Thursday, August 23, 2012

Mutante: Virginie Despentes

This was a great documentary. I bought it at Kim's Video in NYC. I'm not a shill for Kim's but I really love it there. I always see stuff I didn't know about, or stuff I couldn't find elsewhere. I'm a big fan of Virginie Despentes, based on her film Baise Moi and her book King Kong Theory.

This documentary seems to be from 2008. It sort of covers a lot of territory from women's traditional role in porn as subjects, instances of women/feminists taking up production and how that's subverted traditional porn tropes, some gender stuff and some interesting feminist porn collectives in Europe. 
The gender stuff was what got me thinking a lot, and stimulated a big debate at home. I know the doc is a little dated and I'm sure any updates would look quite different. I guess de facto the genderfuck stuff is informed by queer culture. The thing that stood out for me was how in purporting to subvert the gender binary the women (actually I don't how the actors/producers identify in terms of gender) seemed to adhere to the most rigid, simplistic signifiers of male and female. I know drag performance is by nature a reinterpretation of gender codes that are traditionally rigid. But there was a whole scene with an actor explaining how to get into a male vs female headspace. She describes squaring her shoulders, making direct eye contact, lowering her voice and emphatically not smiling to get into the masculine headspace; for the feminine, one should stick their tits out, smile, and flip their hair, feeling their soft curves. 
WOW. That is some next level gender fuckery. 

Thankfully the last 20 min or so are about this mad Spanish feminist porn collective,
I loved this book. 
“I am writing as an ugly one for the ugly ones: the old hags, the dykes, the frigid, the unfucked, the unfuckables, the neurotics, the psychos, for all those girls that don’t get a look-in in the universal market of the consumable chick.”

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