Nicholas Steele's "Goddess" is the prototype for a series of hundreds of dreamy, Romantic with a capital R video features produced over a decade ago, and representing an abandoned and largely forgotten genre of Adult Entertainment. They stand as living (surviving on Adam & Eve DVDs) proof of the existence of a serious and rewarding strain of creativity in a field now pretty much abandoned to quick-buck "all-sex" junk.
For "Goddess", Steele's collaborators must be singled out: Philip O'toole handling everything from concept, script, cinematography to editing, while Reenie Varga is the creative force, credited with writing and performing poetry, voice-over narration and chants on the soundtrack. She is the heart and soul of the project.
It's a sexual pantomime, built around Serenity (plain yet beautiful Skylar Knight) at her manual typewriter creating a story about goddesses of religion and legend, who in the New Age ethos of these films, can be found within her as a source of strength and hope. We watch five vignettes from her story, depicting Athena, Aphrodite, Isis, Medusa and when knights were bold, The Lady of the Lake. Final segment has Serenity taking over and expressing her own inner goddess via sex with an idealized Phantom of Love, humping on the pipe organ's bench to suggest the Andrew Lloyd Webber stage hit.
It's all dreamy and mystical, a kind of head trip (without drugs) that I would have thought might still appeal to young, broad-minded audiences. But industry propaganda has declared that "couples" or "romantic" porn is mere urban legend, never actually amounting to anything as the almighty dollar and sales revenues are strictly gonzo. Au contraire - anyone with an interest in quality and creativity can find hundreds of classics, not Golden Age curios from 30 or 40 years back but rather from the turn of this century.
Cast is quite good at the pantomime performances, with Evan Stone perfect as the knight servicing Lady of the Lake against a fabulous nature setting of waterfall and symbolic flora, and Rob Scott is a convincing "Promethius" (sic) of Rome. The women are true beauties, styled in colorful costumes and jewels including Adam & Eve's wonderful Amber Michaels, plus Alexandra Nice, the stunning Keri Windsor and an obscure discovery, ethereal Adajja. Ringer is Harmony Grant, the actress I was most anxious to see (after discovering her in a Private import from Europe); her rendition of Athena, Goddess of War is jarring, as Harmony has bold suntan lines, very fake Jenna type breasts and a modern blonde hair style that all cry out Hollywood Starlet from Central Casting.
Christopher Saint Booth's music is integral to the other-worldly feel that typifies Adam & Eve productions of this period, with Reenie's vocal contributions dominant. One suspects that a modern audience has become so ingrained to expecting (and receiving) crap in the form of pornography that they would tune out of this classic with a "boring" yawn, but time well tell. I expect the entire gonzo world of XXX video will soon find its way into the landfill of history, leaving high-water mark artifacts like this one to be rediscovered anon.
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