Kino Lorber // 2009 // 92 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Brett Cullum // July 7th, 2012
Can porn be art?
Do you believe in pro-sex feminism or the post-porn movement? Basically this concept is where pornography becomes a conduit for liberation and artistic expression rather than a device for exploitation of women and titillation of men. The girls take control of the medium and turn it all on its head, creating a sex-positive space that absolutely horrifies middle America. This documentary film from director Virginie Despentes (Base-moi) explores whether or not porn can be acceptable as expression and even an artistic movement. This daring work was actually made as a special for French television in 2009 if you can believe that. There are roughly a dozen interviews with lusty luminaries such as Lydia Lunch, Annie Sprinkle, Catherine Breilat, and people who identify themselves as part of the post-porn movement in both the United States and Europe. Strewn in throughout the conversations are rough images of vaginas, mirrors, and dildos. There are many tapes of performance art pieces that push the material in the viewer's face in a graphic and unapologetic way. There are never any segments that are outright pornography in a pure sense, but sensitive types may want to steer clear.
The DVD offers all of this in a pretty clear transfer without frills. The documentary is in English and French, so subtitles appear whenever the speaker uses a foreign language. The images are pulled from various sources, so it is tough to gauge an overall quality to them. Flesh tones look good, though, and everything is certainly clear enough to enjoy. There are no extras at all; this is bare bones from Kino, but I am not sure much else is needed.
If you're looking for something a touch more daring than your run of the mill art flick then Mutantes could be for you. It's certainly a tough watch full of naked women doing things in a punked-out, feminist way. There is never anything designed to titillate men, rather it all feels like a protest and simultaneous celebration of the erotic as outsider art. It is tough, aggressive, and uniquely feminist. I can't imagine a frat boy gathering would find it much fun, but a group of lesbian painters just might cheer. David Cronenberg might get a kick out of it too. Long live the nude flesh!
Guilty of going somewhere scary and liking it.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Kino Lorber
* 1.78:1 Anamorphic
* Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English, and French)
Running Time: 92 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated