Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Cam Girlz

Title:  Cam Girlz
Director: Sean Dunne
Released: 2015

Plot: Documentary looking at the women who work as webcam models and the empowerment, intimacy and creative self-expression they find all from the comfort of their own homes.


Review: A documentary which I’ve wanted to see since it was featured in “Vice Magazine” and more so as here appeared to be a documentary without the side order of shame, that so many of the recent spate of documentaries focusing on various aspects of the sex industry have come with as seen with the likes of the unfocused “Hot Girls Wanted”.

Directed by documentarian Sean Dunne who previous directed “American Juggalo” looking at the followers of the “Insane Clown Posse” attending “The Gathering of the Juggalo’s” and a director whose back catalogue I’m now more keen than ever to work through after seeing this film which once again sees him turning his passive lens onto another outsider subgroup.

Funded through Kickstarter, Dunne his the road to meet with a large number of cam girls from not only a variety of backgrounds, but ages and body types seemingly intentionally avoiding the stereotypical painted blondes that most would assume a cam girls to be as here he once again challenges societies view of something they would already claim to know about, more so when cam girls have been a prominent part of the internet experience since someone first figured what a great outlet for pornography it would make.

Due to the variety of models featured, let alone how insightful and frequently intelligent his subjects come off the film this film frequently proves to be a fascinating watch, especially when Dunne once more frames his subjects so well with his usual visual flair, while at the same time allowing the girls themselves to explain their individual motivations for getting into camming and what they get from it. At the same time Dunne avoids the use of title cards or info dumps to highlight any particular facts or aspect of camming, preferring instead to allow his interview subjects to provide tell their stories in between footage of the girls performing for their individual audiences.  The downside to this being that we don’t get to learn anything of the mechanics of Camming, with Dunne instead choosing to focus on the girls themselves and their stories which for some might prove to be frustrating especially when faced with what on the surface appears to be a show reel for these girls.
Still what a show reel it is as many of these ladies don’t just settle for taking their clothes off in front of their web cam, as many use it as an outlet for many of their other skills such as singing, playing the game of thrones theme on an accordion or even some very random ventriloquism! At the same time the variety of interview subjects means that the documentary goes deeper into this world than most documentaries would and really opens the viewers eyes to the world which these ladies have created for themselves. Sure we have the expected pretty girls and alternative models, but these stand alongside the likes of Alella who puts on her own erotic mime performances, while we also meet the older cam girls like Ginger Meadows and Khylaa who while she might be the oldest interview subject proves once again that age shouldn’t affect your sex drive, as she shares details of her very active sex life she shared with her husband and whose sudden death lead her to starting Camming as a way to replace the loss intimacy in one of the more emotional sections of the film.

At the same time the documentary as to be expected also heavily looks at the girls at work and while it does mean a lot of spanking footage, while also a lot of surprises as we see one group of girls playing around in morph suits and most amusingly Marissa Frost being dared by her audience into having pizza delivered to her in the nude, which is surprisingly greeted with a lack of surprise from the delivery guy, who might just be the most professional pizza delivery guy in the world to handle the situation the way he does.  

While the documentary might be lacking depth in some areas such as the previously mentioned mechanics of their industry, but at the same time the reasons each of the girls have for getting into camming are interesting to listen to, much like what they all take away from it making it much more than about their audience getting their rocks off to them taking their clothes off. Infact Dunne pulls as fast one on us at one point as he turns the camera around to interview several guys who frequent cam girl sites, with one of these subjects describing the experience as the same as hanging out with a group of friends only there happens to be a naked girl in the room. Elsewhere another of these subjects shares the confidence boost he gets from these interactions, knowing that he would be too shy to speak to these girls in the real world. This off course shatters the general image of Cam sites being sleazy and a place solely for perverts. I wouldn’t go as far to say that this is completely untrue but what Dunne does here though is to finally provide a counter argument which hasn’t really been seen before even in these supposedly more open minded times.

Another great addition to Dunne’s directing C.V. this really is the sort of film which feels more like an experience, much like “American Juggalo” and while it might have those gaps in background information and general facts let alone a sense of repetition which might for some mean that the film runs 45 minutes longer than necessary. That being said the subjects are frequently so fun or creative, this film provides the sort of insight into this world that might not have been seen by most viewers who otherwise continue to have a set idea about this world an image that this film will most likely shatter for those who can get into it.

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