a film by David Kittredge
2009 | 113 mins | US
›› Pornography: A Thriller
an unsettling mediation on the blurring of lines.
Pornography: A Thriller by David Kittredge In this chilling, frequently sexy thriller, writer and director David Kittredge sets his stall in the Lynch / Cronenberg stable, along the way taking in many a familiar indie face to deliver an intriguing, if somewhat puzzling work.

And here cue the life of 70's gay porn icon Mark Anton; a Brent Corrigan lookalike lured out of early retirement for one final performance. Trouble is, it would turn out to be his last, as the man vanished without trace thereafter. At least thatís what journalist Michael Castigan first thought over a decade later, having along with his partner, unknowingly moved into an apartment that could well have played host to Antonís cinematic swan song. Seemingly haunted by tales of the like that urban legends are made of, Castigan sets out to investigate Anton's mysterious exit stage left, only to end up going missing in action himself. Years later and as fate would have it, porn actor turned director Matt Stevens just cannot stop himself from making a pornographic biopic about the life and times of the man of his dreams, one Mark Anton; namely a film about somebody who knew someone who saw something that made it look like ... well that would be saying.

Pornography: A Thriller by David Kittredge And say a lot Kittredge does, only for his questioning dissertation on the social ramifications of pornography to unravel in a twisted mix of inspired chills and sexual thrills. Yes, there are some genuine dark moments to be had here, as any film that deals with the subject of snuff movies would. Yet with no resolution to the frustratingly perplexing narrative on offer, even the most seasoned of viewers will be left wondering - well, just wondering.

Not that this is to take anything away from Ivan Coronaís menacing cinematography, nor a cast of supporting players who more often than not, are to be seen playing different characters. But it is to say that this porno thriller in three acts may well be better viewed as three interlinking short films, the first two of which are undoubtedly the best, given it is here that Kittredge brilliantly sets his nightmarish stage, only for the payoff to fade away as the film progresses.

That said, I take my hat off to a man who has clearly learned a lot since his 2002 short Target Audience and who here goes for broke to deliver an unsettling mediation on the blurring of lines between reality and fantasy and if anything, the questionable relationship between voyeurism and a ring styled Big Brother state, forever watching you, watching them. That act three disappoints, could be more a reflection on how close and yet so far Kittredge came to achieving cinematic gold, having laced his work with disturbing shades of Saw, only to play on the line "isnít this what you wanted to see?" to showcase full frontal nudity instead. But then with pornography in the title, is that any surprise?

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - the full monty. 
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars. 

›› Available to buy from Amazon.com.

›› Available to buy from Amazon.co.uk.
available on DVD as part of the Peccadillo Pictures catalogue: 30.August.2010 / UK.
starring: Matthew Montgomery, Pete Scherer, Jared Grey, Walter Delmar, Dylan Vox, Larry Weissman,
Nick Salamone, Steve Callahan, Akie Kotabe, Wyatt Fenner, Rasool Jahan, David Pevsner,
Jon Gale, Joe Langer, Bret Wolfe, Len Irving, Amy Seeley, Bob Koenig, Jeremy Owen,
EJ Manning, Sean Abley and Mike Justice as Ghost Story Actor / The Voice
Copyright 2010 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #316
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