Saturday, May 13, 2006

Inside Deep Throat

by Professor Wagstaff
Documentary looking at the impact of the release 'Deep Throat' in 1972 in America, a cheaply made hardcore sex film (which even the director said wasn't any good) that, because of various factors became a cultural phenomenon. The more the government tried to suppress its showing, the more popular it became.

This is a fascinating subject that the film doesn't make full use of - mainly because it's unfocussed in its agenda and tries to cover too many topics. An example of this is how the star of the film and her tragic fate afterwards - Linda Lovelace - is largely ignored. Indeed, her life probably would've been enough for the film to be based upon. There's some fascinating footage of her in the 1980s after she's released a book totally regretting her involvement in the porn industry. On one talk show, she appears with feminist Gloria Steinem who decries the fact that Lovelace was totally exploited and unable to speak for herself while within the porn industry, while Steinem is doing the very same thing herself. But the film really doesn't explore this, or other aspects of her life.

The weakest aspect of the film is the mafia connections the film had - it's done in a half-hearted and confusing way and it would've been better if the film had excised this aspect altogether. Frankly, I was bored by this section of the film.

Still, despite itself there's much of interest in here. Like how the Nixon adminsitration conducted a study into the impact of pornography in the late 1960s. When the results based on scientific data showed that pornography didn't have a negative impact, the administration (obviously not getting the results they hoped for) junked the results. Then in the 1980s, the Reagan administration did another investigation which ignored scientific data and instead relied on anaecdotal personal testimony - this time they got the negative results they wanted about pornography. Again, if they'd attempted to concentrate on purely on this aspect it probably would've been a more satisfying film.

I think the underlying weakness of this film was shown by one comment I read that the main interest of the filmmakers on this film wasn't its socio-historical impact or the fate of its stars, but the fact that it reportedly was the most profitable film ever made. And that's reflected in how the directors construct the film - having various celebrities and experts talking about the significance of the film just for the sake of it and just randomly going from one issue to the another without exploring them properly.

Overall, an interesting film that, if it had been better directed and more disciplined, could've been a gem.

2 Comments:

Blogger pornstudent said...

I saw the movie a couple of months ago. It looked like it was kind of thrown together. Still, they did cover some interesting stuff.

It's interesting that there were so many people waiting in lines at theaters to see the movie at the same time it was being banned in 23 states and the actor, Harry Reems, was arrested for obscenity. At times the US government just does what it wants.

By the way, did you know Linda posed for Leg Show in January 2001? Maybe that was covered in the movie; I can't remember.

5/13/2006 02:32:00 PM  
Blogger Professor Wagstaff said...

Yeah, they did actually cover that period when Linda posed for 'Leg Show'. It was pretty sad, having to do that to pay the bills after losing jobs on multiple occasions in the 1990s because of her Linda Lovelace background.

5/13/2006 09:25:00 PM  

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