The Real (Porn) World: The Politics and Aesthetics of the New Reality Porn

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Moorman, Jennifer (2007)
  • Publisher: eScholarship, University of California
  • Subject: pornography | pornographic | porn filmmaker | reality television | porn stars

It may at first seem perfectly selfevident that a porn filmmaker would want to borrow from the conventions of reality TV. Cinematic pornography has, as Linda Williams suggests, concerned itself with proving its own authenticity since its inception.1 And reality TV attempts to depict “the real world,” right? In fact, generally speaking, it doesn’t. A closer look at reality TV reveals its patently “false settings [and] contrived situations,” and we should not make the mistake of assuming that its audience is not happily aware of this.2 Although the genre has arguably been around at least since the 1973 televising of An American Family on PBS, MTV’s The Real World is generally credited with having ushered in the era marked by its current incarnation. The genre has progressed quite a bit since and has become increasingly self-conscious, a fact that is not lost on its fans. As Jeffrey Sconce puts it, the “‘reality’ in reality TV is merely one of many fluid plot conventions and not an inviolable foundation.”
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