Erotic and pornographic short films produced for Canal+ in France, with the goal to get women's point of view in pornography.
Hey, now this is a non-comedy TV show I wouldn't bail on following if it aired on TV here! What a perverted thing to say, I'm sorry. But I do find it interesting that something as well-made in terms of pornography such as this, was made for TV. It's not the first time we get a group of female directors giving their 2 cents on pornography by directing their own, but it might be the best set I have watched yet.
My two favorite episodes/shorts were right at the beginning. The first one was "Se faire prendre au jeu" ("Getting to the game), which was very simple and real. Essentially "just another porno", but it feels like real people and real sex. It's just about a couple coming home from a night out or whatever, and the woman is tired while the man wants to have sex. He ends up watching porn next to her in bed, and she asks him to stop. It leads to her finally caving in, and they have some hot, steamy sex! Great cinematography and good acting helps this one a lot. Who knew that sex/porn could be acted out well? And how does one know when it is? When it feels real, that's when!
Following that episode is my absolute favorite - a two-parter called "Enculées" ("Fucked" - in Sweden it was actually translated into "Anal", which makes sense). This is not as much pornography as it is an erotic drama about a woman going into prostitution. She learns how to dress, how to act, and what the customers will be asking for. She has a fascination with anal sex but has never tried it, and when she finds out that anal is one of the most popular requests, she's both scared and excited. The two parts follow her as she starts in the industry. Now this was good enough to be a feature film. I sure as hell have seen way worse features about prostitution. I'm glad this was two parts, at least.
Another interesting one, one that is from season 2, is "Le beau sexe" ("The fairer sex"). This one doesn't have the exciting sex scene from the first one, or the intriguing story of the second one that I wrote about, but it's a rather interesting setup. A little sexual mystery, if you will. A woman is sitting at home watching ice skating on TV when she suddenly gets the urge to masturbate. And she does. But before too long, the phone rings. It's a man calling her, saying he's her neighbor and he can see what she is doing. Also that he has been watching her for quite some time. She gets turned on by the thought and stops listening to the phone call, but we still get him as a narrator for the rest of the short. It moves on to her going to him (for some reason he seems to be far away now - I thought he was a neighbor?), naked with just a long jacket on her. She walks the streets, thinking about his words, and continues on the subway. Finally reaching the address, she walks around this empty place almost in ecstasy. And eventually he shows up. That's about it! We get some sex, but the interesting aspect to me is the voyeurism and the way his voice was put as a narration as if it was in her mind, rather than in the phone.
The rest of the series isn't bad - some things are more porn oriented, while some are sexual stories. Personally I felt that "Vous désirez?" ("You want?") was the most sexual/sensual, most achieving the goal of arousing. Of course, it might have to do with the lesbian stuff - who knows? It was definitely the one that seem to aim to be the most sensual, at least.
Overall, "X Femmes" is a pretty interesting set of short films because it does a little bit of everything. It has sexy bits, dramatic bits, silly bits, etc. It doesn't come off as feminist porn as much as some other collections have done (whether that's good or bad is up to you), but rather as the directors taking the subject seriously and approaching it as something more than just "pornography". I haven't watched it for arousing purposes, or with a partner, but I'm sure this is one that would work for that.