Review of 9-5 Days of Porn

9 to 5: Days in Porn ***

Featuring: Otto Bauer, Audrey Hollander, Sasha Grey, Sharon Mitchell

Directed & filmed by: Jens Hoffman

Rating: R (explicit sex, nudity, coarse language, adult themes, not suitable for children.)

Playing at: Mayfair Theatre, today through Saturday

Near the end of the endless documentary 9 to 5: Days in Porn, we see scenes from a Czech sex film called The March of Lust. Two attractive women are standing in a shop and one says, in a thick Czech accent, “If I knew before you would act like it, I would never agree to be partners.”

The March of Lust was directed by Tom Herold, who blames “political reasons” for the fact he can’t sell his movie, a rare bit of humour in a documentary that is essentially a very long parade of characters seen performing all sorts of explicit acts — many of them degrading or humiliating or both — for money.

Even the luckless Herold talks about the emptiness of the porn life, a dead-end industry of deluded stars, sleazy agents, manipulative producers and sadistic directors. 9 to 5: Days in Porn, directed by German filmmaker Jens Hoffman, documents a year in the life of a dozen or so principals in the porn trade — mostly based in Los Angeles — that reveals, once again, that behind the façade of sleazy and sad films lie the sleazy and sad people who make them.

In this view of the porn industry, the people behind the scenes are mostly men and the stars are mostly women, and you get the idea of power from the first sequence when a producer/performer named Otto Bauer talks about the allure of the industry while his wife, porn actress Audrey Hollander, adds her opinion, which is, “That’s correct.”

9 to 5: Days of Porn is impressionistic, shot without comment or narration in a cinéma vérité style that combines interviews, scenes from the private (which really means public) lives of the stars, and L.A. vistas that provide an oblique commentary. Occasionally there is a title that says “Four months later” or “Six months later,” but these appear to be meant ironically, because nothing ever changes: naked women perform sex acts on naked men and then everyone explains how they’re just filling a commercial need.

It seems to be a great one. There are 5,000 to 10,000 new titles produced every month and someone says young men spend more on pornography than on all professional sports combined. Several experts talk about how the films are becoming increasingly more explicit — we see scenes of simulated rape, of a woman being violated while hooded, of women being given enemas — and in the course of the movie, several of the actresses look clearly worn out by the life.

Among the memorable characters is Dr. Sharon Mitchell, a former porn actress-turned-doctor who now runs a health care centre for the industry. She says many see porn as a back door to Hollywood success, but cautions, “It’s very rare that you’re going to wind up as a Meryl Streep-type actress if you start off with two d–s up your a–,” a bit of wisdom that should be put on the Welcome To Hollywood signs on the freeway.

You’re also struck by newcomer Sasha Grey, who’s only 18 but who is confidently immersed in her own idea of sexual fantasy: scenes from her The Awakening of Sasha Grey include surreal shots of her having sex with a man dressed as a teddy bear. Her main competition seems to be starlet Mia Rose, who says that by the time she was 18, she had had sex with 98 people.

Watching director Jim Powers calling agents looking for a last-minute actress (“Get me a white trash whore”) is a moment of pathos not much lessened when you learn that White Trash Whore is the name of the movie.

9 to 5: Days In Porn is almost two hours of this, a formless mosaic that makes the point, finally, that pornography is a tawdry, desperate and mostly unerotic pursuit. As they say in Prague, if you knew before it would be like that, you would never agree to be watching.

Leave a Reply

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

© 2018 Mayfair Theatre
Site by 3VL INC.