Tag Archives: erotica

RIP Gillian Freeman (1929 – 2019)

Gillian Freeman was a British writer best known for her book The Undergrowth of Literature (1967), a pioneering study of pornography.

At first I thought I’d not pay her death any attention, since I do not own a copy of The Undergrowth of Literature, the reason I discovered Mrs. Freeman in the first place. But I changed my mind when I found out that the Hendrik Conscience Heritage Library had a copy of this book in its warehouses, so off I was.

Leafing through the book (200 pp.) one finds references to other studies of porn from that era but most of all one is struck by the female point of view. Mrs Freeman is one of the first porn researchers to put forward that female sexual fantasies can be found in women’s magazines:

“I have merely made a survey of current fantasy literature which overtly or covertly, supplies the stimulus which so many people need, from the romance of Woman’s Own to the sado-masochism of Man’s Story” — p. 1

As always the negative criticism is most amusing:

“[the book is] nothing more than a collection of quotes, précis, paraphrases and photographs from current pornographic publications and glossy magazines … there is no love like the liberal prig‘s love for perverts and perversions”. –Stephen Vizinczey,The Times, 4 November 1967

Since Undergrowth is not in Google Books, I thought I’d give you the index. This may be useful to the aspiring pornosopher  although apart from its focus on herstory it does not come near the qualities of Sex in History (1954) and Eros Denied (1964).


Gillian Freeman also wrote the thought sequences dialogue for The Girl on a Motorcycle (1968).

I wonder who is inheriting Mrs. Freeman’s library.

RIP Tomi Ungerer (1931 – 2019)

Fornicon (1969)

Tomi Ungerer was a French illustrator known for his children’s books, as well as his satirical and erotic work for adults.

I attended an interview with Ungerer in 2014 and wrote this small piece in Dutch after the occasion and also did a post on Tumblr[1].

I’ll never forget the moment at he end of the interview when he started singing “Die Gedanken sind frei” and many of the German-language invites joining in.

Fornicon (1969) [above] is a collection of 60 prints of scenes of funny machine-aided sadomasochistic male domination. When I say machine-aided, think Rube Goldberg machine. Box sets of these prints are being sold for as high as 3,000$. Books can be had for as little as ten dollars.

Ungerer’s humor is quite like that of Roland Topor.

RIP Rita Renoir (1934 – 2016)

Via research on the King Mob Echo magazine, which led me to Chris Gray which led me to Conrad Rooks which led me to Chappaqua (in which Rita had a part), it has come to my attention that Rita Renoir has died.

Rita Renoir was a French exotic dancer, sex symbol, nobrow figure and actress.

Above you can see Rita Renoir performing a striptease to Serge Gainsbourg’s “Sois belle et tais-toi“, a song from the album Serge Gainsbourg N°2 (1960).

But…

The clip is actually from from Il mondo di notte numero 3 (1963), a typical mondo film, and the music is actually by Riz Ortolani. The scene is superb.

RIP Jorge Grau (1930 – 2018)

Jorge Grau was a Spanish film director who worked in the age of the sexual revolution which came late in Spain because of censorship in Francoist Spain.

Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (1974)
The Bloody Countess

To the illustrious history of Spanish horror film, Grau contributed The Bloody Countess (1973) and Let Sleeping Corpses Lie (1974), the first film on Elizabeth Báthory, the second on zombies.

To the not so illustrious history of Spanish erotica, he contributed the film La trastienda, the first Spanish film to feature full frontal nudity. The film touches upon sexual repression and Opus Dei.

Cantudo sings “Desnudame”, in the background are excerpts from “La trastienda’

 María José Cantudo was the actress who was first seen nude on Spanish cinema screens in La trastienda. While researching Grau, it also came to my attention that Cantudo recorded a song called “Desnuda me”, Spanish for “Unrobe me”.

In the part on Spanish horror of the documentary Eurotika!, Jorge Grau is featured on 18:50 [above].

World Cinema Classic #189

Years ago, I posted [1] two highlights of see-through erotica. Both were film stills.

The first[2] was from Succubus (1968) directed by Jess Franco, the second[3] was from Castle of Blood (1964), directed by Antonio Margheriti.

Today, the full movies of these stills are available on YouTube:

From Castle of Blood I was able to find the exact location of the film still in question[4]. The woman who is wearing the translucent crinoline and who bares her perky breasts appears to be Sylvia Sorrente (Elsi in the film).

From Succubus I was unable to track the still. However, I was able to get a wider shot[6]. La Reynaud appears to be stripping for a pianist seen from the rear in the back.

Castle of Blood is a good film, with an eerie soundtrack by Riz Ortolani. It is World Cinema Classic #189.

Mark the severe ptosis of the breasts

La Tentation de St Antoine, ornée de figures et de musique, engraving by Antoine Borel after François-Rolland Elluin.

This is quite something. It’s been a while since I’ve had a find like this one. Mark the severe ptosis of the breasts and the general atmosphere which pre-dates the diableries.

The Bibliographie des principaux ouvrages relatifs à l’amour notes[1]:

La Tentation de saint Antoine (p. Sedaine). — Le Pot-pourri de Loth (p. P. Lalman, ou, selon la France littéraire, par Poinsinet). Londres (Paris), 1781, 2 part, en 1 vol. in-8 avec mus. gr.,portr. de Sedaine, front, et 17 pi. en taille douce, dont quelques-unes libres. Bozerian, 20 fr. — Il y en a aussi une édit. Cazin, 1782, in-18, av. 17 fig. non libres ; peu commune.