Good Old Naughty Days
Polissons et galipettes
review by Carrie Gorringe, 20 June 2003

Seattle International Film Festival 2003

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose…If there's anything to be learned from the compilation of silent pornography entitled The Good Old Naughty Days, it's that pornography has only become more slickly packaged – and not much more compelling as a genre, ten billion dollars a year in receipts notwithstanding.   Director (name) has provided a selection of shorts, made in France between 1905 and 1925 (including, rather inexplicably, the American-made animated "classic" from 1925, Buried Treasure). 

These shorts, we are informed via subtitles, were shown at "the best brothels" (to put this in context, prostitution was legal in France until 1946, when accusations of collaboration with the Nazis put the quaintly-named maisons de tolérance out of business).  The usual cast of taboos -- especially those concerning the putative sex lives of nuns and abbots --are trotted out for observation, with a mild dash of bestiality for variety's sake.  There's even male-on-male fellatio and anal sex, two elements almost unheard of in modern heterosexual porn.

Unfortunately, the novelty of observing this heretofore unseen side of early twentieth-century sexuality soon gives way to fighting sleep;  regardless of one's personal opinions concerning the effects of porn, one has to agree that a group of films characterized by clumsy framing, irrelevant close-ups, awkward pans, and performers who keep casting glances at the camera do much to savage the very element fantasy on which the genre is built;  the "money shots" on display here seem almost an afterthought, in contrast to the slick production values inherent in their modern counterparts.  Even allowing for the amateur status of the filmmakers, the films end up generating derision and boredom. 

Seattle International Film Festival:



Directed by:
Michel Reilhac

NR - Not Rated.
This film has not
been rated.






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