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After Porn Ends is a documentary that not only examines the lives and careers of some of the biggest names in the history of the adult entertainment industry but what happens to them after they leave the business and try and live the "normal" lives that millions of other Americans enjoy. They hailed from the rural South, steel towns, and the San Fernando Valley. As teenagers and young adults, none of them thought that porn was in their future. They were artists, baseball players, child prodigies, and even Ivy Leaguers. Now, after their lives in porn, they're TV stars, bounty hunters, writers, and social activists. What happened in between? And, now that they've moved on, can they really live a normal life after porn?Written by
Tiffany Million was known as Tiffany Mellon when she wrestled for GLOW--the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling--in the mid-'80s. She always wore a sexy shiny gold costume and her gimmick was that of a wealthy New Yorker. She always seemed to lose her matches, often in devastating fashion and pinned after she was on the receiving end of a pile driver or some other big finishing move. See more »
[on their exit from the porn industry]
The other girls leave with a bad taste in their mouth and they... and I just... I have nothing but good memories when I look back.
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Vocal - Korinna Knoll
Instruments and Percussion - Adam Peters
Acoustic Guitar - Johnny Marr
Backing Vocals - Nick Urata, Andy Cabic, Nick Laird Clowes, Adam Peters
Drums - Chris Lacinak See more »
I am fascinated by this topic. We have seen the impact of the porn industry on people portrayed in fiction (Boogie Nights, Orgazmo, Lovelace) as well as in other documentary works by Louis Theroux and trashy, exploitative British TV docos. How people interact with the most popular and sought after taboo in the world is always interesting. "Life After Porn", however, doesn't capitalise on its' premise as well as it should.
Positives: The biggest issue when tackling a controversial subject is the potential biases of the film-makers, yet in "After Porn Ends", the people behind the scenes never use their movie as propaganda, or a political tool on either end of the partisan spectrum. I wouldn't be surprised either way if the director and producers were pro or anti-porn. It offers an impartial glimpse into the motivations of a smorgasbord of characters from different aspects and eras of the pornography industry. There are subjects who had positive childhoods, negative childhoods, good parents and bad, loved the work, and those who hated it. By being objective and showing such a wide selection of experiences, the film is showing us that this industry is just like any other in many respects, that your attitude is the key factor in determining your outlook. The equitable framing of all opinions allows audiences to make up their own minds and while you, the viewer, will find your own opinions represented in this doco, maybe you'll see a story that changes your mind, or challenges your previous misconceptions. So it is a film I would recommend on that basis, to contemplate all sides of this complicated commercial enterprise.
Negatives: Most of the flaws are technical. The cinematography is flat-out dull and ugly most of the time, there is no visual flair, and the shots are often shaky and incorporate unnecessary snap-zooms. The music is also completely forgettable, to the point it feels like stock, free-from-YouTube material. There is however a nice little cover of 'The Velvet Undergrounds's "Sweet Jane" during the credits. Easily the worst technical shortcoming was the editing. They clearly needed to shoot with another camera in order to cut away the awkward jump cuts, awkward zoom ins, and to allow the interviews to flow better. There are moments where one person will be interviewed sitting down, CUT to them answering another question in a different location, then CUTting straight back to the initial interview location. It's jarring and makes the production feel so cheap and cookie-cutter.
"After Porn Ends" only truly examines the life of a retired pornstar in the last act, which comes off a little like false advertising. I wish the film-makers had followed a newly retired star on their journey to reconnect with the outside world. However, we simply receive a standard, talking heads documentary with no distinguishing features that makes it remarkable.
Conclusion: You can make up your own mind about whether you want to see this based on my review. It's a good starting point for anyone keen to learn about the business and its' varying effects on individuals. I was never bored, and it's pretty short with one or two sobering moments, and a few compelling interviewees.
You can find it on Netflix, or on other internet platforms.
Thanks for reading :) 5/10
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