Monday, December 6, 2010

American Nudie Classics (2011)

Starring Various
Directed by Various

"Off with the clothes -- and on with the initiation."

Spanning the early 1930's through to the late 1960's, Independent Entertainment's January 25, 2011 release of American Nudie Classics is an entertaining and educational look at nudity in American cinema in all it's many guises throughout the early years of film.

Believe it or not, but the naked human form has not always been as readily available for ocular consumption as it is today. We as a people are blessed, yes, and spoiled, perhaps, by the rampant offerings and ease of availability that wondrous tools such as the internet have bestowed us with. Never are we to be want for a nipple, or burdened by bushlessness. No, we are living the true American dream that our forefathers fought and died defending and preserving. As the custodians of the wealth of exposed flesh the pioneers of provocativity have provided us with, we must look to and celebrate the humble beginnings that brought us to this blessed age.

American Nudie classics is an enlightening exploration of not only nudity in film, but also a fascinating look at the styles, trends and attitudes toward life and sex that cultures of our past possessed.

Divided by decade, containing about 30 minutes of material each, our journey starts out with the silent films of the 1930's. Among the 6 features here are a good variety of nudist/educational film,"erotic" dancing, nudie-cuties and even some fairly explicit lesbian action.

For slight clarification of terms, the nudist film usually features one or more females casting aside their clothing to take part in outdoor activity as a means to enjoy the "nudist lifestyle", while the nudie-cutie still features rampant nudity, but lacks the educational excuse used in the nudist film. While not necessarily self-satisfaction material, this genre of film is actually pretty entertaining. It's light-hearted, innocent fun with frolicking flesh in all it's natural beauty, which is a nice digression from throat gagging and extreme anal antics.

Next up, we explore the 1940's. The 12 loops here show a rise in the pin-up girl aesthetic, and a dramatic lessening of stark naked flesh. While there is still plenty of nudity to be had, there is a prevalent reliance on lingerie, bikinis and costumage to provide the thrills. The clips here share their time between girls frolicking in previously mentioned lacy underclothing, doing little dance routine things (including one really surreal one in a cake shop with women in chef's hats singing on a spinning cake), and hanging out in their apartment complex striking poses awkwardly in and out of the pool.

With the 50's come a collection of 14 more short erotic films. This decade concerns itself primarily with the stylings of burlesque, vaudeville and "hoochie coochie", with only a few loops concentrating on solo girls doing intimate stripteases in what look like hotel rooms. Again, the nudity is limited here - maybe even more so than the previous decade.

I myself am not a huge fan of the burlesque genre, or of dancing in general, so I may not be the fairest judge of these reels, but if you like this sort of thing, I genuinely believe you will be giddy with delight at the clips contained within this decade.

Finally, we come to the 60's and the last 9 loops in this collection. This decade consists solely of solo girl stag loops. Here we see a re-emergence of nudity, albeit it's still quite chaste. There's a strange haunting quality to these types of films, made more so by the absence of audio, the scratchy, faded prints, and the intimacy of the situation itself.

With over 3 hours of content, there is no doubt that you will find plenty in American Nudie Classics that will amuse, titillate, educate, or otherwise illicit endless entertainment value for you. Although often more educational than arousing, this suburb historical look at the genesis of the nudie film is a must own for any connoisseur of vintage American erotica.

- Jeremy Vaca

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