Rated X: A Journey Through Porn

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This is the story of director Dag Yngvesson’s journey to find out about the porn industry which had fascinated him ever since he saw his first movie as a teenager. The quest to find out what the business was like begins when he realizes that he was living only 10 miles from the industries center in the San Fernando Valley in California. Not knowing what to do or where to start he calls up William Margold who had starred in the first film he saw (he found his name in the phone book and just called him). Margold, still in the business (having begun in 1969 and continuing on in one form or another) invites Dag over, and it isn’t long before Dag is going down the rabbit hole into the middle of the world of adult films.

The film is arranged more or less to follow the director down the rabbit hole. We watch as he meets people in the industry, many of whom will not talk to him without having their face somehow obscured (indeed the director of one film threatens to kill him if he films his face since his parents don’t know what he does.) We see how the films are made and distributed. We see some good people and some sleazy people (The casting agent who insists on sleeping with all the girls on the spot on film is a major slime-ball). Mostly we see lots of people doing a job, that just happens to be having or filming sex. Its not particularly erotic, it just sort of is.

The fact that it just sort of is is really nice. This is neither the “porn is bad” histrionics that films like Not a Love Story, a different film called Rated X from many years ago, Gregory Darks Fallen Angels or anything anti-industry forces ever produced like some of the bad TV movies, nor is it a smutty “this can be fun” that films like Screwed, Boogie Nights or the Ron Jeremy biography make it out to be.

Rated X: A Journey Through Porn, 7.6 out of 10 based on 14 ratings

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  • Imightberiding

    Seriously… nobody’s commented on this doc yet or at the very least watched it? Perhaps everyone of you is just a little bit too prude or hypocritical to acknowledge an interest in this subject & attach your name, alias, online personality, icon or otherwise to such a taboo subject. I for one am about to watch this film & then perhaps, depending on the quality of the subject matter & content might very well comment on this documentary. Again, I stress whether the subject matter deserves a comment or not. I trust that this will be informative enough to spend my time with & not just the obvious allure & hype that would precede such a topic. Cheers & here’s to good viewing.

  • Imightberiding

    Comment following first comment: Could not watch this doc. Very dated, unenlightening, & quite frankly fairly offensive from my perspective. Not quite sure what I was anticipating from this film but I was sorely disappointed. It’s a brutally sexist industry bordering on racism & just like any other big business, full of douchebags & doughnuts.

    I have regrets for my earlier comment. Let’s just say I was very surprised that no one had yet commented. It is extremely rare that I am the first to watch one of these docs & as such, several comments have already been posted.

    Now I sound like a prude when I say this: I find the entire industry distasteful at the least & more than likely destructive on many levels at the best. That director/producer in the first 30 minutes who insists on “sleeping” with the talent prior to hiring, needs a real “come to jesus moment” & believe me I’m not religious. I’m thinking more along the lines of the physical abuses Jesus went through prior to & including his crucifixtion.

    In the end this film couldn’t keep my attention for much more than the aforementioned 30 minutes or so. Perhaps I really am the prude after all as I found the entire subject unpalatable & cringe worthy on the whole. Once again I leave you all with a hearty Cheers & good viewing. ;(

    • slaveneighbor

      you’re alive

  • Glib’nSnide

    Usually people run away from things like “the center of the porn industry”. This guy goes on a quest. I gotta make some popcorn before I settle in to watch this one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=694497274 Claire Paradine

    Boogie Nights is NOT a “hey, this can be fun”, film!

  • Mary Chrits’mas

    it was very easy to sit through and watch for an hour and a half. that being said, it confirmed ever single stereotype Ive ever had about the industry. you won’t learn anything new at all watching this but if you have negative thoughts, maybe they will be de-sensitized watching this one.

  • http://www.facebook.com/aaron.declue Aaron DeClue

    Interesting, but I agree with an earlier comment about it being “dated”. Also, it seems to exist in it’s own universe where nothing but lower brow 90′s porn exist. For example, in the segments about minorities in the industry, there was no mention of Linda Wong or Johnnie Keyes. Two heavy weights in the genre in the 70′s and early 80′s. Also, in his musings about HIV and AIDS, no mention that there was in fact a past epidemic of AIDS in the industry and that former porn star, Sharon Mitchell was instrumental in working towards and setting up an industry wide system of HIV testing and still works at maintaining that.

    All in all, I’d rate this as a good effort but I think the director should have done more research. If anyone has a real interest in the inner workings and history of the adult entertainment industry, I would suggest The Other Side Of Hollywood by Legs McNeil before I would recommend this documentary.

  • effik

    good stuff!!!

  • chard01

    As i recall Alex sanders tested positive and was responcsible for a lot of infections wow this is old