2014年1月13日 星期一

"Deep Throat," Linda Lovelace, and "Lovelace"


I recently watched the film "Lovelace," starring Amanda Seyfried as Linda Lovelace.  Peter Sarsgaard co-stars as her husband Chuck Traynor.  The film was directed by Rob Epstein.

Linda Lovelace, in case you hadn't heard, was the star of the 1972 pornographic film "Deep Throat."  Deep Throat ushered in a wave of "porno chic" during the 70s, and the film became widely known during Watergate scandal.

I thought Lovelace was a great movie.  Amanda Seyfried is a skilled actress, and Peter Sarsgaard should have won an award for his performance as her much-reviled husband.  The film follows Linda Lovelace (born Linda Boreman) from her teenage years in New York to her later years as an anti-pornography crusader.


After seeing the movie, I got interested in Deep Throat and the circumstances surrounding its continued popularity.  I did some research on Wikipedia, and I also downloaded the film.  Yes, it was a shabby excuse to view porn, but I did actually learn something.

Deep Throat was an extremely low-budget production, but I can see why it got people talking back in the seventies.  For one thing, Linda Lovelace could put the most enormous penises down her throat and not gag.  For another thing, the film embraces a humorous ethos of "sexual liberation" that still seems quite novel.

I'm not sure how many scenes she was in, but I do know that her scenes in Deep Throat are more graphic than what Lovelace would lead you to believe.  Her character in the film is unable to achieve an orgasm by the usual means, and halfway through the film she learns that this is because her clitoris is located in her throat.  She spends the rest of the movie going down on different guys, and a scene of fireworks exploding signals her "orgasm."


It is worth noting that Linda Lovelace's fame rests entirely upon Deep Throat.  She only appeared in one other film, a home movie by the name of "Dog Fucker."  You can probably guess what Dog Fucker is about.  In later life she claimed that her then-husband forced her to perform in these two films, though there are many who dispute some (or all) of her claims.

Whatever the nature of her performance in Deep Throat, it is certain that Linda Lovelace endured years of abuse at the hands of Chuck Traynor.  After their divorce, Traynor would go on to marry another porn starlet, Marilyn Chambers.

Deep Throat was a huge hit upon its release in 1972.  This was back before VHS, when everyone was watching pornography in movie theaters.  It is cited by some as the highest-grossing pornographic film of all time, though estimates of how much money it actually made vary widely.  The mafia fronted a large part of the cash needed to produce and promote the film, and many adult cinemas that screened the film were used to launder money for organized crime.


However much the movie actually made, Deep Throat made Linda Lovelace a household name.  Both that film and Lovelace continue to do so today.  While Deep Throat offers us the image of a pretty woman with a surprising skill, Lovelace offers us a portrait of an abused woman, who later railed against the industry that made her famous.  It is uncertain which Linda Lovelace is the real Linda Lovelace.  Maybe both of them.  Maybe neither.  She remains a controversial figure, for many reasons.

I would encourage you to see Lovelace if you haven't.  It's an excellent film.  If you've already seen it, you might also watch Deep Throat.  It's definitely not the best pornographic film ever, but it is the most historic.

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