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The Pornographer (1999)

 -  Drama  -  5 March 1999 (USA)
5.5
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Ratings: 5.5/10 from 673 users  
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A socially inept man's amateur porn film wins him a contract with a small-time pornography distribution company, where he faces a series of moral crises and is forced to face his own porn addiction.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael DeGood ...
Paul Ryan
...
Spano
...
Charise
Katheryn Cain ...
Kate
Todd Feder ...
Randy
...
Security Guard -Jim
Marjorie Harris ...
Teresa
...
Natalie
...
Tom
Mariam Parris ...
Kristina
...
Tiffany
Melinda Scherwinski ...
Sugar
...
Noriko
Franc Luz ...
Kristina's Father
...
Kristina's brother
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Storyline

A young, frustrated man (Michael DeGood) after indulging in prostitutes, makes some home pornography and decides to take it to an adult video producer (Craig Wasson). Promising fame, the young man is encouraged to go find ingenues to put in his films. This leads him to an innocent (Katheryn Cain), fresh off the bus in LA with actress aspirations. Ultimately the two are led into their own total humiliation and destruction. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content and language | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

5 March 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Imagemaker  »

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1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

Feels cheap and has an average narrative to match the cast and direction but has enough comment and moral darkness to be of interest
27 March 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Having had a repressed upbringing where sex was taboo and never discussed, Paul's first contact with porn both disgusted and aroused him. In his mid-twenties he is insecure around women, has a large porn collection and regularly uses prostitutes and attends strip bars. Having had zero luck with recent attempts to get a date, Paul falls deeper into porn and gets critical of its low production values on the whole. Buying a camera, Paul starts to make his own porn movies with prostitutes and a male friend and decides to take his videos to a production company – however offers of a contract seem to depend heavily on Paul bringing a fresh, unfilmed girl with him to the studio.

This film was put on late night Friday on channel 5 in the UK – a slot that is usually filled with cheap softcore movies with vague plots and were it not for the reasonably interesting plot summary I would have just ignored it as with so much trash. In terms of softcore action there is a fair amount of nudity but it would be unlikely to satisfy those looking for cheap thrills because, although it looks low budget, it has nothing in common with the pure titillation stuff. This left it open to be a lot more interesting and morally complex and it does do that reasonably well even if it isn't totally convincing in the way that the plot still tries to be a narrative in its own right. It is the story development that is a problem but it still lingers in the murky and rather shameful world of porn long enough to have value as an interesting film on the subject even if it fails to go deep enough into the material or the characters to really stick in the memory.

The direction is pretty cheap and not that interesting; his writing is good but his budget never allows him to make it look like more than it cost. The cast is limited as well although some of them are good. DeGood is interesting and his narration helps his performance rather than replacing it – also, it isn't his fault that the material develops his character too quickly and in unlikely ways. Wasson is basic but effective while Cain is sweet and clumsy (an effect that is either deliberate or caused by her not being that good, not sure which but it works either way). The rest are very much video actors and felt clunky; this didn't damage the film that much though because it already had a low budget feel.

Overall the film had enough murkiness and comment to be of interest and it is this aspect that you will enjoy. The narrative is little more than a frame but at times the film makes the mistake of making that the focal point and loses sight of the themes within it. Add to this a low budget feel in terms of acting, directing and sets and it is hard to take it totally seriously. Worth seeing once though for what it does well.


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