Hot Girls Wanted (2015) (Not Rated)
Porn is inevitable in today’s society. It’s something you may seek out actively with or without remorse or just stumble across from time to time. Pornographic images sneak into movies and often cinema finds itself wondering whether something is porn or art and no, we usually can’t tell when we see it.
A movie like “Hot Girls Wanted” rarely takes in a measured look at what’s happening, but that doesn’t mean that the movie isn’t blisteringly intense and often almost unwatchable. The documentary tracks the doings of many girls, one in particular named Tressa, as they navigate through the amateur porn world, chewed up and dumped out on the other side in less than a year unless certain blessed anomalies come their way.
The movie is shot in Miami, where condom regulations of pornography do not apply and most scenes are shot without protection. The girls assemble in a house run by one man who seems for all intents and purposes to be genuinely creepy. One moment in which he tries to be cute is when he places his baseball cap (which has the word “porn” written on it in huge letters) over a puppy and covers it completely. Then again, this images is exactly what the film is aiming for, innocence smothered in things it cannot comprehend.
The film makes the statement that the girls (for the film never addressed men in pornography for any substantial time) really don’t know that they’re doing. They are just under-sexed, under appreciated ticking time bombs. I have a little more faith in humanity than the film does, but it’s hard to argue with it while you’re watching it...these girls just fall apart in front of you.
There is never a moment that the film tries to argue the other side. The money is good, and some of the actresses tell the camera that during porn scenes are the only time they have sex because the ‘no strings attached’ benefits of porn don’t allow them to get emotionally involved and then hurt.
The film is jarring, particularly when showing some of the much censored scenes that the girls have to perform. One moment includes showing a “forced-blowjob”, the results of which are cringe-worthy. The film seeks to make you uncomfortable, because it is also stating that porn should not serve as a sexual education format because porn does not give the woman any consent.
The film does take time to address Belle Knox, the Duke pornstar who made headlines for her school and because she used the adult industry to pay for student loans. The directors of the film, Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus, seem to imply that Knox is fabricating a lot of her story, reshaping the narrative and putting herself as the hero. This is a stark contrast to their movie which views girls as the subject of naivete, preyed upon by a male-dominated industry of sleezy creatures.
“Hot Girls Wanted” is a Netflix documentary but the company doesn’t understand that irony of this, since the internet is on trial for the exposure of video pornography online. These sites amass thousands upon millions of hits every year and there is no end in site which is why girls are recruited on craigslist.com and then shipping down to Florida where—as one girl puts it—they are treated like meat.
There are lots of facets to the documentary—women, rape, consent, the internet. The issues are so complex that a movie like this could hardly do all of them justice, which is why its lens is focused on amateur porn. That doesn’t mean that even this small corner of it is exposed, because we’re only dealing with one house and one agent. The results of a more comprehensive documentary would be even more jarring, no doubt, and probably much more potent.
All that being said “Hot Girls Wanted” does exactly what it wants to: upset the viewer. It isn’t calling for a change or giving a petition to sign; but it does accomplish its goal.
The film is not for the faint of heart or stomach. It’s a necessary film for education, but not necessary for film’s sake.
Posted by Micah Jones