John Waters Blossoms Amongst Filth

dirty show 16 detroit

Detroit’s annual Dirty Show, a celebration of erotic art in all its myriad forms, welcomed the crown prince of deviancy and master of bad taste, Mr. John Waters, to the Motor City to enlighten attendees on the finer points of, well, being dirty. Not that the audience really needed much help. Dommes, daddies, and heavily-inked degenerates of all kinds swanned about the Russell Industrial Center’s exhibition hall in various revealing or suggestive outfits, really only settling down for Waters’ performance, a revised version of This Filthy World the filmmaker and raconteur claimed was “dirtier, filthier than before.”

Waters regaled the audience with anecdotes of his early filmmaking years, from how he got Divine to eat dog shit on camera to which drugs resulted in the smoothest productions, and aside from a few left wandering the exhibition, had everyone listening with rapt attention. He also discussed my very stock in trade, pornography, calling out the hetero porn industry for rendering even the most filthy vulgarities quite bland. (Case in point: anal prolapses are called “blossoms” in gay porn, “rosebuds” in straight.)

Looking around Dirty Show 16, it seemed Waters was onto something. The more outlandish and adventurous works hanging on the exhibition hall walls were not predominantly heterosexual. Where the female form was used (from a clearly male view point) it was as an object of distant appreciation, an almost abstracted lust that no longer produced a physical reaction in the viewer, just a gentle appreciation of the form before them. Following Waters’ line of thinking, it’s not greater video definition, hotter or younger women, or more “intense” schtupping that straight porn needs, but that obscure element of genuine filth that could reinvigorate what many regard as a floundering industry and (yes) art form. Whether this filthiness can be found in the throng of recent step-incest movies or Kink & Co’s consistently taboo-smashing aggro-fetishism remains to be seen. If you ask me, though, it’s far more likely to spring from a figure like Dana Vespoli (arguably the most sour-looking woman in porn yet a fan- and critic-favorite for her truly adventurous performing career and boldly individual and highly inventive work as a director). With female performers launching themselves as directors after Belladonna, Bobbi Starr, and Ms. Vespoli paved the way, and with the 2015 AVN Award for Best Director going to a woman, Mason, it seems women are only gaining more strength and, we can only hope, bring a decidedly filthy and blazingly original element back to porn.

And, no, unfortunately we can’t hold out hope for Mr. Waters’ foray into mainstream hetero hardcore, which he considers about as sexy as open heart surgery. And besides, the man William Burroughs called The Pope of Trash is trying to get the financing together for a long-gestating¬†family-oriented film.

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Photos by John Froelich, Detroit Free Press

Auteur Miley In/Out of Film Fest

How does an upstart film festival in the already over-saturated market of New York City make a name for itself before ever flicking on a projector or dimming the theater lights? Schedule a screening of an erotic short film made by and starring one of pop music’s most controversial (and sexually provocative) young women, that’s how!

miley cyrus

The first ever NYC Porn Film Festival, set to take place between February 27th and March 1st in Bushwick, Brooklyn, announced earlier this month that it would screen an four-and-a-half-minute bondage-themed short film shot by director Quentin Jones for Miley Cyrus’s 2014 Bangerz tour. The festival program had ‘Miley Cyrus: Tongue Tied’ schedule to screen in the same block as ‘Tila Tequila: Backdoored & Squirting’ but mere hours later, the listing for Tongue Tied had disappeared from the festival website.

In a statement, festival organizer Simon Leahy told Buzzfeed that they had removed all mention of Cyrus and her film from their website and promotional materials. “We hoped the film screened alongside great artists such as Amalia Ulman, Bradford Kessler, Richard Kern, Beth B, James Franco, Narcissister, would create a bigger discourse around art, sexuality, gender and pornography,” read a statement issued by the festival office. For her part, Miley’s camp insists neither she nor Jones were ever directly involved with the inaugural NYC Porn Film Festival, only that “Miley was proud to make a film with acclaimed filmmaker Quentin Jones.” (At least there’s still you, Tila Tequila.)

tila tequila

Miley Cyrus: Tongue Tied can be viewed below (via YouTube) and is likely to be included in the upcoming Bangerz Tour DVD due for release on March 24th.

World’s Dirtiest Artists Hit Detroit

Dirty Show 16 Detroit

Talk about new centers of artistic creativity and thriving entrepreneurship these days has moved past the overcrowded and overpriced mainstays like New York and San Francisco and is now focused on less obvious hotbeds of young urban growth. One such city, and arguably the one struggling to defeat a horrible reputation, is Detroit, Michigan. Once the heart of America’s immense industrial might, the Motor City has, as everyone has heard again and again and again, fallen on hard times. And, while craft breweries, hipster tattoo parlors, “artisanal tea” growers, and intellectual-copyright-infringing art fairs now litter Detroit in a tribute to the bland commodification of former vices and artistic outlets, there is someone working hard to promote debauchery, degeneracy, and complete and utter filth. His name is Jerry Vile and he’s the creator of the annual Dirty Show.

Launching this weekend and running until February 21st, The Dirty Show is Detroit’s annual exhibition of erotic art and performance. Now one of the largest exhibitions of its kind in the world, The Dirty Show was created by Vile in 2000 as a small art showing and in 2005 opened its Call to Artists to anyone who dared submit work. The resulting thousands of submissions saw more than 250 artists from 20 countries exhibit work over four days. For this year’s 16th annual celebration of the filth and the furry see such artistic luminaries as Ron English, the late H.R. Giger, Clive Barker, and Saturno Butto along with prominent national and local talents like Glenn Barr, John John Jesse, Pamela Wilson, and Jason Levesque. And, to top it all off, Vile and Exhibition Director Genevive Zacconi have nabbed another sterling lineup of erotic performers of all kinds. Hell, they even got exhibiting artist, filmmaker, and hitchhiking enthusiast John Waters to agree to deliver an updated “Filthier and Dirtier” rendition of his acclaimed one-man show This Filthy World.

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Sure, you’re not in Detroit (and, if you’re like most Americans, don’t plan to be) and can’t partake in all the ribald revelry of the Dirty Show 16, so why should you care? Well, dear reader, in a never-ending quest for further erotic inquiry, I am writing this blog from an unnamed airport terminal in the continental US, waiting to board a flight to Detroit and find out for myself the real dirt on The Dirty Show – and naturally I’ll be reporting back here with highlights, lowlights, and tantalizing tidbits galore. What, you think I’d let my close, personal friends and fellow porn enthusiasts miss out on all the fun?