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Destricted Review

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A collection of erotic and not-so-erotic films trying to distinguish the line betweeen art and porn.

★★★★★

There are some interesting ideas in this portmanteau investigation into both the purpose and appeal of pornography and its moral and psychological ramifications. Richard Prince re-records a skin flick to reduce its images to banality; Marina Abramovic trawls through the sexual superstitions of the Balkans; and Gaspar Noë makes strobe-lit contrasts between male and female masturbatory fantasies. But, there is also a good deal of pretention and exploitation involved, with Matthew Barney and Sam Taylor-Wood being particularly guilty of indulging themselves in artsy erotica.

Yet Marco Brambilla's mesmerising flash-cut montage of clips from mainstream and porno pictures compels a re-evaluation of cinema's attitudes to sex and passion, while the ever-provocative Larry Clark forces us to confront the realities of the porn business through a sheepish twentysomething's crash course in smut.

The graphic content guarantees that this will attract sensationalist attention. But, beneath the provocation and pretention, there are some interesting ideas here - even though they're not always subtly expressed.

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