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In 1972, a seemingly typical shoestring budget pornographic film was made in a Florida hotel, "Deep Throat," starring Linda Lovelace. This film would surpass the wildest expectation of everyone involved to become one of the most successful independent films of all time. It caught the public imagination which met the spirit of the times, even as the self appointed guardians of public morality struggled to suppress it, and created, for a brief moment, a possible future where sexuality in film had a bold artistic potential. This film covers the story of the making of this controversial film, its stunning success, its hysterical opposition along with its dark side of mob influence and allegations of the on set mistreatment of the film's star. In short, the combined events would redefine the popular appeal of pornography, even as more cynical developments would lead it down other paths.Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (email@example.com)
It was filmed in 6 days for 25 thousand dollars. The government didn't want you to see it. It was banned in 23 states. It has grossed over 600 million dollars. And it is the most profitable film in motion picture history. See more »
Sure, there are the corny jokes, the innuendo, and of course, the deep throat scene (you knew that was...erm...coming...sigh), but this film is beyond that. It's about a phenomenon - a phenomenon that changed the way North America views sex, pornography, censorship, and feminism.
Deep Throat changed America. Stop laughing, shaking your head - it's true! After Deep Throat, the government tried to shut down 'lewd' and 'vulgar' behaviour, and tried to keep it from the screens - but it was too powerful. The streets were filled with people who proclaimed their rights to watch the 'filth' if they wanted to - and these people weren't just shady perverts, protest-hungry college students and free-loving hippies, they were the middle class, the bourgeois, the suburban, the housewives and businessmen, older ladies and middle-age soccer moms - they were suburban middle America, and they were hungry to take part in this wave of commercial sexuality. America had been repressed for forty years and they needed to LET IT OUT!
The downside is that the phenomenon won. And one thing led to another, and somewhere along the way it lost its edge and we lost the sensual, leaving us with the sexual alone. The explicit, the clinical, the self-stimulating - we have it all on the click of the satellite remote, the DVD player, the internet - but there's no love in it any more. Deep Throat was hokey. It was crap. But it celebrated sex in a FUN way. And the 70s porn industry loved the body, it loved being sexy, it loved sultriness and sexuality. All you have to do is look at the art-house softcore films of the era - Emmanuelle, Camillle 3000, etc - to see this. Feminists were split - some loved the sexual freedom, others hated the exploitation - but everyone agreed that it was all RELEVANT. In a way, Deep Throat opened doors that desperately needed to be opened, but in a way it ruined what could have been beautiful. We won the right, but lost the passion.
Meanwhile, how often are you gong to have Larry Flynt, Dick Cavitt, Camille Paglia, John Waters, Alan Dershowitz, Normal Mailer, Bill Maher, Erica Jong, Xaviera Hollander and GORE VIDAL (!!!), one after the other lauding the most successful film in history??
This film is fascinating because it looks beyond the porn. It gives the curious, and the porn-hungry, that Deep Throat scene and a little sex thrown in for good measure. But those looking for XXX-friendly masturbation material are in the wrong theater, and will be bored by the talking heads, as they argue the pros and cons of a cheaply made, hokey porn flick that wouldn't elicit more than a half-chuckle from today's film-going audience (or from today's multi-billion dollar porn industry).
We see those who applaud and those who oppose. We see how Andrea True became a one-hit wonder (More More More!!), we see how Harry Reems became the scapegoat/fall guy and was convicted and incarcerated for obscenity (it probably should have been for bad acting...), and we see how Linda Lovelace was used and abused by everyone from her husband to the porn industry to feminists, each with their own agenda. Will the real Linda Lovelace please stand up? (Question: did Gloria Steinem exploit Lovelace any less than the porn industry did...??)
Fact: The porn industry has degenerated into everything it was expected to
Fact: Those in the porn industry who aspire to higher standards are 99% likely to be doomed to fail miserably and get blacklisted in Hollywood
Fact: Inside Deep Throat is the first documentary to really look at the shift within the industry, and where it all went wrong.
Not for the overly prude, the overly perverted or the closed minded. For the few of you who are left, it's an easy 7.5/10.
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