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Top 10 Movies About Porn

Written by , on August 5, 2010 at 2:50 pm 

5. The Notorious Bettie Page (dir. Mary Harron) (2005)

Bettie Page is an American icon and finding the right girl to fill her stilettos would seem like a daunting task but director Mary Harron struck gold with casting former ‘it-girl’ Gretchen Mol. Nearly a decade after being touted as the ‘next big thing,’ Mol finally made good on that promise as the pin-up goddess. Stylistically charming and featuring a charismatic lead performance, The Notorious Bettie Page offers a true slice of Americana that is often glossed over in favor of more puritanical memories of this era. – John L.


4. Zack and Miri Make a Porno (dir. Kevin Smith) (2008)

It’s constantly funny and extremely perverse, but Smith’s last good film also has quite a sentimental side to it. We were taught what a simple porn film can do to a couple, all while cramming in every last crude joke possible. It can be overbearing, but there is surprising amount of romance and truth here. – Jordan R.


3. The Girlfriend Experience (dir. Steven Soderbergh) (2009)

While Soderbergh’s experiment is more about prostitution then porn, it was a breakthrough for actresses in the industry. Adult star Sasha Grey leads the bleak, but beautifully cold look at human nature. There isn’t much “story” to speak of but I found it to be visually arresting and consistently intriguing. – Jordan R.


2. The People v. Larry Flynt (dir. Milos Forman) (1996)

The public outcry surrounding Milos Foreman’s biopic of the smut peddling Larry Flynt would have led people to believe The People Vs. Larry Flynt is far more scandalous then it really is but the film is actually a stellar biopic that champions free speech much more than it does pornography. Harrelson is electric as Larry Flynt and Love is a revelation as his stripper wife. The film was nominated for multiple Oscars which makes it prestige porn of the highest order. – John L.


1. Boogie Nights (Paul Thomas Anderson) (1997)

Boogie Nights is a darkly comic film, placed in the height of the disco era when porn movies have sizable budgets and are shown in theaters. Mark Wahlberg plays the role of a young nightclub dishwasher who is discovered by a known pornographer and made into a star. What makes this film work in a really powerful way, is that it demystifies sex. Many films use sex like porno films do, to turn us on. Boogie Nights instead shows the disenchanted side of sex as a consumer product, surrounding us in the everyday humdrum of a porno set. As Burt Reynolds’s character explains to Wahlberg, “You got your camera, you got your film, you got your lights, you got your syncing, you got your editing, you got your lab. Before you turn around, you’ve spent maybe $25,000 or $30,000.” It’s a brilliant way to make a human story amidst a risqué subject matter. – Kristen C.

What are your favorites? Will you check out Middle Men?

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