Tonight at 8

TONIGHT AT 8 by Chrissie Bentley

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tonight at 8In London in the 1960s, pornography was a man’s world.

It was viewed by men, written by men, directed by men and filmed by men. If they hadn’t needed actresses to play a part on camera, it would probably have been made by men as well.

And then a woman came along, and changed that world completely.

This is her story.

The mid-1960s were the golden age of truly underground erotic film making, the last grand flowering of the trade before the progressive liberalization of the arts, the advent of new forms of technology (beginning with the VHS tape), and the mercurial success of the movie Deep Throat transformed a once deeply secretive and self-involved industry into… indeed, a mainstream industry.

TONIGHT AT 8 returns us to those halcyon days; to a gray and overcast landscape of dirty raincoats and secretive doormen, of darkened club rooms and menacing mobsters; and a square mile of seedy businessmen for whom sex films were made for fun as much as finance – at least by the people on either side of the camera.

It is the semi-fictional, but wholly truthful autobiography of one of the era’s most prolific film-makers – a XXX novella that could double as a confessional text book, but which pulls no punches in either direction.

A gripping adventure littered with powerful sex; a fearless expose shot through with honesty and emotion, then draped by a sheen of fragile, furtive eroticism, TONIGHT AT 8 tells the story of Elizabeth Clark… the eye behind the lens of some of the best-loved British porn films of the era.

Rarely more than ten minutes in length, resolutely black and white, and determinedly dirty, movies like Little Girl LostTonight At Eight and The Satanists come to life in these pages. So does the world in which they were made, a world – once again – of dirty raincoats and secretive doormen, of darkened club rooms and menacing mobsters. And sex so hot that it melts the celluloid.

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