Line between pornography and art begins to blur
Destricted is an explicit film company based out of
Mel Agace got the idea for Destricted a few years ago while researching material for her publication entitled ‘The Sex Book’, which she describes as being “like a car manual but about sex”. She looked extensively at pornography in her perusal, and decided there was a serious plague of stale material.
“It was surprising to me the lack of interesting content in this genre. Being a consumer myself, the lack of choice I had was disappointing, and the cliché porn was very unappealing and tired. So I guess the idea came from that.”
From there she joined up with partners Neville Wakefield and Andrew Hale, an American art curator, and a respected musician and artist, and fleshed out the project, which was entirely privately funded.
Their first film, named after the company, began by enlisting seven seminal directors - including Mariana Abramovic, Marco Brambilla, and Sam Taylor-Wood - to direct a short film each.
“We approached the artists because we felt they all would offer very different perspectives on the subject,” said Agace. “We felt it was important to allow them the freedom to experiment and not be restricted in any way by film market pressures.”
The resulting combination was shown at the 2006 annual Sundance Film Festival (among many other festivals throughout the year), with great success among most of the audience.
“Sundance was a wonderful experience for us in that we were able to test the films in theaters and were encouraged by their reception in that collective environment,” said Agace. The film was initially produced for DVD however. “This is because we felt the viewer’s right to choose which film they wanted to watch was crucial. Not every film would have mass appeal, so if the viewer enjoys three out of seven we felt we would be doing well. It is also important that the films were a private experience, a home theatre experience.”
There were difficulties in getting the film where it is now, though.
“It has been a hard slog, because of the nature of the material. And the fact we were giving the directors such free reign, it was scary for any pre-sales financier,” said Agace. “We started by pursuing that route, along with applications for film grants and came up against great resistance, (no surprise there) so we stuck to putting our money where our mouth was. We raised mortgages on our assets and then got completion funding from two outside investors.” The overall budget for the project was extremely low considering the talent and high concept – under half a million for seven short films. Surprisingly, none of the team is really very experienced in film producing, so a lot of skills were learned on the spot. “It seems we have done a few things right though, because Sundance 2006 and all the other festival interest has been incredible.”
The DVD is available in the
As for Agace’s thoughts on the place Destricted has in the world, she says she feels it is viable film in that it offers up an alternate perspective on the arena of sexual exploration. “For me not all the films necessarily get me off, but they challenge my imagination, forcing me to reflect on what it is that I do enjoy. The project as a whole gives me permission to explore my fantasies. I just want to be able to choose from a wide range of material, not just the cliché forms that exist in the market today.”
Justine Joli has been in the porn industry for nearly six years, working out of
“The style of the movies is changing. There’s always gonna be those cookie cutter movies where they kinda have to be that way, but I think along with the style of the movies changing, you’re gonna see different girls.”
She goes on to describe an entirely new section of porn called ‘alt-porn’, which is essentially for everyone who doesn’t want the typical tanned blondes. Suicidegirls.com is one of her favorite picks among this new subculture.
“There’s always gonna be those people who want the blonde with the fake boobs - the cookie cutter girls - but I think that now you’re gonna start to see a change in the way that people are viewing what is sexy.”
Joli has been involved in some artistic endeavors in her career, because there is enough freedom in the industry to allow her to do so, she says. One of her side projects has included some modeling and body painting with artist Nelly Recchia (nellyrecchia.com), of which she says, “To me that’s sexy, to me that’s art”.
At the end of the day, she falls back on her work in pornography, of course. As there is a huge demand for it, it’s something which she seems to think of as somewhat essential, but a natural thing as well.
“I’m still going to do the regular porn, cause it is porn and for the most part, the point is really just to get off and have a good time. But I am doing other artistically creative things, and that’s what I’m really looking for.”
Tags: Film , Agace , Says , Porn
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.