and confuse the average instinctual being. We also see how pornography has placated, and in most cases, perverted, our sense of sex. Let's begin with:
Title: King of Porn (1996)
Director: Jeff Krullik
Score: *** (out of *****)
Plot: A Washington DC civil servant shows off his extensive collection of erotica
Review: As with any look at an outsider explaining his obsession, the fascinating figure at the center of Jeff Krullik's far too short film (former Library of Congress curator - !?! - Ralph Whittington) makes us hungry to know more. His matter of fact approach to his vast collection of carnality - which, in today's expansive digital marketplace, seems rather minor - and the way it has subsumed his life makes for some rich moments of audience bemusement. Highlights include a pantry loaded with diet soda, and several hundred porn tapes, and the crowning glory of his collection - an original Beta version of Deep Throat. A clear case of more almost being mandatory.
Title: Blue Movie (1994)
Director: Mark Street
Score: **1/2 (out of *****)
Plot: Sections of an old stag reel are chemically treated, altering their appearance. They are then edited together and looped.
Review: There is nothing holding these varying images together narratively. Street has removed any semblance of story to focus instead on visuals. Therefore, one must judge this piece on its power as moving art, or a living canvas. In that case, the director delivers the goods. As we will learn throughout most of Xperimental Eros, the objectification of women - especially during the '30s - '70s - bordered on the abusive. By removing certain moments of smut from an X-rated title, we see the connection between arousal and aggression.
Title: Sneakin' and Peakin' (1976)
Director: Tom Palazzolo and Mark Rance
Score: **** (out of *****)
Plot: Two documentarians crash the annual Naked Truckers convention outside Chicago.
Review: It's clear that when they snuck onto a nudist camp in rural Indiana, filmmakers Tom Palazzolo and Mark Rance never intended to shed light on the harsh realities of chauvinism inherent in the mid-Me Decades paternalistic society. Yet after we've giggled at the naked truckers, our eyes and ears are drawn to the female contestants , and the massive, marauding army of so-called "professional" photographers trying to guilt them into provocative positions. It's painful how these men tease, torment, and almost torture these gals to get the image they want. Even better is the reaction when one smart honey gets out her business card, demanding a few of these expertly created 'prints' for her very own.
Title: Removed (1999)
Director: Naomi Uman
Score: *** (out of *****)
Plot: Using vintage adult material, the director matts out the female form, focusing instead on everything else but the naked figures.
Review: Like Blue Movie before, Ms. Uman does something very intriguing with her manipulated footage. By taking the female figure completely out of the equation - using a spellbinding technique that renders the women into bright white ghosts - we can concentrate on all the supplemental actions and conversations. As a result, we see how horribly manipulative and artistically lax many of these productions really are/were. Without the so-called 'eye candy', the lack of meaning becomes merciless.
Title: The Influence of Ocular Light Perception on Metabolism in Man and Animal (2005)
Director: Thomas Draschan and Stella Friedrichs
Score: ***1/2 (out of *****)
Plot: Mock medical documentary mixing authentic footage with made up science to speculate on the age old connection between sex and violence.
Review: As stated before, discussions of sex seem to always be left to ivory tower scholars, semi-regressive researchers, and non-threatening old ladies. Here, our directors divine a way to make the scientific seem as seedy as the grindhouse. Through the juxtaposition of ideas and images, we walk away with a feeling of unease, and a new perspective on pornography and its participants.
Title: Downs are Feminine (1993)
Director: Lewis Klahr
Score: ***1/2 (out of *****)
Plot: Cut out images from gay stag films are stop motion animated into a bizarre ballet of copulation and...candy?
Review: Alternative lifestyles, in this case, gay sex, are often left out of any discussion of personal proclivity due to their relatively taboo nature. Here, Klahr decides to use obvious images from meatrack productions to argue homosexuality's humdrum happenstance. Sure, it's semi-shocking to see stop motion clipart copulating in guy/guy glory, but after a while, when the novelty has worn off, we recognize the same stale situations, a clever combination of the routine and the randy.
Title: The Color of Love (1994)
Director: Peggy Ahwesh
Score: **1/2 (out of *****)
Plot: Found porn footage is purposefully degraded and colored to reflect the connection between arousal and anger.
Review: Taking a page out of the Blue Movie and Removed aesthetic, Peggy Ahwesh uses the subliminal and the imaginary to make her point. By taking hardcore material (there is some minor penetration here) and degrading it to an almost unwatchable state, she places the viewer in the unusual position of using their mind to fill in the blanks. It works, up to a point. Soon, fantasy turns to frustration - which may be the purpose behind this engaging enterprise, after all. Title: Sexjunkie (2003)
Director: Julia Ostertag
Score: **** (out of *****)
Plot: A young women ruminates on her addiction to personal pleasure and how it had changed her as a person.
Review: Like any addict's call for help, Ms. Ostertag's seemingly autobiographical take on her obsession with physical love is harrowing, heartbreaking, and just slightly overheated. In some cases, we sense this filmmaker wanting to make actual pornography (she is shown in several XXX-like sequences, complete with penetration). In other instances, the baring of her soiled soul is more than noticeable. Together, the combination gels into a sort of sloppy self portrait. We feel pity and empowered by the frank and up front focus.
Title: Pacifier (1999)
Director: Oscar Perez
Score: *** (out of *****)
Plot: Digging out an old Penthouse Forum letter he composed at 13, a director illustrates his awkward adolescent fantasy fodder.
Review: There is an inherent novelty here that is hard to avoid. When someone who composed a completely juvenile sex scenario in his youth decides to go back and revisit his retarded ribaldry - and visualize it UNEDITED - there's a clever level of chutzpah there that has us rooting for the result. Unfortunately, Perez's presentation is too camp kitsch clever to sell the adolescent idiocy. Instead, the whole enterprise comes across like a failed John Waters tribute. The cast is amazing - the overall effect is only semi-successful.
Title: Ecstasy in Platinum featuring Margie Crews (1957)
Director: Unknown
Score: **1/2 (out of *****)
Plot: Old school bump and grind burlesque reel with a new underscoring by radical soundtrack reinterpreters PornOrchestra
Review: See Burly-Q babe prance and preen. See ersatz erotic honey drop her top. See the pasties and gauze covering the goodies. See why stripping in the '30s - '50s was considered an artform.
Title: A Workout on the Love Muscles (193?)
Director: Unknown
Score: ** (out of *****)
Plot: Ancient hardcore smoker reel with a new underscoring by radical soundtrack reinterpreters PornOrchestra
Review: Lovers of modern porn may mumble over the plastic fantastic fakeness of the new breed of XXX guys and gals, but after seeing this early 20th century sleaze, this critic will take the tweezed and siliconed stars any day. This is some nauseating stuff, a look at lewdness before ethics and empowerment kept women (mostly) from being used. Aside from the obvious military tattoos on the men, the whole effort feels seedy and illegal. Unless you get off on that sort of smut, you may want to avoid this last act wantonness.
The Video:
Offered by outsider distributor Other Cinema in a wonderfully evocative presentation, Xperimental Eros has a very good 1.33:1 full screen transfer. The images - which do frequently change from black and white to color (and back) - are clear and crisp, with lots of controlled contrasts and definable details. Age does play a minor part here, as Sneakin' and Peakin' and anything prior to 1970 looks old and washed out. In some ways, that's part of the production's charm. You frequently feel like you just unearthed some kind of tawdry time capsule.
The Audio:
Since each film is featured as part of an overall dynamic, there are no differing sound designs here. In essence, the aural aspects of this release fluctuate between Dolby Digital Stereo 2.0 and Mono processed through both channels. That's it. When needed, the dialogue is easily understandable. The music, when important, is delivered in acceptable ambience.
The Extras:
Aside from a booklet outlining the individual films and offering some critical perspective (by UC Berkley PhD Linda Williams), there technically aren't any bonus features here. The DVD packaging touts the final two films in the collection as being part of the added content, but they are only accessible through the main menu, and are never delineated on the disc as such. Similarly, there are a few trailers here, but they are part of the overall Other Cinema strategy. So while it looks like there's some assorted extras here, it's all really part of the overall Xperimental Eros experience.
Final Thoughts:
Since it does a brilliant job of arousing your intellectual interests while only slightly satisfying the more salacious human fascinations, Xperimental Eros becomes a wonderful prurient primer. It invokes a myriad of feelings and reactions - and only rarely are they linked to your genitalia. Because it wants to expand the discussion of pornography and expose what really drives individual desire, this excellent Other Cinema compendium earns an easy Highly Recommended rating. If you're looking for a less scandalous, easily disguised XXX substitute, this is not the title for you. Head on over to some of those 42nd Street homage trailer collections and get you ya-ya's out. But if you want a chance to focus on the more ethereal elements of the erotic, if you want to know what makes your tick tock and you brain bubble, sit back and enjoy this 90 minute mental workout. After all, they say the mind is the largest and most underserved erogenous zone. This DVD may just be the first intelligent stimulant for the cerebellum. - Bill Gibron

Xperimental Eros: by OtherCinema DVD

Sleaze International

In the early 1970s, when 16mm commercial porn production accelerated rapidly (for a sense of this period, see the commercial melodrama "Boogie Nights"), the genre was still largely considered by most people to be illicit and in terms of its effects on one's 'moral fiber', almost toxic. It was known widely that porn was financed by organized crime gangs. Porn was cheap and dangerous. The world of Times Square, of Taxi Driver's Travis Bickle's endless urban inner-city torment of backstreet sleaze, addiction, and vice. Men (and it was almost exclusively men) had to go to a movie house (usually recycled newsreel cinemas from the 1940s) to see porn and had to be in a city to go to a movie house. There were no VCRs. No DVDs. No internet. No cell phones.
Porn theatres then assumed the patrons did not want to be seen going into them, offering secret back-alley doors to sneak in and out of. This was not the enlightened, middle-class professional class' idea of the body and sexuality as part of a healthy overall view of the world, as say, embodied in the "Good Vibrations" culture of female empowerment via well-informed masturbation. It was urban. It was lurid and sickly. There was little that was good-natured or even remotely glamorous about it. The people who made the films lived precarious lives. The subjects often suffered at the hands of sleazy cheating producers and their gangster backers. And the world of old men jacking-off in dark small theatres was a market, which had yet to get suburban and mainstream. Only then, when the eventual early 1980s VCR sales created what became really a totally new demand, the cheaply made home porn video, the 16mm porn film was relegated to oblivion.
In the intervening years, and most notably since the Reagan-led 1980s, organized crime and media production have long since gone completely mainstream and acceptable. Everything in the world is part of the media spectacle and little on sale today falls outside the aegis of that most crime-ridden entity; the major global corporation. Like Las Vegas going 'family-oriented', inviting the RV-driving elderly pensioners from the suburbs to displace the shady types who started the place to shake its image as a sleaze magnet, it's the same old shady hoods that run the show. The difference however, between the glitzy showbiz hoods and the official culture of governance they once had to work around, has evaporated. The gangsters got so big they ended up running the world. Tony Montana got what he wanted--the world. Al Capone is the president and his movie star Austrian bodyguard runs California. And Cheney is so far off the sleaze scale, a new paradigm of sleaze has to be created just for him.
Porn specializations proliferated in the 1980s to a point where any peculiar taste could be met as just another market in a boundless commercial empire spanning the world. Fat porn. Granny porn. Pee porn. Pregnant porn. Scat porn. Like the musclemen of the screen that decade, the appeal was seeing what the human body could do. It could get really fat. It could get really weird. It can bend this way and that. The body, like meaning itself, had lost its purchase on limits, de-regulated, like the world's economies. The body was post modern and busting at the seams with possibility like John Carpenter's "The Thing"; it could assume any shape, any size, and who knew what form it would take next?
Today every aspect of life seems to be mediated by intricate channels of media whose levels of specialization truly defy any known limits. The commercially distributed database of homegrown production that is YouTube, the endless archive that is Google, and the vast flea market that is eBay are but the iceberg tip of a tsunami of privately-run digitized meaning-systems which render anything made before the early 1980s as amazingly rare, distant and collectible. It's enough for a media artifact to simply have survived the nuke-attack of digitalism since 1990 to suddenly today become the subject of deep and lasting fascination.
Porn is today thus just another hue to the air we breathe. It is just another consumer choice to make at selection time on the cable TV remote, the website menu, or the arthouse calendar. It means nothing. It's just data.

Experimental Film - Lost in the Ghetto

The political and cultural openness which eventually led to porn's commercial normalization in culture paradoxically sealed the death-knell for any such similar outcome for experimental film, forever marginalized to ghettos arguably much more confining than those befalling porno at the same time. Those of the arthouse, the cinematheque, and as evidenced here, the specialist collectible media-archeological DVD.
Experimental film was like the one-of-a-kind insect specimen. It was like all things 'fine' --expensive, limited, hard to see easily, and tied too closely to institutions which have a vested interest in keeping themselves inaccessible.
Today the cultural appeal of the Seventies as a kind of 'lost paradise' of pre-globalized relative simplicity is embodied in the now twenty-year-old fascination and mis-representation of the period as a time of excess, of 'bad' taste and garish bravado. Much of the porn in "Xperimental Eros" is from this time. Millennial nostalgia and surface-image fetishism for the 70s means little to those like myself who actually experienced them directly as teenagers. I remember this period as a time of tender anxiety and considerable moral and economic confusion, tinged with the sense that one was caught precariously between more than one kind of amazing utopia. It was also a very liberating time, because the triumphs of the 1960s had yet to be so totally crushed, as they would soon be during the 1980s, a project which has continued to this day, when it arguably has reached a zenith.
This "1970s-disconnect" sensibility is perfectly evoked by Damon Packard's stunningly accurate and knowing re-creations of low-brow TV psycho-drama from the period. But that is a different DVD and I thus digress?
Underground experimental films once shared alongside porn an imposed outsider status, and it's comforting in a way to see the association between them made again, if only as a result of 40 years of found-footage production, animation, and Cultural Studies. Other Cinema's "Xperimental Eros" brings porn back alongside its once-upon-a-time fellow outlaw form, the experimental short. It's almost like a replay on the cliché view held by--say, bigots and conservatives in 1973--that "if you went to an underground movie, you might see naked ladies!"

The Kuleshov-Conner Effect

With this sensibility in mind, I decided that my favorite film on the "Xperimental Eros" DVD is "The Influence of Ocular Light Perception" by Thomas Draschan and Stella Friedrichs. It utilizes the now-familiar post-1990s "found footage" collage-essay technique of juxtaposing archival shots of thematically related ideas visually. There are many mini-montages based on shot theme. Shots of men peering through scopes (each shot very short - maybe a second only). Shots of people taking off shoes. A collection of 'button pressing' and 'dial turning'. A glimpse of porn. An instructional film about-mouth-to-mouth. Another about applying pressure to a young female thigh. A film about archery (arrow hits target).
Sex is alluded to and graphically insinuated (much as it was clumsily in the heyday of 1940s and 1950s theatrical movies - e.g., the train rushing into the tunnel, the waves crashing onto the beach to indicate that "the couple fucked") rather than directly shown, and the sly innuendo which results, is hilarious. It is every editing student's primary lesson of continuity editing (shot A plus shot B gives rise to thought C)--the "Kuleshov Effect".
But this film also enacts what might be called the "Bruce Conner Effect" - the deliberate mining of shots for associated graphic matches and simpatico meanings in order to reveal something unseen between them. No matter how 'well' shots match up thematically, the differences between them formally, in terms of look and feel and overall inherent nature, give rise to a mysterious quality which might be described as a third element, separate from the shots themselves, born uniquely from their precise collision.
When pressed together shots thus explode like gunpowder under pressure. This is a chemistry of symbol exchange, and this movie is a power-keg.

We Really Appreciate Your Beauty

Tom Palazzolo's documentary "Sneakin' and Peekin" is about a zesty 16mm camera-toting guy sneaking into a summer mid-western country nudist contest event (getting lost in brambles as he does so), and asking the women there if he (along with dozens of other salivating men with cameras) can take movies of them. The filmmaker is only semi-embarrassed at the prospect of having to ask for shots of nudity, and the rather blasé women generally comply, some of them asking for copies for their own commercial needs.
This homegrown exchange of image production ("let me photograph you nude, please - oh, alright, but send me a copy") is a far cry from the counterculture idea of the body as "beyond" exchange, as the place where pleasure happens, not where it is to be photographed for private pleasure later. This is a 1970s rural blue-collar notion of the body as a commodity. And the process of recording and that of presenting it for display is an identifiable and thus quantifiable form of work.
The "Whitesploitation" realm of giant cars, red, white, & blue ribbons, lots of cameras, deck chairs, flatbed trucks , PA systems, resembles a rodeo. It's a kind of nudist camp combined with an outdoor beauty pageant meat-market, where the women assemble in lines and pull girly-magazine style poses for the gaze of the many surrounding men who exclaim things like "Oh baby!", and "You're doing a great job" (it's work!), and "We really appreciate your beauty", and "No crossin' of legs, now!". You almost expect George Kennedy and Burt Reynolds to come up to the camera and say how much they are enjoying themselves. Or Charlton Heston perhaps, bearing his ample back teeth?

More than the Sum of its Parts

Anais Nin's voice accompanies Mark Street's "Blue Movie" - a mesmerizing formal treatment of what appear to be 1930s or 1950s 16mm porn movies, whose original content has been optically zoomed into and then carefully augmented with color overlays and a post-production technique called step-printing. These detail the subtle facial expressions of the porn performers, rendering them languid and dreamily moving anonymous portraits from a forgotten time. The effect of the inter-frame flicker slowed down creates a kind of Burroughs 'dream-machine' effect, and here the sexuality lies not in the depiction of the act at all, but rather the rumination on the whole idea of blue movies and sex itself as something encoded via color and surface as illicit, contraband, and mysterious. It works like the very best of tender and well-remembered sexual experiences here in the real world, where a meta-language of the softly spoken word and the delicate physical dance of touch combine to form something close to pure all-encompassing spiritual and emotional bliss.

Candy Samples

The Washington-based porno collector and one-time Library of Congress official Ralph "King of Porn" Whittington is filmed by Jeff Krulik, showing off his vast homebound assembly of hoarded porno treasure before it is moved to the Museum of Modern Art. Whittington gives a guided tour of his collection, and explains in detail how it is categorized, indexed, and catalogued. Like all collectors, his lifelong obsession must constantly deal with its perpetual incompleteness. Porn has always accompanied (and even been responsible for) the rise and fall of personal media systems, Whittington's rare first-issue-on-video of "Deep Throat" must (of course) have its own dedicated Betamax (one of the first on the market) video player "It weighs up to forty or fifty pounds", says Whittington, proud that both media and player have been collected together. Another treasure is the "Candy Samples" love doll--the cheap lurid flesh-tone latex face pressed up against the five inch square transparent box lid says it all. This film begs a question as big as the proverbial elephant-on-the-couch: How could any porn collection be "complete"?! The idea that porn might somehow be a form with finite limits and thus require a policy of private semi-historical documentation is curious in itself, especially today.

Culture Gangsters Like Us

Film as fine art, as subtle statement, as personal view is today unlike porn, locked largely into the value-systems of official institutions. Academic historians, collectors, and critics are the among the few still examining actual 1970s and earlier porn today, and only then with the wistful, knowing ironic gaze of the educated professional, who can scoff from behind designer glasses and over select wines at the oh-so-vulgar excesses of a time when these curios on 16mm once flowed out of a production line that sat in close proximity to those also supplying heroin, illegal arms, prostitutes, and automatic weapons.
One cannot imagine, for example, a collector like Whittington doing what he does with experimental film, and if he did, he would not categorize the examples like merchandise on some big-box warehouse store, as this film depicts him doing. The status of the film, as art as evidence of the valuable essence-of-the-artist, would be unique by being one of a kind, not one among many, and on this basis, like a Sotheby's auction, attract high prices and invite hushed tones when talked about. Fine art is just not supposed to work in the way that porn works, because the people that run the fine-art racket make sure that dime-store porno values generally do not permeate the essentialism of their elitist country club of private screenings, discrete gatherings, and institutionally mediated events, complete with mailing lists, calendars and guest lists.
That Whittington's collection eventually 'makes' the Museum of Modern Art means that the Art Gallery has now met the librarian on common ground--where porn is understood as a media genre, and like all genres, it is best described as defining a type, a genus, an entire category of creative meaning-making, one which, due to the digital world in which we live, should attract more attention, more scrutiny, not less.

Here I am again, reviewing another art/experimental porn collection. As you might know, I tend to be really bored with these, as they often feature too little of it all. Be it porn or be it artistic value. The best one out there I would have to say is "L'Èrotisme" even though it's not as straight on porn as "Dirty Diaries" and "Xperimental Eros". I was actually pretty impressed with "Xperimental Eros" because it actually featured some genuinely good and interesting shorts, as well as amusing and sexy. But I would be lying if I called it flawless as I did find myself bored at times, yet again. But this is definitely a step up from "Dirty Diaries" and others I've watched.
Starting out with a documentary on a man who collects porn, "King of Porn" isn't one of the best ones on here but it's one of the easiest to watch and it's actually very entertaining, at times comedic. Although his collection didn't sound that huge, I suppose when it's all porn it is a hefty pile of trash he got there.
Next up is one of the most colorful shorts in the pile. It's also one of the most boring ones, as it showed close to nothing at all. But I will admit that it was beautiful colorwise and filtering, but the lack of content really dragged it down as one of the most boring ones.
"Sneakin' and Peekin'" was one of my favorites, and it's basicly just old footage taken from when a couple of people with a camera sneak into some sort of nudist camp pageant. I believe I did heard "Miss Nude America" and such somewhere, and also "Mr. Nude Trucker". What I liked about this, except for the naked chicks, was the wonderful 70/80's feeling and the entire mood of the "festival". You couldn't help but wishing you were there, back then. It ends with the filmmakers sneaking back out and that's basicly all there is to it. But more isn't needed when it achieves such simple but wonderful things.
"Removed" was a very interesting piece where it's basicly just a random pornographic scene, but the film has been scratched and messed with to death and especially the naked girl. In fact, she is almost non-existent and all that is left is a shape of her in bright white, scratched, broken film, with occasional blinks where you see her. Content-wise it's just the same old, but the way it was done really attracted my eyes. Films like these are the main reason why I wish I could work with film, as the art of films like this and the works of Stan Brakhage really catches my eye, even though I have no idea how some of them are done.
Next up is one I don't really like too much. "The Influence of Ocular Light Perception on Metabolism in Man and Animal". It's just random footage to music. All that would be great except that it takes more than that to impress my artsy nose. Total bummer with such a long, pretentious title, hah.
"The Color of Love"... Now, this is what I wanted when I heard the title "Xperimental Eros". This is classy in the dirtiest way possible. Take the scratched footage of "Removed" (except don't over-do the scratching on the ladies. In this one you see them clearly) or other really, really old porn, insert some great colors, and finally add a porno scene where two girls start by messing around with a dead man, one they later stab in the balls (I must say, this was done neatly enough to make me rewind to see it again) and eventually have their way with, orally and vaginally. This really is a film that attracts the readers on Film Bizarro, no doubt about that. It's cheesy to say that you will like it just because it has some more violent in it than the others do, but that's actually true here. And when it's as dark but colorful as this film is, where can you go wrong?
"Downs are Feminine" is another one that bored me deeply. It's a cool idea to use paper cutouts to give guys vaginas and girls penises and all that, but this was basicly just a music video and hardly interesting enough to make it worth while. I had to fast-forward through this one to make sure I didn't miss anything (if I had skipped it entirely, I mean).
The following film was definitely the best, "SexJunkie". It's not the best on an experimental level, but as far as pornography, plot, and interest goes, this ranks as #1. It's narrated by a woman who tells us she is addicted to sex and that there is no love, only sex. She is addicted to knowing men wants to have sex with her. The narration is done really well, and what's shown on screen is nicely lit pornographic scenes of her doing blokes, and some occasional odd shots that really stood out and made it more than just narrated porn. There is no doubt that Julia Ostertag could make some really good stuff that is being missed by most, if she keeps up with what she created with this one.
There isn't much I can say about "Pacifier", it starts off with on-screen text telling us about a guy or boy who wrote letters to Penthouse growing up. More specifically, the "Penthouse forum"-section, where readers mail their own sex stories. It then goes on to saying that these were never mailed, and that 13 years later the guy found his letters again and decided he wanted to make films out of them. What follows then is a really silly and stupid porno-sketch that really wasted more time than the text in the beginning did.
"Xperimental Eros" did what it promised, even though I would've wished for more in some of the films featured here. "SexJunkie" and "The Color of Love" are two shorts that I think really stood out and made this DVD worth a purchase. I will continue with my ongoing quest to find the best experimental porn collection out there, but I am certain that most of them will be worse than this and "L'Èrotisme". Anyone wanna challenge me and mail me a good collection title? Go ahead! Overall, "Xperimental Eros" is what you expect.




The PornOrchestra is an attempt to radically reinterpret the soundtrack to pornographic film. This complicated genre has taken its share of scorn: from adult film producers who refuse to pay it any mind to legions of consumers who instinctively snap the sound off after pressing Play.

Performing live improvised and composed scores to pornographic film, the PornOrchestra invigorates the mysterious experience of the Voyeur-cum-Auditeur. The equivalent of a circus band with its collective eye on the trapeze artist: the PornOrchestra teases out the thrill, amplifying the collective gasp at pornographic triumph —and tragedy— using the most eclectic and creative musical minds working in the Bay Area today.

We've considered this. We don't even like porn. All that much.
A friend writes:
[pornography] seems so often "merely" another catastrophic short-cut to settle for a lower level of satisfaction without the complications involved in achieving a higher level. And without the higher level. Ever. But also with all the attending godawfulness that capitalism attaches to every enterprise, not least ones that actually trade in what passes for intimacy and/or fundamental human value. So that I can see how, in an ideal world, it might work out ... but not so much in this world. But anyway, what are you doing with it?

Give it to me, molto agitato

The geriatric sex scene was better left forgotten.
Easier said than done.
The first-ever performances of the Porn Orchestra, a loose-knit gathering of Bay Area improv musicians providing spontaneous soundtracks to X-rated videos, took place over the weekend at the downtown Oakland performance space 21 Grand. The events were intended as a musical showcase; organizers claimed no special affinity for pornographic movies. But everyone knew why there was an overflow crowd.
"By a show of hands -- how many people are here for the porn?" asked hostess and organizer Shannon Mariemont. Wearing a black bra, feather boa and artfully smeared lipstick, she got the answer she expected.
"Show naked people," she reasoned, "and you'll pack the house every time."
The naked people onscreen ran the smutty gamut, from benign still shots of body parts that might have been borrowed from biology class to some vintage hard-core encounters. The coup de grace, though it was not the finale, was the videotape featuring a middle-aged man with a fetish for very old women.
"No!" cried one guy in the back, realizing the scene was going to (ahem) play itself out.
Some of the footage was straight out of the basement shops of the red-light district, with preposterous narrative premises quickly dissolving into clothes- shedding rendezvous between extremely willing participants. Other segments were more artfully arranged. In one, graphic scenes from an orgy were transposed with an old driver's-ed instructional film.
The music . . . right, the music . . . varied wildly. Opening pieces featured electronic musicians hunched over laptops, conjuring a melange of dark ambience, funky beats and extremely random, disembodied voice-overs (including, at one point, the words "Myra Breckenridge" and "orangutan").
The improv group Triple D might have gotten the night's most enthusiastic reception for its sly, knowing mix of clarinets, contrabass and vocalist Aurora Josephson's avant-garde shrieks and moans.
The actual Porn Orchestra came last. With musicians scattered throughout every available inch of the cramped space, composer/multi-instrumentalist Bob Marsh "conducted" by rushing around waving a clipboard of instructions: "Pizzicato/Staccato," "Add Voice With It."
Drummers rattled junk percussion; horn players squawked and blew low groans.
Guitarists drew feedback from their instruments, one using a little sex toy as a slide. Someone caressed the space around a theremin's antenna. Rarely did any of the performers look up at the screen.
By the end the music was, in fact, more exciting than the film. But the biggest crowd pleaser may not have been any particular image or interlude.
Early in the evening the hostess introduced a few of the performers by their "porn names," such as Trixie Overbrook.
The formula for figuring out your porn name, she explained, is simple: It's the name of your first pet, followed by the name of the first street you lived on. Audience members had a great time deciphering their own; between sets they hollered them out for consideration by the group.
Each one of them, as it happened, was sheer perfection: Coco Turnpost, Buffy Walnut, Frisky Raccoon. They were all porn stars, at least for one night.

How to have sex in San Francisco

A beginner's guide. By Karen Solomon
OUR BELOVED HISTORICAL port town, known for its edgy residents and social tolerance, is the perfect environment for an experimental, visible sex community. This community promotes clubs and performances and has its own shops and media, and its members can even offer you a quick word of advice if you call the right hotline.
There is something sexy in San Francisco for everyone, whether you're at a bachelorette party looking to get a little bubble-gum wild, or you're in search of the perfect gender-bending, polyamorously perverse social club or sex party. No matter how bland or bizarre your tastes, we guarantee there's a support group and well-stocked video shelf for you somewhere, if you're patient enough to seek it out. Here are a few places to start looking.

Sex clubs

Eros "Your friendly neighborhood sex club" is a prized favorite of the gay and bisexual men's community – all men, all the time. The club takes pride in its clean and attractive amenities, including steam room, cedar sauna, showers, and of course, playroom space and lounging quarters. 2051 Market, S.F. (415) 864-3767,
Power Exchange This is an enormous play space of two clubs in one, including a stage, several prison cells, a full dungeon, and private tents in the "woods." Here, gay men are welcome at all times, and several nights a week, couples, women, and the transgendered can join in the fun. Exclusive nights just for couples and the popular Wet Wednesday women's-only event are regular happenings as well. 74 Otis, S.F. (415) 487-9944,
Pleasure Zone Run by women with a straight- and bi-girl focus, Pleasure Zone is a series of parties more about tickling your eroticism than the hands-on raunch of a pure sex club. Women are encouraged to don their sexiest threads, and men are encouraged to dress and behave well. These events are dance-floor focused with no sex play allowed on the premises. Event themes and locations vary.
Blowbuddies For gay men who like their play rough and no-frills, this fine establishment has been giving them pleasure for more than 15 years. In addition to glory holes, slings, prison cells, and other hot spaces and themes, it also offers on-site free HIV testing. It opens early on Fridays – 3 p.m. – for those who can't wait for the weekend. 933 Harrison, S.F. (415) 777-HEAD,
Lush Couples and single women looking for a twist on the regular club scene are always welcome at these upper-crusty erotic evenings on the dance floor, and some may take advantage of the playrooms available upstairs. Reservations are required, and they must be made by women. A strict dress code is enforced, and partygoers only get location information once a reservation has been confirmed. (415) 923-1888,
Darkness Falls Imagine you and your date are in a pitch-black room with 40 other naked people. If this sounds appealing to you – and it does to many, because the events always sell out – then Darkness Falls at art space Spanganga might just be your cup of very dark, very strong tea. Consult the Web site for the next couples or all-women event.


Theatre Rhinoceros This Mission District mainstay proudly proclaims itself the nation's longest-running queer theater, and every season spotlights a full season of sex and sexuality from all perspectives. Home to campy favorites like Christmas with the Crawfords, in-your-face comedians like Marga Gomez, and shows like Cocksucker: A Love Story, Theatre Rhinoceros is where sex not only titillates but (shudder!) also makes you think. 2926 16th St., S.F. (415) 861-5079,
Sex Worker Film and Video Festival The annual event brings together the creative juices of models, dancers, actors, prostitutes, and others in the sex industry as they turn their talents to the screen. Check the Web site for events.
Exotic Erotic Ball This event has been called the straight, Republican version of the Folsom Street Fair. With high glamour, wild costumery, and more than one boob job in the house, this is an exhibitionist's dream that makes everyone feel freaky and titillated. This year's ball is scheduled for October at the Cow Palace. (415) 567-BALL,
PornOrchestra We'll let you decide where art begins and sexuality ends. But while you're thinking about it, take in an evening with the PornOrchestra, a group of quality musicians who perform both composed and improvised scores to accompany wide-screen pornographic films.
The Cantankerous Lollies Something about a trio of long-legged beauties in frilly panties undulating on the backs of chairs in unison is sort of, well, sexy. As much so now as it was in the burlesque-vaudeville houses of yore to which the Lollies pay homage. Jezebel, Margot Montmarte, and Delilah are pure heat in ostrich feathers.
Big Burlesque Fat-Bottom Revue For those who dig a whole lot of women with a whole lot to offer, these performers will not disappoint. Launched by size activist Ms. DeMeanor, this burlesque group offers the most curves per inch. A rotating stable of performers dances, strips, teases, and turns you on.
Harlem Shake S.F.'s famed Simone de la Ghetto has sashayed her booty across the stage with San Francisco's Famous Burlesque Revue and the Cantankerous Lollies. This latest effort has her at the center of the city's premier rump-and-pump troupe featuring nothing but lovely, luscious black women.
Bunnybunns Do not confuse this nude cooking instructor and party chef with a certain bloke on the Food Network, as she is the real deal. She'll come to your party and prepare the entire gourmet, organic menu with nary an apron and a smile. (510) 499-1136,

Gear and garb

Foxy Lady Boutique There's racy stuff, such as bejeweled brassieres, body stockings, bustiers, and some fetish wear, at this boutique, but what sets it apart is its upwardly mobile stock of sizes for every girl and drag queen with sex appeal. Shoppers can revel in sequin gowns and boa-trimmed dresses up to 8x, PVC and leather up to 4x, and thigh-high boots and green glitter pumps up to women's size 17. 2644 Mission, S.F. (415) 285-4980,
Mr. S Leather Company and Fetters USA In the world of leather, B&D, S-M, and kink, this is mecca. Collars, gags, straitjackets, hoods, handcuffs, and restraints of all fashion await your approval. Mr. S is best known for high-quality, durable products made in its own workshop in San Francisco. 310 Seventh St., S.F. (415) 863-7764,
Madame S The entrepreneurs of Mr. S recently opened this women's shop for the madame to find her own fetish fashions and gear. Meet with its team of stylists and consultants to custom construct the outfit of your fantasies. 321 Seventh St., S.F. (415) 863-WHIP,
Stormy Leather This shop is best known for its women's fashions from corsetry to latex. While the clothes aren't cheap, neither is the quality of its merchandise. 1158 Howard, S.F. (415) 626-1672,
Dark Garden Corsetry If you've got the bucks for something truly luxurious, this is where you want to go for custom corsets for men and women, plus corset dresses and ready-to-wear, waist-cinching fashions, handmade wedding dresses, and detailed historical costumes. Dark Garden works with a multitude of fabrics, including satin, brocade, silk jacquard, and naturally, leather. 321 Linden, S.F. (415) 431-7684,
Good Vibrations The sexual can often be political, and such is the philosophy behind this worker- and women-owned retailer of toys, publisher of books, and producer of videos dedicated not only to heightened sexual pleasure but also to heightened awareness, enlightenment, and sexual education. 1210 Valencia, S.F. (415) 974-8980; 1620 Polk, S.F. (415) 345-0400; 2504 San Pablo, Berk. (510) 841-8987,
Magazine Remember how good old-style smut mags used to be? The Magazine remembers. This cluttered bookshop stocks an amazingly browsable collection of vintage porn mags (queer and straight), some dating back to the glamour pin-up era of the 1930s and 1950s, along with videos, paperbacks, and more recent publications. 920 Larkin, S.F. (415) 441-7737.
Foot Worship/Felicity's Fetiche Former erotic dancer Miss Felicity has opened up these two retail storefronts side by side to share her fine taste in bare-all fashion with the world. You'll find rack after rack of tiny shirts, clingy skirts, and short shorts, guaranteed to leave little to the imagination. 1214 Sutter, S.F. (415) 474-7874,
Piedmont Boutique Whatever your gender or shape, you can shop here for a costume party as easily as you for your sex club uniform. You'll find hosiery, wigs, boas galore, and enough rhinestone, feather, and glitter accessories to make even Liberace say, "Whoa, fella." 1452 Haight, S.F. (415) 864-8075.
Cake Gallery Some people say they would hate to choose between food and sex. It's nice to know you don't always have to. Here, adult cake and candy never tasted so good. Get that genital-shaped dessert you've always dreamed of, with as much biological detail as you dare. 290 Ninth St., (415) 861-2253.
Blowfish Toys, videos, books, and supplies with a sexy, female-friendly bent, are available from this Web purveyor, known for a gorgeous and seductive collection of acrylic and glass toys.

Sex classes

Quality SM Topping, bottoming, bondage, humiliation, and other psychological and technical aspects of sadomasochism are unpacked and explained in the classroom for those at all levels of expertise. Go to the Web site for a schedule.
Vulva University The woman who brought you the vulva puppet has so much more to offer. Private, thorough sex education courses are yours, dot-com style: $20 a year for all the online-only classes you wish to take. Subjects include lesbian sex, ob-gyn, tantra and erotic massage, kink, sexual spirituality, and sex for busy moms.
Erotic Dance Workshops and Classes With a background in belly dance, modern dance, and exotic movement, Catherine Rose teaches workshops and private lessons on the basics of sensual movement, performance dynamics, gyration, and stripping.
Institute for Advanced Study of Human Sexuality If a casual interest in the study of sexuality isn't enough, this independent educational institution offers degree programs in sexology, including master's and doctorate degrees in human sexuality, and certificate programs in sex ed and sexological instruction. 1523 Franklin, S.F. (415) 928-1133,

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