24 June 2011

The Birth of the Pearl - 1901

Proprietors of the arcade parlors and nickelodeons with hand-cranked kinetoscopes, designed to provide cheap entertainment for poor, lower-class immigrants in the cities, realized that sex (or erotica) sold - as in this short provocative American Mutoscope & Biograph film about the 'birth of a pearl' in an art tableau. When the curtains were drawn to the side by two clothed chorus girls, a large oyster or clam shell was revealed in front of a painted backdrop of the ocean. As the shell opened, a sleeping or slumbering long-haired young model (wearing a flesh-colored body stocking) was curled up, but then slowly awakened from slumber and stood up.

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