Pornographic Narrative in Viva Erotica: Ambivalent Situation in Society and Gaining Benefits through the Mediation of Everyday Experience
The frustration of individual and society generated by the experience of pornography may transform into a beneficial encounter given that this experience is mediated through everyday life. In this analysis, the experience of pornography is narrowed down to its confrontation with the protagonist Ah Xing in Viva Erotica (1997). His case will serve as an illustration to elaborate the ambivalent situation between dominant culture and pornography in Hong Kong. This phenomenon is represented as the anxiety of film maker towards pornographic subject matter, the contradictory attitude of audience who go to the cinema but give harsh comment, and the investors who provide financial support. Moreover, this soft-core erotic film can be regarded as a critique on the traditional criticism about the nature of pornography, for example, singleness of intention, lack of aesthetic narrative, and moral issue about its inappropriateness to present sexual intimacy publicly.
Embodiment of Pornography in Everyday Experience
Ah Xing's encounter with pornography possess a nature of mundaneness. Owing to Ah Xing's unsuccessful career, his agent gives him an alternative choice of making pornography film. This incident is part of the routine in his professional life, therefore the encounter with pornography contains a sense of mundane. Building a connection between the experiences of pornography and mundane life is significant in this analysis as there is a need to present how pornography narrative can be beneficial. On one hand, the erotica art should be reachable for the crowd as suggested by Al Goldstein (quoted in Ross 223). The sense of reachable means ordinary people may have the access to it: they can buy it, consume it and enjoy it in their daily life. In other words, the need of erotic art is part of everyday life. On the other hand, in...
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Sontag, Susan. "The Pornographic Imagination". Susan Sontag: Styles of Radical Will. New York: Picador USA, 2002. Print.
Stam, Robert. "The Grotesque Body and Cinematic Eroticism". Subversive Pleasures: Bakhtim, Cultural Criticism, and Film. Baltimore and London: The Johns Hopkins Univeristy Press, 1989. Print.
Viva Erotica. Dir. Er Dong Sheng. Perf. Leslie Cheung, Karen Mok, and Qi Shu. Hong Kong: Universe Laser & Video Co, 1997. DVD.
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