Jump Cut: Lewd Looks

Review of Lewd Look by Elena Gorfinkel

The untold story of the American sexploitation film—a major development in screen sex in the decade before “porno chic”

Elena Gorfinkel’s astonishing book Lewd Looks seeks, in part, to drain some of the historical chauvinism out of the notion that viewers of 1960s sexploitation films were naïve explorers who had to settle for implicit images before the explosion of hardcore pornography marked by the popularity of Deep Throat in 1972. At once a reception study, an industry analysis, a history, and a series of textual analyses, Lewd Looks lends sexploitation the kind of thick description the genre has so sorely lacked in film scholarship. Best of all, Lewd Looks offers a glimpse into the audiences of sexploitation films, their negotiations and their place at a particular point in the history of sexual representation.


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