Monday, November 19, 2012

Crossing the border (and other lines?)

An interesting few days for sure.

First, something from the very VERY entertaining Patrick Watson, who put on a stellar show at the Centre last Thursday.  My video attempts? Less than stellar.  This is as good as it got, and my memory stick filled up half way through the song:

He was fabulous.

And the weekend? Well, the weekend was spent in Seattle with my regular partners in adventure.

Why were we there?

Um, to watch a film festival.  Not documentary, not foreign film...but ... um,

The Stranger and the Portland Mercury once again invite amateur filmmakers, porn stars, porn-star wannabes, hotties, kinksters, regular folks, and all other creative types to make short porn films—five minutes max—for HUMP!™ 2012. ... anything goes at HUMP!™ (Well, almost anything: No poop, no animals, no minors.)

Yep.  HUMP! The idea here is to let people be 'porn stars for the weekend' - all copies of the films are destroyed immediately after the fest, never to be seen again (unless the creators decide to release them, that is).  

And how did I end up there?  Firstly, my long term admiration for one of the main creators of this phenomenon, Dan Savage - a controversial figure for sure, but certainly someone who stands up, advocates for what he believes in, and does more good on this planet than most in terms of education and pointing out the many hypocrisies that exist in the world.  

So,..why else?  Well, it was a bit of a personal challenge I suppose.  I am not what would be considered a "consumer" of porn, though I support its existence completely, for a bunch of different reasons I won't bore you with. That being said, some lizardy part of my brain finds it (or some of it) more problematic.  I am bored (or creeped out) by the inherent over the top artificiality; I am bothered by what can be a nasty tone; and I have to admit some concern that the incredible ease of access makes it the primary way young people learn these days what sex is about - and porn is to sex what romantic comedies are to real life relationships.  It's fantasy, not a teaching tool - but how are the inexperienced supposed to know the difference?  And I know, I know - I am generalizing.  And trust me, I could go on and on about this topic and my mixed up thoughts.  Welcome to my brain.

Then there's HUMP! - for me and the girls, a flight of fancy and a chance to dig into what might happen when the 5-minute challenge outlined above meets creative brains.  And a chance to see what truly non-commercial porn would (or could) look like.  And what a fun and interesting night it was.

The ballot!
To start, the energy in the theatre was happy and buzzing - the doormen, who made it clear that cameras were NOT welcome, were decked out in intentionally campy, tight fitting soccer uniforms.  We spilled into the cinema, and were greeted by Dan Savage, who chatted about the festival for a bit, what the rules were, and that any heckling or disrespectful remarks from the audience would result in the offenders removal ("we want to see assholes on the screen, not in the audience").  And then a table full of Jack Daniels shots was carried out.  I believe city bylaw say that say that you can't consume alcohol while watching porn, so they offered it to us first - for $5/shot, which went to charity.  The flock of bodies (yes, mine too) moving down to the stage to grab a shot just added to the general craziness.  Very fun.  Really.

And then - the films.  I'm not going to say much about them, except that they were often funny, and often surprising.  They covered a real cross section of humanity, and they were almost universally well shot and edited - really quality little shorts, regardless of the subject matter.  The audience laughed, cringed, whooped and applauded.  Who knew porn could be  There were ballots, and voting (best humour, best kink, best sex, best overall). What it was, really, was a celebration of human sexuality in all (well, most of ) it's forms.  It was about acceptance, no matter what  body you are in (transgendered,  disabled, skinny, lumpy, name it), or what you like to do with that body.  And that was a delight to see.   And I wasn't creeped out (well, ok maybe once...).  Or bored.  Or bothered by the tone.

As we exited, pushing our ballots through the genital-orificed vote boxes, we were smiling.  And trying not to stare too closely at a couple walking in front of us that we had seen much, MUCH more of only a few minutes before.  Porn stars for the weekend, they were indeed.  And HUMP! has found some more converts.  We will be back next year, for sure.

A & her morning after eggs...
And, to clarify, I'm still not a consumer of porn.  Really...

No comments: