Black and White and Blue

Black_White_Blue
published September 2007

PLAYBOY: Thirty-five years after its taboo-busting release, 1972’s Deep Throat is still the most iconic symbol of the adult film world. The movie raked in an unprecedented $25 million in theaters (unrivaled to this day for a pornographic film). It introduced fellatio into popular culture (paving the way for Bill and Monica). Perhaps most trenchant, it ushered in the modern age of porn cinema. Make no mistake, the present day, silicone-jiggly, multi-billion dollar porn industry owes much to director Gerald Damino’s erotic breakthrough. In many ways, Deep Throat was the beginning of porn as we know it.

Interesting, then, that author Dave Thompson opts to end his latest book, Black and White and Blue: Adult Cinema from the Victorian Age to the VCR, with the release of Deep Throat. Thompson tells the tale of what led up to the modern age of erotic cinema, surveying the fascinating, dark, backroom cultural history of stag films before the arrival of Linda Lovelace and Harry Reems. Black and White and Blue traces the earliest pornographic movies — grainy, silent, hardcore, contraband productions dating all the way back to the early 1900s. Thompson estimates that 1,500 to 1,700 American stag films (hardcore porn made before the late 1960s) still exist. It is likely, he posits, that a vast number of films either vanished due to the decay of time or were destroyed by the morality police. “It is only in recent years that society has become concerned with preserving every possible facet of its entertainment past,” writes Thompson. “No matter how worthless or sordid it may once have seemed.”

Thompson goes a long way in contributing to the cultural study of dirty movies. With a pedigree in rock music books (U2, David Bowie, Deep Purple), his latest, while ostensibly a scholarly dissertation on the history of stag films, is written with a certain punk aplomb. Black and White and Blue shines when Thompson tracks down and interviews the little old ladies who starred in the pictures of porn past and when he tells the story behind milestones in the genre’s history, such as the dubious achievement of the first golden shower captured on celluloid. While Black and White and Blue is not quite mainstream pop culture fare, neither is the subject it covers. Still, cultural historians will delight in Thompson’s tale, and hardcore porn purists will finally learn what set the stage for Deep Throat.

Other reviews

Black and White and Blue was positively reviewed in the September 27, 2007 edition of the Tucson Citizen (circ. 25,987). Reviewer Larry Cox called the book, “highly readable” and gave it an A grade. The entire review can be read HERE.

Black and White and Blue was briefly reviewed in the September 20, 2007 edition of the Montreal Mirror (circ. 57,157). They said, “It’s like Boogie Nights for the cerebral.” The entire review can be read HERE(scroll down to “Is it art?”).

Dave Thompson was interviewed on WRIF’s “Drew and Mike Show” on September 25 at 11:30am ET. WRIF is a Detroit radio station.

Dave Thompson was interviewed on WMET’s “The Greaseman Show” on Monday, September 24 at 10:00am ET. WMET is a Washington D.C. radio station.

Black and White and Blue was positively reviewed in the September 19, 2007 issue of Philadelphia Weekly (circ. 127,000). Reviewer Brian McManus said, “you can sift through all the things that get your rocks off while getting a history lesson at the same time.” Read the entire review HERE

Dave Thompson is quoted extensively in a Vue Weekly (circ. 24,172) article about Black and White and BlueVue Weekly is an Edmonton, AB alternative weekly. Read the entire article HERE .

Black and White and Blue was positively reviewed on The A.V. Club Web site. Reviewer Noel Murray called the book, “enlightening, and entertaining.” Read the full review here

Black and White and Blue was positively reviewed on B-Scared.com, a website devoted to the underworld of cinema. Reviewer Grand Guignol wrote, “this book is fabulously researched and makes for stimulating reading . . . It is a serious but not stuffy look at erotic filmmaking’s history in America and abroad” and gives the book a rating of 4 1/2 stars out of 5. The entire review can be read HERE.

Playboy.com (1,880,921 visitors per month) has posted a very positive review of Black and White and Blue. Reviewer Sam Weller says, “cultural historians will delight in Thompson’s tale, and hardcore porn purists will finally learn what set the stage for Deep Throat.” The entire review can be read HERE.

The September 7 edition of The Naughty American included an article about Black and White and Blue. Dave Thompson was quoted throughout. The Naughty American (“TNA”) is a daily news and entertainment site that aims to publish compelling news and commentary by tapping into the zeitgeist of American popular culture and alternative news. The entire article can be read HERE.

Black and White and Blue has been positively reviewed on TCM Reviews, an online book review site. Reviewer Tristan Parrish wrote, “This book is an intriguing, well thought out, and excellent history of the stag film, from Victorian times to the late 1970s.” The entire review can be readHERE

Sex Web, a blog about sexuality written by two SexTV producers, includes an article about Black and White and Blue. Dave Thompson is quoted. Read the entire article HERE

Black and White and Blue has been positively reviwed by the nth Position website. Reviewer Tom Ruffles calls it “a stimulating and very readable account of a large number of films which whatever one thinks of them are an important part of our heritage.” Read the entire review HERE

Black and White and Blue has been positively reviewed in Big O (acronym for Before I Get Old), a Singapore-based rock magazine. Reviewer Philip Cheah says, “Thompson’s trail of sex film history is fascinating.” Read the entire review HERE(scroll down).

Dave Thompson was interviewed by Ginger Lynn and Christy Canyon on Playboy Radio’s “Night Calls” on Monday, September 10 at 7:30pm ET.

Black and White and Blue was featured in Publishers Weekly’s (circ. 23,253) July 9, 2007 cover story about erotica. The article included the cover image and editor Jennifer Hale is quoted.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s