Now streaming on Netflix is Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus‘ eye-opening documentary Hot Girls Wanted. Produced by Rashida Jones, the film premiered at Sundance earlier this year before hitting online platforms on May 29th. At a glance, the doc is about the surging popularity of “pro-am” porn and the ways in which the Internet has fostered its exponential growth. The shifting paradigm of the adult film industry is an interesting subject in its own right, but the most important function of Hot Girls Wanted is allowing those within the industry to share their experiences while attempting to uncover why they chose the profession in the first place.
“Every day a new girl turns 18 and every day a new girl wants to do porn. I will never run out,” remarks a 23-year-old talent agent featured in Hot Girls Wanted. As the film unfolds, it becomes clear that he’s right. All it takes is a Craigslist ad offering quick cash and a free plane ticket to Miami and the applicants come rushing in. While their backgrounds differ, the common goal of the girls featured in the film seems to be freedom. Financial, social, professional, or otherwise they all seem to enter the industry convinced that porn will offer them an independence and relevance that they are otherwise lacking. The sad irony for most is that the complete opposite is true. The film suggests that pop culture’s commodification of sexually explicit material (i.e. the celebrity sex tape) plays an important role in crafting this false expectation. Even if the subject matter isn’t your cup of tea, its attention to the relationship between media and society makes Hot Girls Wanted worth seeking out.
With my “pro-am” porn documentary recommendation in hand, we’ll move on to this week’s Top 5: