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Germany, 1998 (MIFF 1998, Exotic Erotic)

Director: Jochen Hick

You have been warned: only an actual porn flick would come close to the highly provocative and explicit nature of Sex/Life in LA. This unflinching German documentary turns a lustful and inquiring gaze upon the 'other' Hollywood, Los Angeles equally infamous porn industry, concentrating, in this case, on the flourishing gay erotica trade. Director Jochen Hick trails nine young models, performers and hustlers as they try to make their way to the top of the heap in this sleazy, drug and alcohol soaked, big money business.

Hick's subjects range from reigning stars to Santa Monica Boulevard hookers and artists. What they share is ambition and delusion, each convinced that, given their big break, they would make their mark and their millions in the 'straight' acting world. Most have crawled from a mire of substance abuse but the fleeting and fickle nature of the industry and its illicit nature seems poised to claim them body and soul.

Tragedy and comedy often share the same scene. The most successful of Hick's subjects, 'stud star' Kevin Kramer, is still forced to call phone sex lines to make a date for Saturday night. Former Madonna consort Tony Ward (from her Sex book period) details his indescretions, indulgences, his fall from grace and then hits on the director for some cash!

In addition to poignant, heroic and comic case studies, Sex/Life in L.A. affords a no holds barred (pardon the pun) examination of the gay porn industry - on-set rules, practices and procedures from the insiders themselves and some alarming revelations about the HIV+ status of many participants. Check your prudishness and preconceptions at the door and prepare to have your eyes opened! CONTAINS EXPLICIT SEXUAL MATERIAL

Born in Darmstadt in 1960, Jochen Hick has worked as a freelance television writer/director. His previous films include Mond über Pittsburgh (1984), Gerd Hansen, 55 (1987), Wilkommen Im Dom (1992) and Menmaniacs (1995).

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