Female Misbehavior

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Over the course of the '80s and into the early '90s, avant-garde film director Monica Truet shot four twenty-minute documentaries without any direct link to one another save a thematic connection: each studies a woman who defines and commits her own form of "transgressive" sexuality. Truet then compiled the four shorts into her 1992 shockumentary Female Misbehavior. All told, the film focuses on acts that, in the eyes of many, would be considered wantonly perverse, but have been rethought, morally, by the film's subjects, and incorporated into their lives as 'normal.' In the first short, "Bondage," an S&M performance artist named Carol describes in detail the warm and welcoming sensations she receives from severe breast torture; she then pins the alligator clip of her microphone to one of her nipples, as a live demonstration. The second short, "Annie," focuses on former hardcore porn mainstay-cum-female activist Annie Sprinkle (star of the 1982 Deep Inside Annie Sprinkle and of Truet's own My Father is Coming), who engages in performance art by offering viewers from the audience (and Truet's camera) a glimpse into her cervix, via speculum. The third short, "Dr. Paglia," concerns the controversial spokeswoman Dr. Camille Paglia, a celibate "lesbian bisexual" whose rapid-fire, über-confrontational delivery has imparted to her a wealth of notoriety; she delivers an extended on-camera dissertation on why she has such difficulty attracting other women. And the film's fourth segment, "Max," constitutes an extended interview with Max Molerio, born Anita Molerio, a tough-as-nails lesbian biker from Germany who, at the time of the film, is living round the clock as a man and waiting on a sex change operation.

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