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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Inauguration Alternative

Bill Murray On Repeat

It's a movie "Murray-thon" all-day Friday on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs courtesy of GIPHY

Democrats, Republicans and Millennials agree: 2017 is shaping up to be a spectacle — a spectacle that really kicks into high gear this Friday with the presidential inauguration. Not only will the new POTUS swear in, but all the Country’s highest offices will be filled. It’s a daunting prospect, and to feel a little anxious about it is only normal. But if your anxiety is snowballing into panic, we have a solution:
Bill Murray.

He’s the human embodiment of a mental “Happy Place”, and there’s really no problem he can’t solve. So, with that in mind, how about we all set aside reality for a moment and let Bill take the pain away by imagining a top-shelf White House cabinet filled exclusively by his signature characters. Here are a few hypothetical appointments for your consideration…

Secretary of Defense:
Bill Murray from Stripes

His incompetence is balanced by charm, and dumb luck is inexplicably on his side. America could do worse.

Secretary of State:
Bill Murray from Lost In Translation

A seasoned globetrotter steeped in regional traditions who has the respect of the whole wide world. And he kills Costello in karaoke, which is very important.

Press Secretary:
Bill Murray from Ghostbusters

“Cats and dogs, living together. Mass hysteria.” Dude knows how to brief a room.

Secretary of Health and Human Services:
Bill Murray from What About Bob.

A doctor-approved people person who knows that progress is measured in baby steps.

Secretary of Energy:
Bill Murray from Groundhog Day

Let’s be honest, this world is going to need a lot of do-overs.

Feeling better? Hold on to that bliss. And enjoy a healthy alternative to the inauguration brouhaha with multiple Murrays all Friday long in an IFC movie marathon including Kingpin, Zombieland, Ghostbusters, and Ghostbusters II.

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Home Run

Hank Azaria Gets Thrown A Curve Ball

Brockmire Premieres April 5 at 10P

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection

Unless you’ve somehow missed every episode of the Simpsons since 1989, then surely you know that Hank Azaria is one of the most important character actors of our time. He’s so prolific and his voice is so dynamic that he’s responsible for more iconic personalities than most folks realize. Basically, he’s the great and powerful Oz — except that when you pull back the curtain the truth is actually more impressive. And now Hank is coming to IFC to bring yet another character to the TV pop culture hive mind in the new series Brockmire. Check out the trailer below.

Based on the following Funny or Die short and co-starring Amanda Peet, Brockmire follows the story of imploded major league sportscaster Jim Brockmire as he tries to resurrect his career by calling plays for a floundering minor league team in a podunk town.

The series is written by Joel Church-Cooper (Undateable) and produced by Funny or Die’s Mike Farah and Joe Farrell, meaning that there’s funny in front of the camera, funny behind the camera–funny all around. Sounds like a ball to us.

Brockmire premieres April 5 at 10P on IFC.

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Car Notes

Portlandia On People Who Can’t Park

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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If flagrant bad parking takes nerve, then retaliatory note writing takes neuroses. Watch Fred and Carrie take passive aggression to next level in Car Notes, the new Portlandia web series presented by Subaru. The first episode is yours right here and now, and you can see every installment of Car Notes anytime online, on the IFC app and on demand.

Portlandia returns tonight at 10P on IFC.

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