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THE GIRL NEXT DOOR

USA, 1999 (MIFF 2000, Documentaries)

Director: Christine Fugate

The Girl Next Door is an eye-popping expose of the contemporary porn industry told through the eyes of award-winning (yes, there are Porn Oscars) actress, Stacy Valentine. With abundant pathos, irony and humour, director Christine Fugate tracks Valentine as she performs on location and attends conferences and fan autograph sessions until her crowning achievement, receiving the Hot d'Or, for Best New Talent at the glitzy porn version of the Cannes Film Festival.

The disastrous impact of almost compulsory cosmetic surgery, the psychological trauma of the trade and health hazards inject a deliberately serious note into proceedings. Valentine's gregarious personality, crazy ambitions, unorthodox personal life and all-American upbringing balance the equation with loads of laughs. A modern morality play with the conclusion still to come. An outstanding companion piece to Wadd—The Life and Times of John C. Holmes, also screening in the festival.

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