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Blanca 1 Jesse W Blanca HUM 390 Spring 2011 Dr.

Thomas San Francisco State University 2nd Paper Assignment

Porn or Art?

When Oshima setout to deliberately create a pornographic film, it was, as it seem an attempt to tear the folds of the obscenities envelop. Shortbus and Oshima, Porn or Art? A truncated malaise of sexual discourse a philosophy that mules over the social axiom that never seem to go way. In the scope of this class, at present, I believe that sex, sexuality, obscenity, decency, morality, etc. etc. have move far enough that we may get to the actual point. That is, Porn or Art? In short, to ask if pornography can be a legitimate genre of film strikes me as a lumbering contrivance of the media, furthermore to argue if its art ignores the significance of the word! Simply we think something is beautiful in the same way we think something is ugly. Something is sexually desirable is the same thing as something sexually undesirable! Artistic pretense is a contrast valuation, an assumption of pre-knowledge of the subject. So to call Porn Art would have to compare it to other Porn that is Art. It may seem that Im playing the devils advocate, and to a certain degree I am, yet this is part of that circular logic the Victorians dreaded over Pan and the Goat. How do you know what is what, if you have nothing to ground your logic on to. To merely declare Porn is Art is a value judgment as such will reap the rancor of disapproving minds. Yet to call Porn is not Art would equate the same consequences, because neither Art nor Porn have really been grounded on a theory that could stand on its own. Porn, pragmatically have become more than any of its ancient or modern colloquial meaning. Art, what is it, who knows! Maybe its just a human condition, porn seem to encompass all the desire connoting from sex, which cannot be defined, for you would have to create a rubric that tallies all humans who is capable of fucking on the planet! What Oshima did is to hedge a trend in human redaction, I guess ever since modern humans started paying attentions to laws more and more of our lives are

Blanca 2 being legislated to pseudo reality. I cant do this because this paper said so! You are this because this faction said so! It is the entire breath of what reality is, that is at steak, procreation is pleasurable, not just for making babies, sex is enjoyable, and entertaining. Somehow, there is something wrong about that, or at least something about that, that riles enough people to have very strong opinion. We could say that pornographic film genre is no different than other graphic films like, horror, or ultra violent action films. Yet, if we examine the defamatory usage of the word porn, or pornography as something that illicit deviance then anything departing from social norm is pornographic. We would have to ask what is social norm, of course, this line of questioning would not end, nor would I have enough ink to print it. We live in a society that have no problem showing Bambis mother dying, or Soldiers killing, yet the act of kissing your woman before you go to war gets a cardboard treatment. This was the norm ever since I could remember watching black and white films from the golden age of Hollywood. The 60s and 70s brought an onslaught of realism in Film with Easy Rider, or Last Tango in Paris to name but a few. Again, the human condition expressed in media, but Ive always wondered if people really did cardboard kisses in the 40s and back, as they did in those B&W films? I doubt it, but I wonder if some poor soul thought that is how to kiss! The future of pornography depends on the taste of the prevailing masses of tomorrow, ultimately its how elements in a narrative is received. Sex act is just an element in a narrative depicting the human condition, it happens, it happens allot, and in many, many different ways, and it deserves inclusion in human narratives. It might be cases of linguistics normalization, as future generation are saturated by sexual imagery. John Cameron Mitchells Shortbus is a great example of sex act as an adjunct element to the narrative, and as the story progressed sex, sex-act becomes a backdrop to something more real, life! We hear the term realism in media coin all the time, but when a filmmaker decides to create realism, it hits a roadblock. Realism in war is ok, realism behind doors not so much! We saw James Bond naked, bounded to a stripped chair with his balls smacked by a wet rope, and this is mainstream! Yet seeing two men in the clutches of each other, kissing even, is still

Blanca 3 taboo! I could go on, on hypocrisy but thats not the issue. Its a telling tale we seek when the fantasy we ascribe to penetrates our own intimate taboos. Its ok for a woman to be a little bit gay or even bi-sexual, yet men cannot have the same consideration and in this echo chamber of hypocrisy, we are constantly wrestling with our own bullshit. Meaningful consideration belies the individual meaning derived from our own personal discourse; our own individual identity drives what constitute to be pornography. Oshima and Mitchell used sex as an elemental tool to drive the story, calling these two works pornographic missed the point of the story completely.

Eon McKais Neu Wave Hookers and Bataillies The Story of the Eye Tacitly, presenting Neu Wave Hookers and The Story of the Eye as material locks reasoning for effect, my mind is primed to see these two pieces as pornographic or semi-pornographic. Bataillies work wouldnt constitute to me as pornographic, more like child hood musing, an over imagination saturated by hormones! One of the most peaceful eras of my life was the period following Simones minor accident, which only left her ill Such cleaver conception between the lines, this staggered register in context evokes a kind of shoring of intent, that the narrator would have derive more pleasure if she was in a worse state. It is fair to say that the room of a bedridden invalid is just the right place for gradually rediscovering childhood lewdness. I gently sucked Simones breast while waiting for the soft-boiled eggs. . . This kind of honesty mimics writing samples found only on free write session, before the heavy editing, its laughable that this, the Eye is nearly a hundred years old. Metaphors are blazing throughout, from the hyperbolic egg fetish, to Simones bladder issues, conceptual abstraction is hard to pin down from the vivid imagery,

Blanca 4 its like a rough jump-cut of something larger but no one has yet to paste the bridges. Thats my take of course, imagery is the key motif overall, it drives an underlying narrative meter, what Shakespeares would have written if he dropped acid. A spastic entree of vignettes shoved on to you, its evocative for Americans to consume because we are inculcated by the American Narrative. From Disney, Hollywood, and Television, we Americans expect stories to follow a certain rhythm, it has to crest, peak, and resolve. Plots cannot have holes, or we are thrown off the ride! Bataillies piece ask that you give in to reality, and just go for a ride and bring your compunctions, they spice up the experience. McKai confuses me, his third pornographic film Neu Wave Hookers, was supposedly homage to the infamous Traci Lords version. Again, another vignette type narrative, but with inconsistent theme, unlike Story of the Eye which had a consistent formula, McKais shoot a bunch of gonzo scenes then peppered them with cheesy P.S.A. ish interjections! I came in late during the screening, and I walked into the scene with an old creepy man groping a much younger woman. He begged, he cried, and she said no, well tried to say no, in a flimsy inflexion absent of any conviction. Was this a moral play, an illustration of deviance, how beautiful busty young women could fall prey to horny old men, please, my mother could tell it better! Then, after this POS of a P.S.A. is over, we are treated to ten plus minutes of gonzo sex, between a good looking well endowed man, and a beautiful, and yes wellendowed young woman! Huh! Mixed metaphor galore, no wait, it could be that Eon deliberately did this as juxtaposition, he did shot scene without clearing the frame. Making sure you see the mic boom, bad reading rehearsal, pulsing lights from a drunken gaffer. Eon McKai wanted us to see that this is fake, its staged, and that porn is a fantasy! Thanks, but I knew porn was a fantasy the second I realized I dont have a twelve inch penis, and that busty blondes dont hump every mailman, fireman, cable guy, water delivery guy, UPS, FedEx, the Dominos guy that knocks on her door! Neu Wave Hooker is exploitive, mainly because of the rampant dead metaphors strewn about and its failed attempt at achieving a legible rhetoric. Making this film a mediocre porn parody of a porno!

Blanca 5 On the other hand, Batailles work echoes of old Italian metre, there is a rhythm structure, in verse and within the lines. The eye would jump from one register to another trapping us in the prosody then abandoning us without conclusion to begin another vignette. Caesurae by any means its affect does leave no doubt to the effects in reading Story of the Eye. Erotic would do Bataillies no justice, because of how sex is used in the narrative, not as a means to incite sexual desires but to quantify the value of desire itself. The acts are afterthoughts, a mere residual metric required to finish the note to make the desired sound. As for Eon McKais work, I did not know whether to unzip my pants or make a BLT sandwich! Clearly he may have had high hopes for the project, the Traci Lords version was a media phenomena. Yet it seems that the final product was another attempt to reap in profits at the behest of selfrighteous miss guided liberal agenda. I choose to examine Shortbus in conjunction with Oshima because they shared a familiar plight. The inclusion of sex-act in both works drives the human narrative closer to reality, sequestrating the fundamentals of living elements only creates more hype. Maybe its a cursory goal to placate the taboos, I know that Oshima was fighting Japanese cultural decorum, and hypocrisy. Oshima making a film in Japan depicting life in all its facets forces society to face itself. To those who seek to escape in fantasy, some barebones fact about life is better left mysterious, but thats a matter of choices not a front to prescribe for the rest of society. Bataillie breeched a realm of hyperbolic awareness, a play on sexual kitsch, where desire is absurd, meaning is a derided sophomoric compulsion a place where even life is meaningless. Pleasure knows no bounds in the Story of the Eye, and in some ways, Eon McKais works follow that but my gut screams phoney! Its the inclusion of the gonzo scenes in Neu Wave Hookers, and it might be my very own bias, that I didnt like going for a ride one way then shoved onto another ride. Nevertheless pornography have always had a place in Art, expression is only limited by how far an artist will go.