Boogie Nights Heather Graham

Skin Flicks

The 10 Best Movies About Porn

Catch Boogie Nights this month on IFC.

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Photo Credit: New Line/Everett Collection

If you’ve come looking for some suggestions on what skin flicks to work into the rotation, this probably isn’t the article for you. These are the best movies ABOUT porn, which is an important distinction. And while many movies that tackle pornography do it as an excuse to slip in some T&A, there are a few movies (like Boogie Nights, airing this month on IFC) that use the adult film industry to make us laugh or cry. Of course, the movies below are NSFW, unless you have an awesome mustache and work at a porn studio in the ’70s.


10. Orgazmo

Critics hated this movie, about a Mormon missionary who makes a porno to pay for his wedding, when it was released in 1997, calling it crass, juvenile and just plain dumb. The thing is, the movie is from the creators of South Park, one of the smartest satires on television to be called crass, juvenile and just plain dumb. This might be the only movie that stars a Mormon porn star/superhero who battles evil with an orgasm-inducing ray gun. Who doesn’t want to watch that movie?


9. Inserts

United Artists

United Artists

Unlike Jaws, another Richard Dreyfuss film released in 1975, this movie was originally rated X, before being knocked down to a hard R. In it, Dreyfuss stars as a down-on-his-luck silent film director, unable to make the transition to “talkies,” who turns his Hollywood mansion into a pornography studio. The film, which was shot on one set and filmed in real time, left many critics scratching their heads. Still, writer/director John Byrum’s film is unique for its exploration of the early days of pornography. If you’re curious what got your great-grandparents all hot and bothered, this is the movie for you.


8. Zack and Miri Make a Porno

Movies about porn tend to go one of two ways. They’re dark, coke-fueled nightmares about the corrupting influence of sex and fame, or they’re silly bits of wish fulfillment, full of flummoxed boys and hookers with hearts of gold. This is, by far, the latter. One of Kevin Smith’s few movies to take place outside his View Askew universe, this Seth Rogen vehicle is based on his experience making Clerks, only with a lot more sex. While not the most trenchant look at the realities of the adult film industry, it’s a cute movie, filled with a surprising number of comedians who were on the cusp of becoming huge stars.


7. Don Jon

Writer, director and star Joseph Gordon-Levitt made it clear to the world that he wasn’t a child star anymore with this sex comedy, which broke big out of the Sundance Film Festival in 2013. It tells the story of a Lothario trying to navigate new love, while dealing with a porn addiction. By choosing to look at adult movies from the consumers’ point of view, Gordon-Levitt was able to make a relatable film that asked what exactly pornography is doing to us.


6. Lovelace

There was a brief moment, in the late 1970s, when Linda Lovelace was as famous as any movie star, thanks to the box office of her iconic porn Deep Throat. In Lovelace, we get to see what was really going on behind-the-scenes, as a small town girl became the face of a sexual revolution, only to reject it in the name of Christianity. Fun fact: Lindsay Lohan was originally supposed to play the lead, but was fired after she proved impossible to insure. Unable to play a porn star, Lohan would star opposite one in the softcore indie The Canyons the same year.


5. The Pornographers

Imamura Productions

Imamura Productions

When Shôhei Imamura adapted Akiyuki Nosaka’s dark satirical novel about sex in postwar Japan back in 1966, it caused a lot of controversy. The movie tells the story of Subuyan Ogata, a mild-mannered man who decides to become a pornographer, only to find himself pitted against mobsters and the government. Heck, even his girlfriend turns on him when he lusts after her teenage daughter. The mix of sex and comedy proved popular, and the film became Imamura’s only hit outside of Japan.


4. The Girl Next Door

Wish fulfillment at its finest, this teen comedy wonders what would happen if your favorite porn star moved in next door. While the filmmakers weren’t shy about lifting wholesale from Risky Business, the movie has a likeable cast, and a decent mix of heart and humor. This isn’t exactly an award winner, but for anyone who’s ever watched porn for the romance, this might be the flick for you.


3. Humpday

This low budget look at two friends who decide to make a gay porno as an “art project,” uses sex as a way to examine male relationships and the macho fronting behind them. The film, which was largely improvised, went on to win the “Special Jury Prize for Spirit of Independence” at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, and the “John Cassavetes Award” at the 2009 Independent Spirit Awards.


2. Hardcore

From Taxi Driver to Auto Focus, writer/director Paul Schrader has made a career exploring how quickly sex can turn into obsession. In this dark drama we follow George C. Scott as a Midwestern father chasing his missing daughter into the dark underbelly of Los Angeles after seeing her in a porno. Schrader, who grew up a strict Calvinist Protestant Christian, paints urban America as a sexual hellscape, filled with temptation and revulsion in equal measure.


1. Boogie Nights

The gold standard of highbrow porn cinema, this ’90s classic announced the arrival of a bold new name in American cinema. Filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson took the heady days of ’70s pornography and made them into a coke-fueled family psychodrama. Burt Reynolds, Julianne Moore and PT Anderson were nominated for Oscars, while Mark Wahlberg convinced everyone he could act. For that alone, we’ll be feel, feel, feeling this movie’s heat for years to come.

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Grow TFU

Adulting Like You Mean It

Commuters makes its debut on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Jared Warner, Nick Ciavarella, and Tim Dean were once a part of Murderfist, a group of comedy writers, actors, producers, parents, and reluctant adults. Together with InstaMiniSeries’s Nikki Borges, they’re making their IFC Comedy Crib debut with the refreshingly-honest and joyfully-hilarious Commuters. The webseries follows thirtysomethings Harris and Olivia as they brave the waters of true adulthood, and it’s right on point.

Jared, Nick, Nikki and Tim were kind enough to answer a few questions about Commuters for us. Here’s a snippet of that conversation…

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IFC: How would you describe Commuters to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Nick: Two 30-somethings leave the Brooklyn life behind, and move to the New Jersey suburbs in a forced attempt to “grow up.” But they soon find out they’ve got a long way to go to get to where they want to be.

IFC: How would you describe Commuters to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jared: It’s a show about how f*cking stupid people who think they are smart can be.

IFC: What’s your origin story? When did you all meet and how long have you been working together?

Jared: Nick, Tim, and I were all in the sketch group Murderfist since, what, like 2004? God. Anyway, Tim and Nick left the group to pursue other frivolous things, like children and careers, but we all enjoyed writing together and kept at it. We were always more interested in storytelling than sketch comedy lends itself to, which led to our webseries Jared Posts A Personal. That was a show about being in your 20s and embracing the chaos of being young in the city. Commuters is the counterpoint, i guess. Our director Adam worked at Borders (~THE PAST!!~) with Tim, came out to a Murderfist show once, and we’ve kept him imprisoned ever since.

IFC: What was the genesis of Commuters?

Tim: Jared had an idea for a series about the more realistic, less romantic aspects of being in a serious relationship.  I moved out of the city to the suburbs and Nick got engaged out in LA.   We sort of combined all of those facets and Commuters was the end result.

IFC: How would Harris describe Olivia?

Jared: Olivia is the smartest, coolest, hottest person in the world, and Harris can’t believe he gets to be with her, even though she does overreact to everything and has no chill. Like seriously, ease up. It doesn’t always have to be ‘a thing.’

IFC: How would Olivia describe Harris?

Nikki:  Harris is smart, confident with a dry sense of humor but he’s also kind of a major chicken shit…. Kind of like if Han Solo and Barney Rubble had a baby.

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Nikki:  I think this is the most accurate portrayal of what a modern relationship looks like. Expectations for what your life is ‘supposed to look like’ are confusing and often a let down but when you’re married to your best friend, it’s going to be ok because you will always find a way to make each other laugh.

IFC: Is the exciting life of NYC twentysomethings a sweet dream from which we all must awake, or is it a nightmare that we don’t realize is happening until it’s over?

Tim: Now that i’ve spent time living in the suburbs, helping to raise a two year old, y’all city folk have no fucking clue how great you’ve got it.

Nikki: I think of it similar to how I think about college. There’s a time and age for it to be glorious but no one wants to hang out with that 7th year senior. Luckily, NYC is so multifaceted that you can still have an exciting life here but it doesn’t have to be just what the twentysomethings are doing (thank god).

Jared: New York City is a garbage fire.

See the whole season of Commuters right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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C'mon Fellas

A Man Mansplains To Men

Why Baroness von Sketch Show is a must-see.

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Mansplaining is when a man takes it upon himself to explain something to a woman that she already knows. It happens a lot, but it’s not going to happen here. Ladies, go ahead and skip to the end of this post to watch a free episode of IFC’s latest addition, Baroness von Sketch Show.

However, if you’re a man, you might actually benefit from a good mansplanation. So take a knee, lean in, and absorb the following wisdom.

No Dicks

Baroness von Sketch Show is made entirely by women, therefore this show isn’t focused on men. Can you believe it? I know what you’re thinking: how will we know when to laugh if the jokes aren’t viewed through the dusty lens of the patriarchy? Where are the thinly veiled penis jokes? Am I a bad person? In order: you will, nowhere, and yes.

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Huge Balls

Did you know that there’s more to life than poop jokes, sex jokes, body part jokes? I mean, those things are all really good things, natch, and totally edgy. But Baroness von Sketch Show does something even edgier. It holds up a brutal funhouse mirror to our everyday life. This is a bulls**t world we made, fellas.

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Oh Canada

After you watch the Canadian powerhouses of Baroness von Sketch Show and think to yourself “Dear god, this is so real” and “I’ve gotta talk about this,” do yourself a favor and think a-boot your options: Refrain from sharing your sage wisdom with any woman anywhere (believe us, she gets it). Instead, tell a fellow bro and get the mansplaining out of your system while also spreading the word about a great show.

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Dudes, that’s the deal.
Women, start reading again here:


Check out the preview episode of Baroness von Sketch Show and watch the series premiere August 2 on IFC.

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Happy Tears

Binge Don’t Cringe

Catch up on episodes of Documentary Now! and Portlandia.

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Photo Credit: GIFs via GIPHY

A brain can only take so much.

Every five minutes, all day, every day, ludicrously stressful headlines push our mental limits as we struggle to adapt to a reality that seems increasingly less real. What’s a mind to do when simple denial just isn’t good enough anymore?

Radical suggestion: repeal and replace. And by that we mean take all the bad news that keeps you up at night, press pause, and substitute it with some genuine (not nervous, for a change) laughter. Here are some of the issues on our mind.

Gender Inequality

Feminist bookstore owners by day, still feminist bookstore owners by night, Toni and Candace show the male gaze who’s boss. Learn about their origin story (SPOILER: there’s an epic dance battle) and see what happens when their own brand of empowerment gets out of hand.

Healthcare

From Candace’s heart attack to the rise of the rawvolution, this Portlandia episode proves that healthcare is vital.

Peaceful Protests

Too many online petitions, too little time? Get WOKE with Fred and Carrie when they learn how to protest.

What Could Have Been

Can’t say the name “Clinton” without bursting into tears? Documentary Now!’s masterfully political “The Bunker” sheds a cozy new light on the house that Bill and Hill built. Just pretend you don’t know how the story really ends.

Fake News

A healthy way to break the high-drama news cycle is to switch over to “Dronez”, which has all the thrills of ubiquitous adventure journalism without any of the customary depression.

The more you watch, the better you feel. So get started on past episodes of Documentary Now! and Portlandia right now at IFC.com and the IFC app.

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