Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
I can freely admit that I am not nearly open-minded enough to willingly allow someone to tie me up, string me up, slap me, step on my nuts and pee on me all on the path to sexual gratification.  Nor do I have any particular desire to watch that.  But I can also freely admit that I am not nearly closed minded enough to pass judgment on you, if that's how you like to get down.  Brothers and sisters, life is short, fleeting, fragile and difficult.  As long you aren't hurting anyone against their will, then do what you have to do to get as much enjoyment out of this difficult life as you can.  This leads us into the James Franco produced, Christina Voros directed documentary 'Kink' which explores a little corner of the webisphere in which the website provides just these kinds of services, and a whole lot more, to their discriminating customers.

Kink was founded by Columbia grad student Peter Acworth who himself had a bit of a thing for bondage.  The film opens at the iconic San Francisco armory building where Kink studios houses its various properties, with Mr. Acworth telling us how he came about acquiring this particular piece of land and also showing us a couple of his prized works of art.  The subjects of these particular works should shock no one.

Next we will spend some quality time on the sets of some of these choice properties and sit in and chat with the directors of these small films.  I would tell you the names of these particular sites under the Kink umbrella, but the director didn't feel the need to let us know what these titles were that these directors were shooting.  I only know that Kink has a bunch of titles under its corporate umbrella because I looked it up so I don't know if the director's I was listening to were directing Bound Gods, or Everything Butt, or Ultimate Surrender or F**king Machines... I knew with crystal clarity the subject matter of what these director's were directing, because we spent A LOT of time on set, but I don't know what names they were being filmed under.
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So we talk to the director's who give us their views on what they do and point out to us, to a person, that they wouldn't ask a performer to do anything they haven't tried, and we also speak with some of the performers, some of the technicians, the casting director… some of whom display a true passion for what they are doing at Kink, most of whom do their best to assure the viewing audience that what they are doing is completely safe and consensual.  And we spend a lot of time watching these individuals do what they get paid to do.  Probably half of this brief 80 minute movie consists of watching Kink in action, which almost makes this documentary, unto itself, pornographic.

As we examine this documentary 'Kink', we have to admit that we are a little disappointed by it.  We certainly appreciate the bravery our director showed in taking us behind the scenes, not allowing her camera to cut away from anything that we might view as shocking as these directors set about the process of doing their work, but watching this holds very little interest for me.  If that's what I wanted to see I'd simply pay my fee, log on to one of Kinks many websites and go to town, and in that sense there were times that this movie felt almost promotional in nature.

No, what I found interesting in this documentary is not the kink behind, but kinksters behind  Peter Acworth looks to be a really fascinating guy, but I really can't tell you much about him because we spent all of about three minutes talking to him.  This is his thing, so I would've been very interested to know how this cat came from Great Britain to eventually end up in San Francisco running a multimillion dollar pornographic empire, but I didn't get that. 

This documentary was at its best when we spent quality time with people who told us more about themselves, and less about what they actually do at their jobs.  The lovely woman who was the dominant in the Dominant / Submission setup we saw gave us this as told us about her life, her children, her family's reaction to what she does for a living, and her own feelings about what she does for a living… this was a moment when 'Kink' was at its pure best.  When the gay bondage director was telling us about being raised on a farm dreaming of tying up football players, that's interesting stuff.  The path from that humble beginning to how he ended up where he is now is the real story, if one was to ask me.  Watching what he was directing… less so.  The behind the scenes revenue meeting was fascinating, the actual business of porn at work, but we only got a snippet of that because why show this 'boring meeting' when we can watch a woman duct taped to ceiling with some odd vibrating contraption strapped to her crotch.

Then there was the young man we met earlier who seemed a little nervous about what he was about to do, then we saw what he was about to do, that being bound, gagged, bent over with some woman standing behind him with a strap-on about to give him the business.  I know that would make me a little nervous too.  Thing is, this guy is doing this in hopes of one day being behind the camera.  Now THAT'S a story I want to hear.  I want this young man to tell me, in detail, what his plan is because there has got to be a better way to get from here to there than what he has devised. 

I imagine one shouldn't watch a documentary about a fetish website and then be disappointed that they saw fetish website stuff.  But I am, because it's the people behind the fetish that fascinate me, not so much the fetish itself.
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