NYC Film Festivals

Spanking the Monkey Town

Taylor Wane and her pooch Buddy, one off the pairs featured in Monkey Town's Porn Week selection Pornstar Pets

“An experience you’re not going to be able to find anywhere else,” is how Monkey Town partner and curator Sam Zimmerman describes his venue's Third Annual Porn Week, opening Sunday night at the Williamsburg arthouse dinner-and-a-movie hotspot. And he means what he says: In an e-mail to The Reeler, he noted that this year’s event features “1970's quasi-horror masterpiece Bacchanale screening with a new soundtrack from 50 contemporary musicians; a hot mash-up of post-feminist Vena Virago, whose hardcore Silverlake Scenesters mixes sex and irony (a dangerous combination), with Margie Schnibbe, multimedia perv and director of the self-explanatory Porn Star Pets; and a retrospective of homemade fetish films from 1975-2006 called Artsluts."

So what in the name of smut does this all mean? Zimmerman said he sees Porn Week as an organic extension of the Monkey Town concept. As a musician who tried his hand at video sampling within his band, Zimmerman is interested in film and video as an immersive experience. "Kind of like a concert instead of being in a movie theater where people can’t talk to one another,” he said. “(Monkey Town) is meant to be more engaging and social. It’s theater in the round (in which) the audience is an active part of the experience.”

And there will be plenty to discuss at this year’s event, including the autobiographical sexual work of self-identified artists (Artsluts) and videos by an artist/porn director (Schnibbe/Virago, who, in fact, happen to be the same person) embodying the line between art and hardcore, balancing her labors of love with paying, commercial lust. Not to mention the comeback of the art/adult movie Bacchanale. “It’s visually crazy and doesn’t really connect from scene to scene,” Zimmerman said of the lost treasure. And in the world of Monkey Town -- theater etiquette be damned -- that’s high praise.

Well, maybe there is one rule: Zimmerman reminds everyone who’s never been out to see any form of sexually explicit material in a public setting that Porn Week is strictly BYOM -- “bring your own masseuse.” -- Lauren Wissot

The Third Annual Porn Week runs Dec. 17-23 at Monkey Town, 58 North 3rd St. in Williamsburg. Screenings nightly at 7:30 and 10:00; tickets are $5 with $10 food/drink minimum. Reservations recommended; check Monkey Town's Web site or call (718) 384-1369 for more information.

Posted at December 15, 2006 12:04 PM

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