Stars - Lilith Likes to Watch Mystery Month

Title: Stars
Starring: Jane Wilde, Seth Gamble, Tommy Pistol
Director: Bree Mills, Jane Wilde
Synopsis: Told as a series of memories during her final months as a teenager, a woman finds her own path into professional sex work after being manipulated by an older man. Based on a true story. - via
Lilith's Notes: A porny biopic!

"You can look anything up on the Internet."

I need to make something very clear. While I understand that this film is at the very least semi-autobiographical, I in no way want to demean or criticize anyone for their actual life choices. Throughout this review I will be discussing the actions of the fictional character of Julia and I mean no ill-will toward Jane Wilde nor do I want to pass judgment on the path she took to get where she is.

The film begins with a beautiful opening image of water on a marble background, with water bugs skimming on the surface. The cinematography was done by Michael Vegas and it seems our man has an eye for a good shot.

Julia, (played by Jane Wilde) feels stuck in a dead-end retail job and decides to take a chance and model. She answers a cam-girl ad and meets Kevin (played by Seth Gamble), the supposed genius behind some quick-cash camming empire. He talks a big game and poor Julia buys it, and he, let’s say, ‘auditions her’.

Julia sets about grinding away in front of a webcam and gets those tips for a quick flash of ersatz body parts until she and her boyfriend (played by Oliver Flynn) fuck while accidentally still logged in on stream.

Behind the camera, Bree Mills has the obvious sense to make this scene more gentle and intimate than the one between Julia and Kevin, while still keeping it porny. It was an appreciated contrast and I expect no less from the deft experience of Mills.

The tips roll in and Julia and her boyfriend are into it. Until she gets banned from the site.

But as things progress, Julia starts to feel worn down by the hustle, and to make matters worse, Kevin ghosts her. Without him, she doesn’t have access to her money or her cam site account.

Eventually Julia and her friend (played by Cam Damage) go to visit one of her fans in LA. Chris, (played by Tommy Pistol) tries to get Julia and her friend to drink and party but they turn his offers down. Julia follows Chris upstairs and finds him engaged in a threesome with two girls. They try and coax Julia to join them but she declines.

And this plot point caused a fissure between Kage and I. He took this to mean that Julia was merely staying away from an activity she wasn’t into, whereas I took it to mean that Julia thought Chris was a genuine friend, when all he intended was to get her to party with him.

I think maybe both our reads of the situation could be correct, but I also think that Kage is obviously seeing it through a male perspective and me through a female one. I mean, it’s great that Chris respected Julia’s polite decline of the sex and drugs, but it does feel very frightening and manipulative.

And I wonder, if this wasn’t made by Bree Mills, in this day and age, where they’re trying to make consent such an important feature in their stories, that this wouldn’t have gone to a darker, more coercive place.

Julia finds two girls living in squalor in a shack on Chris’ property. They tell her that she doesn’t need someone like Kevin, controlling her finances, and that she can do it all on her own. She of course doesn’t take their word for it since they are living in filth. But she rebuffs them politely.

The main issue through this movie that we found is that it doesn’t go far enough. Yes, Kevin gaslights Julia, but he doesn’t really isolate her, or hurt her, or berate her. Julia laments she’s alone and has no one but she lives with a loving father that supports her choices, and she has a friend in Cam Damage’s character, and presumably still has a boyfriend that we only see for that one scene.

I’m sitting here just talking to the screen saying “Open another account”, or “Go to a different site.”

She has a problem, yes. She put her trust in someone despicable, but there are solutions to her problem and things are not as bad as they seem.

As Julia buckles down and strives to take control of her own career, Kevin haunts her, and I enjoyed how we would see his image over her shoulder, or in a mirror, but the movie didn’t really earn that. Kevin was more an absentee father than an abusive pimp.

In the climax of the film, we join Julia on her first porn shoot, where she is given the iconic stage name, Jane.

This scene is modeled after Jane Wilde’s actual first scene, right down to the costuming. For comparison we watched that scene and it was shared with, surprise, Seth Gamble, which makes sense for his casting of Kevin.

The final scene is fun, because we get a peek behind the curtain of how a porn is shot. How a director should make the performers comfortable, and talk through what is going to happen on set.

The film ends with a newly christened Jane Wilde looking at herself naked in a mirror, smiling and proud of herself for going out on her own.

This should have been a series. In a world where we have films that are over four hours long, we really could have taken our time with this. We could have seen the slow isolation and financial control of Julia. We could have watched her gradually push her loved ones away in favour of money, of the grind, or for the pleasure of Kevin and his own bank account.

This didn’t go far enough. It never really goes there.

Despite all this, it is a good film and it does poke at the darker side of cam life. I’m glad Jane Wilde found a cathartic way to exorcize her demons.

Best Moment: The casting of Seth Gamble as Kevin as a call back to Wilde's first scene.

Worst Moment: Just the lack of showing Kevin really isolating Julia.


Until next time, my voracious voyeurs. I’m Lilith, and I’m always watching.

FleshlyX - Adult Website Gallery and Job Board