May 29, 2017

How Do You Know Whether Your Film is Porn or Art? [PODCAST]

Flames
'Flames' co-directors Josephine Decker and Zefrey Throwell 'wade into intimate waters' with Ashley Connor, the DP who filmed them having real-life sex.

It’s a good thing that the No Film School podcast has a parental advisory, because this week, we’re going straight into NC-17 territory to discuss a film that opens with close-up shots of a reverse piledriver. (Google it—when you’re not at work.)

The film in question isn’t a porn…or is it? We get into that debate with the film’s co-directors, Josephine Decker and Zefrey Throwell, along with Ashley Connor, the DP who filmed them having real-life sex, among many other intimate circumstances.

“Our DP journeyed with us into the most intimate possible waters that you can journey with other people.” —Zefrey Throwell

Their collaboration is Flames, which premiered as the opening documentary at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. But whether or not the film might constitute a porn is not the only question at hand. Flames is also part of the ever-growing canon of artfully created doc-fiction hybrids that leave audiences unsure about what’s real and what’s not. In this case, even the co-directors disagree about whether the film is fictional or not in its portrayal of the real-life relationship and breakup between Decker and Throwell. In Decker’s words, it asks: How do you recover when someone breaks your heart?

No Film School's Liz Nord spoke with Decker and Ashley Connorwho also shot Decker’s previous feature films Thou Wast Mild and Lovely and Butter on the Latchand Throwell, for whom Flames is a feature debut, the day after their Tribeca premiere. We discussed the fine line between porn and art, what happens when you add a third person and a camera to your relationship, how they managed to make a cinematic-looking film on the 5D, and so much more.

Listen to the episode by streaming or downloading from the embedded player above, or find it on iTunes here.


Please subscribe and rate us on iTunesSoundcloud, or the podcasting app of your choice. You can play all of our No Film School interview episodes right here:

This episode was produced and edited by Jon Fusco.

Your Comment

6 Comments

Like it or not, pornography is an art form.
Always has been & always will be.
Let's grow the f*ck up, already.

May 29, 2017 at 4:39PM

0
Reply
avatar
Criss Cain
Writer / Director / Performer
79

Call it what you want, but porn is not art any more than prostitution is art. Perhaps subsections can be artistic, but absolutely not in the generic sense.

The gap between art and not needs to remain wide, otherwise everything is art, including crappy motel lobby pictures. When you value everything, you value nothing.

May 30, 2017 at 12:06PM

18
Reply
avatar
Jordan Mederich
Documentarian / Filmmaker
1351

Saying what's art and what's not always gets you into trouble. I think we should stick with good art vs. bad.

May 30, 2017 at 2:23PM

0
Reply
avatar
Steven Bailey
Writer/Director/Composer
901

If you have to ask this question it's prolly porn :p

May 30, 2017 at 4:51AM

0
Reply
avatar
Logan Fish
Video Journalist
278

You're better off watching Gaspar Noe's "Love".

May 30, 2017 at 12:17PM

0
Reply

I think the standard definition over porn vs. "everything else" is that at the end of porn everyone is satisfied, and of course ALL of the plot is just centered around one more way to do IT. From the trailer this hardly seems to be the case.

June 2, 2017 at 7:09PM

0
Reply
avatar
Douglas Bowker
Animation, Video, Motion-Graphics
118

Where can I see it?

July 1, 2017 at 2:41PM, Edited July 1, 2:41PM

0
Reply
avatar
Sorin
DP / photographer / director
1