Aroused (2013) Poster

(2013)

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3/10
Film maker made it all about herself
augiedog34-425-72539110 February 2014
I enjoyed the actresses giving their stories and giving the viewer a glimpse into their lives and a vivid portrayal of why they got into the pornography business. It is sad and enlightening. It also gives you more respect for the industry. On the other hand I could not stand how Deborah Anderson constantly interjected her off handed self promotion, and name drops on numerous occasions. A documentary should be about the people on the subject of the film, not the person making it in my opinion. She is very annoying and distracts from the film. The actresses are very open and honest. It is worth watching if you have Showtime. If you do not have subscription take a pass. Again this is just my opinion haha.
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5/10
Basically dishonest
ghigau23 February 2014
I have nothing against pornography or documentaries. However, a documentary about pornography needs to get past the self-serving interview that is the sole menu item offered on this smörgåsbord.

Everyone has two reasons for doing what he does; the real reason and the good reason. This film is dishonest because it presents only the good reasons, delivered up by the porn stars themselves. As a result, the documentary is not particularly penetrating. There is some reason that Shauna Grant, for example, killed herself. Many dozens of other porn stars, male and female, have done the same.

There is some value in seeing the women talking about themselves, but the prevarication is obvious and transparent -- a wee bit of the happy hooker fantasy.
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8/10
Into the souls of these particular women
chabotage12 December 2013
Aroused is a pretty interesting documentary about the motives of the most famous women in pornography.We fellow the director/photographer Deborah Anderson on a special shooting with Pornstars. The Black and White cinematography is gorgeous. There's a lot of nudity in this documentary but this is for art value. This is not gratuitous. The most interesting to listen are actually Kayden Kross, Katsuni, Francesca Le and Misty Stone. The movie is pretty short and also some of the pornstars don't speak much ( Lexi Belle, April o' Neil and Lisa Ann). We see an other angle, actually the more human angle of these women. This is not an easy job and even one of them compares this job to the job of stuntman, because they risk their lives with STD.

Pretty Good!
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Can it really
otoole0071 March 2014
Count as a documentary if the film maker is answering her own questions? After the first 15 minutes I realized this was about a whole different kind of masturbation. Over stylized and way self important. Stop moving the camera, I'm getting motion sickness. Not art and not interesting. If there was a point I was missing it. Why Black and white? Is there really such a high percentage of girls with strong religious backgrounds or is that an effect of selection and editing? I flipped channels and started watching House of Lies on SHO instead. This has nothing really to do with Aroused but I needed to fill in 10 sentences and there is not enough to talk about in Aroused. Griffin Dunned is a terrible actor. House of Lies is lousy too BTW. Yawn.
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9/10
Sex Workers Deserve Respect
gaian20005 March 2014
I very much enjoyed this documentary. Sex workers are both glamorized and despised in our society. The enduring value of this film is the personal perspective of the women who work in adult movies. Some of the stories are very sad but others are a celebration of the human spirit and sexuality.

I thought the agent who was interviewed was shallow in her judgment of the path these women have chosen. She seemed unable to grasp the fact that being filmed naked does not destroy a person. She is in the wrong business.

I understood that most of these women want to move on and that this is a difficult business for many. The fact that some adult production companies are now owned and operated by women means that there is less opportunity for men to exploit and abuse these sex workers. The next step is to legalize prostitution and have strong labor unions for all sex workers so it is easier to move on. But that would require a sane, reasonable and caring society. I don't see much of that in the USA today.
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4/10
WE HAVE NO FILTER
nogodnomasters4 September 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Deborah Anderson selects porn stars who are mostly age 22-26 and asks them all the same questions, have them pose the same way, and essentially all give the same answer. Yes, all these women are in porn because that was their first option. No one was there because they couldn't get a job somewhere else, support a drug habit, save money for college, or support their kid. None of the girls had horrific stories about being raped by a family member or clergy.

The film failed to achieve what it set out to do. The persona of the porn star doesn't change when they are in a studio with a camera on them. The film was superficial. I think if she had interviewed old time porn stars and asked them how they started and where they are today, that would have been more interesting. Then showing the new stars those interviews and get a real response without their make up an glitter.

This might be shocking or interesting to people who don't watch porn.
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6/10
Porn stars arousing something other than your immediate gratification
StevePulaski25 November 2014
Deborah Anderson's Aroused came about as a project where she would talk to sixteen present adult film stars, engage them in a conversation about their life and the industry, and stage a photoshoot of them for a photography book by Anderson. What came about was not only a wealth of conversation and photographic material for the coffee table book, but a seventy minute documentary on the plethora of porn stars and their views on working in the adult industry.

Right off the bat, many will find the reason Aroused gets a rating that doesn't warrant a recommendation in that former paragraph. The reason is there is a wealth of material that is either muffled or obscured by Anderson in an effort to include multiple different perspectives in a runtime that cannot possibly accommodate everyone. At seventy minutes long, Anderson has to give each of the sixteen actresses their brief minutes on camera, resulting in a documentary that has little cohesive structure and doesn't have enough time to develop its subjects accordingly. In order for a complete, more versatile documentary to be made, either another thirty-five minutes needed to be added to the runtime or about eight porn stars needed to be cut out.

Yet, Aroused isn't a total loss. For one, the last half of the film provides some very interpersonal communication between Anderson and the actresses, as well as for some elegant photography and camera angles, showing various extreme close-ups of the body parts often forgotten in porn (lips, shoulders, legs, and occasionally panning up to the breasts). Furthermore, intriguing conversation is always started by Deborah, who talks to famous women like Francesca Le, Lisa Ann, Belladonna, and Alexis Texas about growing up, with many of them talking about their heavily religious background, some of them still carrying it as motivation as they work in the adult industry. The woman discuss the roles their parents and siblings played in their life, and give insight as to what life was like for them prior to their career in the adult industry.

Porn star Teagan Presley arguably brings up the best point during this section of the film, stating that it all depends on who you have to disappoint when it comes to growing up. If you have both mom and dad in your life, you grow up with discipline from both parties and learning what you have to do to make both of them happy and what could potentially jeopardize one of those relationships. If you grow up with just mom, you lack that ability to disappoint your father, who brings you that male influence and perspective, and the same goes in the opposite situation. It all depends on who is readily in your life to disappoint, and that formulates what decisions you make.

On top of interesting discussion pieces, Anderson finds an interesting balance in showing the veterans of the industry (Ann, Le, Tanya Tate, Katsuni, and other women in their late thirties or early forties) with the younger generation of industry stars, like Ash Hollywood, Brooklyn Lee, and April O'Neil. Lisa Ann, one of the staples for the MILF genre of pornography, talks about how when she first started out, she was opposed to doing anything on camera that she hadn't done in her own personal sex life. She didn't want to have her first gangbang or double penetration scene be on film because of the potential for corrupting memories, not to mention the inherently "mechanical" feel of shooting your average porn scene.

Finally, before we go into the last act of the film, which is comprised of personal conversation on top of artful photography, we get words of wisdom from another industry veteran. Fran Amidor. Amidor talks about how she hears many young girls, eighteen and nineteen-year-olds, striving to get in the business, for understandable reasons since the pay is higher being that the girls are young, their bodies are tight, and they are the perfect object of fantasy, but states that education is important and ages eighteen to twenty-one need be about learning and discovering in the classroom rather than in the porn industry. It's strong, sound advice from someone who could potentially be regretful about her own career.

Aroused doesn't have extreme depth, given its subject matter and its plethora of subjects, but Anderson creates an efficient starting point for conversation. She asks the right questions, creates the proper focus, and shoots the documentary in a very artful manner, with the first half being largely black and white before slowly evolving into color for the photo-shoot finale. There is just too much to talk about and too many subjects to efficiently portray in a little over an hour, leaving most of the information too slight to remember or too stunted to even get going.

Directed by: Deborah Anderson.
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1/10
This is Jon Anderson daughter making a film about porn
nameismike6910 March 2014
At first the concept sounded interested. THEN the fact that Jon Anderson the now spiritual essence ex leader of progressive group Yes who I worship daughter was making the film. I became distraught. I hate porn with such a passion I wish I could well I'm not going to say. There's no more porn stars are you kidding. Porn is common place it's like every 10th person you see under 80 has made a porn video and it's on the internet. GIVE ME A BREAK. WAKE UP................ OK they want more review on a movie that stunk. Since when did IMDb change the rules. Why do web sites make it harder on the average user. It was fine before they make me write 10 lines of crap.
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7/10
Great Live-action "Coffee Table Book"...
MovieHoliks13 July 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this terrific documentary off Showtime the other day about- which is a bit different than your usual porno documentary. Photographer Deborah Anderson takes 16 of the most successful adult film actresses and interviews them, shoots them in some really tasteful/elegant photography, as well as delves into the current state of the adult industry. Some of the actresses include Lisa Ann, Francesca Le, Kayden Kross, Alexis Texas, Belladonna, etc..

I really enjoyed this piece. I liked how Anderson shot the first half the movie in B&W, and then the second half in color- and how everything just sorta lights up and illuminates the back-stories of the stars. As with most docs about the porno industry, not everything is all roses, and the film does go into quite a lot of heartache and disappointment, which is to be expected. But this film did stand out as one of the best docs. about that business that makes more money than all the other entertainment venues put together. Thumbs up!

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8/10
Honest and sad
alex-vaewsorn6 July 2015
While the fashion photographer who made the film works to glamorize her subjects, she doesn't mince their words in editing, and the closeups on the actresses expressions are actually devastating. I was looking for a film that would change my far too positive view of porn to be more balanced, and seeing that even the top porn stars aren't that happy about their work says a lot.

The actresses start sounding conflicted and upset as they go deeper in the questioning. They basically all qualify any positive thing they say about porn with a contradiction. They're all dealing with one harsh reality or another. Posing in front of the camera they seem really out of their element when they're not expected to sell themselves, but it's fascinating.

If you interpret what they actresses are really saying, it's sad; doubly sad that so many blindly love porn. For once the actresses are all really human though.
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