Dressing For Pleasure is a 1977 25-minute documentary directed by John Samson, who made a career out of films about outsider topics (e.g. tattoos, competitive darts, the sexual lives of disabled people).
For a while, I’ve seen references to a 1980 documentary about kinky people, aired on public television station KQED. Online searches turned up nothing, but I finally put in the effort to look up KQED and see if I could somehow get access to it, if only partially. After a few emails, they were kind enough to give me access to a stream of the 36-year-old documentary. I had to sign a fairly restrictive agreement, so I can’t share any of it.
I want to give some signal boost to True Stories productions’ documentary-in-progress Black Pervert: the f***ing history of a double minority, both because I like to support BDSM history projects in general, and because POCs deserve more representation and recognition in kink. I look forward to seeing this.
Despite Vimeo attributing it to Marc Campbell, IMDB lists it as Dressing for Pleasure (1977) directed by John Samson and Mike Wallington, about the 1970s UK leather/rubber/latex scene. Including interviews with John Sutcliffe of Atomage fame, and a clerk at McLaren-Westwood’s SEX shop.
I like the framing device of the models posing in and around a giant book printed, as if the people in the photos and illustrations of something like John Willie’s Bizarre or an Atomage catalogue magically came to life.
TLC: Year with a Leather Club (1996) is a documentary film just released totally for free under a Creative Commons license.
The documentary, produced in 1993-96, looks at the Tarheel Leather Club, a Greensboro, North Carolina based leather/sm organization involved in community education, fundraising, political awareness and mutual spport among LGBT fetishists. The documentary was mastered for DVD from an original Hi-8 master of the work and runs approximately 80 minutes. It is unrated, but recommended for mature audiences.
You can view more supplementary materials, interviews and information about the documentary at http://www.coolcatdaddy.com/. This documentary and dvd image are copyright (c) 1996-2009 by Randy A. Riddle and the Tarheel Leather Club.
Graphic Sexual Horror (2009), dir. Barbara Bell, Anna Lorentzon IMDB
“I’m looking for something that’ll… break through, you know?” Videodrome, 1982, dir. David Cronenberg
In the mid-90s, bondage photography was still stuck in the glamor-based, damsel-in-distress style mode that Harmony Concepts had been putting out since the 1970s.
Then came the notorious website Insex.com, hardcore bondage shoots that owed more to crime scene photos than Helmut Newton. Insex was also new in that it was designed for the web: downloadable clips instead of mail-order DVDs, and live chats. It was created, almost on a whim, by PD, also known as Brent, who cited his experiences during a tour in Vietnam, when he saw a bondage show in a Japanese nightclub. He also cited his bondage-influenced performance pieces.
I think that if we could ever somehow travel back in time and directly observe the past, ancient Rome wouldn’t look like Russel Crowe in Gladiator. It would look more like Caligula or Fellini Satyricon. Not because those two films are particularly historically accurate, but because watching them conveys the constant sense of “WTF?!?” you get when you visit a very different culture.
After waiting way too long, I finally rented Bret Wood’s film Psychopathia Sexualis. It’s definitely an odd film, but worth seeing in studying our history of sexuality. Psychopathia Sexualis was a very important book in the evolution of sexuality in general and kink in particular, the first book to put the words “sadism” and “masochism” together.
Wood’s film is a set of interconnected vignettes, dramatizing the case studies Krafft-Ebing collected as well as inferred scenes. They’re shot in a style intended to suggest the early days of silent film, as if some German expressionist had tried to make a film version in the 1920s.