Ever the film anthropologist, yesterday I tried to see the art/porn flick Destricted, currently showing in London. A group of short films directed by Marina Abramović, Marco Brambilla, Matthew Barney, Larry Clark, Gaspar Noe, Richard Prince and Sam Taylor-Wood, Destricted was curated by New York-based arts man Neville Wakefield. Sadly, the screening was sold out, which seems to indicate that sex continues to sell, despite the current media saturation of sexual imagery that is enough to make the idea of a chastity vow seem like a viable protest option.
I will try again tomorrow because I'm very curious to see what the artists/filmmakers have come up with (I haven't taken the vow yet, you see). I personally think the one name involved in the project that makes absolute sense is Larry Clark's because blurring the line between art and pornography is his leitmotif - but where is Bruce LaBruce? And why Sam Taylor Wood? While I can't give you my personal verdict on Destricted, here's a round-up of reviews around the web.
Film Threat claimed that "as a sociological statement on human sexuality, it’s practically worthless". Future Movies didn't like it either and said: "Whatever most of the filmmakers here were trying to achieve, it sheds no light on porn, simply reproducing it at its most trite, stale and unimaginative." Deep Focus's review was a bit more lubed. It said, "Destricted is as hit-and-miss as you'd expect of a collection of art-porn shorts." I also found an interview with Larry Clark on Nerve magazine about his contribution to the project and I particularly liked his correction of the information previously given to the interviewer that all collaborators had had talks with Neville about what they would do. Said Clark, "My deal was, they gave me the money, I made the film, they didn't know what I was doing until I sent them a rough cut of the film." Clark, it must be said, is blessed with a delightful penchant for straight talking and incapability to use art world lingo, an aspect of his rebel personality that I experienced first-hand when I saw him at the ICA last year.