This first comprehensive and most in-depth history of cinematic pornography details sex in film from 100 years ago to today, concentrating on the quarter-century since Deep Throat, when pornography became a subject of popular culture.
Insightful, entertaining, and bold, A History of X takes us from the primitive film studios of the 1900s, where porn got its start as a daring experiment in sexual freedom, to the closed-door, multi-million-dollar porn-film corporations of today. Ford includes exclusive interviews with the stars, the producers, and the distributors as well as detailed data on censorship attempts from the early days to the present. The author documents the controversial careers of top porn stars Marilyn Chambers, John Holmes, Linda Lovelace, Harry Reems, Gerard Damiano, Georgina Spelvin, Traci Lords, Max Hardcore, Ginger Lynn, and others, revealing both the great benefits and the tragic consequences that often come from fame and fortune in the porn industry.
He also discusses the many controversial aspects to the business, including Mafia influences, the impact of the AIDS epidemic on the industry, and the myths and realities behind child pornography.
Extensively researched and documented, A History of X is a fascinating expose of a business few dare to touch.
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Luke Ford was educated in Australia and has worked as a radio host as well as a journalist. He now operates a website on the porn industry: www.lukeford.com.From Publishers Weekly:
A history of pornographic film that achieves neither coherence nor climax, Ford's book suffers from the disregard for narrative and production values typical of pornography. Though Ford (who runs two Web sites covering the porn business) makes sporadic efforts at delineating the development of sex in film, such attempts tend to get derailed by his rambling, defensive discussions of favorite porn figures and by collections of often contradictory quotations, grouped approximately by topic. Even when a particular subject catches Ford's interest?the Cosa Nostra, for instance, discussed at length in Chapter 5?he fails to shape it into a readable story. Nonetheless, such interludes of relative lucidity offer a welcome respite from Ford's offensive generalizations about, among others, Jews ("Though only two percent of the American population, Jews dominate porn"). Perhaps most disturbing of all, Ford doesn't appear to be especially well-informed on his topic: he barely mentions gay porn and the vast majority of his many, many plot synopses are quoted from other sources. He's not even clear on whether porn should have plot and character or whether they're just annoying distractions. Finally, there's not much new ground covered here. Even porn devotees will find little of interest, unless the pictures (not seen by PW) prove more alluring than the text, which reads like a very rough draft.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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