6.13.2007

Julie Takes to the Hills

You can always tell whether or not you're at a big Hollywood party by how many police roadblocks you have to pass on the way. Having been instructed to turn up my nose, wave and keep driving, I counted two en route to my friend B.'s the other night. He lives in a white-washed Mediterranean villa in Whitley Heights, the fancier part of town that can't help but look down on the rest of us. He's close enough to the Hollywood Bowl to hear the late night fireworks spectaculars. Since intermittent explosions lighting up the sky are actually quite startling when you're not expecting them, somebody mentioned the firecracker scene from Boogie Nights. In the waning days of his film career, porn star Dirk Diggler sets out to rob a heavily armed coke dealer, whose stoned Asian houseboy keeps setting them off in the already tense background. B. had read somewhere that Mark Wahlberg hadn't been told when to expect them, and thus the fear on his face was real.

My host further boasted an alarming knowledge of the inner workings of the adult film industry you wouldn't necessarily expect of an accountant who reads political blogs, buttons his shirts all the way up and drives a sensible Volvo. B. shared that they know him by name at the local Triple X video store and rattled off trends, genres and names of top stars and directors with the authority of a respected porn critic for Daily Variety. His next door neighbor N., a successful location scout who just wrapped an HBO pilot, claimed he'd be just as happy arranging permitting, insurance and a good place to park the honey wagons had he been coordinating a hard core porn shoot. Sadly, he reported, there's just no below-the-line money in porn, despite the attractive benefits package, friendly co-workers and inviting workplace environment.

L., a fortyish hot chick with a really good job, freely admitted to arranging weekly porn screenings among fellow well-heeled female professionals in Boston. I'm not sure exactly what L. does, but she was in town for the big digital filmmaking show last week so I think she's partly to blame for movies no longer having people in them. She said something about her father having gone to Wharton, which I misheard as her father having been a warden, but I'm pretty sure she grew up a pampered East Coast intellectual rather than a hard scrabble civil service legacy with a sweet view of the prison yard. She said she's open to any kind of porn--girl on girl, boy on boy, animal, vegetable, mineral--in the interest of learning new positions she can explore when things get dull in her next long term relationship. When I told her that the Showtime series Weeds offers a frank and graphic look at teenage sex, she wrinkled her nose, since she finds the idea of watching teenagers having sex disgusting.

I'm not sure of the age of the average porn star, but I'm going to go with eighteen last Tuesday. I didn't share this estimate, nor did I denounce the adult film business as the modern answer to slavery. Then again, at this type of uptown gathering I am generally the only person who actually has friends working in the sex industry, and I don't know any of them who are in it for the good times. They are in it because they like to eat. They wanted to be real stars, and when that didn't pan out, their bodies were all they had left to sell. While purveyors of porn insist it's all in good fun and otherwise right thinking consumers everywhere seem to agree, I can't picture any little girl enrolling in tap, jazz and ballet class in order to become a porn star when she grows up. You do this when your dream dies, and you don't know where or how to find another one.

While I wasn't interested in ruining anybody's cinematic fantasies, it happens I have a few illusions of my own. One is I like to believe I'm the only girl in the room when I'm having sex. In fact, my little kink is feeling as though I'm the only girl in the whole wide world, if only for a few stolen hours on a rainy afternoon. I do like pirates--as in Erroll Flynn, not Johnny Depp--so some good old-fashioned pirate porn might work for me if it were nominated for a Best Costume Oscar and directed by James Ivory. Oh, and if they would just hold a breathless moment or two longer to yell "Cut!" after Daniel Day-Lewis rolls up Michelle Pfeiffer's lace sleeve in the back of the Hansom cab in The Age of Innocence, that would do me just fine. To my mind, the hottest love scene of all time was the one between Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet in Titanic. It involved one red Model-T Ford and one steamy hand print on the back windshield.

I also like cowboys, cops and firemen, so any movie sex scenes involving any of those guys works, Brokeback Mountain notwithstanding. I'd happily take Jake, Heath, Jake and Heath, or any combination of Jake and Heath types offering themselves up for a little harmless voyeurism among consenting adults. That is until I found somebody real to be with. At that point, I wouldn't even have to watch movies. I would be living one, and there would be no need to go up to the Bowl to watch the freaking fireworks. How's that for pornographic? Of course, I didn't share a peep of this at my hillside Hollywood gathering. I wasn't so embarrassed about being a party pooper, a prude or a former Catholic schoolgirl as much as I was loathe to admit I'm just another dreamer from the flats trying to make the rent another month without having to call home and cry. This, like even the loveliest, best-endowed and most adventurous would be starlet, eventually gets old.

9 comments:

  1. I'm going to start writing porn. I imagine it would be a lot easier to sell.

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  2. Anonymous7:25 PM

    This B guy makes me sick. A volvo, a house in the hills and a cache of porn. What more should one person have!!!

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  3. I think they're all rentals, if that helps.

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  4. I've already called home this month so check that off the list. OK it's not a love scene per se but my fave two-people-together-at-last scene that i find impossibly romantic is the end of Sense and Sensability when Emma Thompson finally realizes Hugh is there for her and loves only her and they get to have each other. Sign me up!

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  5. One of the best sentences ever: "Sadly, he reported, there's just no below-the-line money in porn, despite the attractive benefits package, friendly co-workers and inviting workplace environment."

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  6. Ah, a structuralist. I am happy to know you are reading and not skimming my sorry excuse for erotica.

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  7. I can't hear Sister Christian without thinking of that scene in Boogie Nights. Another bit of trivia is that while Marky Mark, John C. Rielly and the other guy flinch every time a firecracker goes off, Alfred Molina just keeps on freebasing and rocking out as if nothing is going on. Apparently he had in-ear monitors playing the music to him which they would later add in post, so the firecrackers were much more muffled.

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  8. I just finished spending three years writing about blacks in porn, so boy, do I have a porn databank in my brain. My book(shameless plug),MONEY SHOT: The Wild Nights and Lonely Days in the Black Porn Industry, comes out this October.

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  9. Lawrence, please see to it that I get a review copy, with photos please. I feel this blog is the ideal place to sell a few copies, considering the fawning admiration for B. Maybe we'll even auction off an autographed copy for charity. I'm thinking a UNCF scholarship?

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