Wednesday, May 21, 2014

A COMEDIC POST ON A SUBJECT OF VERY LITTLE IMPORTANCE or THAT TIME I ALMOST BECAME A PORN CRITIC.

(LAWYER'S NOTE: While the subjects and discussion points discussed in this post are based on actual people, groups, films and facts, this post is meant as an absurd aberration from the norms of this blog, and this post is not to be taken with any of the normal amount of considered thought and literalness that readers and the writer of the blog often expect and produce.)

Well, folks, um, as you all know, while, we do write and discuss entertainment here , we often are discussing it seriously. We do tend to have an occasional, more free spirited and free-wheeling side. We do musical numbers to celebrate Premiere Week for instance, remember that? Yeah, we often take shots at people and places like that. We have the One-Year-Later Awards, and we go over-the-top with them. The have fun here, and a lot of times, I mean it is just entertainment, film, television, we like to discuss, but we don't discuss these subject willy-nilly, we take them seriously. We have a critical eye, we think of the art side, the business side, things like that. We talk about a not-so-serious topic, but we talk about it, with respectful and seriousness it deserves. Sometimes we stray from that a bit though.

Well, with that in mind, I wanted to point out that while most everything, generally in the entertainment, is sorta laid back and relaxed, and nothing is too out-of-whack, that despite this,  one of the most premiere and most-respected of all organizations in all of the entertainment world has made terribly and gross, let's not say it's a mistake, 'cause it's very correctable,  misjudgment on the part of one of the most admired and honorable of all the organizations in all of the entertainment world, has continuously been making a terrible and gross error, and of course, I'm talking about, the X-Rated Critics Organization, also known as the XRCO.

(Pause for laughter) 

I know what you're all thinking, and I know how this all sounds. It sounds a bit like I've officially run out of things to talk about. Especially with the last post being of Christian films, and now here I'm discussing porn, but, no-no-no, it isn't that. Solely, it isn't that anyway. Now, just so you know, that I have carefully thought this through, let me tell you a little backstory, 'cause this is all sounding a bit strange but hear out. Um, unlike most of you, I had never heard of XRCO until very recently. I know shocking; it must've been a block for me all these years. But, I was searching on youtube one day recently, I don't even remember what I was looking up, probably searching for a decent video to post on my Christian Films blog, but I got distracted by a few things, and eventually I found a clip that was marked, something like "Porn star angrily walks off of talk show". I think I was looking up, strange moments in live TV or something like that, and that came up, and I didn't even watch the whole thing, btw. I didn't even get to the part- I clicked on it, but it was old episode "The Morton Downey Jr. Show", and if anybody doesn't know what that was, it was sorta like if Glenn Beck meets Jerry Springer but back in the '80s, and it really sucked and I can't really stand much of it, for too long, but I read the description below, and it described the porn star's credentials, the one in the clip, and it mentioned among them that she was in both the AVN Hall of Fame and the XRCO Hall of Fame. Now, I know about the AVN, the Adult Video and News Awards, especially since, I'm in Las Vegas and we host those awards every year, and their convention the AVN Convention is the biggest convention that we do in this town, and we do a lot of conventions. Only COMDEX I suspect is bigger actually, but basically there's a deep-rooted intimate relationship between Vegas and the porn industry, they're very interconnected. Eh, for years, our biggest homegrown celebrity was Jenna Jameson. True, she went to Bonanza High School, and-eh, right now, it's neck and neck between her and Jimmy Kimmel for the most-successful celebrity from Vegas. Anyway, the AVN's, they're the more well-known, fan driven awards, based in Vegas, but the XRCO Awards, are based in Los Angeles, and they're quite prestigious; they've been around for thirty years now. Membership is not easy to get into this group, you have to be working regularly as a print or internet critic for a while, and it's renewed yearly, and there goal is to honor the best in pornographic film. And I mentioned before, they have a Hall of Fame as well as yearly honors, and I like that it's not a recent fame Hall of Fame per se. They have recent names too, but they're pretty honorable, some of the names are newer one, but they have people John Holmes, in the Hall of Fame, of course legendary porn actor. Marylin Chambers, who was very big in her day, she crossed over to pop culture big time, Ron Jeremy of course. Most of the biggest names are in the thing. (BTW I have intended to put picture up of all of these people, however I've been informed by my attorney, not to do that. They had a problem with the pictures I picked for some reason.) Anyway, they also inducted films into the Hall of Fame, and this is what I like, because many of these titles, are the classic films from the '70s. "Deep Throat" was the first inductee. Yeah, the famous porno film, about how a girl with an unusual orgasm deficiency managed to take down the presidency. Also, "Behind the Green Door", eh, "The Devil in Miss Jones", other titles. This was back when, remember there was still this possibility that the pornographic film, could be a legitimate art form, and before videotape was prominent and there was an artistry to porn films, and the X rating, which is now defunct and turned into the dreaded NC-17, but was actually a badge of honor for a lot of these films. So I have a bit of an admiration for these films, sorta the last time, eh, porn really was apart of the pop culture, in a substantial and legitimate way. 

That said, as I looked through the Hall of Fame, that, I couldn't help but notice that, while there's a lot of important and transformative films and names listed, I was stunned, stunned, to notice that a name that, for such an elite group, that they had yet to induct "Emmanuelle" into the XRCO Hall of Fame. "Emmannuelle", is the 1974 French soft-core porn film, that not only spawned one of the longest continuously-running franchises in the adult film industry; the series still continues by the way, and the original film, and it's star Sylvie Kristol (Who also, is not in the XRCO Hall of Fame) was one of the biggest X-rated hits of all-time. In fact, it ranks as one of the all-time highest grossing French movies of all-time! Not French porno, not French soft-core porn, French films, of all-time. In fact, it was so huge, even in France, the Arc de Triomphe Theatre, for eleven straight years! Eleven years, was one the longest continuously played theatrical film releases, ever. And it was a critical success. Roger Ebert of all people, even gave it a three-star review, you can see that link below: 

As you can see, how legitimate these films were regarded, legitimate film critics actually reviewed them as films. And Sylvia Kristol, she actually got semi-regular work as a legitimate actress, and even more impressive the Emmanuelle franchise, was actually able to attract legitimate Hollywood film stars to appear in non-sexual roles. Really, Alian Curry was in the original "Emmanuelle," he was also in Federico Fellini's "La Dolce Vita", and George Lazenby, yes James Bond himself, alright not the greatest James Bond, but still, James Bond, played a part in a couple of the other films in the series at one point, and the British Comedian Kenneth Williams, didn't star in an "Emmanuelle", but he starred in a Carry On parody of "Emmanuelle"; you see, this film was so well-known and popular that legitimate entertainment, actually made a parody of it. This is a worthy representation of the most iconic films every in erotic porn, and porn in general, and if I do so myself, it is one of the most egregious crimes in Hollywood right now, that "Emmanuelle" is not in the XRCO Hall of Fame. Maybe one of the biggest and most shameful oversights in the history of time! 

Now, I know what you're all thinking, clearly this is an important issue that the rest of the world can really get behind, but why do I, David Baruffi, the most supremely knowledgeable, handsome and most intellectually stimulating of internet film critic/bloggers, care so much about "Emmanuelle" and whether or not it's in the XRCO Hall of Fame? Well, I don't have that great a reason personally, in fact I've never actually seen the movie, "Emmanuelle". Seriously, I haven't; I have seen the first sequel to "Emmanuelle", "Emmanuelle 2: The Joys of a Woman", (A film which also go reviewed by Roger Ebert btw:

http://www.rogerebert.com/reviews/emmanuelle-the-joys-of-a-woman-1976

and wasn't as bad as he claimed, but it wasn't particularly special either.) I've also seen a few of the later "Emmanuelle" projects, so even I, who haven't seen the movie, has immediately connected the name "Emmanuelle" with a particular inspiration of porn. (Which is another reason it should be in the XRCO Hall of Fame) Also, with my family owning a chain of video stores back in the eighties, for years, I always found it sad that we were probably one of the last chains around that had a porno section in the back. (I knew people who were amazed about this.) I get nostalgic,- well, I just get nostalgic for video stores in general, but that was something, that even as a kid I missed, running around the store while my mom was working the register, so it's a memory to me of an earlier time. I would show a photo, which I do have of the porn section, but due to the date it was taken, I'd rather not in case some of the Traci Lords tapes are on the shelves. I never looked closely enough myself, but just to be safe. 

Now, that's the story I like to tell. Now however, here's the story that I don't think I've told anybody before, 'cause long before I started this blog, while I was still in film school, I was offered a job as a porn critic. Seriously, I don't think a lot of close friends of mine know about this, but I was looking for any ways to earn money as a writer once upon a time, and I answered a Craigslist ad for a porno film critic. I sent in a resume, they were interested, and I went through the procedure. I even had a synonym picked out, VegasVirgin. I know, but TorontoVirgin and SanLuisObisoVirgin was taken. Nah- I'm kidding about that, but I even had to find a porno DVD, which I had to buy at a local convenient store, which was annoying 'cause I wanted them to pick the film for me, and they wouldn't, the reason being was that I didn't want to have any personal bias with the review I had to write, so I wanted it to be something I could come into without a predetermined preference, like I try to as a real film critic actually. This was all for a sample piece btw; they just wanted to see that I could write, and they liked what I wrote, and the way it would've worked was sorta like, Netflix, but with brown, unmarked envelopes, where I'd watch the film, then review it, and then I had to get hits and people reading me, and the more people read, the more money I'd get paid, and frankly it would've have been worth the time for the money, and frankly I would've been bored out of my mind doing that forever, but some people do that, some are successful at it, too. So, I have some first-hand work with this, one review that never got printed, I'm no way an expert, but that's my little tale about that.

Now, back to the amazing XRCO oversight, I think that, no matter what our difference of opinions, this is an issue important enough for all of us to really get behind. Okay, not really, but let's try anyway for the hell of it. So, I'm gonna e-mail the XRCO, not making this up btw, I'm really doing this, e-mail the XRCO and petition them about inducted "Emmanuelle". This is actually what I'm doing; here's what I've written:


Dear Co-Chairmans "Dirty" Bob Krotts and Dick Freeman and/or to Whomever It May Concern at the XRCO:

My name's David Baruffi, an entertainment blogger for "David Baruffi's Entertainment Views and Reviews". I usually write on film and television primarily, but I deal with all aspects of the entertainment, and I'm currently writing a blogpost that's critical of the XRCO for not having inducted "Emmanuelle", the 1974 French soft-core porn classic into the XRCO Hall of Fame. I would like to know any thoughts or reasons you or any interested persons may have on the omission, although more importantly, I'd like for you to consider this e-mail as a petition to you all to induct "Emmanuelle" at your next ceremony.  I believe if you look up the credentials of the film, you will all come to a similar conclusion that the XRCO Hall of Fame would be incomplete if it were to continue to remain uninducted. Thank you.

Sincerely,

David Baruffi


Okay, and (wait five seconds), I've clicked send, and it's sent. So, let's hope this is the beginning of an epic groundroots effort to create monumental and measurable change in this world, and get the XRCO to induct "Emmanuel" into their Hall of Fame. I seriously don't know what would be weirder, if they took this seriously or if they didn't, but for the hell of it, we're gonna see what happens.

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