Continuing its exploration of the weirdest moments of cinema, Cult Epics brings us Vintage Erotica anno 1940 (aka Les Archives d'Eden), a collection of French porn vignettes covering the early years of celluloid sex from 1900 to 1940.
Through these short films, 15 black & white silent sequences accompanied by a soundtrack, we discover the sexual fantasies of our elders and though, technically, cinema was in its mumbling stage, it is evident that these filmmakers quickly assimilated and mastered the visual potential of this medium. Delivering XXX in various settings (maids, bourgeois, nurses, lesbians, fetish, spanking, nudism without forgetting a Santa Claus cameo!) through different sophisticated shots, involving lots of close-ups, they seem to have established all the rules of a genre that doesn't seem to have changed much in the last 100 years.
Obviously Vintage Erotica will not appeal to general audiences, nor to adult film fans who have contributed to the wealth of the San Fernando Valleyexcept maybe for the hard-core porn aficionadosand might only find its intrinsic value among cinephiles.
Indeed, these rather mechanical and not very flattering pieces of action feature stunt men and women that are not attractive by modern standards. And this is probably where Vintage Erotica's main asset lies: to give us a reflection of early 1900 society, far from the Romanesque idea we have of that period, as well as to officiate as a testimony of the variety and thirst for innovation of a then-young cinema.