PVV – behind Elegant Angel’s Portrait of a Call Girl, or a little insight from Graham Travis!!

I’m so lucky!! (are you noticing a pattern here?)

A couple days ago, I posted a review of Elegant Angel‘s particularly unique film, Portrait of a Call Girl (2011; review here).

In my review, I felt like I was left with more things to wonder about than I was insightful things to say. Specifically, I wondered about some choices made by the film’s creative team regarding casting and the story in general…

…and would you believe it – my questions were answered by none other than Portrait of a Call Girl‘s writer/director Graham Travis!!

Graham has been in the adult industry for about eight years (on and off). He became General Manager of Elegant Angel in 2006 and has been in that role ever since. Here’s what I asked:

Why tell the story of such a young call girl? Why invite the potential controversy? And of all the younger performers out there, why the most fresh-faced of them all? Why not an older woman who had (apparently) lived a little?

And this is what he had to say:

“Honestly, Jessie got the role because she was very emotionally intuitive and mature, in lots of ways. She really understood what I wanted in terms of tone and the character’s journey. I wasn’t looking to cast someone who was younger or older, but someone who could pull off the range of emotions as an actress and who was a powerful sexual performer.

Jessie is a very talented actress. Her look is also very natural and I really felt this also fit the part. It would have been very hard to make the movie without her. It’s an intense journey but the movie also has a lot of heart, and I think she was able to capture both aspects of that.”

When I asked Graham if he had anything else he wanted to add, he said: “I just hope people like the movie :)”

I definitely think Graham’s hopes have beed realized as I’ve been reading nothing but positive reviews of Portrait of a Call Girl in the adult press, but I gotta tell you – it’s projects like this that make my antennae stand on end.

Now, this alert I feel is most definitely NOT because there’s anything “wrong” (wrong?) with the film itself. On the basis of my watching, I feel confident in my assessment that Portrait of a Call Girl startlingly unique and special… but it’s also not going to be everyone’s best-loved cup of tea… but neither is “mainstream porn” or “gay porn” or “feminist porn” or anything else.

People like different things. Duh.


But the thing is this: it’s projects like Portrait of a Call Girl, projects that look extreme and/or touch on any number of hot button issues (ie sex work, prostitution, fetishism, rough sex, “extreme” sex behavior, and young performers… not to mention capitalism, consumerism, isolation, intense emotional journeys, and creepy step dads), that are perfect fodder for pro-censorship/anti-adult folks looking to take something out of context.

Honestly, I can almost hear it now, exactly what will be said about this film… it’ll involve objectification, sexualization of XXX, desensitization, sensationalization and glamorization, sexism and heterosexism, hegemony, violence, and normalization of XXX, among many other things. Insights from people actually involved in the project, things like Graham’s statement above, will not be taken into consideration.

But you can’t push boundaries and not expect some sort of backlash, and it’s those that continue to push that create space for the rest of us.

Portrait of a Call Girl (2011) Notables

Girls: Jessie Andrews, Darla Crane (non-sex), and Zoe Holloway (non-sex)

Guys: Eric John, Manuel Ferrara, Jay Crew, Mick Blue, Ramon Nomar, Alex Gonz, Bill Bailey, Danny Mountain, Johnny Fender, Tommy Pistol, Mike Fromme, Alec Knight, Richie, Alan Stafford, and Eric Swiss

Portrait of a Call Girl p/review here and review here.

Elegant Angel‘s Portrait of a Call Girl (2011) was written and directed by Graham Travis and released in August, 2011. Buy yours here.

Elegant Angel’s community/company blog here.

Questions? Comments? Email me!!

Images courtesy of Elegant Angel.

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You may quote anything herein with the following attribution: “Reprinted from Porn Valley Vantage/PVVOnline, copyright © Chauntelle Anne Tibbals, PhD (www.PVVOnline.com).”

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