How does imagery influence the development of sexual identities and how might representations of sexuality change the way we understand it? The male-dominated multi-billion-dollar mainstream pornography industry recreates a restrictive image of sexuality, but growing numbers of women directors are offering alternative visions of female desire.
Marielle Nitoslawska's 2002 film Bad Girl investigates explicit representations of female sexuality by women, exploring the pragmatic and philosophical questions they pose, with emphasis on the ways in which the creation of women-friendly pornography confronts and alters the expectations of male consumers. Ultimately, Nitoslawska is concerned with how we comprehend desire, gender and identity, how we understand and represent its history, and the resulting affect on culture and human relations.
Interview subjects include directors, porn actors, academics, sexologists, marketers and business people, and offer a comprehensive view of the motivations and constraints operating as women try to represent their own understanding of sexuality. Excerpts from female-directed films, both in and out of the pornographic genre, track thematic links between avant-garde. Included are works by artists like Carolee Schneemann (Fuses), the performance art of Annie Sprinkle (A Herstory of Porn), Catherine Breillat (Romance), and the woman-friendly porn of Candida Royalle and the Scandinavian Puzzy Power collective.
In exploring how ideas of female sexuality are rearticulated through these explicit films, Bad Girl also addresses the taboos surrounding overt female desire. // Marielle Nitoslawska / Canada / 2001 / 58 '