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Brightlightsfilm.com and Gary Morris

Related: film - film theory


Bright Lights is a US-based popular-academic hybrid of movie analysis, history, and commentary written by curdled critics and excitable academics. A substantial amount of articles are by founder Gary Morris.

How I found it

Quoted below are the opening lines of the essay that first got me into the Bright Lights, at a time when I was researching arthouse cinema:

"Art" has long functioned as a code word for erotica in certain contexts. Phrases like "art photos," "art films," "art house" have all been coopted by clever entrepreneurs to market porn soft and hard to audiences who could more easily accept the idea under this respectable rubric. (It was also one way to confuse law enforcement.) In the sixties the term "art film" could mean a Bergman masterpiece, an Andy Milligan sleazefest, or a tasty slice of Radley Metzger Euro-erotica.

Despite the convenience of the label, truly artistic erotica has always been a rarity in any genre. For every successful novel like Lolita or Terry Southern's Blue Movie, there are a zillion trash-pulp derivatives from Beacon, Beeline, Pad, Saber, and other legendary sleaze publishers. For every Mapplethorpe there are reams of tired commercial porn mags bulging on pornshop shelves. Cinema's no different. Of the volumes of material that poured onto grindhouse screens from the '50s on, only a handful even aspired to, much less attained, any significant aesthetic value. Radley Metzger, whose most productive period was the late '60s to the mid-'70s, is surely the standout in this select group. Image Entertainment has given us a good excuse to survey his achievements by releasing four of his major films on DVD Therese and Isabelle (1968), Camille 2000 (1969), The Lickerish Quartet (1970), and Score (1976), with several more (including the legendary Eva Peron story Little Mother) soon to arrive. --Gary Morris for brightlightsfilm via http://www.brightlightsfilm.com/25/metzger.html

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