10,000 Bullets   Exploring the world of Cinema from the Arthouse to the Grindhouse™

News Feature 
Written by: on March 21st, 2015

Here at 10kbullets we are all about spreading the word about the films we love and went it comes to adult cinema there is no better website then The Rialto Report.

Here are links to their two latest podcasts.

For the first time on The Rialto Report, we feature a current day adult film performer. But the twist is that Nina Hartley is also one of the true stars of the golden age, having appeared scores of films since her start in 1984.

By any standards, Nina is a unique person.

The daughter of a socialist blacklisted writer, she was raised in Berkeley, CA and became a registered nurse whilst dancing at the Mitchell Brothers’ O’Farrell theater.

For many years she was married in a troubled menage-a-trois arrangement, having both a husband and a wife.

And since 1984 she has acted, directed and produced over 400 films, covering many types of sexuality, and even had a role in the hit mainstream film, ‘Boogie Nights’.

Today Nina is widely respected as a pro-sexuality feminist, and one of most outspoken supporters of the adult industry and free speech issues. Her fights have taken her to speaking to state legislatures, and national TV shows as Oprah.

She is married to Ira Levine, also known as Ernest Greene, legendary BDSM and fetish filmmaker and editor of Hustler’s Taboo Magazine.

And she is still going strong, still speaking out, even appearing as Hillary Clinton in a recent lesbian film.

So how does she remember starting out? How has the industry changed since those early years? And has she really been having a long-running affair with a school friend she first met in high school?

This episode also features Carol Queen, author, editor, and sexologist active in the sex-positive feminism movement, and Nina’s close friend for many years.

Make no mistakes about it, Howard Ziehm is one of the people who invented the adult film industry.

He was there taking still photos for adult bookstores in the 1960s – when the most you could reveal was a girl in her underwear. He made some of the first color loops – when all you could show was the subject writhing on a mattress by herself.

And then in 1971, as the market finally demanded hardcore, he made the groundbreaking ‘Mona: The Virgin Nymph’.

Time magazine called it the ‘The Jazz Singer’ (1927) of fuck films. Variety called it “the long-awaited link between the stag loops and conventional theatrical fare” and it was listed it their annual Top 50 grossing films – the first pornographic film to feature. And it was the first nationally released 35mm adult feature film to play in actual movie theaters.

In short, it was the blueprint for the 1970s porno chic hits that followed.

Howard went onto make many more adult films over the next decade, including ‘Flesh Gordon’(1974), a science fiction adventure comedy erotic spoof of the Flash Gordon serials from the 1930s.

So who was the mysterious Howard Ziehm behind these films?

Fortunately he’s finally completed his autobiography which The Rialto Report is assisting Howard to publish shortly. And it’s a hell of read. It’s a huge, entertaining, and riveting book that names names, settles scores, and tells truths. It’s also one of the best biographies you’ll read about anyone in the film industry.

And it turns out here was someone who was going to be a theoretical physicist, owned one of the most successful clubs of the 1960s folk scene, worked as a nude model, had a drug running scheme importing marijuana across the border into the US, played guitar in a Los Angeles band called Father Plotsky and the Umbilical Cord – and all that before he ever even thought of making a porn film.

Today we’re joined by Howard Ziehm to talk about his surprising life leading up to the film ‘Flesh Gordon’. It’s quite a ride.

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