THERE TALKING ABOUT MISTy BEETHOVEN, THERE TALKING ABOUT MISTY BEETHOVEN!
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Classic fans and colleagues, just some more proof of the “ad for award” mentality over at AVN. The first company VCX advertised in 2010, the second company VXP,did not!
This is the VCX/cal vista film that got the award, and I know first hand, nothing was done to enhance this release. just a poor sourced transfer, the AVN award for best classic release goes to:
The Video-X-Pix film, which was nominated , was the Platinum Elite Collection of Blonde Ambition, here it is:
This film’s restoration took months to complete. There is a full length commentary by director John Amero, and the last ever recorded commentary from legendary actor, Jamie Gillis, just before his death. There is also a short video tribute to Jamie, not too mention the film’s trailer, and hard and soft versions of the film.
Extras in the package are a 20 Page liner note book, 5 x 7 photo insert, film strip collectible and O-card wrap!
AVN…….you and your voters have got balls!!
Once again, thanks for fucking over our entire team, not to mention all the guys and gals from the golden age that were counting on you guys to do the right thing. Do you ever think of anyone but yourselves…..karma is a bitch
AVN would not know a good thing if it crawled up and sat on Fishbein’s face!
Hey AVN……Thanks for your support and all the best in 2011.
The AVN awards were last night in Las Vegas, I got a call from my buddy who attended and he told me the news as they announced the winner…..
Another year where we obviously have the best DVD release and another year without an AVN award for best classic release.
What can I say? First of all, I am sorry to John Amero, Suzy Mandel, Benson Hurst and my entire team. Secondly, I congratulate those who have received an AVN award for 2010. It might feel amazing for some of you and others might not care much as they have shelves full of the awards from years past.
I would like to call out AVN and Paul Fishbein, the companies president. I would like him to explain to me and the fans the exact curriculum for winning an AVN award. I am almost at a loss for words, but I can tell you that this year was a crystal clear litmus test for us, as we clearly had the best DVD package of 2010 with our Platinum Elite Collection of Blonde Ambition, but instead the award went to VCX, for a dull and bare bones release of a Cal Vista film ,with no extras and absolutely nothing redeeming to speak of. Does anyone see a trend here….VCX advertised with AVN in 2010, and Video-X-Pix did not.
Ironically, it is sort of de javu, as last year in 2009 our 2 Platinum Elite Collections( Maraschino Cherry and the 3 disc set of Deep Inside Annie Sprinkle) were also overlooked by AVN and the award was to VCX for a film that had won awards already and had nothing in comparison to our nominations of 2009. What is funny is that we did advertise last year with AVN and we did pay for a booth at the 2009 AVN show, I guess our booth was not big enough?
By rewarding the nominees based on advertising as opposed to actual product/accomplishment is absolutely disgusting. You guys should be ashamed of yourselves. Your actions penalize those who may not have the funds to advertise with you, but actually do more for the preservation of classic adult content than all the other companies put together.
For 2 years in a row AVN and it’s “voters” have ignored our Platinum Elite Collections and overlooked them for AVN awards by rewarding less deserving films or studios ( basically anyone who advertised).
An irony to this whole sad situation is that our first year in selling DVD’s we spent tens of thousands of dollars in ads with AVN and our product was cheaper and not top notch, now we have no funds to advertise but we spare no expense on our high end collections, but get very little to no recognition from AVN. It does not help our sales, it sends the wrong message, and it is pointless. How does that help the world of classic adult entertainment?
I have been encouraged to express my feelings and I would love to have a podcast with Paul Fishbein and any other members of the voting staff, so we can find out how and why these educated voters and critics came to this conclusion? Did they even vote? Do they just want free screeners?
Paul, my old man was in the adult industry when you were still in High School, and he was one of the first guys to advertise with AVN back in the day, he stood up for his rights and became a major vidoe mogul at a young age in the mid to late 70′s, and not just in the adult world. In a way he was responsible for the video revolution in the early 80′s and changed the way mainstream films were distributed. I always remember him rewarding and giving incentives all the time and it was based on earning, if you sold the most, you won the award, it was clear cut. It made his customers and distributors work harder and they were rewarded for that. Unfortunately, I don’t have his brain or his ability and that is something that I deal with on a daily basis and that is my problem. But one thing I know, is that you are doing the wrong thing with your rigged AVN awards. For me, it is not just a trophy, as with the approach I take to classic film preservation, it means so much to so many people, and it effects so many. Your companies biased decision making on giving out AVN awards is shameful and disgusting. But I actually thought that this year, with the addition of actual non-AVN voters that we would finally get our due, but I was wrong. Moving ahead, I will be an open advocate to AVN’s unfair and bribery like tactics.We have played by your rules for almost 7 years and it has done nothing for us, absolutely nothing.
I am happy to say that this blog has developed a nice little following of some of the more intellectual film fans, film archivists, critics, bloggers and web masters… they help me get the word out…….. If any of you would like to send me an e-mail, I would be more than happy to chat with you, in order to help expose this situation a bit more… Any press is good press, let’s have a fun debate and it might be entertaining. Please link to this story. Thank you.
By Adult Film Historian Benson Hurst and Mark Kernes of AVN
NEW YORK CITY—As part of his upcoming project, a documentary on the birth of the New York hardcore scene, adult historian Benson Hurst spent a lot of time with Jamie Gillis right up until his death last Friday, and Hurst related to AVN some of the information he gleaned from his talks with the actor:
“I spent the last few days before his passing with Jamie, and it’s hit us all pretty hard. He was such a great guy,” Hurst said.
His Early Life and Career
“He was fourth of six siblings; not particularly close to them but not estranged either. He was a graduate of Columbia University in 1970 and wanted to become a mime artist originally. In fact, he actually was a mime artist for a couple of years in the late ’60s and also had theatrical aspirations. He was in Shakespeare productions in lead roles, and I have a few reviews from the New York Times of Shakespeare plays that he did. He played both Laertes and Polonius in an off-Broadway production of Hamlet. A lot of porn people were aspiring actors in the early days, but in Jamie’s case, I actually felt it was justified due to the number of real roles that he had played in off-Broadway productions, and everybody knows that in his spare time, he was a taxi driver, which allowed him to continue auditioning for plays during the day.”
That was before he was in porn? “Yes, although the details of his sexual escapades as a taxi driver would fill another book; very entertaining.”
“Jamie’s first introduction to porn was to audition for the now legendary Bob Wolf, who was the loop maker in New York, who was the guy who did the infamous Linda Lovelace dog loop, and he also was the guy who started Eric Edwards, Tina and Jason Russell, and several other early stars. Bob had this basement on 14th Street which was effectively Ground Zero when it came to hardcore in New York. So Jamie saw an advert in the Village Voice in ’71, went to this basement, had a Polaroid taken of himself, was invited back a few days later to appear in a porn loop, which he remembered very well, because after having sex with this girl, he asked her for her phone number, and she reacted with great indignance, saying, ‘Who do you think you are, wanting to go out with me? We may have had sex but that doesn’t mean anything,’ which he always said really titillated him. He loved the fact that just because you had sex with someone didn’t give you any rights to ask a girl out.”
“He then got a number of roles in pre-Deep Throat pictures, some of them sort of marriage-manual white-coat documentaries that purported to have socially redeeming purpose, and a few pre-Deep Throat hardcore narrative films as well. So he was making these before the watershed moment that was Deep Throat in 1973. And then, Harry Reems was taken off the scene by the legal travails that he went through—the Deep Throat bust in Tennessee—so by the time you get to ’74, ’75, ’76, Jamie was the number-one go-to actor in New York. If I had to name the top five movies, both in terms of box-office gross or in terms of how good they were, Jamie was the lead in each of those, whether it was The Opening of Misty Beethoven, Through the Looking Glass, The Private Afternoons of Pamela Mann, Story of Joanna—all of these, Jamie was pretty much the lead, winning the very first awards that were being handed out in the industry.”
“He was also notorious for his dark side, and before I met him, I remember my wife saying, ‘I’m not sure whether we should have the interview at our house. This is Jamie Gillis, after all. You know: The Prince of Darkness?’ And I had a cameraman lined up but he pulled out because he didn’t necessarily want to be there when Jamie was there and so on, and it became clear to me that he was a guy with a reputation that genuinely preceded him, and to be honest, to people outside the industry I’ve said, ‘You know, I’m friends with Jamie Gillis,’ and they’ve come back after having Googled him and said, ‘You know, he really was a dirty, nasty, mean kind of misogynistic person.’”
“He had a kinky side, and basically, one thing he always said to me, which always stuck with me, I asked him about some of the more supposedly perverse things he did, and he sat back and he said, ‘You know, I never did anything that didn’t feel right in the moment and right for the person I was with,’ and whether that was true or not, I believe that he believed that. As a result, the relationships that he had with someone like Serena were—they sort of lived this relationship out in the sex clubs of New York as well as on the screen of the films they were in, and that was a sort of sadomasochistic although consensual relationship. But I still get people in the industry who go, ‘I was never sure about that relationship,’ and I know the affection they had for each other right up until the end; gave me all indications that they were just very close and consensual and so on.”
His Historical Significance
“What interested me in him was, he was a famous figure for a number of different eras, having started in the ‘Swinging Sixties,’ or the legacy of the ‘Swinging Sixties,’ he’d been so very hippie-ish, and then he got into the acting-type porn films, and then he got into the video age, and then he got into the gonzo era with his On the Prowl series, and then he made a number of fetish movies as well. One of the last things he said to me was—we were cleaning in his room, and somebody said, ‘This says you won an award for Best Fetish Video; how ridiculous is that?’ And he sat up a little bit hurt and said, ‘There’s people out there that make hundreds of fetish videos every year; it’s a production line. I made one and they gave me the award for Best Fetish Movie.’ He said, ‘Take care of that award,’ and you could see that he was a little bit preachy all of a sudden, and I found that amusing and we laughed about it. How many people can have been through all of those different eras and the sharp end of the industry, and yet be as intelligent and cultured as I felt he was. He was unique.”
His Off-Screen Life
“He was a keen boxing fan, and he was always recognized. It would be a lot of fun walking with him and see people walk past and then sprint back so they could stand in front of him and look at him again, which surprised me because I just never thought he had that kind of notoriety but I think people recognized his face.”
“He moved back to New York I think in the early 2000s, and didn’t like flying too much so he didn’t return to California very much after that. He supposedly announced his retirement at Christmas 2007 to his partner [Zarela] as a Christmas present to her. In reality, I don’t think he’d had too many roles of a sexual nature in recent years. He’d been in a few non-sexual roles and a couple of fetish roles, but that was it.”
“On any given night, you would go to Zarela’s and if you looked at the ‘owner’s table,’ there would be Jamie, and that was one of my most abiding memories. He would be happy to see anybody. One day, he told me—I asked, ‘Do you get recognized much?’ and he said, ‘I do, actually.’ He said, the other day, some guys had stopped and done a double-take and they’d gone up to him, and he was thinking, ‘Here comes more fans,’ and he was puffing up his chest in a proud way, and one of the guys pointed at him and said, ‘You! You! You’re the guy who fucked Vanessa Del Rio!’ Jamie said that gave him even more pride, the fact that he was known just as ‘the guy who fucked Vanessa del Rio’ as opposed to being The Great Jamie Gillis.”
His Final Days
“His decline was fairly rapid, but he broke the news to me in early December, and he was walking around and fine then but looking a little bit pale. I had to go away for the Christmas break, came back at the beginning of the year, and he was pretty much bedridden from the turn of the year.”
“When he told me he was suffering from this, he told me he wasn’t telling anybody else, and the reason for that, I think—and he never was too explicit about it, but in conversation with him, I think he feared a little bit that his life might become a little bit of a circus in his last days, and he didn’t wish that upon himself nor his partner, who obviously wasn’t part of the industry, so he did keep it quiet. But a consequence of that was, a lot of people were taken by surprise because they didn’t even know he was sick. It’s something he felt bad about, but it’s a natural consequence of the choice.”
“I sat with him a couple of weeks ago, and I asked him, ‘What gives you happiness?’ And he said, ‘I have no sex drive anymore; I have no interest in food; I’m not interested in watching movies,’ and he looked at me and he said, ‘Can you imagine that? The great Gillis has lost all of his senses?’”
“I always used to say to him, ‘Jamie, you were a great actor,’ and he said, ‘Well, yes, but in second place, there was a Great Dane.’ So he had this mixture of contempt for the competition but at the same time, a sneaking contentment that he was well-regarded. It was this ambivalence; he loved the industry, but at the same time he recognized its limitations. I used to say to him, ‘You could have had a genuine acting career, quite clearly,’ and he said, ‘And what? Be recognized by the mainstream? I’d much rather be recognized by the pervert who frequents 42nd Street cinemas and so on.’ Right up until the end, he asked me, ‘Do you think anybody will care? Do you think anybody will remember me? And I couldn’t be quite sure whether he was doubting his own notoriety or whether he just wanted to have affirmation of it, and I think there was an element of both. I thought the world of him as a person and as an actor.”
Jamie Gillis: April 20, 1943–February 19, 2010
By Adult Film Historian Benson Hurst and Mark Kernes of AVN
Well another year without any award. We never expected an award in the previous years, but this year we were sure that we would walk away with the AVN award for our landmark treatment of the XXX classic “Deep Inside Annie Sprinkle”. I was always told by many that the AVN awards are totally fixed, and you must spend money on advertising in order to get any awards. I never wanted to believe it. And on his most recent visit to the stern show, Paul Fishbein, the owner of AVN, was confronted with that exact comment, when Howard briefly mentioned that the awards were fixed. There was no comment from Paul Fishbein.
The award went to Debbie as usual, again and again. How many times can you give an award to the same film??
Your comments are welcome!!!!
We are very proud to announce that AVN has nominated both of our PLATINUM ELITE RELEASES for best classic DVD at the 2010 AVN awards show in Las Vegas. Both Maraschino Cherry and Deep Inside Annie Sprinkle have been nominated. We always have DVD’s nominated in the best classic DVD category, but we really never took it that seriously, as many people say that the awards are based on how much money that the studios spend with AVN, etc. We are a very small company, and we used to spend thousands of dollars per month on AVN advertising, not too mention that our company was one of the first adult companies to advertise in AVN, many, many years ago. Unfortunately, that has all changed. The fact that people say that the awards are kind of ” fixed” does not bother us, we are simply delighted to have the recognition, as that is all we look forward to. Plus, with all due respect to the other classic studios in the adult biz, not one of them can boast that they are doing all of there transfers, from original 35 mm negatives and certainly no one can argue the amazing treatment that has been given to these 2 nominated golden age gems. We are the only ones, that are doing it like this, not as an exception to the rule, but as our new standard, we have over 184 original film negatives to still transfer. This gives us an edge from the starting line. Our company spends literally thousands of dollars every month with our film transfer house and we are getting amazing results. What till you see what is coming in 2010!!!
Thank you very much to AVN for the nominations.
In 2008, Adult Video News magazine celebrated its 25th Anniversary and chose to commemorate its impressive longevity by paying tribute to the most prominent pioneers of the industry who took risks and paved the way for today’s multi-billion dollar enterprise.
Amongst the great and the good featured in the retrospective, special mention was made of two distinguished New Yorkers whose names may not have been familiar to many readers. They were rightly praised for being amongst the first to develop a chain of video stores called Video Shack in 1982.
What the article failed to mention however was that by the early 1980s, these guys were already veterans in the adult film industry – and able to lay claim to just about the longest tenure of anyone.
Back in 1965, armed with limited funds, Distribpix was founded. Within months, the company was distributing the most profitable adult films of the day; this was the era of black and white sexual melodramas with lascivious and sleazy titles such as “Thigh Spy”, “Lust Weekend”, “Spread Eagles”, and “ Wee-Gee Broad”.
Though the plots were strongly sexualised, the nuditity quotient of the initial films was low – though the climate quickly become more permissive with every film. Wanting to ensure their risque’ films stayed ahead of the competition, Distribpix took risks with the censors and revealed a little more flesh each time. This led the founder to comment wryly that Distribpix invented the industry “one pubic hair at a time”.
The success of Distibpix was instant, and operations were immediately expanded. Relationships were formed with the rising talent of East Coast directors such as Joe Sarno, Ron Sullivan, the Amero brothers, and Michael and Roberta Findlay. In the late 1960s, films rolled off the production line with regularity, turning a quick profit in the legendary Times Square adult cinemas – before earning thousands around the country.
As the 1970s dawned, softcore gave way to hardcore, and once again Distribpix was at the forefront – producing the highest quality adult pictures available. For the first time, the best of the adult films looked like mainstream pictures – and Distribpix led the way with the biggest names in the industry such as Georgina Spelvin, Tina Russell, Jamie Gillis, Marc Stevens, and Harry Reems, specially commissioned scripts and soundtracks, and talented mainstream crews.
Distribpix even started to mirror mainstream production company’s such as MGM or Paramount becoming the first to stage elaborate premieres for its film, or signing now legendary stars such as Gloria Leonard and Jennifer Welles to exclusive contracts. Along the way, the Distribpix library was augmented by the purchase of Sam Lake’s Maturpix back catalog – home of many legendary titles from the era.
Towards the end of the 1970s, the adult film market had become more discerning; Distribpix responded by increasing the budgets and ambition of their productions, hiring the likes of Armond Weston, Chuck Vincent, Jonas Middleton, and Gerard Damiano – resluting in movies such as “Through The Looking Glass”, “Take Off”, “A Scent of Heather”, and “Consenting Adults”.
By now Distribpix had been rebranded as VideoXPix reflecting the advent of the video age. But, unlike many competitors, the company thrived and adapted to the new marketplace quickly becoming a major video production house, even going back to one of it’s earliest directors from the 1960s, Joe Sarno, to deliver film after film shot on video.
Movie production eventually stopped in 1989 – but the company remained in family hands, and has been run by Distribpix kin since 2002. The priority was originally to release the classic hardcore features from the 1970s and 1980s – an undertaking which has been underway ever since, resulting in over 200 films now available on DVD.
However with the resurgence in interest in soft and hardcore adult cinema, Distribpix and VideoXPix are proud to announce the re-launch of the company. The relaunched company will focus on a three-tiered approach: First, we will offer multi-disc remastered special editions of the hard core films, featuring contributions by the original directors and stars, production stills, and authoritive liner notes. Secondly, we will release, remastered soft-core films by stellar directors such as Joe Sarno, Ron Sullivan, Michael Findlay and Leonard Kirtman. Third, we are developing an extensive online community for the sharing of information and documentary material relating to the films, and the ability to download the movies themselves.
Far from being a bootlegging, oldies company like so much of the competition, Distribpix / VideoXPix is proud of is long heritage in the industry and looks forward to increasing the size of its family of people interested in this historical company. We hope you enjoy our family of jewels!