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HindustanTimes Fri,21 Nov 2014

Lovelace: Trailer and life of the porn star

Durga M Sengupta, Hindustantimes.com  New Delhi, July 05, 2013
First Published: 19:52 IST(5/7/2013) | Last Updated: 20:10 IST(5/7/2013)

Linda Lovelace's biopic starring Amanda Seyfried seems to trace the life of a young girl who walks into the web of pornography unbeknownst to the risks and sacrifices she'd have to make along the way.

The footage shows Peter Sarsgaard as Linda's cruel husband Chuck Traynor, while James Franco is seen playing the slick and suave Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner.

Lovelace's trailer starts with an interviewer asking Seyfried, "How does it feel to be the poster girl of a sexual revolution?" The response is quite brazen, but suggests the typical sense of the candy-loving, school-girl who digs 'Deep Throats'".

The indie film has been directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman and is sanctioned by Linda Lovelace's estate.


But the real question is, does the film celebrate the life of a porn-star or does it dig deeper into the shambles behind the glamour? And by shambles, the reference here is to that of a slaughter-house.

Linda (Boreman) Lovelace

"When you see the movie Deep Throat (1972), you are watching me being raped. It is a crime that movie is still showing; there was a gun to my head the entire time," testified the famous porn-star Linda Lovelace before the 1986 Attorney General's Commission on Pornography.

As the real Lovelace's aforementioned statement suggests, her life wasn't a bed of roses. At least not one she would roll about in sexual ecstasy.

The problem, however, is that Linda's life was anything but celebratory. The trailer has a feel good, sexually liberated edge to it, which is a far cry from the protagonist's real life. Even in moments where Seyfried seems desperate to leave the "showbiz" and return to her family, (and she seems to do a brilliant job) the seriousness of the sexual abuse doesn't translate on screen. Of course, it is only the trailer.

"I let him know I would not become involved in prostitution in any way and told him I intended to leave, he beat me up physically and the constant mental abuse began. I literally became a prisoner, I was not allowed out of his sight, not even to use the bathroom, where he watched me through a hole in the door. He slept on top of me at night, he listened to my telephone calls with a .45 automatic eight shot pointed at me. My initiation into prostitution was a gang rape by five men, arranged by Mr. Traynor. It was the turning point in my life… I engaged in sex acts for pornography against my will to avoid being killed...The lives of my family were threatened," wrote Linda (Boreman) Lovelace in her autobiography about her husband Chuck Traynor.


This moving account of the goings-on behind the scenes of women being "creamed" or "pearl-necklaced",  puts a lot of pressure on the film to avoid callous objectification and to make that succinct remark for which the likes of Andrea Dworkin have been crying hoarse.

To prepare for the role, Seyfried reportedly read Lovelace's books and studied videos of her speaking. She also watched the film Deep Throat and underwent a New York accent training.

We wonder if Amanda Seyfried will do justice to Linda and if the film will manage to reach the depths it promises.

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