Preservationist and co-founder of the company Vinegar Syndrome Joe Rubin joins us to talk about his restorations of classic sex films. Vinegar Syndrome can be thought of as the “Criterion Collection for porn!” And the quality of their restorations have garnered compliments from their peers who say that their work is better than what has been done on Paramount’s Hitchcock restorations! Joe also has encyclopedic knowledge about of the Golden Age of porn. This is what lead the Quad Cinema in New York City to ask him to program a series of classic sex films for their Erotic City series in the summer of 2017, where films like Bacchanale (1970), Bijou (1972), Both Ways (1975), the documentaries Changes (1970) and Not a Love Story (1981), Double Agent 73 (1974), Naked Came the Stranger (1975), Not Just Another Woman (1973), The Opening of Misty Beethoven (1976), The Private Afternoons of Pamela Mann (1974) and Scoundrels (1982) were screened. This is a wide-ranging interview covering Joe’s fascination with porn at a very early age, how he got into restoration while still in his teens, and why his company’s restorations are better than those VHS copies that you all covet so dearly. Joe fills us in on a lot of behind the scenes stories about a lot of the films screened in the series. And Joe discusses what bothers him most about the way porn studies is practiced by academics.
you can find out more about the series here: https://quadcinema.com/program/erotic-city/
New York Times article about Vinegar Syndrome: https://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/26/movies/smut-refreshed-for-a-new-generation.html?_r=0
Playwright, educator, and activist Alan Bounville joins us on the podcast to talk about his immersive theater piece Adonis Memories. The show is based on the testimonials of patrons of the infamous gay porn mecca known as the Adonis Theater, located in New York’s Hells Kitchen Neighborhood. It was a gay porn theater at the 51st location from 1975 through 1989. The theater’s legend was cemented within pornographic history because of Jack Deveau’s 1978 film A Night at the Adonis. A film that was shot within the theater. In this interview Alan describes how he put the show together by weaving a multitude of narratives from people who experienced the theater in their own way. We talk about what this era within gay history, and the sexuality explored in this space, means for gay sexuality and civil rights today. And we use Samuel Delany’s 1999 book Times Square Red, Times Square Blue as a guide to help us think through some of these issues.
More info about the theater: http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/4693
A New York Times’ article about the theater’s closing: http://www.nytimes.com/1989/02/12/nyregion/new-york-shuts-2-gay-theaters-as-aids-threats.html
A link to the In Our Words project: http://www.inourwords.org
An article from Alan about how the play came together: http://extendedplay.thecivilians.org/in-our-words-makes-gay-sex-happen-102616/
A New York Times’ article about how Adonis Memories fits within a growing number of plays addressing the gay sexuality of the past: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/03/03/theater/gay-histories-close-enough-to-touch-but-dont.html?_r=0
More information about Times Square Red, Times Square Blue: https://nyupress.org/books/9780814719206/
More info about Alan’s Into the Light walk: http://imfromdriftwood.com/alan_bounville/ https://www.huffingtonpost.com/patrick-j-hamilton/alan-bounville-into-the-light-walk_b_2639379.html
Professor Whitney Strub joins us to talk about his books: Perversion for Profit: The Politics of Pornography and the Rise of the New Right (2010), Obscenity Rules: Roth v. United States and the Long Struggle over Sexual Expression (2013), and this co-edited anthology with Carolyn Bronstein titled, Porno Chic and the Sex Wars: American Sexual Representation in the 1970s (2016). We talk about his historical approach to porn studies, New-Right censorship strategies of the post-war era, the important obscenity trials that have formed the obscenity laws that we’re familiar with today, and we talk about how is new edited collection is fighting against our commonly held assumptions of the “Golden Age” of porn in the 1970s. And after the interview, we take you on an audio tour of New Jersey’s last porn theater, the Little Theater. Which opened in Newark in 1929, and has been showing pornography since the 1970s. You don’t want to miss it!
Here’s a link to Whitney’s personal website: https://strublog.wordpress.com/
A link to the 1965 short film Perversion for Profit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=om4kMTw-R6o
Link to more info about Perversion for Profit: https://cup.columbia.edu/book/perversion-for-profit/9780231148863
Link to more info about Obscenity Rules: https://www.amazon.com/Obscenity-Rules-Struggle-Expression-Landmark/dp/0700619372
Link to the court’s oral argument of Roth v. U.S. on April 22, 1957: https://apps.oyez.org/player/#/warren6/oral_argument_audio/13231
Link to more info about Porno Chic and the Sex Wars: http://www.umass.edu/umpress/title/porno-chic-and-sex-wars
I want a president on the NYC High Line: http://art.thehighline.org/project/zoe-leonard/
Here’s a link to an article that Whitney wrote about the Little Theater: https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/nnkwyg/the-little-theater-newark-porn
Here’s a link to a porn theater in L.A. that I mention during our audio tour: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/miranda/la-et-cam-los-angeles-last-adult-theaters-20170706-htmlstory.html
More information about the Queer Newark Oral History project can be found at: http://queer.newark.rutgers.edu
Professor Peter Alilunas joins us to talk about his first book: Smutty Little Movies: The Creation and Regulation of Adult Video (2016). He details the little-known history of adult cinema on video that actually started in the early 1970s! He describes this type of video technology's use in bars, screening rooms and hotels. And he goes into what it took to create this history from the ground up.
More information about the book: https://www.ucpress.edu/book.php?isbn=9780520291713
Here's a link to his website: https://www.peteralilunas.com/
Here's is a link to the map of NYC video bars that were open as early as 1971!: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1wPcD9xSCxzCfdTJu4nHG12j0W6o&usp=sharing
Here's a link to professor Alilunas' ongoing adult film history archive project: https://adultfilmhistoryproject.wordpress.com/
The Porno Cultures Podcast is the show where we think about pornography rather than just react to it. In this introductory episode host Brandon Arroyo explains how his love of Alfred Hitchcock led to his obsession with cinematic sex. Documents his academic journey that has led to the creation of this podcast. And describes how the show will be different from other podcasts that deal with sex and pornography.