By David Church, Northern Arizona University, US. Prosecutions of theatre owners for obscenity increased after the US Supreme Court’s 1973 Miller v. California decision returned responsibility for obscenity definitions to the judgment of local community standards, meaning that ‘smaller hard-core theatres suffered through a lack of product and a suddenly more discerning hard-core audience.’  One of the major implications of this legal precedent was a deliberate toning down of ostensibly aberrant or ‘taboo’ content in many post-1973 hardcore films. […] In the theatrical pornographic feature, illicit acts seldom appeared to begin with, but even a handful of 35mm genre ‘classics’- such as The Story of Joanna (1975), Femmes de Sade (1976), Barbara Broadcast (1977), Pretty Peaches (1978), Candy Stripers (1978), and 800 Fantasy Lane (1979) - suffered trims of select scenes when later appearing on video.
Telling Stories: Annabel Chong, Instrumentality and Exploitation
by Caroline West, Dublin City University, Ireland. Sex: The Annabel Chong Story (Gough Lewis 1999) is a documentary based on a porn film starring Annabel Chong, a woman catapulted to infamy through porn. Chong, whose real name is Grace Quek, is a 22-year-old Singaporean woman who partook in a gangbang, billed as The World's Biggest Gangbang, in having sex with 251 men over ten hours. The film follows Chong as she discusses her motivations for taking part in the film, the buildup and promotion of the event, and the fallout.
‘Sex Work’ at the BBFC, Part I
by Neil Jackson, University of Lincoln, UK. Has anybody seen a good ‘sex work’ recently? At best, it is a question that is likely to cause mildly embarrassed befuddlement in the casual film enthusiast. At worst, anybody even mildly attuned to sociolinguistic nuances may infer suggestion of voyeuristic interest in the workaday toils of prostitution. Either way, ‘sex work’ is a generic term that has been deployed by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) to distinguish the titillating, affective charge of wanton hardcore pornography. It is a phrase that has become the board’s common descriptor for hardcore films with an R18 classification (the ‘R’ being an abbreviation of ‘restricted’). This limits sale or projection to premises specially licensed to handle such material, and separates it from non-pornographic, dramatic or documentary feature film formats that present sexually explicit themes and images for an adult audience at the 18 certificate level. Essentially, if the BBFC determines that a film is pornographic in nature and intent (that is, designed primarily to sexually arouse the spectator), it is dealt with as a ‘sex work’.
This Ain’t Jaws XXX (2012) and Porn Parody
by I.Q. Hunter, De Montfort University, UK. On the face of it, Jaws (1975) seems an unlikely candidate for the porn treatment. Spielberg’s film is entirely male-centred - so I guess a gay version with three-way romps on the Orca might make sense – but the characters’ motivations have no obvious erotic component or indeed reference, aside from Quint calling out ‘Stop playing with yourself, Hooper’ to the lounging ichthyologist. Sex as a theme is not there to be exploited as with, say, A Clockwork Orgy (1995), the porn version of A Clockwork Orange (1971), which feeds off the obsession with sex, power and breasts that drives the narrative of the original. And the piscine motif of Jaws doesn’t immediately suggest the erotic, unless one considers the ‘eels for pleasure’ section of the Animal Farm (1981) bestiality compilation video that did the rounds in Britain in the 1980s, or urban myths involving Led Zeppelin, a groupie and a shark. That said, it is doubtless true that any film can be ‘pornified’ insofar as narrative gaps in the original can be filled with sex scenes, and the characters’ motivations refocused on seeking opportunities for them.