It’s a shame. For although Bad Girl is certainly not recommended for those who consider explicit depictions of enthusiastic carnal activity in all its different flesh-tones to be morally reprehensible, it is an educational look at an industry worth billions of dollars that spans from “Moscow to Anchorage,” according to one source. The impact of such an industry on global culture cannot be ignored.
As Bad Girl‘s opening reel begins to unspool, we’re transported to Denmark’s Zentropa Studios, where a petite brunette boasts about being the entity’s first female porn director. Her contribution to hardcore, 1999’s “Pink Prison”, complies with Zentropa’s motto that “no hair pulling, ejaculation in the face,” or other staples of male-oriented porn be shown. One clip from the film is described as “The Blue Scene,” a psychedelic light show reminiscent of a strobe-powered rave party, where a blonde and her many male pleasurers are drenched in the color of a Navy uniform. “Women seem to like the scene,” its director claims, “because it’s more æsthetically pleasing than usual. Still, I’m taking a risk in doing this stuff. I mean, in the old days, I’d be burned over a fire.”
After this revealing introduction, we become acquainted with a number of stateside female personalities with ties to the adult film industry. There’s the big-bosomed Annie Sprinkle, a porn performer who claims a series of instructional tapes including “Get to Know Your P***y”. Sprinkle is big on humor, including risqué puppet shows performed by mannequin-outfitted private parts. Representing the educational sector, University of Berkley professor Linda Williams is introduced as the author of Hardcore, an essay on porn essay with feminist leanings. Candida Royalle produces “couples’ tapes” through Fem Productions, who pledge “no money shots, with female pleasure being paramount.” Jane Hamilton directs more mainstream, glossy hardcore movies for VCA Pictures. “I think you can really ram it home,” she proclaims of female-friendly porn, “and still do it in the spirit of love.”
Perhaps the most fascinating scene in Bad Girl occurs as Hamilton tours the VCA offices and warehouses in L.A.’s San Fernando Valley, where 99% of today’s porn is produced. She casually steps into the corporation’s main headquarters and introduces us to war veteran and VCA owner Russell Hampshire. It looks like any urban business, and a peek into one of VCA’s massive, hanger-like video distribution depots is about as sex-less an image imaginable. Thousands of tapes and display boxes line the endless warehouse shelves, awaiting distribution to salivating consumers across the world.
Get the rest of the feature in part three of WOMEN FILMING SEX: MARIELLE NITOSLAWSKA’S “BAD GIRL”>>>