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British actor Steve Coogan and director Michael Winterbottom have reunited for ‘The Look of Love’, a biopic of British pornography publisher and night club impresario Paul Raymond.
The movie, which premiered at the Berlin Film Festival on Sunday, shows the sleaze, success and tragedy in Raymond’s life.
“It deals with a sort of sexuality in a certain period of a burgeoning sexuality in British culture. And I think it’s something that the
Europeans are more – and when I say Europeans, I mean the
Germans and the French and the Italians and the Spanish – are more comfortable with. And the British are sort of uncomfortable with it,” said Coogan.
Dubbed the “King of Porn”, or more politely the “King of Soho” after the London area where his empire was based, Raymond began
in 1958 with the opening of the “Raymond Revuebar” and expanded to theatre and men’s magazines.
The club hosted all the stars, making Raymond Britain’s wealthiest man by 1992, the same year his daughter and heir, Debbie, died of a drug overdose aged 36.
‘The Look of Love’ is out of competition at the Berlin Film Festival, where the sex theme continued with “Lovelace”.
Amanda Seyfried and James Franco star in this exploration of the darker side of sex and pornography. Actress Linda Lovelace and the film that made her name, ‘Deep Throat’, were iconic of the sexual revolution of the 1970s, but domestic abuse and exploitation are the focus of the film. It is a huge departure for Seyfried.
“It is a turning point. I was looking to play somebody that had actually existed, I wanted to dive into someone else’s life and capture a moment, and I think she had a really fascinating story and I wanted to be her voice,” she said.
The film chronicles Lovelace’s abusive marriage to Chuck Traynor,
played by Peter Sarsgaard, and how she was forced into working on the 1972 porn film ‘Deep Throat’ which became one of the highest-grossing movies in American cinema history.
Traynor is portrayed as a charming sadist, who rapes
Lovelace and at one point sells her to a group of five men.
After she left the porn industry and Traynor, Lovelace wrote several contradictory accounts of her experiences and became an anti-pornography activist. She died in 2002 of injuries from a car crash, aged 53.
‘Inferno: A Linda Lovelace Story’ is also due out later this year, with Malin Ackerman playing the role of Linda, and Matt Dillon as Chuck.
‘Lovelace’ features in the Berlinale Panorama Special category.