| Candida Royalle Presents- Feeling It... Not Faking It (2009)
A film by Petra Joy
Studio: Femme Productions/Adam and Eve/ Strawberry Seductress
Director: Petra Joy
Cast: Vanessa, Lili, Emilia, Violet Storm, Ren, Antony, Phil, Belle Mia, Chrosse Yosi, Lili La, Magic Cicciolino, Moran, Valkyrie, Violetta Storm
Category: Softcore/ Art-porn/ Couples/ For Women / By Women
Film features: The Making of Feeling It!, Picture Gallery, Interview with Petra Joy, Porn Parody.
Petra Joy has been making waves in the European erotic film industry, winning several awards for her films. Her film: Feeling It... Not Faking It, was recently released by Adam and Eve, under the Candida Royalle label for a North American market. Following in the footsteps of Candida Royalle and Annie Sprinkle, Joy's films are a breed of sex-positive feminist porn that aims to empower women and show sensuality and sexual pleasure from a female perspective. This of course is nothing new as Sprinkle and Royalle have been doing this since the 80s.
Feeling It... Not Faking It is softcore erotica based on women's fantasies that may appeal to women who like Harlequin Romances. It reminds me very much of some of Annie Sprinkle's films which try to blend art and porn into a new hybrid, but somehow manage to come across as kitschy and superfluous. I totally get what Joy is trying to do. She has great vision and passion, but for me that doesn't translate on screen, at least in this film.
I am all for woman making pornography, and porn from a female perspective. I love directors Courtney Trouble, Madison Young and Shine Louise Houston, who make films that show real women having raunchy, wonderful, gender-bending sex. They realize that women can enjoy porn that is just as explicit and hardcore as what men like.
Petra Joy's vision is much more candy-coated fantasies, that I am sure, do appeal to many women. However, I find there is a big disconnect for me, when viewing films like these that play to female fantasy clichés, where the sounds overlap, and the use of slow motion and dissolves seem more important that the sex on the films themselves. It is a very fine line between creating authentic porn versus a fantasy/art, and something that many pornographers struggle with and do not do well. However, fantasies can be done well, such as Pirates, and some porn can be artistic (Andrew Blake), just as long as the sex is somewhat genuine. When it is layered with too many camera tricks, audio reels, and hides behind a pair of rose-colored glasses, it loses its validity for me.
This film features eight vignettes: a body painting scene which is purely artistic, but not all that erotic; a fantasy rooftop scene with a male angel and goddess; a girl-girl-girl strap-on love sailor scene; a male masturbation scene of a gardener that ends with a garden hose money shot instead of the real thing (seriously campy); a seductive interracial scene that involves rose petals; a Mistress /slave boy scene; a girl/girl garden scene; and a dinner party orgy. Did any of those fantasies sound even slightly stereotypical? While a few of the scenes did hold my interest for a bit, none of them moved me to orgasm.
Petra Joy says her mantra is to portray real people having real sex and not faking it. Sweet! But, I found much of that is lost in the layers of "artsy" style filmmaking, so the amateur performances feel like simulacra, rather than the real thing. Feeling it feels like faking it to me.
Even though this type of film does not appeal to me, I realize there is a market for it. Many women and heterosexual couples who enjoy erotica would no doubt enjoy this film. It would also be a good film to introduce to your lover, as it is very approachable to those who wouldn't watch hardcore porn, but may enjoy something much softer.