Writing Alum Sam Benjamin Discusses a ‘Brief History of Porn’

Brief history of porn

Sam Benjamin lectures on a brief history of porn at USC on Thursday.

There's another side to the Hollywood film industry that rarely makes the headlines in Variety. The adult film (pornography) business generally stays under the radar though it generates billions of dollars annually through various revenue streams—from pay-per-view to cable TV to the Internet.

Many people find the genre seamy or distasteful; others view it as a business. But CalArts alumnus Sam Benjamin (Writing MFA 05) examines porn as an art form and places it in an historical context in his just-released book American Gangbang: A Love Story (Simon and Schuster, 2011).

The book is also a memoir based on Benjamin's personal experience as a director and performer in LA's adult film industry.

Tomorrow evening (Nov. 17), Benjamin delivers a guest lecture—A Brief History of Pornat USC's School of Cinematic Arts. The multimedia presentation is designed to "outline the roots and evolution of contemporary pornography, finding as its origin the Roadshow films of the 1940s, the nudist films of the 1950s, and the shock-oriented 'exploitation' films of the '60s." Other topics covered will include production value, geographical locus, technology and narrative.

Benjamin's lecture also traverses 1970s “Porno Chic” to the video-revolution of the 1980s, using short non-explicit clips to accompany his talk.

The book is based on Benjamin's thesis work as a CalArts MFA Writing Student, and he'll be introduced by his CalArts mentor Jon Wagner, Critical Studies faculty and former Director of the the MFA Writing Program, who serves as Visiting Professor of Film Theory at USC this semester.

A Brief History of Porn: Lecture by Sam Benjamin
The Ray Stark Family Theatre
George Lucas Building, School of Cinematic Arts 108
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles
Thursday, Nov. 17
7 pm

Free admission and open to the public.

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)

 

Be the first to comment!