Tag Archives: sexual revolution

RIP Steven Marcus (1928 – 2018)

Steven Marcus is best-known for The Other Victorians (1964) [below], a study of Victorian pornography in which he coined the term pornotopia.

The Other Victorians cover

The Other Victorians cover

The Other Victorians back cover

The Other Victorians back cover

The book is a classic in the academic study of pornography.

I’ve never been able to find out the identity of the author of the illustration on the cover. It’s in the skinny style of Raphael Kirchner (1867– 1917) and Léo Fontan (1884 – 1965) which was popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. That’s all I know. Anyone?

On Youtube, of all places

I can’t remember exactly how but I managed to stumble on a complete version of the German short film Besonders wertvoll.

On Youtube, of all places:

Besonders wertvoll (1968, English: Of Special Merit) is a short subject directed by Hellmuth Costard and produced by Petra Nettelbeck.

The film, now almost fifty years old, criticized the new German Film Funding Act of 1967 by way of a talking phallus representing German politician Hans Toussaint, co-sponsor of the new film funding law. The title Besonders wertvoll translates as ‘of particular merit’ (as in cultural significance vs. ‘utterly without redeeming social importance‘) and is an allusion to the highest film rating given by Deutsche Film- und Medienbewertung.

Love misquotations? Here’s a good one. This film is famous for originating “Only the perverse fantasy can still save us,” (misattributed to Goethe), which is shown at the end of the film credits.

For those of you interested in weird films, here[2] is a Youtube playlist of films featured in Amos Vogel’s Film as a Subversive Art (1974)

The film is a milestone in the history of the sexual revolution in Germany.

RIP José Ramón Larraz

RIP José Ramón Larraz  (1929 – 2013).

After the death of Jesús Franco earlier this year, fellow countryman Larraz was the last survivor of “sexual revolution“-era European exploitation cinema.

Now the two last two last survivors of that sensibility are Radley Metzger (born 1929) and Roger Corman (born 1926).

My first exposure to Larraz was the VHS cover of La visita del vicio (The Coming of Sin). For the infamous Pasiphae scene from La visita del vicio shot scroll to 15′:32”.

Video: Eurotika! Larraz episode (1992).

I’ve previously mentioned Larraz here: http://blog.jahsonic.com/daedalus-devised-a-hollow-wooden-cow/

Sexpol

I’ve always had a soft spot for the Austrian psychoanalyst Wilhelm Reich (1897 – 1957) and while researching Freudo-Marxism I investigated him in some greater depth and stumbled upon the acronym Sexpol.

Sexpol is short for Sexualpolitik, German for sexual politics.

And then there is the “Poster de soutien a Sexpol[1], a promotional poster for the French journal Sexpol (1975-80, an index of all the issues + covers here). It depicts a male baby, touching and looking at his penis.

The right hand side bottom of the poster indicates that the photo comes courtesy Instituto W.R. – Mexico, this is as far as I’ve been able to trace the origin of the photo.

There is a Spanish version[2] of the poster which features the “Manifiesto Sexpol” (1936).

The caption at the bottom left reads:

“It is a question of fully affirming, of aiding and safeguarding, the free and healthy life manifestations of the newborn, of children, adolescents, women and men, in an unmistakable manner which forever excludes any social fraud.”

Wilhelm ReichThe Sexual Revolution, tr. unidentified

Wilhelm Reich is credited with joining Freud and Marx, creating what is now known as Freudo-Marxism. In his book The Mass Psychology of Fascism (1933), Reich argues that sexual repression leads to fascism. It is the origin of the “make love, not war” credo. Marcuse’s Eros and Civilization (1955) built upon Reich and so did Gershon Legman’s magazine Neurotica. Society is mentally ill, say all these tracts, society needs to see a sociatrist.

The funny thing is, they all got it wrong. “The pill” brought short-lived sexual revolution and a new golden dawn for the alpha male, but did not end wars. It only brought on AIDS. How cruel.

See the end of the sexual revolution, about which I have written previously.

Over at my Tumblr page, I’ve posted two covers[2][3] of Reich’s books.