18:00 – 21:00


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Aristocratic Arses and Noble Knobbings

After two years in the wilderness of social distancing, we probably all feel a bit like the eager aristocrats in Albert Serra’s quirky paean to the world of cruising: Liberté (2019). Here we stand, each with a head full of extravagantly perverse fantasies (and do these guys at the beginning come up with some weird shit), but when we finally find ourselves in the company of others, doing the dirty deed doesn’t come easy. Which is why we thought day one of Viva Erotica 2022 has to start with this very particular film. And while we’re in that milieu why not stay among the noble and wealthy, those with endless money and time to realise their most depraved desires.

Enter Ernst Hofbauer’s Rasputin – Orgien am Zarenhof (1983), the Schulmädchenreport-godfather’s lone excursion into hardcore porn (and things do get hard here!). In this, his most expensive production, luxurious bodies languidly lick and fuck and whip each other within luscious set designs. Ethereal film art and exuberant exploitation: welcome to Viva Erotica!


Swedish Sinfulness for the World!

At some point we had to go there, for how could Viva Erotica not pay explicit tribute to the country that did more for sex in the movies than any other on this planet? Let’s face it, thanks to the likes of Ingmar Bergman, Arne Mattsson and hordes of lesser luminaries, sex became a quality topic for cinema. While its 50s beginnings still feel very local in subject and mood (midsummer melancholia and all that), by the late 60s Sweden would mutate into an international hub of sex fantasy production. Danish sexologists Inge & Sten Hegeler went there to make numerous sex education milestones under the guidance of local erotica auteur Torgny Wickman (More on Language of Love, 1970). Swedish master cinematographer-cum-director Mac Ahlberg, also honed his craft in Denmark before making several porn classics back home, but aimed at an international market and shot in English (Molly, 1977). And we come to the zenith of Swedish sex internationalism, the six classics Nikkatsu Films shot there between 1971 and 1973 under the series title Sweden Porn. Yes, Japanese tales of sex and debauchery with Nordic performers doing it in their original language (Bockens hus / Injū no yado, 1973; Nishimura Shōgorō)! As Day Two of Viva Erotica 2022 reveals, once upon a time Sweden was truly something!


Naughty Noir and Whip-Wielding Witches

The sinister criminal mindset at work in Bockens hus elegantly leads us to Day Three, which offers excitement galore through the lens of crime and punishment. Pete Walker’s House of Whipcord (1974) is the rarest of beasts: an exploitation film with a liberal, political agenda. Produced and released at a time when Great Britain was considering a return to corporal and capital punishment, this work made a bluntly unambiguous case against such reactionary notions. A bit of jocular relief is offered by Alan Colberg’s Tapestry of Passion (1976), one of the more eccentric entries in the legendary Johnny Wadd series of adult noir comedies staring the Elvis of golden age porn John Holmes. The day ends with Spit and Ashes, a perplexing mix of fetish-heavy S/M-porn, witchcraft horror and feminist sisterhood in which bigot monks get what they deserve, and women find comfort and pleasure with one another…


Closed Quarter Copulations cum Contemplations

Day Four of Viva Erotica 2022 arrives far too soon – our splendid movie orgy is cumming to its climax. We decided to bookend our journey with a pairing similar to our Day One double bill: a fine piece of contemporary cinema with a more artful edge (That Kind of Summer, 2022; Denis Côté) and a similarly themed commercially-minded oldie-but-goldie (Sechs Schwedinnen im Pensionat, 1979; Erwin C. Dietrich). Current film festival regular, Canadian Denis Côté, and the late Swiss T&A-entrepreneur Erwin C. Dietrich both deal with a group of women in seclusion – the former has them undergo therapy without the aim of changing them, the latter shows them seducing (or plainly confusing) their male counterparts. Côté is suggestive in a fabulously sensual way, while Dietrich is as full-frontal as is possible within a non-hardcore production. In their praise of female cheekiness, and lust for new experiences, this unlikely duo converges in Viva Erotica’s playground. A safe-space of true cinema, where everything goes and nothing is forbidden!

Thu 05 May 2022 – 08 May 2022 18:00 – 21:00


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Siltavuorenranta 18,
00170 Helsinki