Hard Core: Power, Pleasure, and the ""Frenzy of the Visible""

Linda Williams, Author University of California Press $25 (342p) ISBN 978-0-520-06652-6
In academic prose, film professor Williams of the University of California offers a graphic analysis of hard-core porno movies such as Deep Throat , as well as early, anonymous stag flicks. She finds that the newer, ``softer'' X-rated rental videos ``show a more genuinely adult quality'' than earlier videos. She ponders the ``utopian problem-solving intent'' of the hard-core genre and makes specious comparisons between blue movies, Hollywood musicals and films like Dirty Dancing . Sadomasochistic porn films, she claims, let viewers experience ``a clearer confrontation with the oscillating poles of our gendered identities and the role of power in them.'' A critic whose professed goal is to understand film pornography, and who opposes those who would censor it, Williams begins this obfuscating study by analyzing the portrayal of women in the 19th-century kinetoscope, prototype of the motion-picture projector. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 11/01/1989
Release date: 11/01/1989
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 398 pages - 978-0-520-21943-4
Paperback - 342 pages - 978-0-520-06653-3
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