Sunday, October 5, 2008

One Step Closer To Solving The Mystery

Well, I woke up this morning determined to dig a little deeper into last night's mystery, and sure enough, I started getting a lot more information. That's forgiveable, right? Well, in my defense, when I wrote that post last night, it was 4:00 in the morning and I was still slightly buzzed off of 2/3 of a six pack of Smirnoffs.

Turns out there was a little bit of name disambiguation here . . . it would appear the director of said film is not "Angie Downing", but rather "Angie Dowling". Which still boggles my mind, even as a linguist, because while I've studied the phonological cause for nasalization of various sounds, I still have no idea how someone would mix up "l" and "n". But, whatever. So, now we're getting closer. Turns out she's not British, but rather, Australian, although living (or was living at the time) in London. She was apparently the UK's first lesbian pornographer (though I can find no other mention, nor any of her work), and previously worked as a producer/panelist on several lesbian-themed documentaries commissioned by Britain's Channel 4 (such as "The Money Shot"). She was inspired by the work of her idol Pedro Almodavar, who began his directorial career in porn. She may or may not have organized the 2007 BOLD in Pensacola, Florida and been part of writing the same titled play, starring as Natalie in its run, and being a big part of its parent organization BOLD (which stands for "Birth On Labor Day" and is pretty much like "The Vagina Monologues" for labor and childbirth).

The names of her other three films have finally surfaced, too: "Knock Knock", "The Girlie Urge", and "Tick Tock". "The Girlie Urge" was marketed as "the first lesbian masturbation movie in the world", featuring seven separate solo scenes of girls getting off. "Tick Tock" takes place in a belltower where a closeknit group of seven gay girls live and spend their time exploring the realm of intense feelings. Supposedly very brightly colored and shot in "funky cartoon style" . . . whatever that means. "Knock Knock" takes a slightly more "boys, you can't have it" stance with its marketing: "These lesbians are 100% real, men have no chance at all. The ladies indulge in erotic pleasures at London appartments, vaginal juices flow like Indian mountain streams and clitorises swell to the size of golfballs. No bi-sexual women here, only true, hot-blooded lesbians in a colourful lesbian sex show." Quite frankly, I'd be a little scared of golfball-sized clitorises, and I have no idea how freely Indian mountain streams flow, but you've got to give them credit for creativity.

"Madam and Eve" also has more secrets to reveal: some of the cast members are also part of Britain's all-girl shock-rock band Rockbitch. Some say it was shot in a abandoned hospital; others say it was shot in a disused Benedictine monastery in France. It's rumored that the film stars the members of a real-life sex commune. Everyone apparently got to wear costumes from latex fetish fashion label and production/performance agency Torture Garden.

I guess I should be pretty happy- I've got a correct name, a lot of personal history that seems to track a very vibrant globe-trotting activist woman, and I've got a number of websites selling all four of her real dyke films. But I'm still curious- I want to talk to this woman who has, it seems, never been interviewed (at least, and then had it published online). First dyke pornographer in Britain is a big title. Does she ever want to return from advocacy for pregnant ladies to producing more dyke smut? I visited Rusty Films but, as often happens, the domain name has expired and now whatever information it once held has been lost.

On the upside, all this searching through British female pornographers has unearthed some seriously cool ladies, including Hungry Films' Anna Brownfield and Anna Span (even if their stuff is mostly het). Although, let's not forget the amazing Brit Petra Joy, either, whose exploits are well-documented on the Web.

Anyways, that's Angie Dowling, Australian-British dyke pornographer maverick, still somewhat of a mystery. You can find her films scattered about UK retailers, but the best site I found, in terms of reviews, screenshots, and 0 (or region-free) coded DVD's, is Orgazmik Europe. Go ahead, buy them. I mean, seriously, you can borrow "Champion" from any of your trendy friends when it comes out. Who else is going ot have these films, though?

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