Watch Quentin Tarantino Discuss His Favorite Films From 1992 to 2009

With the release of his latest feature, The Grandmaster, director Wong Kar-wai has critics and audience members scrambling over what to make of his decade-spanning kung fu epic. As a departure from his oeuvre of romantically tangled tales of unattainable yearning and love lost to the past, his new film has been chopped down from its original Chinese version to meet a US set of requirements, which has proved ruinous to some critics, while palatable to others who have only seen the film in its new context.

But before sharing my interview with Kar-wai tomorrow, I was reminded, not only of my own love for his dizzying, melting expressionist painting of a film, Chungking Express, but Quentin Tarantino’s personal gushing over the work, as seen in the movie’s DVD extras. And as a massive fan of both Kar-wai and kung fu films of days past, in looking for what Tarantino had to say about the director’s latest, I stumbled upon a short video of him rattling off his favorite films that were made between 1992 and 2009—he begins with that year specifically because it marks the start of his directorial career with the release of Reservoir Dogs.

In the six-minute video he lists the films alphabetically rather than numerically, save his favorite film that has come out in those seventeen years, Kinji Fukasaku’s Battle Royal—”If there has been any movies that have been made since I have been making movies, it’s that one.” He goes on to list classics such as Dogville, The Blade, Dazed and Confused, Boogie Nights, Lost in Translation, and of course, many more.

Take a look below to see him go through his list with some amusing anecdotes on his favorites.

 

10 Alternative Films About the Porn Industry to Enjoy This Weekend

I think we can all agree that modern depictions of the porn industry’s sordid and dark underbelly peaked at Paul Thomas Anderson’s Boogie Nights. But as a rich topic that’s intriguing, not only for the lucrative and ever-evolving nature of the industry, but for the characters and people that have been a part of it, of course cinema has had its fair share of films devoted to just what really goes on between the sheets and behind the scenes.

And this week, Rob Epstein’s Lovelace rolls into theaters, telling the biographical story of Linda Lovelace in a movie “about the chasm between public perception and private experience.” But with a plethora of interesting and entertaining films that penetrate the same discussion, why not spend some time going deep into those worlds as well? So whether you’re excited for Epstein’s latest or looking for an enticing alternative, we’ve provided you with some options. From Anderson’s brilliant film to documentaries that truly take you behind the scenes, and a bit of everything in between, here are some porn-centric films to enjoy this weekend.

Boogie Nights

"Few films have been more matter-of-fact, even disenchanted, about sexuality. Adult films are a business here, not a dalliance or a pastime, and one of the charms of "Boogie Nights” is the way it shows the everyday backstage humdrum life of porno filmmaking…Boogie Nights has the quality of many great films, in that it always seems alive. A movie can be very good and yet not draw us in, not involve us in the moment-to-moment sensation of seeing lives as they are lived. As a writer and director, Paul Thomas Anderson is a skilled reporter who fills his screen with understated, authentic details…In examining the business of catering to lust, Boogie Nights demystifies its sex (that’s probably one reason it avoided the NC-17 rating). Mainstream movies use sex like porno films do, to turn us on. Boogie Nights abandons the illusion that characters are enjoying sex; in a sense, it’s about manufacturing a consumer product. By the time the final shot arrives and we see what made the Colonel stare, there is no longer any shred of illusion that it is anything more than a commodity. And in Dirk Diggler’s most anguished scene, as he shouts at Jack Horner, "I’m ready to shoot my scene RIGHT NOW!” we learn that those who live by the sword can also die by it." 

 

Inside Deep Throat

"The movie uses new and old interviews and newsreel footage to remember a time when porn was brand-new. In my 1973 review of Deep Throat, written three days after a police raid on the Chicago theater showing it, I wrote: "The movie became ‘pornographic chic’ in New York before it was busted. Mike Nichols told Truman Capote he shouldn’t miss it, and then the word just sort of got around: This is the first stag film to see with a date."…As for Deep Throat, it remembers a time before pornography was boring, and a climate in which non-pornographic films might consider bolder sexual content. It has some colorful characters, including a retired Florida exhibitor whose wife provides a running commentary on everything he says. And it tells us where they are now: Damiano is comfortably retired, Lovelace died in a traffic accident, and her co-star Harry Reems is a recovering substance abuser who now works as a realtor in Park City, Utah, home of the Sundance Film Festival."    

 

Behind the Green Door

There’s a rumor that Stanley Kubrick once considered making a big budget pornographic film just to show people how it should be done. I’m not sure it would have worked. Hard-core pornography has a way of moving beyond eroticism and into images of clinical detail. I’ve always found soft-core movies more erotic.As for the scenes in Behind the Green Door, the least you can say of them, I suppose, is that they’re incredible. The plot (if I may misuse the word) involves a series of fantasies in which Miss Chambers is forced to undergo public humiliation at an orgy attended by various freaks. She puts up a token resistance for about seven seconds, after which we get an hour of surrender. Who knows? It might have been more interesting if she had resisted.”    

Wonderland

"Rashomon was told with great clarity; we were always sure whose version we were seeing, and why. Wonderland is told through a bewildering tap-dance on the timeline, with lots of subtitles that say things like ‘Four months earlier’ or ‘July 1, 1981.’ There are so many of these titles, and the movie’s chronology is so shuffled, that they become more frustrating than helpful. The titles of course reflect the version of the facts they introduce, so that a given event might or might not have happened ‘Three weeks later.’ Actors separated from chronology have their work cut out for them. A performance can’t build if it starts at the end and circles in both directions toward the beginning. Yet Val Kilmer is convincing as John Holmes, especially when he pinballs from one emotion to another; we see him charming, ugly, self-pitying, paranoid, and above all in need of a fix. Holmes, acting under the name ‘Johnny Wadd,’ made a thousand hard-core pornos (according to this movie) or more than 2,500 (according to the Web site). But by the time of the action, drugs have replaced sex as his obsession and occupation, and Kilmer does a good job of showing how an addict is always really thinking about only one thing."    

Rated X

"Production values are thin, a sense of time and place barely indicated (entire production was shot in Toronto, hardly a good double for S.F.), and one only has to think of Boogie Nights to realize how much texture and feeling can be summoned from such similarly seedy material. But the brother angle does give this story a distinctive dimension, and the brothers Estevez and Sheen, their pates shaved to help them represent the odd-looking Mitchells, do an uncanny, genuinely impressive job. The family tidbits offered up, including the fact that the Mitchells’ aging parents were so supportive that they attended the premieres of their boys’ films, help suggest their skewed moral sense, and small hints of affection, distrust and other emotions, some no doubt real between Estevez and Sheen, accumulate to create a credible portrait of a deeply problematic sibling relationship."    

Orgazmo

"Orgazmo, a comedy by South Park co-creator Trey Parker, is the very soul of sophomorism. It is callow, gauche, obvious and awkward, and designed to appeal to those with similar qualities. It stars Parker himself as Elder Joe Young, a Mormon missionary who agrees to appear in a porn film in order to raise $20,000 so that he can be married in the temple in Salt Lake City. True to the film’s sophomorism, it is not a satire of Mormonism, but simply uses Mormons in the conviction that their seriousness will be funny to gapejaws in the audience–to whom all sincerity is threatening, and therefore funny. Orgazmo was made before Trey Parker and Matt Stone became famous for the South Park cable cartoon program. (There is an even earlier film, Cannibal: The Musical, which is unseen by me and has an excellent chance of remaining so.) South Park is elegant, in its way: A self-contained animated universe that functions as a laboratory to conduct experiments in affronting the values of viewers, who, if they held them, would not be watching. I like South Park.  It has wit. I guess Orgazmo was a stage the boys had to go through. They’re juniors now."    

 

The People Vs. Larry Flint

"…Forman constructs a fascinating biopic about a man who went from rags to riches by never overestimating the taste of his readers. If you question the dimensions of Hustler’s success, reflect that a modern skyscraper towers in Los Angeles, proclaiming FLYNT PUBLICATIONS from its rooftop…For Flynt, played by Woody Harrelson, Hustler was like winning the lottery. He was a Kentucky moonshiner’s son who ran away from home and eventually ran strip clubs in Cincinnati. There he found the love of his life: Althea Leasure (Courtney Love), a bisexual stripper who bluntly told him, "You are not the only person who has slept with every woman in this club." Hustler’s first publicity breakthrough came when Flynt printed nude photos of Jacqueline Onassis, a coup so sensational it forced the media (and the public) to notice the magazine. "The People vs. Larry Flynt" shows Flynt running a loose editorial ship in which his brother Jimmy (Brett Harrelson), hangers-on and assorted strippers and hookers seem to publish the magazine by committee.    Milos Forman’s other films include "Amadeus" and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest," both about inspired misfits with the courage of their eccentricity. Now Larry Flynt is another. Who else could have so instinctively combined idealism and cash, declaring at a press conference, "Americans for a Free Press is me. Who do you think is paying for this show?"    

Exhausted: John C. Holmes The Real Story

A 1981 documentary about the titular porn star who claimed to have slept with over 14,000 women, gave a darker look behind the green door into the excessive and saddening world of sex and wealth of the 1970s porn scene. Listen to Paul Thomas Anderson’s entertaining and wonderful commentary.    

 

Zack and Miri Make a Porno

 

 

"Seth Rogen and Elizabeth Banks make a lovable couple; she’s pretty and goes one-for-one on the bleep language, and Rogen, how can I say this, is growing on me, the big lug. Will this movie offend you? Somehow Kevin Smith’s very excesses defuse the material. He’s like the guy at a party who tells dirty jokes so fast, Dangerfield-style, that you laugh more at the performance than the material. He’s always coming back for more. Once during a speech at the Indie Spirits, he actually sounded like he was offering his wife as a door prize. Anything for a laugh. Nobody laughed. They all looked at each other sort of stunned. You can’t say he didn’t try."  

Hardcore

"The man is played by George C. Scott, the girl by Season Hubley. They have moments in the movie when they talk, really talk, about what’s important to them and we’re reminded of how much movie dialogue just repeats itself, movie after movie, year after year. There’s a scene in "Hardcore" where the man (who is a strict Calvinist) and the prostitute (who began selling herself in her early teens) talk about sex, religion, and morality, and we’re almost startled by the belief and simple poetry in their words. This relationship, between two people with nothing in common, who meet at an intersection in a society where many have nothing in common, is at the heart of the movie, and makes it important. It is preceded and followed by another of those story ideas that Paul Schrader seems to generate so easily. His movies are about people with values, in conflict with society. He wrote Taxi Driver and Rolling Thunder and wrote and directed Blue Collar. All three are about people prepared to defend (with violence, if necessary) their steadfast beliefs…The movie’s ending is a mess, a combination of cheap thrills, a chase, and a shoot-out, as if Schrader wasn’t quite sure how to escape from the depths he found. The film’s last ten minutes, in fact, are mostly action, the automatic resolution of the plot; the relationship between Scott and Hubley ends without being resolved, and in bringing his story to a "satisfactory" conclusion, Schrader doesn’t speak to the deeper and more human themes he’s introduced. Too bad. But Hardcore, flawed and uneven, contains moments of pure revelation."

From Lynch to Tarantino, All of Your Favorite Films are Playing in NYC This Weekend

Toss your beloved DVD collection to the side and head to the theater, because all of your favorite movies are playing this weekend. And no, I doubt I’m being hyperbolic when I say that there is surely a personal classic for everyone screening around the city, and what better way to view your most cherished piece of cinema than in the format it deserves? Whether you’re one for PT Anderson’s evocative ensemble dramas, Terrence Malick’s magic hour murders, David Lynch’s haunting and heartbreaking surrealism, or Quentin Tarantino’s black-humored violence there are plenty of undoubtable masterpieces of film to enjoy, alongside some of the most-acclaimed new movies of the year. I’ve rounded up the best of what’s playing throughout New York City this weekend—so peruse the list, see what you’re in the mood for, go get yourselves some Twizzlers, and head down to the cinema. Enjoy.

Film Forum

Badlands
The Man Who Knew Too Much
Post Tenebras Lux
Voyace to Italy
 
 

Museum of the Moving Image

The Rolling Stones in Gimme Shelter
The Beatles in A Hard Day’s Night
The Who in Quadrophenia
 
 

BAM

Wild at Heart
L’Eclisse
Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me
The Mother and the Whore
 
 

Nitehawk

Boogie Nights
Hit So Hard
Deceptive Practice
Serial Mom
 
 

IFC Center

Pulp Fiction
Something in the air
Robin Hood: Men in Tights
The Shining
Room 237
The Source Family
Upstream Color
Java Heat
2001: A Space Odyssey
 
 

Film Linc

An Oversimplification of Her Beauty
Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s
To the Wonder
Girls in the Band
 
 

Angelika Film Center

What Maisie Knew
Stories We Tell
No
Trance
Midnight’s Children
 
 

Landmark Sunshine

Sightseers
The Iceman
Love is all You Need
In the House
Alien

Enjoy Paul Thomas Anderson’s Commentary on the 1981 Porn Doc That Inspired ‘Boogie Nights’

Personally speaking, Boogie Nights had a rather large impact on my development as a young child. But cinematically speaking, Paul Thomas Anderson’s 1997 sex and drama fueled masterpiece of greed and ambition has been influencing and inspiring filmmakers since its release almost 20 years ago. But before there was Boogie Nights, there was The Dirk Diggler Story, and before that, there was the 1981 documentary that may have inspired it all.

Exhausted: John C. Holmes The Real Story, a doc about the titular porn star who claimed to have slept with over 14,000 women, gave a darker look behind the green door into the excessive and saddening world of sex and wealth of the 1970s porn scene. And although a rarity now, the doc provided an immense amount of inspiration for Anderson in crafting the film that would catapult him to stardom and establish him as one of the most incredible directors of our time.

And 15 years ago, when Criterion released a Laserdic edition of Boogie Nights, one of the featurettes happened to be Anderson providing about 35 minutes worth of Exhausted with his own running commentary. But with the excerpt being left out of the DVD edition of the film, the feature sadly disappeared in the unknown—for everyone without Laserdisc player, that is. But now, some wonderful human has finally taken the time to throw the clips on YouTube in four parts. And let’s be real, as if you needed an excuse to listen to Anderson just ramble on for 35 minutes and explain that:

It’s just fascinating to see, especially at this point, to just look at a guy and this is a documentary about his dick! I mean what the fuck is this, it’s a documentary about his dick…maybe I’m insane but this is just good stuff. And like I said, I laugh at this just as much as it fuckin’ kills me, it’s so sad, you know? This is an hour and a half documentary and we’re just seeing clips of it and it’s all about his penis and he probably got to a point in his life and realized, nobody gives a fucking shit about me—and that’s kind of sad…and weird.

Take a look at the clips below and don’t worry, the person who uploaded the videos cut out anything too saucy to be viewed in the workplace. Enjoy.

Enjoy a 10 Minute Study of Paul Thomas Anderson’s Use of Steadicam and Some of His Best Scenes

Attention film nerds: you’re going to want to watch this. If you’re a fan of Paul Thomas Anderson—which if you aren’t, what is wrong with you?—you understand that the 42-year-old genius has the most incredible gift for storytelling that’s as rich as reading any novel while remaining visually and technically skilled. It’s pretty incredible to think that with only six feature films under his belt, Anderson has become one of the most acclaimed directors of our time, not only awakening our love of cinema but showing us the ways in which a filmmaker can evolve with each movie he makes.

And when it comes to analyzing the work of PTA, Sight & Sound’s Kevin B. Lee has a intelligent and fluid understanding of his films. And in his latest critique Lee looks at Anderson’s work through the lens his affinity for Steadicam. He analyzes PTA’s love of a good tracking shot and the ways in which Anderson has changed his use of the style throughout his career. If you can carve out a solid ten minutes, I would suggest watching this and taking a look back on some of the dynmaic director’s finest moments.

The Career of Paul Thomas Anderson in Five Shots from Kevin B. Lee on Vimeo.

The Career of Paul Thomas Anderson in Five Shots

Magnolia, Restaurant Scene

Boogie Nights, Pool Party

Hard Eight, Gonna Light the Cigarette

Punch-Drunk Love, I Want to Bite Your Cheek

There Will Be Blood, I Drink Your Milkshake

 

Magnolia, I’ve Done So Many Bad Things

 

 

Hard Eight, Prologue

 

 

Boogie Nights, Opening Scene

 

 

Punch-Drunk Love, Phone Scene

 

 

There Will Be Blood, Church Preaching

Check Out the Pilot for ‘The Jon Brion Show’ Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson

Despite the lack of Academy recognition, it’s an indisputable fact that Paul Thomas Anderson is one of the greatest working filmmakers of our time who has put out some of the best films of the past two decades. I mean,just think about the fact that Boogie Nights was released when Anderson was only 27—the man is a genius. No one gets better performances out of their actors—just watch this scene of Julianne Moore from Magnolia on repeat for a master class in character. But anyhow, this morning PTA decided to grace us with a video under his YouTube channel Al Rose Productions. Unrelated to The Master, the video turned out to be a long-lost pilot episode for something called ”The Jon Brion Show.” No further information necessary, I’m sold.

But okay, apparently back in in 1999/2000 Jon Brion shot a television pilot with VH1—”a variety show that would be feature music and comedy of the various performers around LA club Largo at the time (Aimee Mann, Fiona Apple, etc),”—but it was turned down. So, being the master that he is, Anderson took matters into his own hands and went on to shoot his own version “The Jon Brion Show” with three test episodes. The gift that Anderson bestowed upon us this morning features performances form Elliot Smith, Brad Mehldau, and Brion himself. Cigarettes & Red Vines spoke to Anderson a while back about the pilot:

OK. What about The Jon Brion Variety Show? I heard that he originally shot a pilot for VH1 & they didn’t like it. So you went back & directed a few episodes with Jon, Aimee, Fiona, etc.?
Yeah. Jon tried to do a thing with VH1, but I never even saw what they did. He didn’t like it. I said there’s a way we can do something & we should experiment. So, we just basically shot tests for about three episodes. I paid for it myself & we just did it.

At Largo?
No. At this recording studio called Ocean Way. I rented it, got a few cameras & threw up a couple of lights. No big deal. I had Fiona sing. I had Jon sing. Elliott Smith came by. Bette Midler happened to be recording at the studio next door & was like “I want to sing!” It was insane! Next thing I know, Bette Midler is doing ‘50’s cover tunes. We’re like, “Wow”! So this was all just a test to see the possibility for a music venue or a way to capture what Jon does. I’m still convinced there’s a way to do it. I don’t exactly know how right now. The test showed me all these good things & some bad things.

So, you haven’t presented this to a cable channel or music video channel to air?
No. We’ll sort of revisit it & it will be this ever burning thing. It’s been my own personal pet thing. Once we figure how we want to do it, then we’ll figure out where we want to do it & what sort of venue is best.

Enjoy the full video below.

New Image of Amanda Seyfried as Linda Lovelace; Biopic Set for Sundance Premiere

Yesterday we brought you the fifteen movies we’re most excited about at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, but it seems we forgot one big one: Lovelace, the biopic about Linda Lovelace and her starring turn in the classic ’70s porno Deep Throat. Stills from the film have been trickling online in the fast few months (and there’s something about that phrase that makes me a little uncomfy considering the subject matter of the film), but a new image of Amanda Seyfried in the titular role’s groovy hairdo popped up this morning.

Entertainment Weekly shares the image as well as more details about the film, which has an impressive cast assembled.

Sharon Stone, Juno Temple, Wes Bentley, Hank Azaria (in the directors chair), Robert Patrick, Bobby Cannavale (partially obscured in the upper right corner), and Chris Noth (standing beside the camera) co-star in Lovelace. Peter Sarsgaard also stars as Lovelace’s husband, Chuck Traynor, the man she later claimed abused her and coerced her into the porn world. James Franco will appear as Playboy founder Hugh Hefner, and Adam Brody (seated in the chair) is fellow porn actor Harry Reems.

Will Lovelace be a hit? Few movies have been able to capture the essence of porn the way that Boogie Nights did nearly sixteen (sixteen! it’s been that long!) years ago. It’ll definitely be a movie to keep an eye on. 

Check out the new still below:

lovelace

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It’s Jon Brion’s Birthday So Let’s All Have a Cry

If this sounds incoherent, it’s only because I am listening to the Magnolia soundtrack and am growing too emotional to type. Sorry. But that only makes sense, considering today is the 49th birthday of cinematically minded musical genius Jon Brion. Although perhaps best known for his work in the PT Anderson-Fiona Apple-Aimee Mann world of collaboration, the whimsically dramatic singer/songwriter/composer/record producer has scored dozens of films—ranging from Adam McKay’s Step Brothers to his absolutely perfect work on Michel Gondry’s Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind—while producing for everyone from Kanye West to Rufus Wainwright.

Although his projects may vary in medium and style, there’s a very specific sensation that wanders through all of his work—like gentle fingers plucking away at your heart strings, unhinging tearducts, and allowing you to journey even farther into the work it’s a part of. He isn’t melodramatic or devious with senitment, but provides an atmospheric, emotional through-line to guide you amidst the tangled worlds that his work speaks to. But however you see it, here’s a tasting of some favorites from his wonderful body of music.

Magnolia, “Stanley/Frank/Linda’s Breakdown” 

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, “Phone Call”

Punch-Drunk Love, “Punch-Drunk Melody”

Hard Eight, “Sydney Doesn’t Speak”

I ♥ Huckabees, “Monday”

Magnolia, “Showtime”

Step Brothers, “Back and Forth”

Fionna Apple, “Fast as You Can”

Rufus Wainwright, “Damned Ladies”

http://youtu.be/OG_XmDx32UY

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind Full OST

The Jon Brion Show – Feat. Elliott Smith / Brad Mehldau

Magnolia, “I’ve Got a Surprise For You Today”

The Literary World’s Fascination With James Deen

If the internet itself hadn’t done the job already, last winter’s issue of GOOD magazine surely put porn star James Deen on the radar of every tote bag-laden liberal arts major this side (the south side, that is) of 14th Street. And while the profile gave fascinating light to the porn star’s cult following among teenage girls, it’s safe to say that between Wells Tower’s piece in this month’s GQ and the casting of Deen in Bret Easton Ellis’s new film The Canyons, the Jewish “boy next door” might have another prominent fan base: literary white males.

That’s not to say he is, or passes himself off as, particularly bright (Deen, on his ABC Nightline profile: “They could have made me look bad, between all my ramblings and the dumb shit that I say, and they didn’t.”). This affinity is mainly a cosmetic thing. The scrawny five-foot-eight fellow, who looks “like a guy a chick might actually meet in a bar,” is the closest proxy your average white boy has ever had in the porn world. And even if Deen himself never boasted any intellectual prowess, his real-life background sort of lines up: born Bryan Sevilla (he’s still Bryan Sevilla) in Pasadena, CA, both his parents worked at NASA. He claims to have pretty rationally decided, in kindergarten, that he wanted to do porn. Save for a brief stint with drug addiction, he slid into his profession the way any young “self-starter” might wind up in theirs. And again, just look at him. Better yet, Photoshop him into a picture with the editors of n+1—you wouldn’t think anything of it.

Wells Tower thus offers the perfect setup for this most recent profile: if you—reader, tweedy white male, evangelist for Everything Ravaged—could swap places with James Deen, would you?

That’s not to say Tower totally invented the premise. In many ways, it’s the bait used in Paul Thomas Anderson’s masterpiece Boogie Nights, where the young Mark Wallberg, like Deen, is a handsome but unassuming Valley boy that just happens to pack an oversized member (okay, and freakishly strong abdominals). In a brilliant interview from 1998 on Hollywood Conversations, Anderson gave a thoughtful polemic against contemporary porn producers for denying the genre its place in the canon of mainstream cinematic art. Instead, he argued, they’ve churned out trash that’s distastefully removed from reality. “If you’re looking at it in a pure, hormonal boy way,” he said, “my hormones go to, ‘oh, she’s pretty.’ And no, she doesn’t have huge, enormous fake tits. Because it’s like watching science fiction—it’s a sci-fi movie at that point.” As opposed to, say, something from a John Updike story. “And the guys are not appealing in porno today,” he continued. “Looking at these people who are chiseled to perfection, there’s nothing to relate to.” Enter James Deen.

The other antecedent, you’d have to figure, is David Foster Wallace’s 1998 essay “Neither Adult Nor Entertainment” about the AVN awards, which also flirts with the question of, “Is this as fun as it looks?” (The answer is no). First off, they both lather on an SAT Verbal’s worth of euphemisms. Wallace: “Breasts are uniformly zeppelinesque and in various perilous stages of semiconfinement.” Tower: “Miss Jaymes is a ten-year vet whose huge blister-pack protrusions are somewhat at odds with her springbok svelteness.” For the lexically stimulated, that’s as masturbatory as it gets.

Moreover, it’s the tone of innocent-bookish-fellow-sent-to-“report”-on-porn that carries over from Wallace to Tower. At one point, in the middle of describing a “human centipede” scene between Deen, Proxy Paige, and Isis Love, Tower interjects, “Um, hey. You out there, do you seriously want me to keep describing this stuff? Really? Because it gets a lot worse from here.” It’s pretty considerate of him to throw that in there, much in the same way someone at your ice cream parlor asks if you’d like a mini spoon taste of the chocolate fudge brownie just so you can appear skeptical and discerning while everyone involved knows full well that you’d already planned to order four scoops of the stuff.

But the kicker is, if a quart of ice cream leaves you feeling queasy, what’s supposed to happen when you’ve watched this guy “in flagrant contravention of the USDA’s Safe Food Handling Fact Sheet, [plunge] his unwashed tuber straightaway into Proxy’s mouth”? What Tower lands on is what anyone lured in the by the idea of this boyish little ladykiller has to realize: what Deen does couldn’t be further removed from the reality of his persona’s true-life analogue. And nobody could be less equipped for that kind of emotionally detached sexual carnage than a young male who likes literature. Emotional sensitivity is our bread and butter, and whatever one’s “boy hormones” would have them believe, Deen’s lifestyle is not one to envy.

James Deen, sorry to say, is not the “boy next door.” He’s not a regular guy a chick might meet at a bar. He’s a star. He’s a big, bright, shining star. That’s right.