Michel Reilhac – Polissons et galipettes aka The Good Old Naughty Days (2002)

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This astonishing, scintillating collection from the silent era, most of which are from the 1920s, are genuine, legitimate and by today’s hardcore standards, amazingly charming, pornographic short films that leave nothing to the imagination. From predictable fantasy scenarios – monk spies on, then joins naughty nuns; teacher must spank naughty schoolgirls – to more esoteric fare (homosexuality and animal ecstasy, to name just two), vintage porn has never been more accessible…or attainable. The shorts in The Good Old Naughty Days were primarily designed to be shown in the waiting rooms of brothels, amusing patrons – and no doubt giving them some ideas – as they awaited their girl. They also reveal production standards far in advance of comparable films being made elsewhere at the time, as well as an inventive and often humorous array of diverse couplings. These films were usually created in a haphazard fashion in an afternoon with friends and local prostitutes lending a hand for a few cents. All of them requested to remain anonymous, which makes it impossible to identify who really acted or directed them. For this reason, it is rather delightful to watch these “actors” often having to readjust their wigs and fake moustaches in the middle of their scenes so as not to be recognized unmasked. It is nevertheless touching to see how fresh and naïve these films look in comparison with today’s X-rated film productions. Considering the age of these films, it is miraculous that they have been rediscovered and restored. These films are a part of our heritage and certainly a part of the secret history of cinema. In their own amusing way, these images involve us in a very direct, physical and intimate relationship with the good old days. These films have been restored by the Archives of the Centre National de la Cinématographie in France. Continue reading