Smut, Refreshed for a New Generation

Jan 24, 2014
Adult Business News
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BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — Between a detention center and a post office here, there’s a large, unremarkable building on a corner. Other than a few parked cars near a loading dock, there’s not much life outside its off-white walls. But walk through the rickety front door and up the concrete stairs, and what’s inside makes the old Times Square look like Mayberry: thousands of boxes filled to overflowing with sexually explicit films and artifacts.

Welcome to the home of Vinegar Syndrome, founded in 2012 by Joe Rubin and Ryan Emerson to catalog, restore and help release old X-rated films for the home video and theatrical markets. (“Vinegar syndrome” refers to what film smells like when it starts to decay.) The company, which takes up only about a third of the 47,000-square-foot building, plans to introduce a new generation to lost and forgotten films from what’s considered the golden age of American hard-core filmmaking, roughly 1969 to 1986.

“Yes, the films are X-rated,” Mr. Emerson said. “But many of them are interesting and fascinating once you get into them. These films are time capsules.”

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The market for this material is small, but among collectors, there is a “fierce competition and a strong desire to own, preserve and reclaim erotic history,” said Mark Rotenberg, who collects and sells pornographic material. Demand is strong for ephemera like posters and photographs. The Chisholm Larsson Gallery in Chelsea sells a few such posters a month, with an average price of about $250, said Robert Chisholm, an owner.

Vintage pornography is also having a moment at repertory movie theaters and mainstream museums. An exhibition now at the Museum of Sex in Manhattan is devoted to the actress Linda Lovelace, who starred in the 1972 film “Deep Throat.” Closing Sunday, at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, is the first American museum show to feature the homoerotic works of the illustrator Touko Laaksonen, a.k.a. Tom of Finland (1920-91), and the photographer Bob Mizer (1922-92). Last year, the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco hosted “X: The History of a Film Rating,” a film series that included showings of “Last Tango in Paris” and “Midnight Cowboy.”

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Smut, Refreshed for a New Generation | The Rob Black Website
6 years ago

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Ernest Greene
Ernest Greene
6 years ago

Nice to know that someone is working to preserve these historic artifacts, though to those of us who have been here long enough, the golden age of porn wasn’t all that shiny. We make better pictures now. In twenty years, the golden age of porn will turn out to be 1990 – 2000.

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