Saturday, August 20, 2011

Meet the Neighbours: christine makepeace of Paracinema

Hello all! This summer was a wild one for me, and blogging took a backseat unfortunately. But I’m back with a bang! Here for your reading pleasure is an interview with the delightful christine makepeace, editor of Paracinema magazine, and overlord of their various dominions. I have been a fan of christine’s magazine and blog for some time, but when she started taking an interest in pornography, well, I had to get her here for an interview. Enjoy!


Tell us about yourself! Who are you, and what has led you to this point in life/work?

This is always my least favorite part! I am co-editor of the genre film magazine, Paracinema. I dabble in podcasting and various forms of social media marketing. Mostly though, I’m a writer. Whether it be blogs or scripts, as long as I’m writing, I don’t really care about the format or subject matter. That being said, my heart belongs to film analysis.

You run the magazine, Paracinema, as well as its blog What were your initial goals when you started the magazine? How has it taken shape? Where do you want to take it in the future?

Paracinema was born from a grudge. As petty as that sounds, it’s totally true! I had been doing some freelance work for a magazine and suddenly found myself getting screwed over left and right. In what has become my typical response, I thought, “I can do this better!” And just like that, organically and rather naively, Paracinema began to take shape. The format of the magazine came more from necessity than anything else. There was no way we could compete with larger niche magazines and in time we decided we didn’t want to. Our goal was to create something that transcended genres and didn’t make assumptions about “cinephiles.” I think we’ve accomplished that! Now the challenge is to get it into as many hands as possible.
I’ll do it as long as people are interested.

An exciting development with the blog is your new feature "Porn as Paracinema." Considering the majority of "mainstream" film sites/magazines/media in general act as though pornography doesn't exist or matter as a genre, what prompted you to start this series of reviews?

For exactly that reason! My knowledge of pornography remains limited. That being said, I know enough to know that there is an unnecessary stigma surrounding the genre as a whole.

The magazine’s name, Paracinema, is an academic term coined by Jeffery Sconce. His defines “paracinema” by listing off the red-headed stepchildren of film (horror, sci-fi, etc.) and goes on to add “just about every other historical manifestation of exploitation cinema from juvenile delinquency documentaries to ... pornography.”

That has always stuck with me. Pornography is vilified and treated as something that should be hidden away in the shadows. Why not treat it as just another film genre? Why not write about it as one would write about The Texas Chain Saw Massacre? Perhaps my initial interest came from rebellion!

You started out your reviews by covering 21st century porn parodies -- why did you decide to start out with this sub-genre, and in what direction do you plan to take the series next?

I think there are a few answers to this question. Partially, I am fascinated with the films that get parodied. Some of the first I was exposed to were
XXXorcist and Re-Penetrator, 2 Burning Angel releases. It seems so many releases are based on genre films! That excites me. It’s like this link between the 2 exists organically. It’s still something I have to wrap my head around. I feel like there is so much subtext and history surrounding pornography; I’ve barely scraped the surface.

Another reason I chose the parodies was because they were more palatable for our already established readership. Surprisingly, not all genre film fans are accepting of pornography. Introducing it slowly, with goofy and relatable titles, seemed to be a way to test the water.
Yet another reason was because I’m still so green! It was an easy way to get my feet wet. I quickly became discouraged by these modern parodies and that was my cue to start digging into the “classic” stuff. That’s really where I had been heading all along.

Since you've started exploring pornography, which of your preconceived notions (if any) have been challenged? Have any been reinforced?

Preconceived notions regarding the genre itself? Well, I expected the modern stuff to fall flat, and it did. I’m surprised by how genuinely disappointing I’ve been finding it all. So many of the modern titles aren’t just boring, but they’re not sexy. Isn’t that the point? I’m confounded by the present output and it makes me wonder about the consumer. If said consumer is happy with the product, or simply consuming because it’s the only game in town? I know there are exceptions to the apparent modern rule, but I’m not running across them.

I will say that I had no idea how filmic older, “classic” pornography could be. It’s more than I could have ever hoped for and that is what keeps me excited about further exploring the genre.

I know you're a relative newbie, but I have to ask my usual last question: what are your top 3 favourite XXX flicks and why?

I don’t know if I have 3! I spent so much time acquainting myself with films I didn’t enjoy! I did recently watch
Behind the Green Door and I loved it. That’s a film that really demolished any preconceived notions I’d been holding on to. I have The Devil in Miss Jones in the queue and I’m very much looking forward to that one. And because I am morbidly obsessed with parody films, I’ll soon be watching a Halloween spoof that’s being released by Smash Pictures. I keep holding out hope that one of these parodies will be exactly what I’m looking for; a seamless integration of sex into a pre-established universe.

So far, christine has reviewed The Official Psycho Parody, The Breakfast Club: A XXX Parody, and Behind the Green Door. Go check em out!


Roger Feelbert said...

I hope you sent her on her way with a solid list of titles to check out. I shudder to think that anyone getting their feet wet with porn would start with anything made in the last 15 years....

Gore-Gore Girl said...

Haha, I know right? Fear not -- when christine and I first became friends I sent her my list of favourite porn films, all of them from the late-70s/early 80s. I think it's important though that she (and everyone else) get into the genre at their own pace and explore by themselves with a gentle helping hand at their disposal if they should want it. The exploration is all part of the fun of XXX -- it surprises you at every turn. I know I'm still discovering gems after all this time, and I'm sort of glad that each and every week I'm exclaiming, "Why didn't I know about this??"

I'm envious of the wonders christine and others are yet to discover (and, yes, cringe at the thought of them giving up on the whole genre because of all the shit out there -- but that's their prerogative).

You're right to shake your head with sorrow at the thought of people only looking to current output to find out about "porn" though (as if that were a monolith) -- I do the same thing.

christine said...

GGG has been my porn sherpa.

Derek said...

Are you going to review the new(?) "Halloween" and "Star Wars" porn parodies? I believe both are coming out soon!

PS ...a big Hello after all these weeks! :)

Gore-Gore Girl said...

Haha -- I doubt it. :( I have been really disappointed with parodies for the last couple of years. I've all but given up on them in fact. A shame, as I enjoy the parody tradition in porn (people act like it's a new phenomenon). Maybe Star Wars...

If I check it out, I'll be sure to let you know what I think though!

And yes, a big hello to you! Hope life is treating you well!


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