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Mason's Sexual Disorder
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Mason's Sexual Disorder

Studio: Platinum X Pictures
Category:  Feature film
Directed by:
Starring: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Released on: 
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Gabriel Nine's ratings for Mason's Sexual Disorder:
Overall Rating 4 stars
Mason's Sexual Disorder overall rating 4 stars
Female Looks Mason's Sexual Disorder Female looks rating 3.5 stars
Male Looks Mason's Sexual Disorder Male looks rating 2.5 stars
Sex Mason's Sexual Disorder Sex rating 4 stars
 
Plot/Acting Mason's Sexual Disorder Plot/Acting rating 3.5 stars
Extras Mason's Sexual Disorder DVD Extras rating 4 stars
Audio/Video Quality Mason's Sexual Disorder A/V Quality rating 3.5 stars
Worth$19.95
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Reviewed by Gabriel Nine  on  1/26/2004
Mason's Sexual Disorder  
Platinum X

I was originally going to take on this review in the usual manner, going through the movie scene by scene, but I've changed tack this time, partly because Sexual Disorder has been so ably reviewed in this way elsewhere on this site, and partly because I really wanted to discuss some of the points it makes. Unfortunately, I was listening to Journey while drinking a bottle of the Bailie Nicol Jarvie when I was inspired with numerous ideas for this review, most of which have already slipped from my mind. Which is probably a relief to you. In the end, what I have is a collection of fragmented statements, questions and half-recollected notions to share.

Love/hate

The primary thing that I want to say is that I am passionate about Mason's right to make this movie but I am less passionate about some of the things it takes in. It really does surprise me that Sexual Disorder, and indeed The Fashionistas, should receive - at least at first - largely uncritical appraisal when the subject matter is such that extreme reactions must inevitably be provoked. It's not that these are bad movies, but rather that Sexual Disorder in particular seems like such a powerful personal statement from Mason, so closely tied to her own concerns, that it's almost inevitable that elements of it will jar with individual viewers' sensibilities. Simply put: some will love it, but some will truly hate it.

A flimsy comparison with French independent cinema

It just so happens that I watched Baise-moi this week, before Sexual Disorder, and while the comparison may or may not be somewhat fatuous, it still provided food for thought. Namely, is pornography the best form for dealing with the kind of issues that Mason wants to breach? After all, she clearly wants the audience to think as well as stroke off in response to this movie. In that regard, this is a true success because if surely only the most jaded of viewers will find their thoughts are not truly provoked after viewing Sexual Disorder. Secondly, and less favourably, with allowances made for differences in scale of production, Baise-moi shows what can be done with a punchy, fast moving independent movie, illustrating how laboured some parts of Sexual Disorder are. I just wonder if the long, harsh, relentless sex scenes really maximise the impact or if they reduce it to a relative level of normality.

The Baise-moi comparison was made mostly because I felt the issues of femininity that Mason deals with overlap. Specifically, that women are really and truly free to choose whatever path in life they desire. Did feminism really mean that an autocracy of feminists should replace traditional paternalistic social values? Shouldn't women be able to do whatever they wish in the same way as men? After all, I can't think of any path chosen by men that is considered to demean other men.

Rough stuff

For me, the real key to success in this genre is the connection between the performers, and that's something that's brought into stark relief by the first two scenes. In the first, Mason finds relief from the harsh regime of the psychiatric facility she's in by watching Mickey G cruelly bang the life out of (initially hooded) slave Jessica Darlin till she's reeling like a punch drunk boxer. In the second, Katrina Kraven becomes the plaything of Manuel Ferrara and Denis Marti. On one level the sex is similar - lots of face and tit slapping, spanking, anal sex and an abundance of rough attitude - but on another they could not be more different.

The raw desire and passion of Katrina's scene is so evident, and draws me in as it's so clear the performers innately relate to each other, while Jessica's scene is so heavily focussed on the subjugation of the woman, who ends up having her head bashed against the wall of the service elevator in which the action takes place, as Mickey ruthlessly throat fucks her. Of course, Jessica's submission is entirely of her own volition, but the two scenes act as a rudimentary barometer of what I find comfortable and oppressive as far as this type of sex is concerned, especially when considering the aspects of trust, control and mutual understanding that I feel are crucial.

Mind your language

The difference in the attitude of the male performers is another point; one that I also feel reflects a wider issue. While Denis and Manuel do it in a way I only wish I could, I have serious misgivings about the way some of the guys, especially in the later scenes with Julie Night, pile in and heap on the physical and verbal abuse, as though they've just been waiting for the chance. So yeah, yeah, yeah, it's only a film, they're only playing a part, but it bothers me, like this is legitimising a certain attitude. The wider point is that I recall a discussion on the ADT forums where Mason responded to a comment I'd made about the use of terms like "bitch", "whore", "slut" etc. I accept the point she made, which I shall refrain from paraphrasing here, but my lasting concern is that the men in the business who continue to use such language and many viewers at home are far from being clued in on the determination of Mason and like-minded women to make something positive from such terminology.

Julie
As the movie generally deals with Mason's - or should that be Mason's character's - obsessive pursuit of Julie Night and ends with a trio of emotionally draining scenes where Julie is almost literally put through the wringer, it would be churlish of me to skip Julie's massive contribution. I wonder what sort of award-ceremony bauble could compensate Julie for the way she bares her heart and soul in this performance, not to mention allowing herself to be tortured by paintball! At times her intensity is frightening, and I warmed to her defiance in the latter scene where she's being strapped and slapped and she roars at the guys, questioning their heterosexuality. She says they can't do anything to her. I wonder if this is a statement or merely provocation. It also worries me where the next level from this might be. Her performance is really emotional and often pretty hard to take.

A new light
Sexual Disorder lends a different perspective on a couple of its performers. Maggie Star and Mr Pete conjure up a scene that casts both in a new light, as they clearly have empathy for the subject matter. I also feel their scene has an intimacy and immediacy that better puts the curious viewer into the mindset of people in such a situation. This is perhaps the most intriguing scene in the movie, in some ways, and the hot wax treatment for Maggie in combination with some raw fuck action and the dubious delights of rough verbal and physical treatment makes for a surprisingly memorable scene. It's certainly the best I've seen from either performer.

In her scene, a raw, crude and sweaty jail cell number with Wesley and Cuntree, Selena Silver looks hot in black stockings, but that's just right up my street anyway. This is actually pretty conventional porn, though certainly hot enough to merit inclusion. It does inspire a couple of thoughts: I was surprised Wesley struggles to keep it up for Selena, but am I reading too much into it to wonder why the only black characters in the whole tale just so happen to be jailbirds?

Lastly, I must commend the way Mason has shot Sexual Disorder. It's a truly gonzo movie with the camera forming the view of a protagonist in the action. Mason's perspective is pretty naturalistic, and she seems to have an instinctive notion of how to shoot around the sex rather than arranging the performers to suit the camera. It's obviously low budget but is quietly innovative in its use of "home movie" footage and so forth to fill in the story. I'm not so sure the use of car lights, in the manner of the "dogging" scenes in Never Say Never to Rocco Siffredi, is a really effective way of illuminating the action in the later scenes here.

In the end…

So to sum up, Sexual Disorder is not easy viewing and as such it's hard for me to firm up a conclusion, as I have yet to resolve many of the issues I have with the movie. It's not a middle of the road flick, and will not receive a middle of the road score from me. I should note that I rarely place much emphasis on the scores I attach to a movie, but in this case the marks are awarded with particularly plentiful caveats and qualifications. Sexual Disorder is provocative, intense, passionate and utterly committed in all regards, but it would be surprising if it were to be the subject of unequivocal approval. For my part, I have my doubts. Of course, like most of these things this is all a matter of personal preference and perception, and in that regard it all feels like such a personal statement that at times I empathise but equally often I feel held at arm's length. There's something I find unavoidably alienating in the scenes where Jessica and Julie are really being treated badly. The idea that this is their choice is fine, but it makes it no easier to watch.

DVD Comments

This is a fine package, with a good selection of extras to back up the main feature. You can view the "home movies" with Julie that are used in the movie, see scenes from the making of the feature, some outtakes and listen to an interview with Mason - done before she "came out" in public! As is so often the case, the behind the scenes material casts much of what we've seen in a different light - especially the Jessica/Mickey G scene - and provides an adroit insight into many of the topics that Sexual Disorder seeks to discuss. The picture quality of the main feature is pretty good, but although this is a feature-length story, it's done in the usual gritty gonzo style. The sound is fine.

 
Director
Mason
 
Cast
Jessica Darlin, Julie Night, Maggie Star, Katrina Kraven, Selena Silver, Denis Marti, Manuel Ferrara, Mr Pete, Mickey G., Trent Tesoro, Wesley Pipes, Cuntree Pipes, Dick Tracy, Benjamin Brat, Brian Surewood, Chris Mountain, Scott Lyons, Sergio, with Michelle Raven, Jake Malone
 
Running Time
2hrs 11mins
 
Video

NTSC / All regions
 
Audio
Dolby 2.0
 
Disc Features
Making of Sexual Disorder with outtakes, Home movies, interview with Mason, photos, trailers, website access


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The opinions expressed in this review of Mason's Sexual Disorder from Platinum X Pictures are not necessarily the opinions of Adult DVD Talk. Adult DVD Talk provides a public forum for consumers to post their DVD reviews. Adult DVD Talk does not edit these reviews.