Original Climax Films: historicizing the British hardcore pornography film business

Carter, Oliver (2018) Original Climax Films: historicizing the British hardcore pornography film business. Porn Studies, 5 (4). pp. 411-425. ISSN 2326-8751

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This article presents findings from my research into the British hardcore pornography business. Porn studies has given little coverage to the British pornography business, with much of the academic literature focusing on the American adult entertainment industry. Recently, there has been a rising interest in the historical framework of porn cinemas both in popular culture and in academic work. This article contributes to this debate, taking both a cultural and an economic approach to explore the conditions that led to the emergence of British hardcore production as an alternative economy in the 1960s. In this economy, entrepreneurs make use of new technologies to produce artefacts that are exchanged for an economic benefit, while circumventing laws to distribute their artefacts. To historicize this economy, I draw on ethnohistorical research, which includes interviews with people involved in the British hardcore business and archival research. I argue that a combination of glamour filmmaking, a relaxation of political and cultural attitudes towards sexuality, the location of Soho, London, and emerging technologies for producing films collectively contribute to the emergence of an alternative economy of British hardcore production. I focus specifically on the practices of two entrepreneurs within this economy, Ivor Cook and Mike Freeman, considering how their actions inadvertently created the British hardcore film business, and played a significant role in the development of hardcore production outside of the United Kingdom.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1080/23268743.2018.1489301
23 July 2018Accepted
26 July 2018Published Online
7 December 2018Published
Uncontrolled Keywords: British pornography; ethnohistory; political economy; enterprise; technology
Subjects: CAH24 - media, journalism and communications > CAH24-01 - media, journalism and communications > CAH24-01-05 - media studies
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Design and Media > Birmingham School of Media
Depositing User: Oliver Carter
Date Deposited: 25 Jan 2019 06:19
Last Modified: 20 Mar 2023 16:17
URI: https://www.open-access.bcu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6915

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