“MONDO HOMO”— French Gay Porn In the ‘70s

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“MONDO HOMO”

French Gay Porn In the ‘70s

Amos Lassen

Try to remember back to the 1970s when most of the gay porn available to us was imported from France; when there were no condoms and no shaved trimmed pubes. “Mondo Homo” is a documentary filled with nostalgia and takes us back to some wonderfully artistic films and some very filthy ones. Obviously they were made by horny directors who take a simple visit to the doctor and make it wildly erotic.

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We saw fantasies of all sorts starring men of all nationalities, sizes and colors. It was the imaginations of the filmmakers that made porn what it was and now these same people reflect on their productions and what was then known as underground cinema. The productions were crude and carried tiles such as “Young Prey for Bad Boys” and “Hand Balling” (no more discreet than say “Shaving Ryan’s Privates” or “Forrest Rump”). And we the viewers where so glad to see our sexuality on the big screen. The porn provocateurs took their cues from the masters of the “Nouvelle Vague” as they shot outdoors and on locations. They adheres to the motto of La Belle France, “liberty, equality, and fraternity” and indeed help to kick off the gay liberation movement while introducing audiences to water sports, facials, and fisting (in a scene rejected by censors as “an affront to human decency”). 
This is both  a fascinating look back at an important chapter in gay porn history and a total turn-on with its archival clips of “orgiastic writhing among big bears, leather daddies, and tender hooligans”.

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Between 1975 and 1983 a new kind of film could be seen in French cinema— homegrown gay pornography. They were essentially the work of three production companies: Les films de La Troika (Norbert Terry), AMT Productions (Anne-Marie Tensi) and Les Films du Vertbois (principally Jacques Scandelari). The genre met an untimely end with the advent of video, the last being made in 1983 ‘Mon ami, mon amour (My friend, my lover)’. The films were shot in 16mm and most of them were passed and given certificates by the CNC (National Cinema Centre). They were screened in a small number of Parisian cinemas dedicated to gay pornographic film—- Le Dragon, La Marotte and Le Hollywood Boulevard as well as several in the provinces. Sexy, sexual and oftentimes very explicit, “Mondo Homo” shows the progression of pornography as it builds from soft-core to fetish. An interesting history lesson here is told by many men who are still around to tell us how it was.  For people into history, the filmmakers uncovered a lot of early scenes from film archives and this certainly is a great way to see some of the roots of pornography, much of which crossed over to the United States.

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“Mondo Homo” is the result of five years of painstaking research and investigation. It features extensive interviews with the directors and actors illustrated by numerous extracts from their films. This is an opportunity to discover the hitherto forgotten yet memorable story of the pioneers of French gay cinema.

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