Sunday, September 22, 2013

Linda Lovelace - The Truth Behind The Camera.

There are many things that can be said about the porn industry. Some say that is conveys sexual freedom for both men and women, some feel it's degrading towards women and is very anti-feminist. I think both sides of the fence make an interesting case, but for me it's a grey area. Everyone has watched porn, and everyone has been turned on by porn one way or another, let's get that pink elephant out of the room right now. But while I have seen porn, it isn't what happens on screen that interests me so much, it's what happens behind the camera that really intrigues me. I have always been interested in understanding what makes someone get into pornography; whether it is being a film maker, a casting director, or being the star of the show. How do they feel about being in this industry? What affects them during the film making process and then after? I have watched a few documentaries and done a little research on this, but when given the opportunity to read a script of an unmade film on Linda Lovelace, I couldn't help but be extremely excited. I have found that the pop culture surrounding Linda Lovelace is misguided, and I was included in that misguided mass hysteria, who had been given the wrong information. But once researching, and reading a script by Eric Danville, my opinion of Lovelace definitely changed for the better. Danville is an author of the only officially authorized biography on Linda Lovelace entitled The Complete Linda Lovelace.

Eric Danville worked closely with Lovelace to write this book, and was then asked to write a film script on the biography. And even though a film script will obviously leave out things that are in the book, this script felt authentic, and it was a very raw read. I love reading screenplays, and I used to do it out of passing the time when I was a lot younger, but really reading a script and getting to express my views on it, was just too good to pass up. This film script is remarkably written. It is very simple and to the point, so much so the imagery is very vivid. This isn't a script that is trying to be 'artsy', it isn't trying to be anything but honest and that's exactly what it is. When you have brutally honest imagery when you read, the writer has definitely done their job in conveying emotions, scenarios and overall a 'voice'.

Throughout Danville's script we see Lovelace start off as a seemingly shy girl when it comes to sex, with a strict upbringing who wants nothing more than to break free from her mother. And she does, and she runs to the arms of Chuck Traynor. It's very clear early on in the story that Traynor knows he can manipulate and mold Lovelace to do exactly what he wants. They have financial issues so he pushes Linda into doing things she isn't comfortable with and all the while belittling her because of the reasons why she doesn't want to. And as the story unfolds it's as if she becomes quite numb to what is going on and what is asked of her. And once the release of 'Deep Throat' is out there for everyone to see, Linda Lovelace becomes the poster girl of a sexual revolution, and she becomes bigger than what she or Traynor ever thought possible.

One of the main focuses of the script is the relationship between Linda Lovelace and her husband Chuck Traynor. I had read up on mixed accounts on what went on in their emotionally and physically abusive marriage.  I had a very vague and narrow minded opinion on Lovelace because I believed whatever people had wrote about her. Now that I have grown up a lot and done some deeper digging I realised how unfair I was being in voicing my misguided opinion on her. While reading Danville's script I couldn't help but have to pause for a couple of minutes and get myself together emotionally; which I had to do several times. As a woman you are reading about things you would never want to happen to you, so it's confronting, and you can't help but feel sad for how alone Lovelace must have felt. The more I read on, the more emotionally invested I felt, and I could even feel myself partially trapped emotionally just like Linda Lovelace was in her marriage to Traynor. You can see through the script how he evolves, and how he gives her just a few little gems of hope that he will change and love her the way he is meant to. There are discussions on whether Lovelace liked to be treated how she was, maybe she got a kick out of it? Sure there are people like that who loved to be dominated in every kind of way, but I think you need to be on a different level emotionally to do that and I don't think Lovelace was. Sure she might have liked a dominant man, but he put her in positions she wasn't comfortable being in, and forced her into a profession she didn't originally seek out, and that backfired on him in a way. Why? When you put effort into someone and they become bigger and more successful than what you anticipated, there is only so much of them you will be able to control until they realise they have more power and control than you do. And she finally had that power and control over herself to finally leave and begin living a life she deserved to.

I won't lie I always mocked Lovelace when she back peddled on the industry that made her a household name. I felt that she was happy getting all the acclaim and notoriety during a period you couldn't help but talk about her and the film 'Deep Throat'. But as soon as that died down, she just all of a sudden decided that whenever you watched 'Deep Throat' you were watching her getting raped. I thought that was a bit extreme especially after I watched the film because to me it just seemed like one big joke. I really wasn't even sure what all the hype was about. But now growing up and becoming a woman and understanding a little more about the porn industry, there is a lot that could have gone on behind the scenes that we will never know. And at that time not knowing what was actually going on in her private life, just made me seem all the more ignorant. But doing valid research it has made my opinion drastically change. People might see Linda Lovelace as a joke and a liar but just because a big group of people are going to say those things it doesn't make it true. I just think a lot of us tend to believe what is spoonfed to us.

Eric Danville has a real talent for writing, and even thought this is just a script, you can see the talent ooze from every line. He understands how to make a script feel 'human', and his words just connect with the reader so well. The script was an easy read in terms of the structure which made it very easy for the visuals to come naturally and it isn't one of those scripts where there's filler to eat up time, every scene written was valuable to the story. If this was ever made into a film I could just see it having this 'Exploitation' vibe about it, because it's gritty, it's honest and at times very seedy, and I just couldn't imagine a glossy biopic, because if it was shot in that way I would say it would lose a lot of it's substance. Linda Lovelace is an engaging read, so if any of you are interested, it's available for $3 be sure to check it out here. And if you are intrigued about finding out about it's writer check out Eric Danville's Tumblr page http://thecompletelindalovelace.com/












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