First things first: Yes, Thinking XXX
features adult film stars. No, the HBO production is not a porno. Nor does it include any clips. The documentary instead offers an introduction to the biggest names in the business, like Gina Lynn and Lukas Ridgeston. For his book, XXX - 30 Porn-Star Portraits
, celebrity photographer Timothy Greenfield-Saunders shot the stars both clothed and unclothed. In the film, they talk about their work while getting their hair and make-up done, posing for pictures, playing with their pets, etc. They're presented as real people rather than actors (which just may destroy the fantasy for some fans). In the print edition, 15 writers, including author Nancy Friday, musician Lou Reed, and filmmaker John Waters, contribute their thoughts on pornography. They also appear on screen (fully clothed, of course). Some are quite critical. The biggest revelation isn't the nude bodies, readily available via videos and calendars, but what they have to say. Unlike Star 80
or Inside Deep Throat
, there are no horror stories about physical or verbal abuse, but the talk is still frank and uncensored. Sean Michaels, for instance, opens up about race, while Chad Hunt discusses homosexuality. Interestingly, cover model Jenna Jameson doesnt utter a single word, possibly because she has already told her life story in the bestselling autobiography How to Make Love Like a Porn Star
. --Kathleen C. Fennessy
Award-winning director and art photographer Timothy Greenfield-Sanders brings viewers onto the set of his newest photo shoot and into the private worlds of the top porn stars in the country in this unusual and provocative documentary. From Savanna Samson to Nina Hartley, Sean Michaels to Lukas Ridgeston straight to gay, legends to newcomers. Thinking XXX offers a clothed and unclothed look at some of America's legendary porn stars as they pose in front of Greenfield-Sanders's large-format portrait camera, and then discuss many of the facets of their lives and careers. The film follows these women and men through interviews on and off of Greenfield-Sanders photo sets in New York and LA, delving into discussions of exhibitionism, private and public sex, money, and the business today. Stars are interviewed at home, in the office, at the gym, and with friends and lovers. They discuss their lives, their decisions for going into this business, their hopes and dreams..