Posts Tagged ‘films’

Review: The Black Glove & The Elegant Spanking (DVD)

October 12, 2009  |  reviews  |  No Comments

I seem to be up to my chest in queer porn DVDs to review these days. Now that I’ve finished the two S.I.R. Productions DVDs, I’ve got Courtney Trouble’s Speakeasy, Tristan Taormino’s Rough Sex, Bleu Production’s Post Apocalyptic Cowgirls through Hot Movies for Her, and I’m expecting some films from Buck Angel in the near future, too.

Queer porn is taking off like crazy!

I still constantly hear people say that there’s no “good” lesbian porn out there – that it’s all made for men or is girl-on-girl action, not by-and-for real dykes. That is just not true anymore! Dykes are making some of the most amazing, progressive porn out there, and, based on my recent reviews of a few DVDs which are actually almost 10 years old, I’d say we have been making damn good porn for quite a while.

beattyRecently, I had a chance to check out Maria Beatty’s Fetish Films Volume 1, The Black Glove & The Elegant Spanking from everybody’s favorite neighborhood sex toy shop, Babeland. I was intrigued by the film noir images and the heavy BDSM which includes hot wax torture, foot worship, pinwheels, roleplay, and spike heels, and actually my acupuncturist was the one who first asked me if I knew Maria Beatty or her production company, Bleu Productions. I wasn’t familiar with her work, but it didn’t take me long to become so.

Though this DVD collection of Beatty’s two short films came out in 2003, the films themselves are form 1995 and 1996. They are explicitly lesbian and beautifully shot – if you’re into slow, slow buildup and lots of tension, pretty girls doing naughty things to each other, high femme drag, and strong power dynamics, you should consider this one.

I probably won’t watch it again for the purposes of jerking off or getting in the mood, but I can see possibly putting it on in the background at a party – it is beautiful to look at – and I’ve definitely never seen any porn like it. There’s some odd components, like for example a gas mask in The Black Glove. I’ve never really considered a gas mask sexy and while I understand the purpose of regulating breathing, I found it kind of hard to watch. Very interesting, though, and very elegant.

There is virtually no sound in these films – they do have some musical track to them, but they are for the most part silent, with dialogue cards (which are more like revealing the character’s thoughts) like in silent films. I think what I loved best is that Maria Beatty herself is the submissive bottom in both of these films, which I don’t usually expect of the filmmaker – but obviously she knows what she wants, and goes for it. I wonder if she’s in any other films that she made? I’ll have to research that, she was definitely very sexy.

Pick up Maria Beatty’s Fetish Films Volume 1, The Black Glove & The Elegant Spanking at Babeland, or your local feminist sex toy shop.

Review: Sugar High Glitter City (DVD)

October 7, 2009  |  reviews  |  6 Comments

Oh, Shar. Oh, Jackie. I’ve already waxed poetical recently about my love for the super hot porn pioneer butch/femme couple behind S.I.R. Productions, but here’s another one for you: their second production, Sugar High Glitter City, from 2001.

Like Hard Love / How to Fuck in High Heels, I watched this over & over. My roommate owned a copy of the VHS I used to watch when she wasn’t home. In fact, the first time I saw it, I’d rented it at Babeland‘s Seattle store (not sure they still do rentals) to watch with my first girlfriend, and when finally we had some time alone in my apartment together, I went to the VCR and popped the tape that was in there out – and suddenly I was holding two copies of it, as my roommate had actually purchased it already. That was weird.

sugarObviously it wasn’t just me but many dykes who were excited about Shar & Jackie’s second release!

Kristen & I sat down to watch this a few weeks ago, and it was even better than Hard Love / How to Fuck in High Heels and better than I’d remembered. The film narration by Honey Lee Cottrell explains that we’re in a different world where sugar is outlawed and sex workers do all sorts of things to get a taste. Then, of course, there are the corrupt cops who shake down the sugar hos for both their sugar and their sex. The outfits are glittery and over the top, lots of makeup and fun really performative costumey items.

Since the whole setting is way over the top anyway, it’s way easier to suspend disbelief and enjoy the occasionally slightly awkward dialogue and scenes, which makes it much easier to get into than Hard Love.

Those who love sugar will especially get a kick out of this film … I don’t love the sexual fetishization of sugar so much because so much of the film treats sugar as a drug (as it basically is), and I don’t think it’s a good idea to sexually fetishize drugs. But I do like it as a play, as a performance of drug culture, as a commentary even on sex & drug desire.

The other thing of note is the fabulous dirty talk from butch Jackie, especially in the beginning scene “Sugar Cop Shakedown.” Kristen turned to me and said, she sounds like YOU to which I responded, actually, I probably sound like her. Where else do you think I learned it?

Worth it.

Pick up Sugar High Glitter City at Babeland, or your local feminist sex toy shop.

New film out soon: Steam

August 6, 2009  |  reviews  |  2 Comments

I haven’t seen this yet, but the DVD is coming out from Wolfe Films on September 29th, 2009, and I’m looking forward to it. I still have a thing for Ally Sheedy (how can you not?), and I don’t know who this Kate Spiegel is, but whoa she’s cute.

Have you seen it? Was it any good?

Here’s the synopsis:

Steam tells the stories of three very different women, whose lives are linked only by the steam room at the local gym. The women seem “stuck” in life. They are unable to overcome what is keeping them from growing and thriving in their lives, until each embarks on a relationship that will lead them to themselves.

Celebrated veteran actor Ruby Dee (American Gangster) plays Doris, a lonely widower who is in deep mourning for her husband. She has spurned her old church community, where once she sang and played piano. Unexpectedly, Doris finds a new love when she meets the outgoing August. But her new happiness is immediately threatened by August’s family, who suspect her of being a gold digger.

Ally Sheedy (The Breakfast Club, High Art) plays Laurie, a “soccer mom” whose ex-husband has not only hooked up with a much younger women, but who is also shamelessly trying to turn their son against her. The bitter divorce and custody battle has very much dampened Laurie’s spirits, but her life is revived when she gets involved with a much younger man. Chelsea Handler (The Chelsea Handler Show) plays Jacky, Laurie’s best girlfriend, who comically encourages Laurie every step of the way in this risky relationship.

And Kate Siegel (The O.C.) plays Elizabeth, a college co-ed who is living on campus, but is still very much dominated by her strict parents, who live nearby and demand that she attend church with them every Sunday. In her Gender Studies class, Elizabeth meets and falls for the fiery activist Niala (Reshma Shetty of USA’sRoyal Pains). When the two women become lovers, Elizabeth must face her parent’s wrath head on.

Vote for the lesbian film “Pariah”

June 7, 2009  |  miscellany  |  4 Comments

I just saw the trailer for the film Pariah, which looks amazing. It’s part of the Netflix Find Your Voice competition – it needs to be in the top five to move on to the next round, and at stake is a package worth $150,000 in cash and $350,000 in services that go toward producing the feature film.

The trailer looks amazing, check it out:

It looks beautifully done, complex, and emotional, and I’d love to see the full-length film get made. I haven’t heard of Dee Rees, the director, but clearly she’s one to watch.

If you like the trailer, go over to Netflix Find Your Voice and vote FIVE STARS for it to move forward in the competition, and, hopefully, eventually, become a full feature film. Take a look at the Pariah website or more information about the film. (Thanks, Jenni, from butch.org, for sending on the link.)

Review: Barcelona Sex Project (DVD)

April 14, 2009  |  reviews  |  5 Comments

bsp

The fabulous Blowfish has just released the Barcelona Sex Project, a documentary-style porn which interviews subjects about their lives, their interests, their sexualities, their turn-ons and turn-offs, before filming them (beautifully, in fact) while they masturbate.

Kristen & I watched it a few weeks ago, after the DVD arrived, and I have to say, I was not so impressed. We fast-forwarded through the last few because we lost interest. It is beautifully filmed, and a really interesting idea that gives the viewer much more of an intimate experience with the visual erotic images of this person getting off than most porn does, which is new and interesting. Yet … I guess my main complaint is the lack of diversity represented. ALL five of the people in the film – the guys and the girls – are completely clean-shaven, for example. Everyone is very “ideal” in terms of body size – pretty slim and fairly muscular. There wasn’t much a range of gender representation, either – the girls were girly, the boys were masculine.

I do admit that I fast-forwaded the end, though, so perhaps there was some content that I missed, more queerness or genderqueerness that I didn’t catch because I got a little bored. So maybe there’s more on here than I realize.

It’s beautifully filmed, I do have to say that. The interviews are interesting, the cinematography is sparse and quite beautiful. I like the way the masturbation scenes were filmed, mostly with very minimalist props or furniture, which was visually interesting – and at times stunning. The girls did use some vibrators, but I didn’t see any actual dildos or much kinky stuff. But hey, what about a range of age? Everyone was so young. What about a range of race or ethnicity?

This brings up the question for me, though, which I think about in terms of Sugarbutch a lot – what responsibility do artists have to represent many experiences or a wide range of diversity? I know I have a fairly slim representation of girls on my site, for example, partly because I know what I’m attracted to and I tend to write about my experiences with those girls (who are femme, duh, and bottoms, duh again, and tend to be smaller than I am). I explain that by saying that this is a personal project – so maybe I should look at Barcelona Sex Project the same way? As a personal representation of what the filmmaker would like to see, and not necessarily as a representation of all of Barcelona or all sexualities and genders or all folks who are into sex. Of course, it couldn’t really be a representation of all of those things, there is way too much inside of sexuality & gender to fully represent anything.

Maybe diverse representation of human bodies and sexualities is not a realistic expectation for a DVD … folks like Pink & White do it, but they also have dozens of clips and dozens of models and actors involved in their work, which makes it easier than working with only six.

Interesting things to think about, I suppose. Regardless, it’s quite unlikely that I’ll be watching this again, and I wouldn’t really put it on for jack-off material or in the background to set a mood. Still, it’s beautifully done, and a new interesting concept which combines a lot of intimacy and destigmitization with erotica/porn and masturbation, which I’d like to see more of in general. Perhaps that makes it worth checking out.

erika-lust

Swiped this image from Urban Junkies Barcelona (thanks!)


About the Barcelona Sex Project, new from Blowfish Video:

Barcelona Sex Project is a smart, funny documentary about half a dozen sexy twenty- and thirty-somethings living in Barcelona, Spain. Director Erika Lust is adept at drawing them out, getting them to tell their life stories (including cross-continental moves, divorces, sexual fantasies fulfilled, career dreams and career realities, etc.). While there’s a fair bit of talk about sex, the emphasis isn’t exclusively erotic… until the sex scenes, of course. These are people you’ve gotten to know through their interviews, making it that much more real when they strip off their clothing and masturbate. There are three men and three women, all of them quite beautiful and relaxed when it comes to self-pleasure for your viewing pleasure. Cute, pierced, and tattooed, 20-year-old Silvia is adorable in stripey stockings and oversized headphones, while Brazilian transplant Dunia has a delectable dark and luscious body, and geek-girl Irina enjoys herself with a toy. The boys are all buff, smiling, and well-hung. Stripper Joel is the most theatrical, stroking himself before a full-length mirror and finishing with a cumshot on his own reflection, while the unselfconscious Joni has a sweet session and finishes by spurting on his own belly. It’s a masturbation video with a twist, providing a fascinating look into the psyches of the subjects before you get a look at their more physically intimate moments. Nominated for the 2009 Feminist Porn Awards.

Trailer: QuickTime formatWindows Media Player format. (2008, 112 min.)

Also check out Barcelona Sex Project.com for more information, clips, and photos from the film.

Review: Pink & White’s Champion

January 21, 2009  |  reviews  |  5 Comments

Queer porn director Shine Louise Houston's new indy flick CHAMPION was released on DVD by Blowfish this week, and last night I sat down and turned it on. Watch this film. Buy it, and watch it, and tell your friends about it.

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The two Crash Pad memberships go to …

December 18, 2008  |  journal entries  |  No Comments

Thanks, everybody, for commenting and starting this discussion about our favorite porn stars. I know it was a completely informal poll, but I may make up a list from it so we who are very unfamiliar with queer porn can do a bit more, ahem, "research" ... You can always head over to Hot Movies For Her and download 20 minutes of hot queer porn!

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Two Crash Pad Series Website Memberships – For You!

December 16, 2008  |  reviews  |  48 Comments

Oh, Crash Pad. Oh, Shine Louise Houston. How do I love thee, let me count the ways ... What's that? You're not familiar with the original Crash Pad DVD, or the subsequent THREE DVDs of episodes compiled from the Crash Pad Series website? If only someone would give away a membership for the lonely, cold month of January! ... Oh hey! That's exactly what I'm going to do!

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Milk: In the Footsteps of Gandhi and King

December 10, 2008  |  miscellany  |  8 Comments

After You Cannot Live on Hope Alone, the folks at Causecast.org have made a second short film about Harvey Milk.

The life of late San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk in the context of Gandhi and Martin Luther King. This animated documentary charts a time-line of the life of the first openly gay man elected to public office in between events in other civil rights struggles. Produced by Causecast for Focus Features, the piece celebrates the release of the film MILK, in theaters November 26.

I haven’t seen Milk yet – or read many reviews, because I’m waiting to see it for myself first. Hopefully I’ll go this week.

Have you seen it? What’d you think, what were your reactions?

Excellent Queer/Lesbian Films

December 8, 2008  |  reviews  |  7 Comments

In this completely informal poll that wasn't even really a poll, here are some of the queer films that you all answered when I asked what is your favorite lesbian/queer film of all time? Also: be a gay santa for homeless queer youth for the holidays.

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