The other day, I was talking to a friend who recalled seeing "Deep Throat" in the Seventies. I had to admit that despite having written about porn for 20 years this year (!), I'd never seen that seminal 1972 film. (Because, you know, that's what adult movies were, in those days: not cheap, fuzzy video, but actual, vivid film.)
It occurred to me that I should watch it. Then it occurred to me that there are probably 99 other porn movies, some of which I've seen and some of which I haven't seen, that could stand up to close consideration. Then I wondered what would happen if I watched those 100 porn movies, and because I like undertaking projects that are constrained by time, I thought it would be interesting if I watched those 100 movies in 100 days.
Hence, "100 Porn Movies/100 Days" was born. Would watching 100 porn movies in 100 days simply be a waste of my time? Would watching porn daily reduce this viewer to her "bottom-most" self, as the New York Times' Worst Hire Ever would have you believe? Or would scrutinizing some of the most important, noteworthy, and, well, curious porn movies ever made shed some kind of light on, dare I suggest, the human condition? Having spent a significant portion of my life looking at pornography, writing about our culture's ever-changing relationship to it, and lingering on the periphery of the industry that produces it, I'd like to believe that this oeuvre-of-100 would reveal something significant about the collective state of us.
As for what that is, that remains to be seen.
So far, I've got the start of a list of movies to watch. It includes legendary films like "Deep Throat" (so timely in today's political climate!) and "The Devil in Miss Jones"; movies that captured an era, like "New Wave Hookers" and "Debbie Does Dallas"; and movies unlike anything that came before them, like "The Operation" and "American Bukkake."
What would you add to the list? If you've got suggestions of movies that you think should make my must-watch list, you can email me at susannahbreslin at gmail dot com.
[Eventually], I'll kick off with "Deep Throat." Did you know the cast of performers includes not only "American Beauty" star Thora Birch's mother, but her father, too? Do 1972 sex scenes differ from 21st century sex scenes? Did the film that kicked off "porno chic" change the game with its preoccupation with female desire or are viewers bearing witness to a visibly bruised actress being sexually exploited by her handlers? How much did "Deep Throat" make at the box office, anyway? Was it $50M ... or $600M? What about those money-laundering-by-the-mob rumors? And let's not forget that groovy soundtrack.
Also, a special thanks to Dave Winer, who is taking no prisoners on his blog, as of late. Dave is the blogfather, and he always reminds me of why we blog. As he wrote today: "First, you do this because you love it, not because it pays well." Thanks for the kick in the pants, Dave.