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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Groovy Gay Film Festival #12: Pornography: A Thriller

I must confess that I'm not sure what Pornography: A Thriller, is all about. I also didn't get The Blair Witch Project, but I still felt it was a film worth seeing. Pornography doesn't have much in common with BWP except that they both tell creepy stories in which the audience has to figure out what's really going on. I failed miserably at this, but I did enjoy the weird and sexy journey that Pornography director and writer David Kittredge took me on.

I will now attempt to explain the basic plot of the movie. There are three distinct parts with a different cast of characters, who are somewhat connected to each other. The first section revolves around a popular gay porn star named Mark Anton (Jared Grey), who mysteriously disappears after he decides to retire from the business in 1995. The second part jumps forward 14 years to the present day, and we meet a gay couple, Michael (Matthew Montgomery) and William (Walter Delmar), who are moving into Mark's old apartment. Michael is writing a book about pornography, and he becomes interested in finding out what happened to Mark. Strange things then start happening to him after he discovers a disturbing snuff film starring the porn star. Then there's the final section, which centers around Matt Stevens (Pete Scherer), a current porn star whom Michael tries to contact for his book. Matt has written a gay porn thriller about Mark Anton, which he wants to direct and star in. And that's about all I can tell you without giving away too much and totally confusing us both.

It helps that Kittredge has cast his film with an attractive group of actors who can also act. Grey, Montgomery and Delmar are all excellent, and I like that Dylan Vox (also known as gay porn star Brad Benton) plays a porn star in the movie. However, for me, Mr. Scherer delivers the best performance, and it doesn't hurt that this handsome hairy-chested hunk is frequently naked. As the saying goes, "If you got it, flaunt it"--and he does.

According to the online Urban Dictionary, a "mindfuck" is "an idea or concept that shakes one's previously held beliefs or assumptions about the nature of reality." Pornography: A Thriller is a mindfuck kind of movie. It's also a unique, creative and ambitious film, which kept me glued to my seat. There are some genuinely scary moments, and the final scene is a real eye-opener. Just don't ask me what it all means.

Show time: 9:30 pm, Sunday, November 8, at the Landmark Theater (2828 N. Clark)
Running time: 113 minutes

For a complete schedule of films and events at Reeling 2009: The 28th Chicago Lesbian & Gay International Film Festival (which runs through November 15), go to You can purchase tickets either by phone (773-293-1447), online, or in person at Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark).

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