5 January 2011 | lor_
Well-produced, but uninvolving soft porn fake-documentary
It is highly unlikely that the prolific French director Jean-Claude Roy will ever receive the scrutiny (or distribution revival) of his famous European peers like Jean Rollin and Jesus Franco. But this feature dating from his softcore apprenticeship displays a modicum of talent, missing from his numerous later efforts in the XXX or crime-thriller genres.
Ambitiously mounted with a huge cast and chronology covering perhaps a hundred years, the REPORT attempts to give an overview of the world's oldest profession, focusing on some very good looking French whores, actually actresses though the popular fake-documentary format is adhered to. Action is quite tame, though there are occasional topless shots of the actresses which might have been marginally satisfying for sex-starved fans 40 years ago.
It's oddly high toned and serious, with never a sleazy or even emotionally involving sex scene presented. Obviously a fictional, straightforward simulated sex movie would be more entertaining, as here the audience is expected to go home humming the production values.
But there's something to be said for Roy's approach. Weakest segment is an overlong finale of dozens of girls interviewed (answering a newspaper ad ascribed to Tanagra Productions, which in fact produced this film) for acting in sex films. This boring footage, of each girl (looking like real folks, NOT actresses for a change) asked to show her tits to the interviewer, cumulatively demystifies the profession -we see that the sexploitation trade is really cold, just a business.
En route to this "fessing up" segment, there's all sorts of content, ranging from the various types of hookers (streetwalkers to posh-apartment call girls), fetish types, and even a segment about a cross-dressing male prostitute. My favorite moment was showing attractive prone girls rolling toy model cars on their backs -a screwy fetish to be sure, that Harry Alan Towers chose to immortalize about 15 years later on the front of Jewel Shepard's body in Christina.