Exhibition is definitely not a Joanna Hogg film…
This film is, in fact, a 1975 documentary from Jean-François Davy about French pornstar Claudine Beccarie.
Mixing interviews with Beccarie and graphic scenes from the hardcore erotic films that she stars in, this character study reveals a bright, articulate and outspoken woman, who holds fierce opinions about her profession.
Beccarie speaks frankly about the struggle to reconcile her work with her family, fiancé and Christian faith, and as the film delves deeper and darker, she seems less convinced of her own certitudes. This is especially evident in this version’s sour epilogue that has been tacked on to the 1975 original.
The film is perhaps at its best when Beccarie is wielding her superior intellect and assurance to make men look rather stupid and scared, whether it’s instructing her nervous co-stars in how to pleasure a woman, or questioning patrons outside a porn cinema. That said, the film wastes little opportunity to be plenty pervy, and it’s unfortunate that the sex scenes are shot with the kind of dispassionate yet lingering gaze she vocally disapproves of.
There’s no doubt that this rare film would have made quite a splash at the time of its original release – and Beccarie is certainly an engaging personality – but in the Internet age, where adult actors like Stoya are writing for the New York Times, Exhibition isn’t showing us anything we haven’t seen before.
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