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Hard Core: Power, Pleasure, and the "Frenzy of the Visible", Expanded edition Reprint Edition

4 out of 5 stars 12 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0520219434
ISBN-10: 0520219430
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  • Hard Core: Power, Pleasure, and the "Frenzy of the Visible", Expanded edition
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In academic prose, film professor Williams of the University of California offers a graphic analysis of hard-core porno movies such as Deep Throat , as well as early, anonymous stag flicks. She finds that the newer, "softer" X-rated rental videos "show a more genuinely adult quality" than earlier videos. She ponders the "utopian problem-solving intent" of the hard-core genre and makes specious comparisons between blue movies, Hollywood musicals and films like Dirty Dancing . Sadomasochistic porn films, she claims, let viewers experience "a clearer confrontation with the oscillating poles of our gendered identities and the role of power in them." A critic whose professed goal is to understand film pornography, and who opposes those who would censor it, Williams begins this obfuscating study by analyzing the portrayal of women in the 19th-century kinetoscope, prototype of the motion-picture projector.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Hard Core traces ". . . the changing meaning and function of the genre of pornography. . . ." As a scholarly study of "'mainstream,' heterosexual, hard-core pornography," that is, as a specific film category, it is both articulate and comprehensive. However, the anticensorship view, while offering some valid arguments, minimizes today's realities--the violence and degradation of women. Perhaps pornography should be about fantasy and sex, but at least for now, it is more about power. As a study of film genre, Hard Core is recommended for upper level students. However, its social context should be tempered by other works.
- Frada L. Mozenter, Univ. of North Carolina at Charlotte Lib.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 380 pages
  • Publisher: University of California Press; Reprint edition (April 27, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0520219430
  • ISBN-13: 978-0520219434
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #328,992 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on May 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is an easy to read, comprehensive analysis of visual pornography. Williams is thorough and openminded, and clearly shows that this isn't a homogenous and stereotypical genre. On the contrary, she maintains that all trends visible in other types of movies exist in pornography as well. An interesting read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Williams views pornography through feminist and marxist lenses, discussing its embattled political history and its potentially liberating and delimiting effects on culture.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's an amazing book. For everyone who is searching for a non-christian, non-conservative opinion about pornography. This book presents a new feminist look about the theme
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By A Customer on August 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book changed my my mind about I saw pornography. This is a smart and sexy book that dispels many ideas we have about pornography and how the feminist anti-pron rhetoric not only endangers the First Amendment with their calls for taking this protection from porn, but retains the patriarchal concept of female purity that promotes a sexual double standard. This books opens a dialogue and forum for women to talk about pornography. I only wished I hadn't read it ten years earlier, because my copy doesn't have pictures.
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Format: Paperback
Linda Williams gives a scintillating evaluation of the politics of porn. Her detailed and insightful analysis goes beyond mere recitation of plot points and totaling of body parts to an in-depth engagement with the semiotics of pornographized couplings. The pictures were really helpful in conveying the cultural work done by this underevaluated art form. Porn-tastic!
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By A Customer on December 27, 1999
Format: Paperback
I never thought that this would happen to me...but I must share my pleasure with "Hard Core" in an online review. The author takes up a discursive thread generally reserved to the letter columns of Adult Entertainment mags, and develops a unique anaylsis that provides the reader unfettered access into the manifold issues of power given in the presentation of human congress onscreen. If Max Weber had written on porn, this would have been his work!
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