Saturday, October 27, 2007

Chemistry 3 (wherein I pretend to be a porn reviewer)

A few weeks ago, Tristan Taormino sent me a copy of Chemistry 3, her latest film. Rusty and I watched it off and on whenever we had a free moment, and finally finished it before we left for vacation last week.

Chemistry 3 won Best Gonzo at the 2007 AVN Awards. I found this interesting because a lot of people equate gonzo with degradation and, basically, all the 'bad' in porn. But Chemistry is closer to the real meaning of gonzo than all that other stuff people equate with the term:
Gonzo pornography is a filming style of adult video. It is characterized by a filming style that attempts to place the viewer directly into the scene. The name is a reference to gonzo journalism, in which the reporter is part of the event taking place. By analogy, gonzo pornography puts the camera right into the action -- often with one or more of the participants both filming and performing sexual acts -- without the usual separation characteristic of conventional porn and cinema.

What I liked about Chemistry 3 was that it included lots of laughter and a generally laid-back, not-forced feel. That's the whole point, of course; the three guys and three girls could fuck whom they wanted, when they wanted, and had cameras on hand to film as much of it themselves as they wanted.

There were also several "confessionals" with the different performers, where they talked about their personal preferences, their experiences in the adult industry, and a variety of other topics. When I saw Ren's comments about porn companies putting "behind the scenes" stuff on DVDs, I immediately thought of Chemistry 3. The entire film has the feel of those behind the scenes extras. And I think that's important - a lot of folks could stand to be reminded that people who work in the adult industry are, well, people. Shocking, I know; but porn performers have likes and dislikes, interests and opinions, and parts of their lives that don't involve fucking - just like the rest of us.

To anyone who goes around spouting off at the mouth about how horrible and exploitative porn is, I'd recommend watching Chemistry 3. The women aren't getting slapped around and referred to as bitches and sluts, and at no point does anyone have a bored, going-through-the-motions look on his or her face. If you watch Chemistry 3 and call it degrading, to me that says that you think sex on the participants' own terms, where everyone is enjoying themselves, is degrading.

Oh, and for that matter - because why end with snark? - I recommend Chemistry 3 to anyone who wants to see some good porn. Always Aroused Girl is even having a contest at her blog where you can win a copy. If I were some kind of pseudo-professional porn reviewer with a rating system based on stars or thumbs, I'd give Chemistry 3 the maximum number of those.

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