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Info: LA PLAYS ITSELF / SEXTOOL

LA PLAYS ITSELF / SEXTOOL (R18)
1 hrs, 56 mins
RELEASE:
04/01/1972
CAST:
Fred Halsted, Joey Yale, Jim Frost, Rick Coates, Charmaine Lee Andersonn, Gus Harvey
DIRECTOR:
Fred Halsted

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For the first time in cinema history, writer/director Fred Halsted would depict a man being fisted on screen. It serves as the film’s literal and figurative climax, but it couldn’t be farther from L.A. Plays Itself’s opening images at the Los Angeles city limits sign. Halsted’s elliptical, evasive anti-narrative begins in the lush greenery of the natural world before being literally bulldozed into the center of a grimy, feverish Sodom that deconstructs and erodes the human spirit through vivid sadomasochistic catharsis. Constructed almost entirely in the editing room, Halsted’s film is a dream-porn masterwork that would be analyzed, criminalized, and investigated for decades to come. One of the most ambitious and least successful pornographic films ever made, Sextool's production history is rife with nearly as much expurgated desire as the film itself. Funded on the success of L.A. Plays Itself, writer/director Fred Halsted’s next major feature was designed to be a crossover success in the arthouse market. Halsted shot much of the film on expired 35mm stock in hopes of securing a wider release, but the film was quickly deemed unviable by the art-film market. Forty years later, the film plays as an astonishingly progressive broadcast from an era of deeply ingrained musculature. Both films have been digitally restored in 4K. No one under 18 admitted.

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