Shooting Porn | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

Shooting Porn 

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SHOOTING PORN, Theatre Building. Unashamed smut peddling, this 90-minute dramatization of Ronnie Larsen's 70-minute 1996 documentary explores the good, the bad, and the ugly in erotic filmmaking. In the spirit of Making Porn, Larsen's 1995 theater piece about turning sex into celluloid, Shooting Porn contrasts televised "shoots" with confessionals, delivered by a cast that includes porn-video hunk Jason Branch, the audience-fondling J.T. Sloan, and Chicago sex star Peter Dixon.

Inevitably explicit anecdotes describe enemas gone wrong, erections gone soft, and "stunt dicks." The script's testimonies, sometimes delivered in the nude, feature demonstrations of anal hygiene and talk about faking climactic "reaction shots." We hear opinions on the malleability of sexuality, the political correctness of depicting an uncoerced penetration, and the stupidity of drugs. Simulated photo sessions testify to the tedium of the trade.

At best this expose suggests the genial goofiness of Boogie Nights; at worst it makes you wish for the authenticity and spontaneity of the documentary, whose interviewees earned their observations. Motormouth writer-director-performer Larsen plays drag diva Chi Chi LaRue, providing cheesy commentary on the already lewd subject matter. A Divine look-alike, Larsen hits a personal low when he gorges on fried chicken to a Dreamgirls ballad, spitting out mouthfuls and tossing half-eaten pieces at the audience. (This critic got a wing and a thigh.) Thirty bucks gets you a lot less theater than it used to.

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