Skin For Sale is a documentary about the European pornography industry. Since it was produced in Spain, it mainly focuses on Spanish actors and production people, but touches on other European Union countries as well.
From the box cover, I thought this was going to be a very explicit film with plenty of clips from featured hardcore films. However, there is actually very little nudity in the film (there is some, including some genital stuff that would never make an American R rating, but it is quick), and no graphic hardcore sex. This does serve to make the subject matter more engrossing instead of diverting your attention with pornographic imagery. The main thrust (no pun intended) of the film is the behind the scenes aspect of the business. The filmmakers intentionally deglamorize and de-sexualize porn. Crew members are shown with their "it's nothing special" attitude while there is acrobatic sex going on in the background (One particularly creative framing places an umbrella pole right over the naughty zone as two stars go at it in the background). Actors speak of the disparity between their on screen personas and their real lives. And everybody talks about how unnatural the on-camera sex is, and how its purpose is not to reflect real lovemaking but to provide a release or an outlet for its audience.
There is some interesting insight into the players' personal lives, including meeting the family (who have an unexpectedly laid back attitude toward their porn star daughter/sister) of one star, and hearing anecdotes from others. The material is engrossing, but ultimately a bit middle-of-the-road. The film runs a feature length, but in the end you feel like they should have gone deeper.
I would consider this a good piece of work for a first-time documentary, though I'm not sure if this is the filmmakers' first or not. It is compelling in parts and the material is well manipulated at times. And then sometimes you get the feeling that they are coasting along aimlessly through the material and have lost a bit of their focus. The overall effect of the movie is "middle-of-the-road." It's not boring, at times it is quite engaging. It's not poorly constructed, but at times there are flaws detracting from this being an important or "must-see" work. I would recommend it to people interested in the porn industry, but not to general documentary fans. Do make note, though, that if you're sqeamish towards pornography that this film is OKAY to watch. There is one scene where a married acting couple are engaged in coitus, but it is slightly distant and not graphic. Aside from that, most of the nudity is blase and nothing you wouldn't see in a regular French movie, so this can be watched as "general fare" though, as a byproduct of being about the pornographic industry, I wouldn't watch this with conservative parents or children.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?