Connect with us

Art

Porno Noir

By: Rachel Fritz

Porn. It’s one of the most taboo words in the English language, but in the New York film industry, the genre found a place to shine.

Anthology Film Archives, known for their Avant Garde and sometimes risqué film choices, showed four series of classic films that were part of the “porno chic” genre.

Casey Scott, an independent curator hailing from the D.C. area, organized the series that celebrated the Golden Age of New York film.

Previously, the AFA showed a series of exploitation films dating back to the ’50s, ‘60s and ‘70s. Knee-deep in the world of sexploitation, the organization wanted to continue the theme.

Scott’s 25 years of past research on sexploitation films and the history of sex in the film industry made him the perfect source to tap into in gaining access to the better low-budget independent films in the genre. So when he suggested an adult film series, the AFA was immediately on board.

“That’s kind of my forte,” Scott said. “I’ve always been interested in that genre, and I’m in touch with a lot of the movers and shakers that made the films, who owned the films, who had prints.”

Scott set into motion in cherry picking the best 35- and 16-millimeter films of the time.

“The adult film industry in the ‘70s and ‘80s was its own independent film industry,” he said. “A lot of people think Boogie Nights was reflective of what the industry was like; it might have been for California, but the New York industry wasn’t really like that. It was more professional.”

With his connections to film companies and access to archives, Scott found 14 films to show over a few four-day weekends with special guests featuring some of the films’ producers, composers and actors from all over the country.

“It’s not as easy to get guests to come out and speak openly and publicly and meet people if they’ve done X-rated work,” Scott said. “In terms of social norms, they had a lot more to lose from these films.”

Despite any timidity, producers and actors showed up and created a high school reunion vibe among colleagues they hadn’t seen in as many as 40 years as well as meet fans of their work.

“Guests got to put human faces and personalities to kind of an impersonal thing,” Scott said. “Porn is kind of impersonal, and it’s very objectifying at times to to the people you’re watching have sex on screen. In person you can talk with them and understand who they are and what their lives have been like; it really adds a different dimension to the films.”

The films ranged from the ‘70s to the ‘80s representing the best of the classic porno chic genre.

“They have stories, which I thought was really important,” Scott said. “A lot of the films were made by actual filmmakers, people who knew what they were doing. They had access to great equipment, very talented crew members, and a lot of the casts were professional actors who worked in theater and television.”

Thanks to some connections Scott had with film preservation companies, the continuation of Anthology’s sex history film series became a reality, showing off the New York film industry from decades ago.

“They didn’t want to seems as if they were just screening porno,” Scott said. “We made a mark in the New York history of film because nobody has shown films like this before, and no one has done it since. I’m very proud of my work on that series.”

 

FILM LIST

Series 1: In the Flesh

High Rise (1972)

Through the Looking Glass (1976) (director Jonas Middleton was flown in from North Carolina)

Take Off (1978)

Wanda Whips Wall Street (1981) (star Veronica Hart was flown in from California)

 

Series 2: Porn Noir

Expose Me, Lovely (1976)

The Double Exposure of Holly (1976)

Sex Wish (1976)

Corruption (1983) (star Kelly Nichols was flown in from California)

 

Series 3: Gay Pride

Misbehavin’ (1978) (Veronica Hart and Kelly Nichols were flown in from California, appeared to pay tribute to the film’s late star Gloria Leonard)

Roommates (1981) (stars Veronica Hart and Kelly Nichols were flown in from California)

Blonde Ambition (1980)

 

Series 4: Sex Comedies

The Budding of Brie (1980) (star Eric Edwards was flown in from California)

Titillation (1982) (star Eric Edwards flown in from California, and director Damon Christian brought in from New Hampshire)

Joy (1977) (star Sharon Mitchell and director Harley Mansfield were flown in from California)

Look for DVD’s at https://vinegarsyndrome.com and http://www.distribpix.com

Newsletter Signup

Click to comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Connect
Newsletter Signup