FILM BUFFS: Gala Vanting (“everyone’s gonna find out that I’m not actually a filmmaker.”)

Gala Vanting Sensate Films Feminist Porn

Porn isn’t made in a vacuum. Like any other film genre, pornography takes cues and inspiration from other cinematic works. What Hollywood and independent films inspire today’s porn directors? We’ve tapped some of PinkLabel.tv’s filmmakers to see what they watch. This week FILM BUFFS focuses on Gala Vanting of Sensate Films.


I’m gonna come out here and say that I really don’t have much background in film. I fall asleep in features (but am always good for a shorts programme). So I’m not going to say anything terribly enlightening here, but here are some films that I can watch repeatedly. Whether they’re must-sees is quite debatable…

Bastardy – by Amiel Courtin-Wilson

Wes Anderson’ Films  – I love Wes Anderson’s more recent work, because incredible colour palates and front-on linear compositions. I know that makes me a hipster jerk but I don’t care.

Lost in Translation – Story of my youth (less the expensive hotel).

The Rocky Horror Picture ShowThe Rocky Horror Picture Show taught me about sex and queerness on film when I was just a wee thing, and for that I am forever grateful.
When I need to feel at peace I watch The Big Lebowski or Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

This is perhaps the most vulnerable I have ever felt in talking about porn — everyone’s gonna find out that I’m not actually a filmmaker.


The single biggest influence I can name is a director called Vincent Moon. I first tuned into his work for La Blogotheque doing the Take-Away Shows, which are these beautiful little films of live music performances, often by indie musicians — they’ve done hundreds of them, I think, and Vincent used to make a lot of stuff for them. He then moved into filming music rites and other rituals, generally ones which have rich and / or ancient local histories. It’s politically complex, but the films themselves are simple, fluid gestures of seeing, and his eye, for me, is quite pure, without agenda. The reason I love his work so much is because it captures the organic unfolding of an act of creation, and he does it with such grace and admiration. I often cry watching his films.

And this of course runs deeply into my porn practice. A sex scene is as much an act of creation as a song. It’s also ritual, I really believe that — intimacy and ritual are so married in my mind. And it’s something that I just want to focus on documenting, which means that my skills in space-holding, camera and sound work, and general multi-tasking have to be elevated (I’ve got a ways to go). He doesn’t have a massive crew, he just travels around with a kit and a hand or two, and he creates some of the most cinematic and moving work I’ve ever seen. I know it might sound a little odd to cite him as such an influence, but once you see the work the connection is obvious.


I hear that Kardashians are meant to be ‘sex bombs’, but I’ve never seen one so I can’t really comment. My business partner Aven and I would both have liked to have seen a young James Spader in our porn, but I think we’ve missed the boat on that. We’ve got just the role for him, too — we’ve been looking for someone for this role for years, and I’m not sure we’ll ever find him. For us the celebrity thing is kinda counter to what we do, so it’s hard to imagine working with someone famous. We tend to be a bit home-grown in regards to performers. But who knows what the future will bring.

Find more of Gala Vanting’s work through Sensate Films on PinkLabel.tv

Posted August 21, 2014

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