All About Anna
In the early to mid 1970's, it seemed that mainstream and porn might join
hands, but video tape essentially fragmented the markets and ended that dream.
It is making something of a comeback in arthouse circles. We now have "hardcore
meets mainstream" art films in France, Denmark, The United States (Shortbus),
the UK (9 Songs) and Asia. All About Anna is such a movie, targeted directly at
the untapped potential of female audiences.
Sex research indicates that women are physically aroused when watching porn
films but, when questioned later, claim that they hated them. A Danish woman
kept claiming that it would be possible to make a porno that women would like.
Zentropa Films told her to "put up or shut up," so she formed a company called
"Pussy Power," came up with a manifesto as to what a woman-friendly porno film
would be like, and Zentropa (the home of Dogma 95) was in the porn business,
under the new banner of Innocent Pictures. All About Anna was Zentropa's first
contribution to a growing number of art films which contain hardcore elements
and feature recognizable mainstream performers having actual sex on camera.
Although the film was made in Denmark, it is in English
Anna (Gry Bay, actress and singing sensation) opens the film talking about
love. She is on a boat with a good-looking man, and says, "Every woman needs
three men, one for adventure and fun, one for stimulating conversation, and one
for good sex. Johan was all three."
It seems that Johan decided he needed adventure in his life, and took off for
a five month cruise. After four months, he stopped writing, and she decided to
get over him. She adopted an indulgent life style, but was beginning to settle
on one man, Thomas Raft, until Johan returned and she decided Raft was not for
her. Rather than moving Raft, she took a female roommate (Eileen Daly) who
shared her morals and lifestyle, and lost Johan's phone number. She then plunged
herself into her work, costume design, and got an offer to work in Paris in a
prestigious theater. As she was leaving, Johan showed up, having rented half of
her apartment from Eileen Daly, who had no idea who he was, but intended to
seduce him. Once in France, Gry realized what she really wanted.
The story here is simple, but as a "coming of age" for Anna and a romantic
comedy, the film and the personalities of the characters held my interest. The sex
scenes are real, but even better, feel real without being boring. I don't recall
an angle where you could prove penetration, but the oral sex was clearly not
faked, and Eileen Daly even got a facial. Eileen Daly and Gry Bay both showed
everything and had sex on camera. I welcome this. Sex is a major element in
probably 35% of all films. That being the case, it is a shame that it isn't
The three-disk all-region DVD set not only includes the film, but some amazing special
features, which include four full-length commentaries, an alternate version of
the film, the script and storyboards, a slide show, and nearly an hour of extra
footage of the principal nude scenes. The third disk contains trailers for other
hard core films.
Given our grading system, the film is clearly a C+, since
those who hate explicit sex in film will not be won over here. As someone who
welcomes explicit sex used appropriately in film, the C+ is the same as an A to me, and will be to
some of you as well, and thus represents an enthusiastic recommendation. If this is your sort of film, buy it. The price is
quite reasonable for such a comprehensive and richly detailed 3-disc package, and
it is only available in the US
IMDb readers say 4.9.
Get purchase info by clicking on the image below.