Tuesday, October 24, 2006

1st PornfilmfestivalBerlin

Over on Eon McKai's site, I just came across news about the 1st PornfilmfestivalBerlin that had just wrapped up. From looking at the schedule, they seem to be showing a range of films from Richard Kern's "Cinema of Transgression" work, to the more explicit end of queer cinema (by directors like Todd Verow and Maria Beatty), to straight-ahead alt-porn by Eon McKai, Benny Profane, and Octavio Winkytiki (including the premiere of McKai's "Kill Girl Kill").

The film festival is scheduled to follow a related Conference on Post-Porn Politics, as well as coinciding with a photo exhibit, "Achtung! FSK 18", featuring work by Nan Goldin, Charles Gatewood, and Richard Kern, among others.

There seems to be a definite theme at work about breaking down barriers between art and pornography, even adopting the logo "What is the difference between art and pornography? Art is more expensive!" My sentiments exactly.

There have been scholarly pro-porn conferences before, most notably the 1998 World Pornography Congress (which generated more than its fair share of bad press). Those conferences were more about academic discussion of porn, whereas the Berlin conference seems to balance the academic commentary with presentation of porn itself.

Its hard to say whether such a festival could have been pulled off on the US right now, in spite of our "pornified" culture. Even barring the inevitable political backlash, taking porn seriously generates all kinds of snarky commentary, and not just from the tabloid press.