Spain’s porn industry — a minor player internationally — is given a homely, human face in Vicente Perez Herrero’s down-to-earth, “Skin for Sale.” Pic’s virtues are more in its interviewees and the tales they tell than in the haphazard treatment, which would have benefited from a sharper investigative edge, particularly relating to financial issues, morality and the effect on sexuality during the transition from dictatorship to democracy. But docu does include a handful of personal insights that could just about generate interest from fest sidebars.
Held together by a rambling monologue from ex porn-star Bibian Norai, “Skin” collects testimony from industry participants. The producers, among them Jose Maria Ponce, the granddaddy of Spanish porn, offer good general reflections: Apparently you can make a “decent” film in Spain for less than $40,000. Other witnesses include thesp Anastassia, a small-town girl whose father accompanies her to shoots, and respected academic Ramon Gubern, who offers the opinion “conventional cinema is life without sex; porn is sex without life.” Industry’s darker side is never addressed. Some surreal footage, including clips from Narcis Bosch’s “Hot Rats,” flesh out the talking heads. Sound on print caught was appalling.