Thursday, March 17, 2011
The return of FringePop...XXX Movie Posters!
One of my biggest struggles will be trying to remember what I've posted already and what I've not posted. When you're swimming in antiques and tschotskes like I am, this is no easy task. Hopefully my archives with assist.
Let's start with a recent collecting obsession: x-rated movie posters. A few months ago, I read a fantastic book called "The Other Hollywood: The Uncensored Oral History of the Porn Film Industry." Authored by Legs McNeil (who did a great history book on punk rock, I'm told), this 400+ page tome consisted of interview transcripts that the author compiled together to tell various stories about the industry and the people within it, spanning from the early days of the nudie cuties to the modern days of cum fart cocktails. Yes, those last three words are crass but they illustrate the shift that has occurred in the X-rated industry. While there's been a shift, things haven't really changed that much. Modern day porn may not be the beaver mags you found under your dad's mattress, but it still has the same intent-- getting people (mostly men) off.
Why am I attracted to this collecting genre? Easy answer: for as long as I can remember, I have been drawn to the subversive, not necessarily as a participant but as a voyeur. However, as a sex-positive feminist, my feelings about porn are mixed. I've written personal blogs in which I've ruminated extensively on the topic. I won't get into them here, but I will say that I ultimately come out on the side of freedom of speech. And I ultimately decided that I find it patriarchal to over-protect adult women from their choices. I do not want a "daddy state" that tells women what to do with their bodies nor do I want a "daddy state" that tells me what I can and cannot view in the privacy of my own home.
Besides, pornography is defined as "the depiction of erotic behavior (as in pictures or writing) intended to cause sexual excitement" (Websters). Pornography, as defined, is not inherently bad. If you don't like what you see (and I don't always like that I see), you have two choices: a.) don't watch it; and/or b.) talk about the issue in a way that will spread discourse and debate. I recommend doing both! We can make BETTER porn, people. Porn that *gasp* maybe even men AND women would enjoy?
With that, I get off my soap box and present some recent acquisitions to my x-rated movie poster collection. What does that rant have to do with these posters? Depending on your perspective, very little or everything.
All the posters shown date from the late 1960's into the 1970's. I love that illustration art was still a big thing on x-rated movie posters even into the 1970's. The ones with illustration art look like giant versions of vintage sleaze paperbacks! And what makes me happier than a good vintage sleaze paperback illustration? Not a whole hell of a lot.
A few of the illustrated ones are signed by the artist, although I haven't been able to identify them beyond their last names. For example, the "Heat Wave" poster (my fave-- I heart Satan) is signed "Weston." Another one, "Starlet", is signed "E. Calerz." Now, with that one, I'm really not sure if I'm reading the signature right.
You know what else is fun? Watching the actual movies. While I haven't seen any of these, I did have the pleasure of having a VCX subscription on the Fyre TV Box. I got to see many films from the 1970's and know quite a few of the actors from their films AND from Legs McNeil's book. And did I mention, I once got to meet Ron Jeremy. Ah, the joys of being a nerd.
More X-Rated goodness to come in another post!