Sunday, February 24, 2019

Lilith Likes to Watch - Immoral Tales


Title: Immoral Tales
Year: 1974
Starring: Lise Danvers, Paloma Picasso, Charlotte Alexandra, Fabrice Luchini, Florence Bellamy, Pascale Christophe
Director: Walerian Borowczyk
Synopsis: An erotic collection of short stories, an anthology comprised of tantalizing tales about sexual desire and its diverse manifestations. - Via IMDB
Why it is Notable: 2nd most popular French erotic film at time of release.

"Those who touch the gown will know the meaning of eternal joy!"

So, we all have a basic consensus around porn, right? What it is, and all that? Well, a while ago, people began to attach '-porn' to things that are over-indulgant. Gore-porn, misery-porn, costume-porn.. It's an easy descriptor to get one's point across.

Immoral Tales is total costume and settings porn. It is a feast for the eyes.

Too bad some of the stories don't deserve such luxury. Luckily, a few of them do.

Unfortunately, Immoral Tales has a weak beginning with...

The Tide:
Two cousins spend a fun day at the beach talking about their sexual experiences. Julie is younger than her cousin Andre and, while Julie casually admits she's kissed five boys, he brags that he's had a few blowjobs.

He leads her further along the beach and tells her to gobble his cock while they're trapped by the rising tide. He tells her that he's going to explain how tides work while she swallows his cum.
As she blows him, he's so spastic that I firmly believe the boy's never had a BJ in his life. I'm not even sure he's ever been kissed.

This story would have made such a stronger impact if it was either Julie seducing Andre, or two women. The woman, in a position of power and control, explains tides, the lunar cycle and the feminine cycle all together instead of this self-important kid too big for his britches mansplaning water to a girl. We're not off to a good start, movie.

Therese the Philosopher:
This is more like it. This is where I realized the movie was effectively costume-porn.

The setting and costumes are beautiful. Even the props have a rich authenticity to them. Especially Therese's little books. There's an attention to detail that is admirable. This is what The Autobiography of a Flea should have been.

Therese is a young girl locked in her room and she fantasizes about men, and also Jesus I think, and masturbates with a vegetable. The girl is very lovely and the simulated sex is very well done. This what I mean when I say strategically placed limbs.

Gorgeous, but shallow.

But gorgeous.

Erzsebet Bathory:
I love this. I love this so, so much. It has many of my favourite things and puts bathing front-and-centre. This is beautiful, sumptuous, full of pretty girls and amazing set pieces.

Guards come to a town and round up all the pretty, youthful girls to be guests of Lady Bathory. Those who go will get a chance to touch her beautiful gown.

The girls bathe, unaware that strategically place mirrors spy on them while they groom. They're called to a room, naked, and Lady Bathory walks in wearing the most beautiful gown ever to exist. I am not even kidding. I can't even describe it. It's like a mix between a sheer nightgown and wedding dress. All beads and lace and holy shit is this ever pinging my wedding dress kink.

The girls become frenzied with need to touch the gown, they they tear it up while Bathory lays in repose on the bed. They consume the scraps of the dress they tear up, and even start clawing at each other.

Soon all that remains of the girls is a bath tub off blood in which Lady Bathory bathes, massaging the viscus liquid into her skin. Then she kisses her assistant, who is the most beautiful lady in the entire film...

Lucrezia Borgia:
I feel bad for this short. It does everything right. It has blasphemy, playfulness, a wonderful set, but it had to follow the Bathory short and that was just too difficult an act to follow. Also Lucrezia's hairstyle was distractedly stupid.

Lucrezia Borgia fucks her dad and brother. Then they baptize her baby and it's not known who fathered the baby, I guess. That's it. It's better than Therese's story I suppose, but not near as good as Bathory's. This should have been the third story instead of the fourth. There would have been a gradual crescendo of  quality and feast for the eyes and I would have been much kinder to it had that been the case.

A fifth story was to be included in this movie but it was spun off into it's own feature, so look out for a review of Le Bete in the future.

Overall, it's beautiful, every shot could be a painting. But it's shallow and at times so pretentious it borders on parody. Yes, The Tides, I'm talking about you.

I'm giving this a 4 because of the visuals. It's certainly on par with Caligula. If you like watching pretty things, definitely watch this. If you want hardcore, you'll have to find it elsewhere.

LILITH'S SCORE: 4/5

NEXT TIME: Oh man, am I excited! For all of March, Lilith Likes to Watch is doing a themed month exploring the films of her favourite classic porn beauty. Get ready for Money March, a whole month of films featuring Constance Money!



Sunday, February 17, 2019

Lilith Likes to Watch - Silver Shoes


Title: Silver Shoes
Year: 2015
Starring: Liandra Dahl, Annabelle Lee, Joost Smoss
Director: Jennifer Lyon Bell
Synopsis: Three explicit erotic stories. First, Annabelle finds out about her friend Liandra's masculine side and Liandra seduces her.
Then, Anabelle gets turned on by a piece of clothing.
Finally, Liandra hooks up with her friend's guy friend. - Via IMDB

Why it is Notable: Porn for women, by women, for belated Valentine's Day.

"You're not going to have to do anything"

Real sex is awkward. Real sex for the purposes of entertainment is also awkward because it pretends to be speaking to authenticity without really having much to say.

Silver Shoes is sort of like that? First of all, calm down; there is no hidden magic in these shoes. The shoes are barely even a plot device. Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants this is not.

The film is broken down into three short stories.

In Undressed, Annabelle goes to her friend Liandra's place to borrow her silver shoes. When fetching them from the closet, Annabelle sees Liandra owns men's clothing. When asked about it, Liandra just goes into this complete TED Talk about how she finds femininity constraining,  and how wearing men's clothes is liberating. It changes how she thinks, acts, and fucks.

Liandra shows Annabelle that she's wearing men's briefs, and the two women fuck.

It's a good scene, if not for the horrible sound balancing. The kiss sounds were extremely sloppy, like someone punching a cantaloupe. The lovers mumble at levels barely heard, then release screamed orgasms while through the apartment walls come the sounds of children playing.

The sex is good. Both woman's bodies quiver and tremble with pleasure and Annabelle releases these adorable little squeaks when enjoying herself and musical, angry cries as she climaxes.

The second tale is called The Housesitter. Annabelle is housesitting for Liandra. She takes pictures of Liandra's chromatically arranged bookcase, paints one of her nails with Liandra's nail-polish, then goes to Liandra's closet, puts on the silver shoes, hugs one of the masculine suit jackets that Liandra owns, and cries and masturbates. Sometimes in that order, sometimes not, sometimes all at once. Also, the children are still playing outside.

And that's the last we see of Annabelle.

The most interesting thing about The Housesitter is that it took four writers. There was no dialog! It took four writers and the story before this, with actual character background and dialog, had one writer.

The final story is Mimosas. Liandra has cut her hair and is having a brunch with her lady friends and one brought a sexy foreign boy named Joost. They talk and laugh about men while Joost is talked into showing off his modeling skills while wearing the titular silver shoes. The girls leave, Joost offers to stay behind to help Liandra clean up.

Randomly, Liandra says "If you weren't gay I'd totally do you." To which Joost replies "I'm not gay", or something. Liandra gets all embarrassed, and they fuck with rather awkward fucking. Poor Joost looks terrified throughout the whole event. Also, the children are still playing outside.

For this scene, Liandra was wearing feminine panties and a bra. What happened to wearing men's clothes?

Once more, the version of this film that exists in my head is better.

Undressed happens, then The Housesitter happens, then Mimosas begins but Liandra is wearing men's undergarments, because that's an established character trait and she has no reason not to wear them, it's not like she's planning on fucking her lady friends. Joost sees her men's undies, is like "...Weird but okay,", then half-way through fucking, Annabelle waltzes through the door, finds them fucking on the couch and kills everyone. Or a threesome ensues. Or something.

But no, the movie just ends. It cuts to black.

I'm a woman. I like woman things, but I also enjoy the male gaze. I find most of the by-woman-for-women porn to be presumptuous and pandering.

Or maybe I'm just filthy.

LILITH'S SCORE: 2.5/5

NEXT TIME: Speaking of filthy, next week we enjoy some Immoral Tales.


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Sunday, February 10, 2019

Lilith Likes to Watch - Wasteland


Title: Wasteland
Year: 2012
Starring: Lily Carter, Lily LaBeau
Director: Graham Travis
Synopsis: Two young women are best friends, but they go their separate ways. 5 years later they reunite when Anna visits Jacky. After Anna arrives the friendship is renewed and the young women soon take things to the next level. - Via IMDB
Why it is Notable: Nominated for over 20 awards through various award shows. Recipient of 13 awards including Best Narrative at the LA Underground Film Festival, and several Best Actress awards for Carter and LaBeau.

 "Always is boring and lonely and painful and scary."

History.
This movie and I have history.
About half a decade ago, when I was refining my porn tastes, I searched out this film. I first saw it, fittingly, when I was on a trip to Arizona. It left me feeling...confused.

The first shot of Wasteland begins with Anna, played by Lily Carter, walking down a gritty walkway, bathed in shades of black and red. Lily Carter moves in a way of  such hypnotized carelessness that the scene almost looks like it was shot in reverse then played backward. There's something slightly off about it, in a good way.

From there we cut to the morning before. Anna is on a trip from Arizona to LA, visiting her childhood friend Jacky, a promiscuous party girl whom Anna seems to have romantic feelings for. They go out on the town and Anna sneakily watches Jacky fuck a man in a bathroom stall. There's a great mix of disgust, curiosity, hurt and lust in her dark eyes as Jacky unabashedly enjoys herself mere inches away.

The girls walk down the street and Jacky parlays a ride home for a blowjob. Tired of waiting, Anna begs to go home when Jacky coaxes Anna into pleasuring the man while Jacky fingers Anna from behind. The scene ends in a perfect cloud of shame for Anna as she lets the man's come freefall from her tongue in gooey strands.

The two women get back to Jacky's and they have passionate sex. Even though it's porn, there's something about the redness of Lily Carter's skin that lends an authenticity to the woman on women scenes between the two Lilys.

They drink, they dance, they swim, they fuck, they talk. They share a quick, one night romance without saying "I love you". Moments of this movie lend themselves to greatness, while others simply crash and burn.

In one scene, Jacky opens up to Anna and Anna offers comfort but Jacky freaks out in the most out of nowhere way. She yells at Anna for nothing other than because this is the point in a screenplay where a conflict should take place. It is the most "written" piece of writing since Nomi Malone hitting a car with her hand then throwing up in Showgirls.

It's awkward and leads into the second most porny scene in the film.

Anna and Jacky remember a camping trip where Jacky fucked a boy Anna liked, while Anna secretly watched. When I saw this movie the first time, I was a little baffled because, as I said, this was the most porny scene in the movie up until this point. Up until now I had expected Wasteland to be like an artsy indie movie, something like Blue is the Warmest Colour or Bound or Below Her Mouth and I feel the trailers could be blamed for that.

After that, Lily Carter does her best to carry a monologue about how Anna is lonely and alone and has a tragic past and-- and this is important-- once her grandma dies, Anna will be all alone, except for Jacky. Jacky is the only thing that makes her feel human.

The two reach an understanding, and, in a fun scene that is way too short, get ready to go to a fetish club where Jacky works. They dress in skin-tight latex dresses and oil them up, rubbing their hands over each other's body in a scene that did I mention was way too short? That scene could have used a more leering camera, honestly.

They go to the club and Anna is seduced by a woman, forced into pleasure submission while listening to women pleasure men.

Anna is sent down the hall and we're once more shown that otherworldly, uncanny valley sequence of Anna in red, trance-walking along.

And here is where the movie goes off the rails for me.

We've established that Anna is button down, not very sexually adventurous. I feel that Anna doesn't have the knowledge of consensual non-consent, or safe-words to be okay with going down this rabbit hole. I don't feel she willingly descended down into the depth of depravity so much as she didn't have a choice.

Anna follows a woman, is slapped, choked, her mouth spat into, gagged, and then shoved into a room with dozens of men who are using Jacky like a spunk-sock. Then they pass Anna around like the spunk-sock's twin. Eventually, while being choked until purple in the face, slapped, spanked, pissed on, triple penetrated, the girls lock eyes and kiss. They're bukkake'd then kiss again with come-covered faces.

Cleaned up and resting in the car, Jacky says to Anna:"Only you can understand..."

Anna awakes in Jacky's bed, to a phone call informing her that her grandmother died last night. She leaves for the train station without saying goodbye.

Sometimes when I watch porn, I find myself re-writing or re-editing it. Imagine, if you will, if Anna's grandmother died after Anna's monologue about being alone. She receives the phone call, then goes out and surrenders her worth to the depravity. Then the movie ends with Jacky telling her "Only you can understand...."

Hard cut to black.

WASTELAND appears on the screen.

Credits.

I see what the movie was going for, I do. Anna surrendered, and was punished, but that doesn't follow through with Anna's story arc nearly as coherently and as satisfying as if she was true to her fears and would follow Jacky to the depths of sin just to feel something.

While some parts of the film's acting were stilted and awkward, the actual chemistry between the two Lilys was at times, electric. There's an ease to some of their more casual scenes and when it works, it really works.

This movie tries. It really, really does. It wants to be a serious film and strives toward lofty goals. It's more than a basic porno and it deserves all the recognition for that. I just find it has some really deep story flaws that prevent me from giving it a higher grade.

For what it's worth, it's better than I remember.

LILITH'S SCORE: 3/5

NEXT TIME: Lilith watches girls and boys prance around in Silver Shoes.



Sunday, February 3, 2019

Lilith Likes to Watch - A Clockwork Orgy

Title: A Clockwork Orgy
Year: 1995
Starring: Kaitlyn Ashley, Rebecca Lord, Isis Nile, Jon Dough
Director: Nic Cramer
Synopsis:  Here's where droogs are still droogs, but their tonic is sex, not violence. Superstar Kaitlyn Ashley plays Alex, who is surrounded by fellow gangsters Isis Nile, hot Olivia and the French beauty Rebecca Lord, roam dingy alleyways in search for wanton sex. - Via IAFD.com
Why it is Notable: Nominated for Best Film and Best Director at the 13th AVNs. Parodies a movie I love.
"Viddy well, sisters, viddy well."

In all my years of sneaky porn watching, I've never really delved into the world of parody porn. Other than this particular film, I've only seen a Batman one, which, don't worry, I'm sure I'll get around to talking about eventually.

I was in desperate need of something to watch when I stumbled across this little gem. About seven seconds into the movie, I'd realized I'd seen it before, years ago.

A Clockwork Orgy is, of course, the porno version of Stanley Kubrick's classic film A Clockwork Orange. As I mentioned in my Caligula review, for a time, A Clockwork Orange was one of my favourite movies so I sort of knew what I was getting myself into.

Kaitlyn Ashley plays Alexandra, the sex-fiend leader of the droogs, a gang of girls who thrive on a bit of the old Ultra-Sex. They prowl around the streets, looking for Ultra-Sex and taking it when they want, despite it being illegal.

Alex is taken into custody for the rape of a man, among other Ultra-Sex engagements. However, two of the droogs seemed to be doing most of the fucking in a protracted scene where everyone seemed to be having a good time, including the victim. It's at this point I'm lamenting that I want more Rebecca Lord because holy shit is she stunning. Instead we focus on the other two droogs and I am disappointed.

As for the infamous Ludovico Technique, all they did was tie Alex up in a straight jacket and show her porn. There was nothing to keep her from looking away. They could have put some blacked out ski goggles on her, or sun glasses, and imply it was being beamed directly into her eyes or something. Ah well.

As a test of the technique's success a woman in fishnet and leather struts out and dances in front of Alex and it makes her sick. Something felt off in this scene. Like the dancing wasn't necessary, or it should have been a man and she reached up for his dick then felt nauseous. Or maybe a couple fuck in front of her.

Then we revisit the three remaining droogs and one of them fucks this movie's version of Billy Boy and I'm still wondering where Rebecca Lord went.

Eventually Alex is set free and then immediately fucked by a group of men. After her own victimization she falls into the arms of the man she and her droogs had previously victimized. He recognizes her, and assaults her with porn and she tries to jump out a window.

She lives, recuperates and rejoins her droogs to delight once again in the old Ultra-Sex. The titular orgy takes place in a scrap yard and Rebecca Lord has the misfortune of having the most awkward sex scene where she's half-in, half-out of a car window while being fucked from behind.

Alex smolders at the camera while being plowed and the film ends.

While I was watching this, I was of two minds: One, certain parts of this film had attention to detail I wasn't expecting. Things like the way Alex leans against a door-frame while greeting the parole officer, the composition of Alex's profile in the "What's so stinking about it?" shot, or the expressions on the face of the man in the wheelchair when he realizes who Alex is. All are plucked directly from Kubrick's film.

Other times, I felt like was watching Shakespeare. What I mean by that is, have you ever had to watch a high-school play of Romeo & Juliet or MacBeth? The actors hit their marks, say the words, you hear it all but you know none of these actors know what the words mean?

No one in this movie knows, let alone understands Nadsat, The most notorious case of this was when they tried to use the word viddy. Sometimes it's used as very, and sometimes it's used as watch. Only one of these is correct. Although I did appreciate the term gashy-wash.

I can't really blame them for that, I've tried to read the novel several times and found it impossible.

As far as adaptations go, it's a pretty good homage. The costumes are sufficiently modified from the classic droog outfit, while given a sexy, slutty twist. I feel it could have gone a little further with it. Alex's eye makeup could have been much more dramatic. They could have worn bustiers outside their tops like the droogs wore jock straps outside their pants. I know budgets are restrictive but it would have been doable. That said, I still like the simple outfits they went with. The hats were fun.

Despite how negative I sound, I did enjoy this film. It was there for me in an hour of need, a nice, comforting embrace....because...

Some of you might remember that last review, I said I'd review Ilsa, She-Wolf of the SS. I had expected jack-boot licking, cleavage spilling out of Nazi uniforms, a simple plot like "You will be my sex slave, filthy American", some whipping, maybe some scene where Ilsa has to fuck Hitler in penance for some failure or another. I got nearly half-way through before I had to turn it off in revulsion.
The movie took itself way too seriously, and was far too well made for me to feel anything but disgust, depressed and dirty. Ultimately I watch porn to be amused, entertained, and inspired. I don't watch it to feel like slitting my wrists. It was my first foray into Nazisploitation and it will be my last.

So I combed through, desperate for something to perk up my spirits and there it was, like a smutty beacon of smokey light. For that, A Clockwork Orgy, you will always have a place in my heart.

LILITH'S SCORE: 4/5 (3 if you haven't seen A Clockwork Orange.)

NEXT TIME: We follow two Lilys as they navigate Wasteland.