LOS ANGELES—One of the most valuable (and free) subscriptions that movie lovers in the Los Angeles area can have is to the weekly emailing from FilmRadar, and this week, it noted an upcoming event that might be of interest to the adult entertainment community and its fans. It's called "The History of Silent Porn," and is being presented at Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre next Friday.
While the blurb on Cinefamily's website is none too clear about what will happen at the event, it will at least be a release party for The Good Inn, a graphic novel written by Black Francis, lead vocalist for the still-active '80s band Pixies, and his collaborator Josh Frank, and illustrated by Steven Appleby.
According to U.S. publisher HarperCollins' website, the graphic novel starts with an explosion aboard the French battleship Iéna, whose nitrocellulose-based "gunpowder" became unstable with age (as nitroglycerin tends to do) and self-ignited, killing 120 people.
The novel focuses on the saga of one survivor of the explosion, referred to only as "Soldier Boy," who, still shell-shocked, wanders around the French countryside, "Navigating past homicidal gypsies, combative soldiers and porn-peddling peasants, he takes refuge in a secluded inn, where he finds himself centre stage in the making of the world's first narrative pornographic film," according to the novel's UK publisher SelfMadeHero.
"Through his journey we explore the power of memory, the simultaneously destructive and restorative power of light, and how the early pioneers of pornography helped shape the film industry for generations to come," the much-less-graphic HarperCollins site promises.
What's less than clear about the Cinefamily offering is just what early silent porn will be shown on its screen, though the blurb on their site does say there'll be "dramatic readings from The Good Inn (featuring special guest actors), as well as a guided tour through the underground playground of vintage silent pornography: a sampler of naughty filmic amuse-bouches that’ll tickle deviants and schoolmarms alike."
Hopefully, some of those "special guest actors" will be veteran (or new) porn stars, but in any case, this sounds like it just might be a porn historian's dream event.
Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre is located at 611 N. Fairfax Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036. The screening is free for Cinefamily members, and $12 for non-members. Tickets can be purchased here.