Monday, December 28, 2015

Hot Girls Wanted

Directed by Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus, Hot Girls Wanted takes a look at the growing online amateur porn industry by taking us into the house of a small group of Internet porn newbies (few of whom will still be working in the industry by the end of the documentary). The directors succeed in getting a firsthand experience of the industry which tosses out young women at a rate, even once introduced into the industry, our starlets don't comprehend.

Meant to be a shocking tell-all, Hot Girls Wanted is only partially successful (mainly because of how willing the young women all are to agree to and rationalize away any dehumanizing activity as long as it is 1. on camera and 2. pays the bills). The complicity to their actions undercuts the documentary's message just as strongly as the documentarians taking further advantage of each of the women profiled for the purpose of their movie.

However, money is only half of the equation. A better film would dive deeper into the yearning for celebrity each girl is willing to go down an increasingly dark and fetishized path to achieve.

As Hot Girls Wanted moves into the more violence-driven porn online the movie finally hits the nerve it spent an hour or so looking for. Sanitized in a way that would not earn itself a porn rating, the documentary's unwillingness to show its subject in any real detail also undercuts its ability to fully back its arguments (although the little we do see certainly backs the filmmakers' case). In the end the documentary gives us lots of first-person interviews with naive young woman discovering the harsh truth of their chosen profession while struggling to find enough content to fill its already short 84-minute running time. Like the porn it documents, it may lead to conversation but it will likely be short, vulgar, and without art or nuance.

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