I heard this morning on the radio that a film called ‘Pleasure’ is being released in the USA. According to the news bulletin, it’s a shocking exploration of the seedy ins and outs of the pornography industry. I naively thought it might be a documentary, but it is in fact a feature-length film about one woman’s attempt to become an elite pornstar. It is supposed to be a revealing of the sexual coercion that up-and-coming pornstars have to go through in order both to keep their jobs and to advance in their careers. While I haven’t seen the film, the trailer offers a glamorised version of this rapacious industry, with beautiful models, expensive houses and papparazzi parties.
It’s ironic then that critics have been getting their knickers in a twist about whether James Bon can have sex or not. And it would appear that he cannot. While the antiquated hero has visibly aged in this modern world, all the young ones are on the East Coast doing what it takes to make it.
Is this because the American Cary Joji Fukunaga has to tread a tightrope of media storms and public relations about a fictional character whose chequered past sounds off in today’s world, while Sweden’s Ninja Thyberg has carte blanche? Is it a cultural check from across the Pond, a reminder that the English are stuffy and the Americans emancipated? Or is it because we are afraid of sexualised older people in the mainstream and want to carry on this cult of youth in order to escape the crushing reality that, one day, everything will sag?