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The Devil in Georgina Spelvin
December 12, 2009 9:13 AM   Subscribe

A 73 year old Georgina Spelvin talks about her work in The Devil in Miss Jones as part of a music video for Massive Attack's latest single, Paradise Circus. (Last link NSFW, contains porn clips, etc., etc.)
posted by PeterMcDermott (31 comments total) 34 users marked this as a favorite

 
That was more affecting than I thought it would be. Thanks.
posted by WolfDaddy at 9:35 AM on December 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Devil in Miss Jones was the first porn I saw, perhaps at too young an age. That double penetration scene haunted me for years.
posted by gngstrMNKY at 9:35 AM on December 12, 2009


I like the video. I like the music. I don't understand why the two are placed together.

The video is quite well done. I like how carefully it flirts over the porn footage and reinterprets it. Stereogum says it's directed by Toby Dye, whoever that is. IMDB?

Between this new Massive Attack album and the recent Portishead release, I feel 25 again.
posted by Nelson at 9:37 AM on December 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Great song. Great video.

An analysis of the idea: part documentary, part poetry, part reality.
posted by gcbv at 9:59 AM on December 12, 2009


NSFSP!!!!!

(Not Safe For Snake Phobia!!!!!)

however, nice to hear someone pronounce it cli-TOR'-is --- takes me back
posted by DMelanogaster at 10:33 AM on December 12, 2009


NSFSP!!!!!

(Not Safe For Snake Phobia!!!!!)


NSFHP (hair phobia) either -- that one guy had a 100% authentic & original porn 'stach, even.

Jokes aside, that was surprisingly interesting, and I wish it were much longer.
posted by Forktine at 10:55 AM on December 12, 2009


That's what she said!
posted by Saxon Kane at 10:57 AM on December 12, 2009 [7 favorites]


Fuck yes.
posted by chunking express at 11:37 AM on December 12, 2009


Also, had no idea Massive Attack put out a new album. That's a great track.
posted by chunking express at 11:40 AM on December 12, 2009


That's fantastic. I hate the last shot -- the burning celluloid -- because it's so graceless and lazy and video-like; not to make too much of this, but I have a feeling whoever decided that should be the end is not the same person who directed the rest of it. Otherwise, really great.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 11:41 AM on December 12, 2009


(If "directed" is the right word for a video that's about 90% reused footage, of course.)
posted by kittens for breakfast at 11:42 AM on December 12, 2009


After her retirement from adult films, she became a computer graphic designer until retiring from that at age 65, in 2001.

Wow.

What kind of snake was that?
posted by anniecat at 11:49 AM on December 12, 2009


That was far, far better than I was expecting. Thank you.
posted by jokeefe at 11:54 AM on December 12, 2009


I meant to say earlier I respect the hell out of Ms. Spelvin for this interview. She's so lively and honest, it's really refreshing. Reminds me a bit of Ellyn Burstyn in Requiem for a Dream, the mother. But in a good way.

The Wikipedia page linked here points to an early performance of Georgina Spelvin in a boarding school lesbo movie from 1957. She's remarkably beautiful (NSFWish).
posted by Nelson at 12:08 PM on December 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


that one guy had a 100% authentic & original porn 'stach, even.

That "guy" was Harry Reems, the originator of the authentic porn 'stach.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:12 PM on December 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


The Wikipedia page linked here points to an early performance of Georgina Spelvin in a boarding school lesbo movie from 1957. She's remarkably beautiful (NSFWish).

She must have been about 40 when she made "The Devil in Miss Jones," so let's hear it for 40-something women.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:13 PM on December 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


so let's hear it for 40-something women

And let's hear it for 70s-era porn. There was actual kissing and touching in those early films. Crazy stuff.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 12:26 PM on December 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


what a great interview - it made me smile.

yay sexy old ladies!
posted by rmd1023 at 12:29 PM on December 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Whoa, I didn't know Massive Attack had a new album, either.

Also, here's something I learned the other day that sorta blew my mind a little: maybe this is obvious or already well-known, but I didn't realize that when Neneh Cherry sang "lookin' good, hangin' with the wild bunch" in Buffalo Stance, she meant The Wild Bunch, the sound system that gave birth to Massive Attack.
posted by Ian A.T. at 12:45 PM on December 12, 2009


What a strange and captivating bit of film. Thanks for passing it along.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:06 PM on December 12, 2009


Wow. Viva Georgina. Forthright and beguiling. Thanks for this.
posted by generalist at 2:02 PM on December 12, 2009


Very interesting, and more than a little hot. Except for the snake parts. Those, not so much.

It's good to see and older lady talking about how, yeah, she liked doing it in front of the camera. It seemed very honest.

The song was great too.
posted by elder18 at 4:20 PM on December 12, 2009


<3>Splitting the Atom EP really wet my appetite for Heligoland.
posted by xqwzts at 4:53 PM on December 12, 2009


<3 Massive Attack.

Great song/video.

The Splitting the Atom EP really wet my appetite for Heligoland.
posted by xqwzts at 4:56 PM on December 12, 2009


I like the video. I like the music. I don't understand why the two are placed together.

the lyrics, as far as I can tell:

It's unfortunate that when we feel a storm
We can roll ourselves over cuz we're uncomfortable

Oh well - the devil makes us sin
Yet we like it when we're spinning
In his grip

Love is like a sin my love
For the one that feels it the most
Look at her with a smile like a flame
She will love you [like if?] i will never love you, again


Saturday drunken interpretation time! In the first and penultimate segments of Spiven/ Graham's narration she expresses her love for the camera. How thrilling it is, how despite that she was a bad hooker and found the experience of filming The Devil in Miss Jones to be "uncomfortable" and "humiliating," she loves the camera. In between she describes orgasm as "a mystical instant that doesn't really exist in this dimension," which also describes that which a camera records. Her last line is "we are our own devil" then the film burns–the camera, her devil–what makes her spin–ceases to exist outside of her, is gathered up and in that flame the mystical instant is made ordinary. Her face at 73 and her body at 37 are at once united and separate, discrete instances in dislocated time made whole only by her being (and her devil still there, filming her, loving her again).
posted by generalist at 6:49 PM on December 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I once got into a discussion with a woman after having seen the 1941 comedy "The Devil AND Miss Jones" (Jean Arthur, Charles Coburn). She thought I was referring to the porno film which I didn't know about. After seeing "The Devil IN Miss Jones" I realized why that woman began avoiding me for what must have been for her a very weird conversation.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:15 PM on December 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I understand the contrast of warm 70's porno with harsh lit documentary is suppose to reflect youth versus age, but it pisses me off when this used to depict women (or men for that matter). They obviously set her up that way for the documentary, badly lit from above with fucked up hair to emphasize lost youth, when in fact she is still beautiful and lively. While the story of this is trying to say 'this is the same woman', its visual context is trying to say the opposite. So screw that, because it is the same woman, and she's pretty awesome.

/rant/
posted by greta simone at 8:30 PM on December 12, 2009


Georgina's World
posted by mrducts at 11:20 PM on December 12, 2009


They obviously set her up that way for the documentary, badly lit from above with fucked up hair to emphasize lost youth, when in fact she is still beautiful and lively.

I completely did not see it this way. Her beauty and liveliness are exactly what they were trying to capture. What I got, was that they were saying "this is a normal, real live person". She's glamorous and objectified in the film, but a real live person with feelings and opinions in the narration - and the two complement each other, instead of clashing wildly. The portrayal of the 73 year old adds depth to the image of the 37 year old, and vice versa. I got absolutely zero "lost youth" vibe. Really, I didn't think she looked fucked up, and I didn't think they were trying to make her look fucked up. It would have been pathetic to doll her up, slather on make up and apply soft lighting in some vain attempt to make a 73 year old just as alluring a sex object as her 37 year old self was. This was surprisingly tasteful.
posted by molecicco at 2:03 AM on December 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


Thanks for the heads up on this. The pop culture documenting media culture aspect is thrilling in the same way Spelvin considers sex in front of the camera thrilling.
posted by mistersquid at 8:20 AM on December 13, 2009


She _is_ shot in an unflattering way, and it is distracting. When she starts talking she is very cool and interesting and forthright and just all-around great in ways I try to be. But yeah, that opening shot seems deliberately harsh (and not in an artful way, necessarily, though maybe it was...)
Thanks, this was cool. And hot, obvs.
posted by From Bklyn at 11:09 PM on December 14, 2009


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