Pornstar is a mesmerizing, definitive examination of life at the epicenter of Americas multibillion-dollar sex entertainment industry.
When Ian Gittler began photographing porn stars, his intent -- however suspect -- was to glamorize and legitimize their lives and work in the same way top photographers generally portray the porn stars' mainstream Hollywood counterparts. Girder envisioned a celebrity coffee-table book with gorgeous. enticing photography that would provoke a reevaluation of fame in our culture.
But as the author journeyed into the surprisingly accessible "underground" world of porn, his glossy, conceptual approach gave way to one of grim resolve. Gittler couldn't ignore the rapidly accumulating evidence of abuse and emotional disconnect. By the time Savannah -- the most famous XXX film star of her generation -- committed suicide, he felt compelled to address the heartbreak and fragile humanity he was learning firsthand are at tile core of this subculture.
Gittler forged relationships with his subjects that irrevocably changed him, and discovered that the world of porn is not only a product of mainstream society, but a parallel universe where all the challenges of emotional intimacy facing humans at tile end of the twentieth century exist.
Pornstar is all extraordinary marriage of memoir, photography, and investigative journalism; its narrative -- in running text and more than one hundred stunning photographs -- spans more than five years. Pornstar is violent, funny, tragic, and uncompromising: a totally unprecedented portrait of tile men and women -- the stars -- who populate the terrain of America's porn industry.
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In addition to writing and taking photographs, Ian Gittler aslo makes music, drawings, and films. He lives where he was born and raised, New York City.From Publishers Weekly:
In 1991, Gittler, a photographer whose work has appeared in such magazines as Vogue and Vanity Fair, set out to produce a cheery coffee-table book chronicling the lives of members of the adult-film business. "Instead of beloved icons, I would glorify reviled (or at least only secretly admired) ones," Gittler writes of his initial intentions. Five years later, however, after meeting many of America's most-prominent Triple-X stars and hearing about their often sordid and depressing personal lives, Gittler changed his tune: his "one-man crusade to vindicate American sexuality" left him brimming with pity and moralizing disdain. Many of the stories Gittler has amassed in this episodic account of the lives, politics and everyday preoccupations of porn professionals are indeed depressing. Savannah, a porn actress, is injured in a car accident and then commits suicide. Director John Stagliano learns that he is HIV-positive. The photographs Gittler takesAin studios, apartments, hotel rooms and on the sets of porn shootsAare often highly sexually explicit, although most depict porn stars merely hamming for the camera. Still, one feels that Gittler is a little quick to infer that all sex workers are tragic, lost souls. Though this book purports to be a journalistic portrait of the porn demimonde, there is little rigor or emotional depth to it. Gittler in the end comes off as being both leering and judgmental, blurring the line he attempts to draw between pornography and journalism about pornography. (Sept.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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