Ended on 2/27/2014

LUCKY BASTARD -  Rated (NC-17)

2013 - USA - English - 94 minutes - CAVU Pictures

Directed by: Robert Nathan

Featuring: Don McManus, Jay Paulson, Betsy Rue


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LUCKY BASTARD is the found-footage story of a pornographic website that sponsors a contest for its subscribers—a contest in which the prize is having sex with a porn star. The entire film is shot from the point of view of the website’s cameras recording the on-screen and behind-the-scenes action.

At the center of the story are: porn star Ashley Saint (Betsy Rue); Mike (Don McManus), who owns the "Lucky Bastard" website; and Dave G. (Jay Paulson), the unsuspecting subscriber who wins the contest. The "Lucky Bastard" employees treat their work matter-of-factly. Mike once clearly had more serious artistic ambitions; now he shoots the "Lucky Bastard" website’s content. Ashley, his most popular performer, initially refuses to participate. She dismisses the contest as “sick,” knowing that the winner will eventually be humiliated by the experience. Ashley views herself as an entertainer supporting her two children; the contest is nothing she would call “adult entertainment.” Nevertheless, she gives in to Mike. The young contest winner, Dave G., quickly discovers himself to be a pawn in a game of commerce. When, as Ashley predicted, he becomes humiliated, his personality is transformed and he seeks revenge on his tormentors. In this world, where everyone is safe within its borders, an outsider poses the ultimate danger. Those who humiliated him will discover that humiliation as entertainment, now an American pastime, has consequences they could never have expected.

The film is set in a world ostensibly considered contemptible, but depicts it in ways that we don’t expect. For the characters of "Lucky Bastard", pornography is simply an industry like any other, with regular working people going to work every day and earning a living. The movie crosses many genres— drama, comedy, suspense thriller, horror—without entirely belonging to any of them, and implicitly comments on a society in which pornography is not only a common part of modern life but also a mirror reflecting the nature of intimacy in an atomized world. The movie also reshapes in unpredictable ways the recent cinematic convention of “found footage.” Going behind the scenes of one of our largest entertainment industries, the film offers a reflective take on the deepest currents in our society: its preoccupation with sexual desire, the commoditization of sexuality, and humiliation as a product of commerce.


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