The Erotic Film Society encourages the appreciation and enjoyment of expressions of the spectrum of sex and sexualities, in all of their many cinematic manifestations throughout the decades, across the cinema cultures of all nations, as expressed in different genres. It encourages the re-evaluation and celebration of the work of film-makers and performers who shaped this century-old, ‘shadow’ of the mainstream film industry, and attempts to encourage quality in contemporary erotic cinema through a better understanding of the genre’s antecedents. Erotic Film Society was founded in 2010 and is run entirely by volunteers. It has held screenings and events in London and Manchester and has been regularly involved with the annual Offscreen Film Festival in Brussels and participated in the ‘Cinema Erotica’ season at EYE Filmmuseum, Amsterdam in June 2016. Erotic Film Society also provides a source of information and conducts original research.
SCREENING & TALK
In the opening session of UNCENSORED, the Erotic Film Society is delighted to present Ole Ege’s 1971 film Pornografi – En Musical to commemorate one of the pioneers of adult cinema whose work contributed to the abolition of censorship in Europe and America half a century ago.
Ole Ege was the original ‘naughty boy’ of Danish cinema. In the 1960s he celebrated voyeuristic pleasures in a series of increasingly explicit, colourful and clever 8mm shorts which were at the forefront of the celluloid sexual revolution. Among the multitude of moral panics that accompanied the social tumult of the sixties, few offered more opportunities for reactions – from sanctimonious ‘tut tutting’ to prophecies of moral apocalypse – than the emergence of explicit pornography.
In Denmark, a small number of film makers pushed the boundaries of what was considered acceptable, quickly moving from pin-up posing to explicit solo performances and unsimulated sex, in 8mm loops intended for home viewing. Foremost among them was Ole Ege. When it became clear that prohibition was unlikely to stop the tide of carnal entertainment, the Danish authorities took the momentous decision to decriminalise hard-core. The rest of the world looked on aghast. Would Copenhagen become the Sodom and Gomorrah of Scandinavia?
Pornografi – En Musical is a compilation of Ege’s short films – ranging from near abstract experimentalism to mini-narratives to context-free bdsm – with a soundtrack that includes a performance by jazz legend Dexter Gordon. Sadly, Ole Ege died in December 2018 and this UK premier screening is a tribute to a filmmaker who developed the language of sex on screen and helped explicit cinema emerge from the shadows.
The film will be introduced by Dr Oliver Carter, senior lecturer in media and cultural studies at Birmingham City University, whose research into the emergence of explicit pornography throughout Europe will inform a book that he is currently writing about British hard-core pornography during the latter half of the twentieth century.
Our thanks to Another World Entertainment for making this screening possible.
Photos courtesy of Another World Entertainment (anotherworldent.com)