Century-old smut hits the Red Vic

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Musty ménage: naughty reels hit the Red Vic Fri/28 - Mon/31

Sex education, y'all. Despite the fact that today's parents outsource math lessons to Blue's Clues, play time to iPhones, and secret homosexual programming to Gabba Gabba Hey!, the continuing furor over sex education in schools just refuses to quit talking, finish its drink, and go home. But, as a reclaimed 1900s reel of French brothel movies showing at the Red Vic Movie House this weekend (Fri/28 – Mon/31) proves, sex ed has always been around – it just used to happen in whorehouses.

The Good Old Naughty Days is a 69 (ha! Really!)-minute collection of silent shorts that were found in a well-to-do French family's attic nearly a century after they were filmed. Most likely, according to the film's producer Michel Reilhac, they were shot by conventional film crews on their day off. They're low-budget affairs whose most salient expense was the fees of the prostitutes who starred in them -- men and women whose bodies are un-siliconed and unaware of the histrionic boinking that would some day pass for erotic film. The movies were co-opted by brothels, who would play them in their waiting rooms as young gentleman killed time before their whoring. 

Which was, of course, where young cats learned about sex back in those days. When they showed up as virgins to the bordello, berets and handlebar mustaches a-twitchin', these were the films to at least prevent them from shouting “qu'est-ce que c'est!” when their lady of the evening shuffled off her chemise (or their gentleman of the night his breeches, lest we forget). There's gay and lesbian couplings, even priests and nuns -- these last having a good time with candles.

Judging from The Good Old Naughty Days, them last century folk even got down in ways that we cultured cyborgs might find a wee bit mutt-like – apparently there's a scene with a pooch unconcerned with which species recieves his Rover. In an interview with the UK Guardian (our namesake, holler), Reilhac says a few women took offense at this inter-mammal consorting at an early screening, to which he had this to offer: “thank God I took out the duck scene.”

But do not mourn the loss of this duck scene, San Francisco. Go out and be ever so naughty at the Red Vic – the two and four p.m. showings on Saturday and Sunday might make for a tasty post-brunch educational session. Just remember there is no sex-for-money waiting for you by the popcorn machine. Just wooden bowls, probably.

 

The Good Old Naughty Days

Fri/28 – Mon/31 7:15 and 9:15 p.m. (also Sat/29 – Sun/30 2 and 4 p.m.), $8

Red Vic Movie House

1727 Haight, SF

(415) 668-3994

www.redvicmoviehouse.com

 

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