The Look Of Love stars Steve Coogan as legendary gentleman’s club owner and porn publisher Paul Raymond. Charting his life from the late 1950’s, the film follows Paul Raymond as he progresses up the financial and social ladder, accumulating wealth and notoriety. In 1958 he opens London’s first strip club, soon after taking over all of Soho publishing erotic magazines and producing nude theatre earning him the title of Britain’s richest man in 1992. To celebrate the release of The Look Of Love on DVD & Blu-ray on August 19th we take a look at 5 cinematic portrayals of the porn industry over the years.
The Look of Love (2013)
Paul Raymond – porn mogul, father, tabloid magnet – was the richest man in Britain in the early nineties. A complicated and later reclusive man, even his vast wealth and empire failed to keep him happy. Steve Coogan does a sterling job in the main role, capturing a distinct time and a father’s deeply troubled relationship with his daughter. With porn as the backdrop and a catalyst for controversy that only led to greater notoriety, the film makes small thrusts at questioning the morality of the industry, instead capturing a man of distinctly contrasting relationships, of deep affection and blind callousness.
The People Vs. Larry Flynt (1996)
Brazen and uncompromising, Larry Flynt made it big selling magazines dirtier than anything Playboy or Penthouse would dare to print. A man of desperately poor origins, he opened a number of clubs before setting up Hustle magazine. Courtney Love proves she can act in the role of Flynt’s wife Althea Flynt, and Edward Norton is cast as lawyer Alan Isaacman. The film is at its core a document of the lead up a key court case in the history of the protection of the freedom of speech, a critical civil rights battle that asserted that if the right didn’t cover unpopular or offensive speech then it was essentially useless.
Boogie Nights (1997)
The adult film world in the seventies smelt of sex, coke and disco. With a wide and talented cast led by Mark Wahlberg, Boogie Nights is alive with drama and a free, capricious energy that enthrals in every scene. Director Paul Thomas Anderson shoots the adult industry as it was seen by its own players, a business first with a material commodity to sell. The disruption of video to the market was the biggest is has ever seen, with winners and losers, both camps of which can be found in the intelligently formed frames of this nineties classic.
The Notorious Bettie Page (2005)
Perhaps surprisingly, this black and white biopic of ‘50s pin-up icon Betty Page (played by Gretchen Mol) refrains from making any statement on attitudes towards porn or any defence or attack on its moral legitimacy. The film circles around the character of Page, attempting to understand her from all sides. A devout Christian, her faith seems to completely avoid conflict with her job as a nude and bondage model. Cheerful and innocent, she seems entirely ignorant of both the world for which she is literally the poster child, and the fame it has brought her.
Based on the true story of the ‘Wonderland murders’ in Los Angeles in 1981, the film revolves around porno legend John Holmes (Val Kilmer) who inspired Mark Wahlberg’s character in Boogie Nights. The film depicts the lead up to the murders, skipping in time and telling different accounts in a Rashomon-like style. Dark and troubling, it portrays the apex event in the life of our drug-crazed and psychotic lead and the madness that surrounded parts of Hollywood in the 1980s.
The Look Of Love will be released on DVD and BluRay from Monday 19th August.