Skip to main content


Canada, 1997 (MIFF 1998, Exotic Erotic)

Director: Maya Gallus

An excellent contemporary companion piece to Monica Treut's Didn't do it for Love, Erotica explores female sexuality by consulting the opinions and experiences of an international group of ten artists, performers, authors and practitioners, all with a singular slant on activities in the bedroom, boudoir and beyond.

Erotica was an all-female proiect, every staff member, a detail which likely helped in eliciting the profoundly insightful interviews and uninhibited performance footage. Celebrity porn star turned performance artist, Annie Sprinkle, delivers comic philosophy alongside the now 91-year-old French author of seminal bondage bible The Story Of 'O'. The elaborate sadomasochistic rituals of a Parisian dominatrix are contrasted with the stage show at a San Franciscan lesbian nightclub. Erotic filmmaker Candida Royale and photographers Bettina Rheims and PhilIlis Christopher reveal the lure and secrets of their art while rapper Lique and drag king Fairy Butch bring things on home to street level.

Unselfconsciously intimate and abundantly illuminating, Erotica investigates the labyrinthine complexity of female sexuality through the merging of personal and professional lives. Sensuous, evocative, celebratory and sometimes dark, Maya Gallus' documentary achieves marvels is shattering myths and cliche, thwarting misogyny and misconception.

Maya Gallus originally worked as a researcher in TV current affairs and print journalism. Since 1983 Gallus has been working in both film and television as a writer, director and producer focussing primarily on documentaries. Her previous credits include Elizabeth Smart: On the Side of the Angels, Get the Picture: The Portrayal of Women in the Media and short drama The Very Dead of Winter.

See also...


John Greyson, acclaimed Canadian director of Lilies (MIFF 97) and AIDS musical Zero Patience (1993), embraces a more experimental - though eminently accessible - style with Uncut. The scene is ... More »


Don Juan '67, an obscure Mexican sex and espionage film. A bird's-eye crane shot of Eva Norvind, dressed in matching pop art checked mini and shades roars through the streets in a Cadillac ... More »


Experimental filmmaker William E. Jones opens Finished with a shot of a small image of a male porn star in an advertisement for a gay phone line. The porn star is French-Canadian Alan Lambert, who ... More »


One critic has referred to Unmade Beds helmer Nicholas Barker as, 'A fly on the wall turned into a vulture,'' another as, "The most sadistic director in the UK." Strangely, the remarks were meant as ... More »


You have been warned: only an actual porn flick would come close to the highly provocative and explicit nature of Sex/Life in LA. This unflinching German documentary turns a lustful and inquiring ... More »


Canadian director Guy Maddin burst onto the scene in 1985 with an alternately hilarious and grotesque short about grief, The Dead Father. It would be lazy to join the chorus of critics referring to ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director