Monday, February 20, 2012

James Franco, Heather Graham, and Ashley Hinshaw in 'Cherry'

I happened across this trailer for 'Cherry'. With James Franco, Heather Graham, and Ashley Hinshaw it seems pretty good. It's got that vibe. Comes across very confident, you know there's something good here. I'll be checking it out.

Perusing the IMDb data I find out writer Lorelei Lee is in the NYU graduate program pursuing a master's in creative writing. Here's her bio:

The Buffalo, New York native graduated from San Francisco State University in 2008, and, as of 2009, was accepted to New York University's Graduate Program and is pursuing a master's in creative writing. Acting on advice from former professors. For now, she juggles both porn and academia by flying back and forth between coasts on weekends. She's not sure what she wants to do when she graduates, but says she doesn't expect to leave porn too soon. 

That got my attention. So, I hit Wikipedia. Here's what they have:

Lorelei Lee debuted in sex industry at the age of 19,[2][3] deriving her stage name from Marilyn Monroe's character in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.[4][5] She graduated from San Francisco State University in 2008,[2] and later pursued a master's degree in creative writing at New York University.[2] She has been awarded a National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts "youngARTS Scholarship".[6][7] She is best-known for her performances as a fetish and bondage model, particularly on pornographic site Kink.com, where she has also worked as a director.[8] 

Here's some of the awards she has won:

2008 AVN Award nominee – Best POV Sex Scene - Nice Fucking View[30] 
2008 AVN Award nominee – Best Threeway Sex Scene - Top Guns 6[30] 
2008 AVN Award nominee – Best Group Sex Scene, Video - Fuck Slaves 2[30] 
2011 AVN Award nominee – Best Supporting Actress - An Open Invitation: A Real Swinger's Party in San Francisco[31] 
2011 AVN Award nominee – Best All-Girl Couples Sex Scene - An Open Invitation: A Real Swinger's Party in San Francisco[31] 
2011 AVN Award nominee – Best Group Sex Scene - An Open Invitation: A Real Swinger's Party in San Francisco[31]

And the synopsis for 'Cherry':

A drama centered on a troubled young woman who moves to San Francisco, where she gets involved in pornography and aligns herself with a cocaine-addicted lawyer.

Which sounds a cookie-cutter as it gets. But, the trailer doesn't play that way and, considering the writer's street cred, this may be a movie to catch.



Here's a bit from an interview Lee conducted via e-mail with Salon:

Q: Whenever porn is publicly scrutinized, the issue of dehumanization arises. Many would see some of the extreme things you do onscreen as degrading. What’s your experience of it, though? 

A: Well, I’ve had very few experiences on porn sets that I would classify as “degrading.” I’ve had infinitely more degrading experiences as a waitress or a barista in a chain coffeeshop than I’ve ever had on set. That, of course, has everything to do with working conditions and nothing to do with what I’m actually doing as my job. 

I also don’t think you can take imagery out of context and say that it has inherent meaning — any interpretation of an image has to do with the social and cultural context in which it’s viewed. If we lived in a society in which women’s sexuality was celebrated, and was seen as usually proactive rather than usually passive, I don’t think people would jump so quickly to the concepts of exploitation and dehumanization when they thought of female performers. 

That being said, I’m definitely interested in playing with objectification and power dynamics in my personal sex life as well as in my on-camera performances. During a performance, I might decide to “dehumanize” myself with a mask or blindfold in order to more deeply enter the fantasy of the scene. 

In one version of his closing argument, defense attorney Paul Cambria said, “It’s always about context.” He described how he wouldn’t bring a copy of Playboy to dinner at his grandmother’s house, not because Playboy is obscene, but because it would be out of context. We are constantly choosing when and where to say or do things. In a performance, I might do any number of things that are appropriate in the context of the scene, but would have a different meaning if you viewed that performance as being an expression of who I am in my entirety.

Really, you don't see writing with that level of clarity very often. I'm hoping Lee continues to make movies. She has a voice, something to say.

















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