Conferences

Turn on the Red Light! The Very First Steps of Italian Porn (with Federico Zecca)

Date: October 15th, 2014

Seminar: Birmingham City University – Screen Cultures Seminar, Birmingham Centre for Media and Cultural Research

In Search of the Wild Kingdom: Note sul porno queer contemporaneo.
Date: October 2nd, 2014
Conference: “De Pasolini à Robert Lepage et John Grant. Le point de vue queer en littérature, au cinéma, dans les graphic novels et dans la chanson”, Université Catholique de Louvain – GLOBALIT (2, 3, 4 October, 2014 Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium).

Abstract:
A partire circa dal 2002, con la creazione del sito NoFauxxx (in seguito rinominato Indie Porn Revolution), l’etichetta “queer porn” ha cominciato a circolare all’interno del porno alternativo statunitense. A metà strada tra artigianato indie e attivismo, il porno queer americano si è venuto configurando negli anni come una precisa nicchia di mercato che ruota essenzialmente intorno a due case di produzione californiane – la Trouble Films di Courtney Trouble, creatrice dello stesso Indie Porn Revolution, e la Pink and White Productions di Shine Louise Houston – e ai loro canali di aggregazione e distribuzione online.
In questo intervento cercherò di tracciare una mappa del queer porn (commerciale) americano, analizzando la struttura produttiva e distributiva dei suoi due principali poli creativi, le caratteristiche linguistico-rappresentative di alcuni film e video ascrivibili a questo preciso sotto-genere, e la loro ricezione critica online. L’idea è quella di contestualizzare la produzione porno queer all’interno delle geografie del porno contemporaneo, indagando i modi attraverso cui il queer porn si relaziona con altri nuclei di significato a esso contigui (il porno femminista, il fair trade porn, la militanza, la pratica artistica), e i processi di contaminazione e migrazione che lo legano alla complessa (ed evanescente) categoria del cosiddetto porno mainstream.

Girls Will Be Girls! Piccola storia del porno femminista.

Date: September 27th, 2014

Seminar: “Identità, Corpi, Desideri”, within the event “Il Tempo delle Donne” (Palazzo della Triennale, 26, 27, 28 September 2014, Milan, Italy), organized by Il Corriere della Sera, with Irene Cao (writer), Le Ragazze del Porno (directors), Alessia Rastelli and Elena tebano (journalists, Il Corriere della Sera), Anna Gaia Marchioro (comedian).

We waste our time so you don’t have to: Forms and functions of porn criticism

Date: September 25th, 2014

Seminar: CESAU Porn Seminar – University of Aarhus (Denmark)

Take a walk look on the wild side: (Contemporary) porn criticism

Date: June 2nd, 2014

Research Seminar – Centre for Research in Media and Cultural Studies, University of Sunderland

Cabaret Desire: Critical Reception of Feminist Porn

Date: May 30th, 2014

Seminar: Sex Critical Approaches to Pornography, Middlesex University, London

Abstract

This paper aims at understanding the ways in which feminist porn cultural intermediaries and producers use film criticism, and a circuit of festivals and awards to establish the feminist porn canon and to mark difference from a general idea of mainstream pornography conceived as “the world of sameness”.

Link: http://www.criticalsexology.org.uk/wp/2014-2/

Successive Slidings of Pleasure: The Birth of Italian Porn (with Federico Zecca)

Date: April 11th, 2014

Conference: XII MAGIS – Gorizia International Film Studies Spring School (5th-11th April 2014, DAMS Gorizia, University of Udine)

Take a Walk Look on the Wild Side. La critica del porno (contemporaneo)

Date: February 19th, 2014

Conference: CRITICA 2.0. Industria culturale, consumi, forme di influenza (18th-19th February 2014, Department of History of Arts, University of Bologna).

Abstract:

Italian

Come tutti gli altri prodotti culturali, anche la pornografia audiovisiva è sottoposta a un proprio (specifico) apparato di orientamento dei consumi e di “regolazione” del gusto. Già dal momento della sua legittimazione sulla scena pubblica durante gli anni Settanta del Novecento, infatti, il porno è diventato a tutti gli effetti un oggetto passibile di giudizio critico (oltre che, ovviamente, un bersaglio perfetto per sanzioni di tipo morale). Sporadicamente, questo giudizio è stato esercitato su media cosiddetti “mainstream”: basti pensare al seminale articolo del New York Times datato 21 gennaio 1973, in cui Ralph Blumenthal commentando Deep Throat coniava il fortunato termine “porno chic”. Molto più spesso, invece, la critica del porno è stata esercitata attraverso mezzi di comunicazione legati a doppio filo con l’industria stessa, come nel caso della pionieristica rubrica “The Erotic Screen”, curata da Susie Bright sul magazine Penthouse Forum a partire dal 1986.
Dopo la massimizzazione dell’accesso alla pornografia conseguita alla svolta digitale, anche le sue “agenzie” critiche si sono moltiplicate, dando vita a un panorama molto più variegato e complesso. Gli organi d’informazione/valutazione emanati direttamente dalle grandi corporazioni dell’adult entertainment (come AVN o XBiz, ad esempio) sono stati infatti affiancati da vere e proprie “autorità indipendenti” (come la ex columnist del San Francisco Chronicle, Violet Blue) e da una galassia di istituzioni critiche di tipo grassroots/subculturale.
Questo intervento si propone di compiere una prima mappatura delle diverse forme e funzioni che la porno-critica assume nel contemporaneo ambiente digitale, cercando in particolare di capire: quali relazioni esse instaurino con le audience (in termini di condizionamento dei consumi, ad esempio); in che modo possano influenzare la produzione (ad esempio creando forme di “canonizzazione” dei sotto-generi e delle tendenze); e in quale misura possano influire su una più generalizzata comprensione della pornografia nella sfera culturale tout court.

English

This paper aims at mapping the different forms and functions that “porn critics” has in contemporary digital environment, through a survey of the main critical agencies related to contemporary pornography (websites and DVD reviews, critical authorities, feminist and queer critics). What relationship critical agencies establish with porn audiences? Are they really able to influence porn consumption? Or porn production? To what extent they contribute to the canonization of trends and sub-genres? Can they influence the general cultural understanding of pornography?

 

Mapping (European) Pornographies

Date: January 10th, 2014

Conference: MeCCSA Annual Conference 2014 (Bournemouth University, 8th-10th January 2014)

Abstract:

This paper aims at describing the essential methodological and theoretical guidelines of a long-term research project devoted to the compilation of a Cartography of Pornographic Audio-visual that it has been developed since 2011, within the context of the Porn Studies Section of the MAGIS – International Film Studies Spring School of Gorizia. The project is grounded on the acknowledgement that a thorough analysis of the national and/or regional distinctive features of pornography is really important in order to achieve a deeper and more complex understanding of pornography itself as a cultural form. On one hand, in fact, the project aims to reconstruct the historical variables (on an institutional, social, and technological level) that define the cultural existence of pornographic audiovisuals, thereby establishing the conditions that actually make them possible. On the other, the project aims at tracing the geographical constants (on a sociological, economic, and linguistic level) that distinguish the different pornographic audiovisuals in terms of national (or regional) identity. The main objective of the project, therefore, is to map the several morphological expressions (and transformations) that pornographic audiovisuals have undergone during their historical evolution and geographical differentiation. In this paper, I will describe the developments of this research project and its specific achievements regarding European pornographies, thereby placing it in relation to the Italian tradition of academic research on pornography.

Vedo nudo! Italian cineromanzi of the 1970s

Date: November 17th, 2013

Conference: Cine Excess VII. European Erotic Cinema: Identity, Desire and Disgust” (MAC Birmingham, 15th-17th November 2013)

That Obscure Object of Desire

Date: October 24th, 2013

Guest lecture at the University for Applied Sciences, Potsdam

Abstract:

The representation of female pleasure can be considered as the bête noire of heterosexual audio-visual pornography. Mysterious, lacking of “evident” proof, possibly infinite and almost impossible to depict, female pleasure has gone through several figurative and narrative displacements to be included in the pornographic mise-en-scène, being either metonymically transferred to the performers’ faces, or metaphorically signified by the hyper-fetishization of the “visible truth” of male pleasure in the so-called money shot. Yet, since the rise of netporn, a new feature has appeared that really seems to be a compelling embodiment of the very nature of female pleasure, even though through a definitely male and phallic appearance. Halfway between a perfect instrument of pleasure and a do-it-yourself “divertissement” for boys, the Fucking Machine proves to be capable of (at least potentially) endless and infallible performances, and thus likely to defy the linear and “finite” masculine notion of pleasure as “petit mort”. In this lecture, I will analyse the Fucking Machine as a peculiar feature of contemporary pornographic (audio-visual) representation, as well as a symbolic formation and a “real” object, trying to relate its distinctive characteristic to the (feminist) sexological interpretations of female sexual pleasure as circular and potentially infinite.

Belladonna’s Strapped Dykes between mainstream and queer

Date: October 23rd, 2013

Seminar: EXPLIZIT! Perspektiven der Porn Studies (Explicit! Perspectives of Porn Studies, University of Applied Sciences, Potsdam).

Description:

In this lecture, based on my article Grotesque Empowerment, I have analysed the 2009 film Belladonna’s Strapped Dykes as an example of queer gonzo, and as a very interesting case of overlapping between the notions of indie/alt/queer and corporate/mainstream.

Le donne nel porno

Date: October 11th, 2013

Roundtable: “Il corpo (virtuale) delle donne” (Internet Festival 2013, Pisa 10th-13th October 2013), with Alessia Rastelli, Claudia Vago, Jasmina Tešanović, Emma Pietrafesa, Massimiliano Filoni, Vanja Buzzini.

URL:

http://www.internetfestival.it/eventi/il-corpo-virtuale-delle-donne/?lang=en

Il personale è politico! Film erotico e ’68

Date: May 8th, 2013

Conference: Cinema e impegno civile (The University for Foreigners of Perugia – Department of Social Sciences, May 8th, 2013).

Abstract:

Italian
In questo intervento si cercheranno di tracciare delle linee di continuità tra film erotico e film impegnato, all’interno della produzione cinematografica italiana di fine anni Sessanta. Innanzitutto si porrà l’attenzione sulla difficoltà che comporta la definizione stessa di cinema erotico e la conseguente individuazione di un corpus di opere coerente. In secondo luogo, si accenneranno alcune indicazioni “storiche” sulla sessualizzazione dei media durante gli anni sessanta e sul rapporto che questo meccanismo di liberalizzazione ha intrattenuto con le trasformazioni sociali seguite al boom economico. Infine, si tenteranno di analizzare i principali movimenti di “migrazione” (tematica, stilistica o produttiva in senso stretto) tra film impegnato e film erotico, considerando alcune pellicole di (vago) sapore “sessantottesco”, da Grazie, zia (Salvatore Samperi, 1968), a Plagio (Sergio Capogna, 1969).

Identity Porn: Or, the Sexiness of a 'Real' Self

Date: January 26th, 2013

Conference: Explizit! – Perspektiven um Pornografie zu verhandeln (Explicit! – Coming to terms with Pornography, University of Applied Sciences, Potsdam, 25th-26th January 2013).

W-I-P: Women in Porn

Date: June 4th, 2012

Round table:“Queer Studies & Porn Studies” (II Sicilia Queer Film Fest, Palermo 1st-7th June 2012), with Massimo Fusillo (University of L’Aquila), Giulio Iacoli (University of Parma), Gian Piero Piretto (University of Milan), Federico Zecca (University of Udine).

URL:

http://www.siciliaqueerfilmfest.it/2013/it/notizie/14-festival-it/131-on-line-il-catalogo-2012-del-sicilia-queer-

Italian Cineromanzi of the Seventies: Intermedial Relationships, Exploitation and Decline of the “Popular”

Date: April 23rd, 2012

Conference: X MAGIS – International Film Studies Spring School (Gorizia 23rd-29th March 2012), University of Udine; workshop “Post-Cinema: videogame/animation/comics.”

Abstract:

This paper aims at tracing a the origin of the Italian sexy cineromanzi of the 1970s, considering them as a feature of Italian (highly sexualised) popular culture of the time, underlining the mutual exchange they maintain with contemporary adult magazines and comics (such as Men, Playmen, King, Kent or Isabella, Goldrake, etc.) and contemporary (mostly European and American) exploitation. Through the analysis of a few case studies, this paper will also describe some of the translation strategies through which exploitation films are “transformed” in sexy photo-stories.

Il pocket erotico italiano

Date: October 28th, 2011

Round Table: “Comic Talks VI: Video Killed Pornofumetto Star. Il destino del fumetto erotico, nell’era di Internet, è segnato per sempre?” (Lucca Comics and Games 2011, 28th October-1st November 2011), with Laura Scarpa (author and publisher), Mp5 (author), Sara Pavan (author).

URL:

http://lucca2011.luccacomicsandgames.

Furry Girl e le altre. Identità e imprenditorialità femminile nel porno alternative

Date: May 21st, 2011

Conference: Esodi dalle Passioni Tristi (Pisa, San Michele degli Scalzi 21st-22nd May 2011).

 

Cinesex. Una prospettiva di studio per i cineromanzi della 'decadenza'

Date: February 12th, 2010

Doctoral lecture: Ph.D. Course in Cinema, Music and Theatre held by Prof. Giacomo Manzoli (University of Bologna).

 

When Porn Meets Identity: Self-representation, Art and Niche Market in Alternative Porn

Date: July 2nd, 2009

Roundtable: “Pornographie et usage des stéréotypes”, II Film Studies Summer School (Paris, Université Sorbonne Nouvelle – Paris 3, 29th June-10th July 2009).

Pornscapes. Re-enacting Porn Film in the Landscapes of Contemporary Pornography
Date: April 30th, 2009

Workshop: “Cinema and Visual Arts”, VII MAGIS – International Film Studies Spring School (27th March-2nd April 2009, DAMS Gorizia, University of Udine).

Abstract:

The definition of pornographic genre as being a feature length film with non-simulated explicit sex scenes, whose archetypal form may be found in Deep Throat (Gerard Damiano, 1972), tends to be reductive and defective especially when considering the changes of use and production contemporary hard-core cinema has undergone.
From the net to mobile phones, from click and surf to sex blogs, moving-image pornography is becoming a more and more multiform and highly pervasive subject matter being fed with the most varied sexual imaginaries, thus providing the spectator with an unprecedented accessibility.
This paper aims at tracing the lines of this process of re-enactment involving hard-core feature length narrative in nowadays media landscape, considering its permanent features as well as its transformations within contemporary pornographies, referring to narrative strategies, practices of use and stereotypes related to sexuality.
Within the impossibility of a full and extensive analysis of the whole home video and net porn universe, the comparison between new and archetypal forms will be conducted through case studies, exploring mainstream web production as well as indie porn (independent pornography out of big economical interests) and the works of artists who use explicit sexuality as their means of expression.
The main methodological references are Linda Williams studies on hard-core film pornography as well as the recent essay on contemporary pornography by Emanuela Ciuffoli, XXX. Corpo, porno, web (Costa & Nolan, 2006) whose interdisciplinary approach proves to be necessary for such a heterogeneous matter.