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B. S. Tuck (England)

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After Pornified
After Pornified
by Anne G Sabo
Edition: Paperback
Price: 11.43

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars XX-RATED: ON ANNE G. SABO'S AFTER PORNIFIED, 4 Dec 2012
This review is from: After Pornified (Paperback)
""Porn" is a loaded word that brings up a lot of negative imageries in our pornified culture. "That's so `porn'" has today become an expression to describe excessive or trashy taste. But imagine if the content and connotations, and even the effects of porn were different: positive and empowering rather than negative and degrading. That's what I've discovered to be the potential of re-visioned and transformed porn by women."
Anne G. Sabo, After Pornified, p.6

Kimberly Yuracko once criticised the feminist tradition for failing to explore contemporary feminist values. Her point was that most debates, such as the one concerning pornography, tended to focus either on women's exploitation or on women's supposed choice, never questioning what a good choice would be. Women, we may assume, were either doe-eyed victims of exploitation or strong minded women free to sell their souls in the market if they so wished. Whilst, of course, issues of choice and exploitation are hugely important, there has been a tendency in the literature to focus merely on these at the expense of a more positive account of feminist value. Questions concerning what would constitute an ethical, healthy and politically progressive sexuality for women (and men) has tended to take a back seat. One of the best ways, it seems to me, to start exploring these questions is to look at the creative process itself. The practical search for an alternative is a great place to start thinking about the women (or people) we want to be. In light of this Anne G. Sabo's After Pornified: How Women are Transforming Pornography & Why it Really Matters is a great place to start.

After Pornified takes up the debate as a response to Pamela Paul's book Pornified: How Pornography Is Damaging Our Lives, Our Relationships, and Our Families. Paul is heavily critical of pornography and the way it encourages men to prefer fantasy to reality, desensitises, undermines male and female self-esteem, pressures women and gives the impression that they can achieve ecstasy in two minutes without any need for foreplay and also argues that pornography sexualises childhood. Sabo quotes Paul who says that these acts are "more about shame, humiliation, solitude, coldness, and degradation than they are about pleasure, intimacy, and love." Sabo has no reason to deny this, in fact, at many points she would seem to agree: if we are talking about mainstream porn then it doesn't tend to help us live healthy flourishing sex lives. Sabo's point, however, is that feminist porn can help us go beyond this. It can help us create a "new language" and counterweight allowing us to "break free from confining gender roles and erotic conventions, attaining fluidity, democracy, and abundant space and possibilities in the ways we encounter our sexual partners."

Sabo talks to many female porn directors and performers about what drove them to make porn. Mia Engberg characterises a common experience when she describes the negative attitudes engendered by mainstream porn. When her film Come Together was published on a website it received many comments that "were negative, such as, "Hell, they look ugly. They could've at least put on some makeup." I found the comments interesting. They show that we are still stuck in the old notion that a woman's sexuality should above all please the eye of the spectator -- not herself. I thought that those who reacted negatively to the masturbation scenes in Come Together probably needed to see more films in the same genre. To open their eyes." In light of this she was driven on to make more.

One of the points that excited me the most was Sabo's emphasis on how feminist re-visioned porn could play a positive role in sex education and couples therapy. She talks specifically about Candida Royalle's pedagogical films and discusses sex education with performers in Zentropa's Puzzy Power films. What is most exciting about this is that we could see a way to work towards porn as a means for self development. It would be wonderful to see a future generation less restricted by body type and able to engage in mutually pleasurable sex and experimentation, not because they avoided watching pornography, but because they watched it. Sabo tells us how feminist pornography can challenge the male-centred perspective and narrative orientated towards the money shot, avoid treating women as passive objects and encourage us to develop a more diverse and playful sexuality.

Her book takes us on a journey through the last few decades exploring a miasma of porn projects from both America and Europe. Starting with American pro-porn Feminist Candida Royalle, Sabo journeys through Lars Von Trier's Zentopa production company Puzzy Power films, Anna Span's British comedy porn, Petra Joy's Artcore films, state funded projects like Dirty Diaries and compilation films such as X-femmes. Sabo provides an accessible introduction to these films describing both their pluses and minuses. Sabo refuses to simply accept that if the films are made by women for women they will be ultimately progressive. She points out that sometimes all that is considered needed is simply that they "gloss up the picture and soften the plot." Sabo thinks this is not enough and seeks to find women taking porn further. She quotes Erica Lust saying "I will keep doing what I do so that there aren't any more appalling movies like [Twilight: New Moon] when my daughters grow up, because I certainly don't want them to grow up with the idea that their goal in life is to find a guy at 17, get married to then have sex and then immediately get pregnant. [...] This gender stereotyping is seriously what's wrong in our society and having to suffer this kind of old-minded product makes me want to make as much feminist porn as I can!"

Murielle Scherre is quoted saying that "Owning 5 dildos is not proof of being sexually liberated. Knowing how and if you want to use them is." It is the the perfect antidote to our post-feminist, pornified culture where being sexually liberated is constantly equated with excessive consumerism. Hopefully books like this will help foster more experimentation that will help move us beyond not just mainstream porn's unhealthy ideals, but also the sexification of culture whose imperative is "Buy! Buy! Buy!"

for more discussions of filmmaking and Cinema see [...]

Pushing Daisies - Complete Season 2 [DVD] [2009]
Pushing Daisies - Complete Season 2 [DVD] [2009]
Dvd ~ Lee Pace
Offered by MusicnMedia
Price: 9.75

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pushing Daisies - why did they give it the heave-ho?, 28 May 2009
Pushing Daisies is one of the best TV shows there has ever been with the exception of Twin Peaks and Carnivale which co-incidentally were both given the brush-off before they had a chance to tell us the whole story and gather more fans deservedly.

Pushing Daisies wasn't given much advertisement by ABC thus no one tuned in apart from the hardcore fans because nobody even knew it was on! Hence, lack of high ratings which lead to ABC being able to have an excuse to stop the show (reportedly because they were a bit worried because Pushing Daisies was quite genre-breaking and cutting edge because of it's style and content and also because it cost a lot to make, most probably because of the latter).

I find it unbelieveable that shows like Friends is allowed to carry on for umpteen needless boring empty series and Pushing Daisies gets ripped off the air after only 22 episodes and 2 series.

No the end doesn't give closure. Only a little, but not much. It rushes to tie up ends and tell us what the characters do next but there is no closure whatsoever, just a MASSIVE cliffhanger and some really tasty leads that weren't follwed up. What a crushing disappointment. Anna Friel and Lee Pace were extremely angry at PD being taken off the air and legions of fans are left weeping into their Rice Crispies and have nothing left but to endlessly discuss what 'might' have happened (Like with Twin Peaks in the 90's ...till now!) being one of them.

Series 2 is just as much as a visual and aural delight as series one. Brilliant plots and character development, beautiful music usage and faultless scripting. Great introduction of sub-characters that don't jarr the main casting too much. Just ..well, perfect.

There are rumours of a movie or a comic being made but this is all doubtful, the cast have already moved onto other projects and now Pushing Daisies is left drowning in a sea of shows that had the potential to be groundbreaking if given a bit more time but never got given the chance. Such a shame. Same thing happened with Wondefalls (Which is a blessing if you like Lee Pace's character Ned) made by the same chap Bryan Fuller.

Buy this DVD whether you saw the first series or not, they pick up from where they left off at the start but also give a quick briefer incase you missed anything. Worth every penny and an absolute Televisual delight.

RIP Pushing Daisies, you'll always be missed.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 30, 2009 6:08 PM BST

Mamma Mia! The Movie [DVD] [2008]
Mamma Mia! The Movie [DVD] [2008]
Dvd ~ Meryl Streep
Offered by Jasuli
Price: 3.85

19 of 28 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Trash,drivel, idiotic insult to ABBA and the movie industry., 3 Jan 2009
Badly written, badly cast, badly sung, teriffically advertised, terrifically merchandised absolute pile of RUBBISH. How this is the number one selling British DVD of all time I will never understand. We're getting a bad name around the world for buying into this tripe. Thank the lord I didn't pay to watch it, it was given to my mother for her Birthday which we watched at Christmas. GIVE ME THOSE 108 MINUTES BACK!

One could sympathise if it was a school show but it is nothing more than a Love Actually on Holiday with badly re-sung ABBA hits. Just because ABBA is good, doesn't mean this rubbish film is or ever will be. Through-out the film, I was reminded how good ABBA was in comparison. ABBA's songs are very well written but I felt that the film fails to understand the power of these songs. ABBA songs are melodramatic, they can express great joy or great pain. The story really couldn't carry this off in any capacity. Tedious and trite, full of plotholes and boring. It has no drama, it exists only to make middle-aged wannabe's feel better about having no taste and serves to give those High School Musical pillocks another saccarine injection.

The bug-eyed elfin twit lead character is so unlikeable it makes my face explode. Her vacant idiot spamfaced husband-to-be might as well not exist, he has no screen presence. The friends of both daughter and mother are so undeveloped and unlikeable it's a wonder why they're there! You could have replaced them with dummies attached to a pole being shunted about the resort and no one would have noticed the difference. The 3 men in question are so smug and creepy that it's no wonder the bug-eyed platefaced cretin couldn't tell which one was her father, they all evidently share these personality traits in abundance

SHAME ON YOU MERYL STREEP. I expected it of the rest. One quick note to Colin Firth - WHAT ARE YOU DOING MAN?! Vermeer ...and then THIS?! Twonk.

Anyone who gives this 5 stars must be lacking in taste and brain weight.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 18, 2009 3:48 PM GMT

Secrets of Digital Illustration: A Master Class in Commercial Image-making
Secrets of Digital Illustration: A Master Class in Commercial Image-making
by Lawrence Zeegen
Edition: Paperback

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't bother, 19 Oct 2008
Another book by Zeegen which is full of work by the students at Brighton university. This book will teach you nothing, it purely serves to tout the cliche images of students and names that they want to promote.

Most of Zeegen's own personal work is extremely simple for my tastes and you can find much better FREE tutorials online. If you don't want your work to be carbon copy then don't buy this book.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 16, 2009 2:50 PM BST

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