A Labor Of Love (1976)

DVD Cover (Vinegar Syndrome)
Documentary, Film & Television History, Sexuality
Robert Flaxman Robert Flaxman
Daniel Goldman Daniel Goldman
Anna Welsh Anna Welsh
Robin Rutledge Robin Rutledge
Joel Cohn Joel Cohn
Larry Hovde Larry Hovde
Henri Charr Henri Charr

6.9 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Bill Wolford
Added: June 22, 2013
Vinegar Syndrome has rescued some interesting films in their short history. Some films that I thought would never see the light of day, and some films that I always hoped would get a better transfer by a company that truly cares. Now they've unearthed a documentary that every adult should see at least once, because it humanizes what a lot of people take for granted as the adult film industry in its' day to day form. "A Labor Of Love" is that documentary, and let's see what really happens behind the scenes of an adult film.

Directors Robert Flaxman and Daniel Goldman tried to make an X-rated movie. In Chicago. In the winter. They failed. What DID happen was this documentary, a true movie about a movie being filmed. In 1975, the directors and crew gathered together in Chicago to create a film to be titled "The Last Affair." They were filming in winter for the simple reason of the money not being available to them until that point. The filming is taking place at a friend's mansion. We get to meet several of the actors and actresses, and they discuss their hopes and fears of being in a film. We also get to hear the particular problems that some of them have doing sex scenes for the movie. Both of the women have problems doing the scenes. One is bothered so badly after doing her scene that she doesn't want to be filmed speaking about her experience of it. Some real life entanglements with her boyfriend have become involved with her new crush on the actor she is performing her sex scene with. The fact that the two actors only met the day before show how inexperienced both of them are with the emotions they are dealing with.

The second actress that we get to hear from has personal problems with the actor she is working with, and he doesn't care for her either. Still, they both try to be professional and get through their sex scene. The problem turns out to be that the actor involved is so stoned that he can't stay hard for the scene. This is a pivotal point in the movie, and the crew tries to figure out what to do for hours. Finally the director asks the son of the person who let them use the mansion if he could be a stand in for the close up shots. This kid would be the envy of every guy I know, if you hadn't seen this documentary up to this point, and were seeing the emotions everyone was going through just to try to make this film. He does what is asked of him, and talks to the viewers quite excitedly afterward about being able to be in a film. He turns out to be the only person in the documentary, as far as the actors go, that doesn't have some kind of hang up, or problem with someone. He tells us that he did the scene so that the movie would move along faster and he could get his bed back after the crew left. At the end of this documentary, we're told that the original film "The Last Affair" was finally released, with some of the footage done over, and no hardcore sex scenes included. I would be interested in seeing this final result at some point.

For anyone who thinks adult films are sexy, glamorous, or fun to make, you need to watch this documentary. It brings out the human side of the industry. It makes you think about the people in them as more than just a piece of meat. Vinegar Syndrome is at the top of their game with this release. We get a widescreen 1.85:1 transfer that has plenty of grain, but never looks bad at all.

Features Include:
+ Dual Layer DVD-9 | Region Free | 16:9 Anamorphic | 1.85:1 AR | MONO
+ Restored in 2k from 16mm Ektachrome camera originals.
+ Video interview with Robert Flaxman
+ Audio interview with Flaxman and John Iltis
+ Original theatrical trailer

Pick this one up now, and learn about the film behind the film. 7/10.
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