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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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WTF Films

Artfully Off

Celebrity All-Star by Sisters Weekend is available now on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Sisters Weekend isn’t like other comedy groups. It’s filmmaking collaboration between besties Angelo Balassone, Michael Fails and Kat Tadesco, self-described lace-front addicts with great legs who write, direct, design and produce video sketches and cinematic shorts that are so surreally hilarious that they defy categorization. One such short film, Celebrity All-Star, is the newest addition to IFC’s Comedy Crib. Here’s what they had to say about it in a very personal email interview…

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IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

Celebrity All-Star is a short film about an overworked reality TV coordinator struggling to save her one night off after the cast of C-List celebrities she wrangles gets locked out of their hotel rooms.

IFC: How would you describe Celebrity All-Star to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Sisters Weekend: It’s this short we made for IFC where a talent coordinator named Karen babysits a bunch of weird c-list celebs who are stuck in a hotel bar. It’s everyone you hate from reality TV under one roof – and that roof leaks because it’s a 2-star hotel. There’s a magician, sexy cowboys, and a guy wearing a belt that sucks up his farts.

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IFC: What was the genesis of Celebrity All-Star?

Celebrity All-Star was born from our love of embarrassing celebrities. We love a good c-lister in need of a paycheck! We were really interested in the canned politeness people give off when forced to mingle with strangers. The backstory we created is that the cast of this reality show called “Celebrity All-Star” is in the middle of a mandatory round of “get to know each other” drinks in the hotel bar when the room keys stop working. Shows like Celebrity Ghost Hunters and of course The Surreal Life were of inspo, but we thought it
was funny to keep it really vague what kind of show they’re on, and just focus on everyone’s diva antics after the cameras stop rolling.

IFC: Every celebrity in Celebrity All-Star seems familiar. What real-life pop personalities did you look to for inspiration?

Sisters Weekend: Anyone who is trying to plug their branded merch that no one asked for. We love low-rent celebrity. We did, however, directly reference Kylie Jenner’s turd-raison lip color for our fictional teen celebutante Gibby Kyle (played by Mary Houlihan).

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IFC: Celebrity seems disgusting yet desirable. What’s your POV? Do you crave it, hate it, or both?

Sisters Weekend: A lot of people chase fame. If you’re practical, you’ll likely switch to chasing success and if you’re smart, you’ll hopefully switch to chasing happiness. But also, “We need money. We need hits. Hits bring money, money bring power, power bring fame, fame change the game,” Young Thug.

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IFC: Who are your comedy idols?

Sisters Weekend: Mike grew up renting “Monty Python” tapes from the library and staying up late to watch 2000’s SNL, Kat was super into Andy Kaufman and “Kids In The Hall” in high school, and Angelo was heavily influenced by “Strangers With Candy” and Anna Faris in the Scary Movie franchise, so, our comedy heroes mesh from all over. But, also we idolize a lot of the people we work with in NY-  Lorelei Ramirez, Erin Markey, Mary Houlihan, who are all in the film, Amy Zimmer, Ana Fabrega, Patti Harrison, Sam Taggart. Geniuses! All of Em!

IFC: What’s your favorite moment from the film?

Sisters Weekend: I mean…seeing Mary Houlihan scream at an insane Pomeranian on an iPad is pretty great.

See Sisters Weekend right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib

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Reality? Check.

Baroness For Life

Baroness von Sketch Show is available for immediate consumption.

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Baroness von Sketch Show is snowballing as people have taken note of its subtle and not-so-subtle skewering of everyday life. The New York Times, W Magazine, and Vogue have heaped on the praise, but IFC had a few more probing questions…

IFC: To varying degrees, your sketches are simply scripted examples of things that actually happen. What makes real life so messed up?

Aurora: Hubris, Ego and Selfish Desires and lack of empathy.

Carolyn: That we’re trapped together in the 3rd Dimension.

Jenn: 1. Other people 2. Other people’s problems 3. Probably something I did.

IFC: A lot of people I know have watched this show and realized, “Dear god, that’s me.” or “Dear god, that’s true.” Why do people have their blinders on?

Aurora: Because most people when you’re in the middle of a situation, you don’t have the perspective to step back and see yourself because you’re caught up in the moment. That’s the job of comedians is to step back and have a self-awareness about these things, not only saying “You’re doing this,” but also, “You’re not the only one doing this.” It’s a delicate balance of making people feel uncomfortable and comforting them at the same time.

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IFC: Unlike a lot of popular sketch comedy, your sketches often focus more on group dynamics vs iconic individual characters. Why do you think that is and why is it important?

Meredith: We consider the show to be more based around human dynamics, not so much characters. If anything we’re more attracted to the energy created by people interacting.

Jenn: So much of life is spent trying to work it out with other people, whether it’s at work, at home, trying to commute to work, or even on Facebook it’s pretty hard to escape the group.

IFC: Are there any comedians out there that you feel are just nailing it?

Aurora: I love Key and Peele. I know that their show is done and I’m in denial about it, but they are amazing because there were many times that I would imagine that Keegan Michael Key was in the scene while writing. If I could picture him saying it, I knew it would work. I also kind of have a crush on Jordan Peele and his performance in Big Mouth. Maya Rudolph also just makes everything amazing. Her puberty demon on Big Mouth is flawless. She did an ad for 7th generation tampons that my son, my husband and myself were singing around the house for weeks. If I could even get anything close to her career, I would be happy. I’m also back in love with Rick and Morty. I don’t know if I have a crush on Justin Roiland, I just really love Rick (maybe even more than Morty). I don’t have a crush on Jerry, the dad, but I have a crush on Chris Parnell because he’s so good at being Jerry.

Jenn: I LOVE ISSA RAE!

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IFC: If you could go back in time and cast yourselves in any sitcom, which would it be and how would it change?

Carolyn: I’d go back in time and cast us in The Partridge Family.  We’d make an excellent family band. We’d have a laugh, break into song and wear ruffled blouses with velvet jackets.  And of course travel to all our gigs on a Mondrian bus. I feel really confident about this choice.

Meredith: Electric Mayhem from The Muppet Show. It wouldn’t change, they were simply perfect, except… maybe a few more vaginas in the band.

Binge the entire first and second seasons of Baroness von Sketch Show now on IFC.com and the IFC app.

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G.I. Jeez

Stomach Bugs and Prom Dates

E.Coli High is in your gut and on IFC's Comedy Crib.

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Brothers-in-law Kevin Barker and Ben Miller have just made the mother of all Comedy Crib series, in the sense that their Comedy Crib series is a big deal and features a hot mom. Animated, funny, and full of horrible bacteria, the series juxtaposes timeless teen dilemmas and gut-busting GI infections to create a bite-sized narrative that’s both sketchy and captivating. The two sat down, possibly in the same house, to answer some questions for us about the series. Let’s dig in….

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IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a fancy network executive you just met in an elevator?

BEN: Hi ummm uhh hi ok well its like umm (gets really nervous and blows it)…

KB: It’s like the Super Bowl meets the Oscars.

IFC: How would you describe E.Coli High to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

BEN: Oh wow, she’s really cute isn’t she? I’d definitely blow that too.

KB: It’s a cartoon that is happening inside your stomach RIGHT NOW, that’s why you feel like you need to throw up.

IFC: What was the genesis of E.Coli High?

KB: I had the idea for years, and when Ben (my brother-in-law, who is a special needs teacher in Philly) began drawing hilarious comics, I recruited him to design characters, animate the series, and do some writing. I’m glad I did, because Ben rules!

BEN: Kevin told me about it in a park and I was like yeah that’s a pretty good idea, but I was just being nice. I thought it was dumb at the time.

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IFC: What makes going to proms and dating moms such timeless and oddly-relatable subject matter?

BEN: Since the dawn of time everyone has had at least one friend with a hot mom. It is physically impossible to not at least make a comment about that hot mom.

KB: Who among us hasn’t dated their friend’s mom and levitated tables at a prom?

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

BEN: There’s a lot of content now. I don’t think anyone will even notice, but it’d be cool if they did.

KB: A show about talking food poisoning bacteria is basically the same as just watching the news these days TBH.

Watch E.Coli High below and discover more NYTVF selections from years past on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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