American Cinematheque presents...







MAU MAU SEX SEX: Wednesday, April 5, 2000

MAU MAU SEX SEX (2000, 7th Planet Prod. 80 min.), a hilarious no-holds-barred documentary portrait of "America's oldest independent filmmakers." From first-time director Ted Bonnitt and screenwriter Eddie Muller, the shot-on-digital film profiles America's two oldest maumau.gif (9148 bytes)salesmen of cinematic sex, Dan Sonney, 84, and David Freidman, 76, who have had a bigger impact on our cultural concept of sexuality than Masters and Johnson. Since the 1940's, they have produced an avalanche of "Adults only" product for generations of insatiable moviegoers.These masters of sleaze and sexploitation produced all time grindhouse classics like BLOOD FEAST, THE DEFILERS, and A SMELL OF HONEY, A SWALLOW OF BRINE. Reminiscences of their decades in the no-budget, carnie-like world of exploitation movies are interspersed with eye-popping clips from their archive of nudie cuties, S&M roughies and other mutant treasures. 

A guaranteed evening of gonzo, grindhouse madness. We have here, a thought-provoking and laugh-inducing look at a hugely profitable, but morally marginalized slice of the "sexploitation" business. Above the sociology lesson, the film challenges our preconceived notions, and examines the family lives of two distinctive characters: Friedman, a "carnie" from Alabama, who dropped a Paramount check to pursue his renegade career; and the other half of the notorious twosome, son of a frontier lawman, Sonney, who became the nation's leading purveyor of sleaze, while raising four daughters in the Catholic Church. Championed by free speech advocates and vilified by self-appointed watchdogs, the pair has enjoyed a long association and remarkable friendship, which they discuss with eye-opening candor and hilarity.

During a period when Hollywood white washed any hint of the lurid or salacious, the duo offered a ravenous public, gems like THAR SHE BLOWS, a pseudo-lavish, completely tongue-in-cheek send up of Hollywood movies, with plenty of sex splashed around. They were also responsible for the first of what became known to the trade as "roughies," with THE DEFILERS, an unnerving film about two affluent degenerates who kidnap and torture an innocent young woman. Having ushered in a new period of depravity in grindhouses, Sonney and Friedman continued their edification of the public with titles such as THE HEAD MISTRESS, DAUGHTERS OF THE SUN, THE ADVENTURES OF LUCKY PIERRE, and STARLET.

From first-time director/producer Ted Bonnitt, who co-wrote the film with Eddie Muller (author of Grindhouse: The Forbidden World of Adults Only Cinema), we get a combination of the latest digital technology and extensive clips from 60 years of "sexploitation," to present a kaleidoscopic take on a loopy sex-mad society and two cagey operators who knew how to exploit it. While prudes and critics railed, Friedman and Sonney laughed all the way to the bank. On April 5th, find out what went on, and what came off! Bonnitt will also discuss his completely digital filmmaking process, MAU MA will screen on on digi-Beta at the Egyptian. Dan Sonney and David Freidman will appear with director Ted Bonnitt and screenwriter Eddie Muller for a discussion following the screening