Oct 152021
 

The Story of Joanna (IMDB) is a 1975 X-rated drama directed and written by Gerard Damiano and starring Terri Hall in the title role and Jamie Gillis as Jason.

Joanna comes from the “Golden Age of porn” in the 70s and early 80s when some hardcore adult films were made with higher production values for release with X-ratings in mainstream theatres, trying to reach a broader audience. This was also the heyday of mainstream softcore erotica films like Just Jaeckin’s Histoire D’O (1975) and the original Emmanuelle (1974), and edgier material like Nazisploitation classics The Night Porter (1974), Ilsa: She-Wolf of the SS (1975) and Salon Kitty (1976). (I’ve heard that Damiano wanted to film Story of O but couldn’t get the rights, and made his own knock-off.)

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Sep 182021
 
Mimi (Emmanuelle Seigner) meets Nigel (Hugh Grant) in the company of her husband Oscar (Peter Coyote)

Bitter Moon (IMDB) is a 1992 erotic/romance film, directed by the notorious Roman Polanski, based on the novel Lunes de Fiel by Pascal Bruckner

Nigel goes on an ocean cruise with his wife, Fiona, where he becomes fascinated by a beautiful, mysterious woman named Mimi. Her husband, a paraplegic would-be writer named Oscar, demands that Nigel listen to his story of his obsessive love with Mimi before Nigel has an affair with her. Like another tale of twisted love, Nabokov’s Lolita, we shouldn’t take the narrator at face value. Mimi privately tells Nigel: “You musn’t believe all he says. He’s a sick man. He imagines things.”

In Oscar’s story, he is a self-consciously literary archetype, an independently wealthy young American living in Paris to become a writer. On a bus trip, he becomes smitten with Mimi, a young French woman. 

Mimi is a cipher, with almost nothing more to her than being a beautiful French dancer, at least in Oscar’s telling. The early stages of their romance go from sweetly romantic to an adolescent’s idea of eroticism. 

Oscar: (to Nigel) “I’m only going into such detail to show you how completely enslaved I was, body and soul, by this creature whose dangerous charms have made such an impression on you.”

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Jun 292021
 

Before there was Dyanne Thorne as Ilsa, there was Audrey Campbell  as Olga. 

The Olga films were a series of exploitation “roughies” or “kinkies” released in the 1960s, all directed by Joseph P. Mawra, and starring Audrey Campbell as the sadistic mob boss, Olga. These films were released under several different titles and release dates. 

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Jun 242021
 
Krista Kosonen as Mona

Dogs Don’t Wear Pants (Koirat eivät käytä housuja) (IMDB) is a 2019 Finnish drama, directed by J.-P. Valkeapää and co-written by the director and Juhana Lumme, based on a story by Lumme. 

A depressed widower finds relief in breath control sessions with a pro dominatrix. 

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Jun 072021
 
Ariane (Bulle Ogier) and Olivier (Gerard Depardieu)

Maîtresse (IMDB) is a 1976 French romance film, directed by Barbet Schroeder and written by Barbet Schroeder and Paul Voujargol. (All dialog quotations are from the subtitles.)

Maîtresse concerns Olivier (Gerard Depardieu), a young petty criminal, who tries to burgle an apartment and instead enters the dungeon of a professional dominatrix, Ariane (Bulle Ogier). They start an unlikely and troubled romance. 

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May 212021
 

Growing Up Femdom: Mass Media Reflections I

By TammyJo Eckhart, PhD

When I was a little girl, I was already dominant leaning. TV shows, books, movies, and even the stories I made up, that were girl-led, woman-led, or populated by Amazon-like societies, were filtered by my mind, so I only remember what strongly appealed to me. Today I’m a published kink author who has a PhD minor in the History of Gender and Sexuality. I know that I will still filter what I see and hear through a personal lens, but I have the tools to try to be objective. I’m glad that I’m finally able to write about some of the mainstream images of kink I remember liking when I first encountered them. I’m going to talk about some of the TV shows, TV clips, and TV movies from the tape you see a photo of, though this is an artificial limit for this post and not even close to everything I could write about. It has been over two decades since I last recorded on this tape. Do I think these are still examples of woman-led relationships, or do they play into stereotypes that harm women, relationships, and kink in general?

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Jan 302021
 

John: “Elizabeth, I don’t want to negotiate with you. Now crawl.”

Nine and a Half Weeks (IMDB) is a 1986 erotic drama/romance film, directed by Adrian Lyne, starring Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger. Written by Patricia Knop & Zalman King and Sarah Kernochan. 

Adrian Lyne previously directed Flashdance (1983) and later directed controversial, sexually-charged films like Fatal Attraction (1987) and the remake of Lolita (1997). He learned filmmaking as a commercial director in London. 

Zalman King, the driving force of the film as one of the writers and producers, is an interesting figure in the history of visual erotica. He had a middling career as an actor, going back to the 60s. After Weeks, King started directing softcore erotica features, borrowing a lot of Adrian Lyne’s style. In the 1990s, he created the adult anthology series Red Shoe Diaries, which pioneered a particular style of high-gloss softcore erotica suitable for the mixed gender, home-viewing audience, and the later Chromium Blue series. For better or worse, Lyne and King defined what some people thought “visual erotica” should be. 

Hallmarks of the Lyne-King style: Heterosexual, with occasional girl-girl scenes. No frontal male nudity, and definitely no erect penises. Definitely going further than network TV, but stopping before hardcore porn. Loving high-contrast closeups on consumer goods like CD players and food. A middle-class aspirational aesthetic.

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Jan 052021
 

Crash (IMDB) is a 1996 psychological drama written and directed by David Cronenberg, based on the novel of the same name by J.G. Ballard.

Crash was a highly controversial film when it was released, and that is worthy of its own post. This post will focus on the film itself. 

The film concerns James Ballard (James Spader), a film producer who, after a car crash, is drawn into a cult of car crash fetishists (for a lack of a better word) led by a visionary named Vaughan (Elias Koteas). 

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Nov 212020
 

Going Under is a 2004 drama film directed by Eric Werthman and written by Werthman and Jessica Gohlke. IMDB

Peter (Roger Rees), a married therapist, regularly sees a pro dominatrix, Suzanne (Geno Lechner), with the permission of his wife. On a summer when Peter’s wife is out of town and Suzanne has quit the business, they try to form a romantic relationship outside the dungeon. 

Peter (Rees) in session with Suzanne (Lechner)
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