Different Strokes for Different Folks – Channel 1

One channel of the two-channel video installation Different Strokes for Different Folks, by Ann Volkes and Susan Milano. The installation mocks and critiques attitudes towards pornography.

00:14Copy video clip URL Three young men talk about seeing The Devil in Miss Jones, a porno film. “It was kinda like… nudicist…. It was nudicist but it was all right, before the simple fact is the movie is just man’s imagination going wild, that’s all. You can’t do it in real life so why not act about it?” “You can so do that in real life,” another one says. One of the men, Marvin Smart, asks the interviewer her opinion on “cunninglist” before she laughingly interrupts to assert that “I’m doing the interview!”

01:00Copy video clip URL The interviewer asks if the young men identified with the lead character. They interpret that as a question about whether they were aroused: “It’s only natural to get an erection!” Discussion of pornography’s effects on men and on society, including possibly encouraging assaults “Now, I think they shouldn’t ban these type of movies because some men cannot have pleasure with women. They’re shy, you dig it? …You know, maybe they might go to the back of the movies and ejaculate. Am I using the right word?” Women passing by on the street stare, seemingly surprised. 

03:00Copy video clip URL Smart, asked how he feels after seeing the movie, says “It does really gear you to wanting to have sex, you dig it?” 

03:27Copy video clip URL Title card and credits, accompanied by “Chopsticks” on the piano. “A videotape by Susan Milano, Ann Volkes.”

03:44Copy video clip URL The camera pans across an from a newspaper dated September 25, 1978: “The Cock Exchange.” Personal ads for sex work and hookups from men, e.g.: “Brian is back. Handsome, masculine, straight-looking, tight body and very hung, 27 years old, 42c, 30w. Also duos. No S&M. (212) 243-3489.”

08:37Copy video clip URL Videomaker Ann Volkes interviews a man on the street who laughs nervously when asked whether he’s seen any pornos and whether he likes them. 

09:03Copy video clip URL A man with a beard says that he’s seen “lots of ’em” when asked about porno films. When asked his favorite, he says, “They have names? I thought they don’t have names.”

09:17Copy video clip URL An older man says he’s never watched a porno. 

09:24Copy video clip URL A man wearing only a leather jacket masturbates on a couch. 

11:59Copy video clip URL Volkes interviews a man standing outside of a porno theater playing Teenage Nurses. He says the movie was good, because it was “educational” and jokes about learning a lot. He names some of his favorite porno films, including Deep Throat and The Devil in Miss Jones.

12:43Copy video clip URL The bearded man talks about The Magus, a mainstream film starring Michael Caine and Candice Bergen. He jokes about wanting a blowjob from Bergen, and says he really liked a Russ Meyer film in which “some guy balls a chick in a pool… which is good.” Volkes corrects him on the title of the Meyer film, which she recognizes as Finders Keepers, Lovers Weepers!

13:49Copy video clip URL Another man on the street, who thinks that porno films are a waste of time and money. 

14:27Copy video clip URL The bearded man talks about going to a wedding reception where the groom was showing gay porno movies. He says that he “gets off” on pornographic magazines, but that “reading material” is “the most sexual thing” to him, because “when you read something… your imagination can work and you can actually put… whatever you really want in there.” 

15:45Copy video clip URL The masturbator continues. When he finishes he asks the videomakers “did you get it?”

17:11Copy video clip URL End credits, accompanied by the song “Blue Velvet”: “Interviewer: Ann Volkes. Camera: Susan Milano. Opening Interview: Tracy Fitz, Barbara Jabaily, Charity Paul. Special thanks to: Larry Milligan and Claudia Queen, Women’s Interart Center, What’s On Tonight? Editing, Post-Production Facilities Provided by Electronic Arts Intermix, Inc.

 

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