Seven Minutes in Heaven: Coming Out! provided for review by Good Vibrations
After reading an interview with Courtney Trouble in Bitch magazine , I could tell that we were missing out. (We also need to know more about some other people in the interview, such as Bren Ryder, but hopefully we’ll get to them in another post.) Trouble is an individual working in the adult industry committed to making feminist pornography and bringing queer sexuality and lifestyle into a more accessible, realistic state if being. She founded No Fauxx, an arousal and art driven website for the queer community, which the site claims is the first of its kind. Whether or not that’s true, it’s still pretty amazing. I recommend reading the interview and checking out the links we’ve provided to further understand Trouble’s perspective on her own work and her goals.
We suddenly ended up with three of Trouble’s films – much to our delight – and Seven Minutes in Heaven: Coming Out! is the one we chose to start with. The first line of description on the back of this pink, very contemporary punk rockstar DVD case is, “Reality porn is coming out of the closet in this first-ever gonzo queer film.” It probably sounds silly, but I give Trouble props for having a case that accurately represents the film – all of the “fresh-faced performers” are on the cover with obvious tattoos, piercings, “alternative” style and/or diverse body types so we can see who is involved; again, in the description – which is kind of rough-looking typewriter text – it is described as a “kinky slumber party” and that definitely carries through in the film; all throughout the film there is music that reflects the style of the DVD case itself; and “reality porn” along with mention of how the cast picks their own partners and their own toys gives the viewer an indication that this is not going to be like scripted porn with professional stars and excellent lighting in every scene.
Since I have been disappointed in the past with how misleading a DVD case for porn can be, I really appreciate knowing what I’m getting into, especially if I am actually purchasing the porn.
I’m going to break it down to lists because there is so much I could say about Seven Minutes in Heaven, but for the sake of a readable review, I probably shouldn’t. So here is a condensed version:
+ The performers are amateurs and a few first-timers so the interactions are, generally, more fun and interesting. Nuances of their individual personalities come through, which is, to me, quite sexy. My favourite performers were Puck Goodfellow and Sophia, but all of them contributed in really special ways.
+ “I have a 48 inch ass. What more is there to say?” – God Bless You, Jae.
+ Sara Lee Sinful has an orchid for a vagina. Seriously. It’s exquisite. Thank you, Tina Horn, for making a point of it during your scene.
+ Safer sex! I was so happy to see gloves and condoms used on all of the toys.
+ Quite a bit of spanking and even a short discussion on appropriate places and ways to spank people. I especially enjoyed the scene in which Tina Horn is being spanked by Carson.
+ Jae showing Sophia how to put on a strap-on was pretty fabulous. I also like how later, despite her inexperience with strap-ons, Sophia totally got into “jerking off” with Tina Horn.
+ NO annoying fake-ass sex noises. This in itself is fucking amazingly wonderful to me. I want to scream it from rooftops and do cartwheels down the street.
+ Oh, and how could I forget… the various body types. (And we ain’t just talkin’ boob size.) Thank you, Courtney Trouble, for recognizing that sexuality is not limited to a size 4 and big tits.
- The scene with Carson and Joline, there’s a wonderful close-up shot of Joline’s vagina being teased from behind by Carson, but the shot is so grainy that it’s difficult to appreciate. Normally graininess isn’t that big of a deal to me – I think it can even be a positive thing in some cases – but in this instance it disrupted my appreciation of the scene. Perhaps the lighting, although little, still had the effect of cooling Joline’s already pale skin down further. A little too cold and washed out. There were other parts of scenes like this, but most of the time the light was warmer in tone, which worked better.
- Music. Nothing against the music selection, it goes along with everything else in the film, but it was pretty disjointed in some places. Were they using an iPod? Is that why a song would end and then there just wouldn’t be anymore music despite the scene continuing? Or why it was louder in some scenes? I’m sure that filming unscripted can be tricky, but a little more consistency with the music, especially because of how aggressive it was, would have been less distracting.
- The editing was also rather disjointed in some places, mostly in the beginning. When going from scenes of the performers kissing to laughing and talking, then to Tina Horn and Sara Lee Sinful’s scene, it was especially choppy and awkward.
- Again, an editing issue. When Puck Goodfellow and Carson were having a scene in one room with Tina Horn and Sophia having a scene in the next room (no door), the overlapping sounds were kind of funny in a way that made me less drawn to the scene. I knew that there were scenes overlapping in a way, but perhaps a direct, visual acknowledgement of that could have worked better. It would have added to the kinky slumber party atmosphere, too. Sex everywhere all the time!!
There were a lot of positive points and quite a few negative points as well, but overall I’m really excited about Trouble’s work and her participation in a movement toward an evolved adult industry, one that encourages a more honest, pro-female approach that brings together fantasy and reality. Sure, it’s a business, but we don’t have to be dirtbags about it.
The very beginning of this film let me know that it would not be typical porn. It started with each person being allowed to describe themselves however they saw fit. A few of them told us that it was their first time performing on camera and for a couple of them, it was even their first queer experience. That alone made the dynamic between some of the people filmed very interesting.
I was somewhat worried about my opinion of this film because we’ve been reviewing so many porns made for queers that I have been jonesing for some wang. Being a heterosexual male, I have been desirous of some heterosexual depiction on screen. Upon reflection, I realize that this experience has been a tiny little taste of how frustrating the porn world must be for a queer person. I mean, I am choosing to watch porn that does not directly apply to me. For a long time, persons living alternative lifestyles didn’t even have the option to watch porn that reflected their sexuality. Even now, there are only and handful of directors and production companies making films for that group. That must be really annoying. Anyway, because I was tired of watching porn that does not reflect my sexuality, I was worried that it would be difficult to be fair to Trouble and her film. Thankfully, I don’t think it turned out to be an issue.
One of the first scenes involved spin the bottle and it was fabulous because of the awkward kissing and obvious lack of chemistry between a few of the people participating. It was nice to see those moments because it helped with the sense of reality that Trouble was trying to portray. As the film went on, they all warmed to one another and lost most of the awkwardness pretty quickly. Sex will do that to you.
About midway through watching I began to be worried that this was going to be somewhat of a negative review because I kept finding things that bothered me about the editing and music presentation. My complaints directly echo Mimi’s so I don’t feel the need to reproduce them, but I will say that they were certainly a sore point for me.
Understanding what gonzo pornography is supposed to be, the low quality lighting and somewhat awkward angles at times didn’t bother me. However, the editing could have been handled better and the music certainly could have, too.
Aside from those two complaints, I am pleased that Seven Minutes in Heaven: Coming Out! was made and I look forward to seeing more of Trouble’s work.
Is it just me, or does that title sound like it is setting Seven Minutes in Heaven up to be a series? We can hope.
The Naked Truth:
Level of Arousal:
Educational Value: N/A