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Made in Secret: The Story of the East Van Porn Collective (2005)

 -  Drama  -  16 June 2005 (USA)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 47 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 7 critic

A thought-provoking and genre-bending look behind the scenes of what might be the world's only underground DIY anarcho-feminist porn collective.

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Title: Made in Secret: The Story of the East Van Porn Collective (2005)

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Cast

Cast overview:
Hugh Jorgen
Muffy LaRue
Nerdgirl
J.D. Superstar
Mr. Pants
Monster
Professor University
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A thought-provoking and genre-bending look behind the scenes of what might be the world's only underground DIY anarcho-feminist porn collective.

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This is what democracy looks like naked.

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Drama

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16 June 2005 (USA)  »

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Wheels Are Taking Me Away
Written by Trish Klein
Performed by po'girl
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User Reviews

 
"We must become the change we wish to see in the world." - Ghandi
3 November 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

What happens when you want to make a documentary about an anarcho-feminist pornography collective but can't seem to find a subject? If you're the makers of Made In Secret you go out and start your own just so you can film it. The result isn't exactly a documentary. After all, it's far more contrived than than Nanook of the North. Yet it's too factual to be called a feature film. It's somewhere between in a previously unrecognized gray area. Though the genre may be uncertain, the entertainment isn't. The film isn't perfect, but it's quite good.

The film opens with Monster reading a delightful performance piece. Lamenting the current state of porn, she longs for "a story so far from dumb that I'll sit in the wet spot after I cum, just to see how it ends." Clearly it's time for a "grassroots pervert revolution." This becomes the launching point for the EVPC. The film leaps forward a few years to Godfrey documenting Hugh Jorgen finishing of the editing on the EVPC's latest cinematic triumph. A short bike ride later and the entire collective is seated in front of a TV to watch a little porn of its own making. It's a good time watching the group try to front nonchalant while watching themselves act out their fantasies. Some make it through with only blushing while other being made to squirm.

Where things really get moving is with the production of the next film, JD Superstar's BikeSexual, a "pansexual romp" that means to put the ass in Critical Mass. The structure of the group is likely as interesting, if less erotic, than any product it produces. With rotating facilitators, directors and crew the group is certainly recognizable as an anarchist collective. They require consensus decision making, a process for which the films makes an excellent case, and they have rules for on-set behavior that were developed from a remarkably insightful critique of the critiquing of pornstar's bodies. The members are dedicated to helping each other make films that they would find truly erotic instead of "shot after shot, of slot after slot." If that means two straight men like Mr. Pants and Professor University have to do a scene in the bottom of a skate park's halfpipe then they'll certainly go for it. It "fundamentally challenges parts of myself," Prof. University says of the experience.

The making of BikeSexual ends up including an impressive array of on-location shoots. In the shower, garage (for the "lesbian bike repair scene") and forest the collective toils until finally hitting a ferry to shoot a little "guerilla porn." Their enthusiasm is infectious and it helps the rather amateur camera work and low quality video seem intimate rather than cheap. Where the films fails is in some of the contrived drama around the filming of the documentary itself. Though the filmmakers openly acknowledge that the film isn't entirely factual, some parts feel made up when they shouldn't.

All of this could be little more than an entertaining yarn were it not for the group's dedication to wrestling control of porn away from corporate control. Quality, community- based grassroots erotica. It's a novel idea made more compelling by the demand that it be watchable for reasons beyond the skin. That doesn't sound like too shabby a "revolution to watch with one fist in the air and one in" the crotch.


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