by Rich Moreland, September 2018
In Part Two of “Love in the Digital Age,” we’ll take a look at the production side of filmmaking that makes the award-winning Jacky St. James/Eddie Powell style one of the finest in the business.
[My thanks to Jeff Koga, Jacky St. James, and New Sensations for the photos in this post.]
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“Love in the Digital Age” is another Jacky St. James feature film that reveals just how precise and demanding the writer/director can be.
Jacky is fond of saying that she’s not concerned with how popular her performers are in the fan world of adult film. Fame built on gonzo scenes and horny bodies is not what drives her casting. In fact, standards of hotness aren’t even in the equation when it comes to the on-screen expectations Jacky has for her hires.
To make a feature film come alive as an artistic statement, Jacky looks for performers who can take direction, deliver lines, and get into their characters. Some adult directors settle for line readings as benchmarks to create their characters; Jacky insists on acting ability. In this romantic comedy, she gets what she demands in spades.
Gia and Logan
Take Gia Paige. Her performance is superb.
Here’s an example. After an unsavory discovery, Sara confronts Griff (Logan Pierce) as she is walking out on him. She wants to know what category of undesirable females she falls under in his mind. “Dumb sorority girl, bad chick, crazy chick,” she growls. It’s Gia’s finest acting moment in the film. She expresses her frustration, anger, and feelings of deception.
For his part, Logan’s performance is also top-of-the-line. When Griff talks to his radio audience about screwing up “the best thing he had in his life,” he admits to being a jerk and doesn’t want his audience to be like him. The pain on Logan’s face illustrates the contrition and deep sense of loss Griff feels.
Bottom line? Expect good acting and character development in this film. The script is lively, but the actors’ energy moves the production into the fast lane.
Fit the Narrative
Eddie Powell and his filming cohort Paul Woodcrest frame the sex scenes to fit Jacky’s directing philosophy. She focuses on female pleasure and wants it evident on-screen. That requires a special commitment because extracting intimate performances from actors who are often limited to all-sex shoots is not easy. Too often spitting, deep throating, and facials limit the artistic boundaries, such as they are, in those types of scenes. On the other hand, romance scripts demand a different approach.
Jacky wants her cast to be engaged in the story but they must go a step further with the sex scenes because they must fit the narrative.
In this production, the women initiate the sex, moving the female characters from the object of sex to its subject in the eyes of the viewer. There’s lots of kissing, loving gazes, and passion.
As always, Eddie’s camera work reflects Jacky’s story telling mission. When framing the performers during their sex scenes, he focuses on both bodies equally. He and Paul build the intimacy with facial closeups as opposed to relying on genital action. In other words, the pure up-close piston shot is absent. In its place is a humanized sexuality, a Jacky St. James/Eddie Powell trait that has forged their legendary talent.
To put it another way, Jacky and Eddie step away from the traditional male gaze and rough sex that present women as merely bodies with no larger reality. It’s a departure from run-of-the-mill porn.
There is one more ingredient in the mix. Eddie’s camera is always in motion, swirling and floating in an expression of what happens in the minds of lovers who are absorbed in each other. His shooting mimics what lovers experience when passions are high, a trait that elevates his work above the best cinematographers in the business.
A Cowgirl Sexcapade
There are four sex scenes, as mentioned previously. The first is Gia and Tyler Nixon. It’s a sample of Sara’s previous relationship that is ultimately doomed because of a social media post that inflames her.
The second is Kenna James and Small Hands. Lizzie meets Jeremy at the bar. He takes her home and the sex heats up.
The third is Gia Paige again, this time with Logan Pierce in a triumph of their new-found romance.
The fourth involves Mona Wales and Marcus London. Janine is at first turned off by her coffee date with Mark, but he gets a do over and love ensues.
The favorite sex position to begin each scene is cowgirl. The female controls her pleasure and relishes the expressions of her lover as she rides to ecstasy. This is not to minimize mish (missionary), spoon, and doggie. They are there, of course, as is oral sex. Incidentally, there is a lot of that for her enjoyment, something not found in abundance in adult film unless the scene is girl/girl.
In the final analysis, porn is often in a hurry. Chuck clothes, get to the blow job, then run through the standard positions with the pop shot that is most often a facial. Jacky will have none of that. Her performers warm up to each other, a necessity in a true romantic comedy.
Once again, Jacky St. James and Eddie Powell have made a Hollywood-worthy adult film. Because of their exceptional talent, “Love in the Digital Age” belongs in every porn library in a prominent place on the feature film shelf.
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Here’s the YouTube trailer for “Love in the Digital Age.”