Digital Playground's 'Pirates II: Stagnetti's Revenge' Screening and Q&A @ UCLA, 12/3/08
Last Wednesday, while Hustler Hollywood's flagship store celebrated its tenth anniversary, just a few miles down Sunset Blvd., UCLA's Campus Events Commission hosted a free screening of Digital Playground's (MySpace) blockbuster epic adult movie PIrates II: Stagnetti's Revenge (MySpace) at the Ackerman Union Grand Ballroom. After its world premiere in September at The Orpheum Theatre, the movie, budgeted at $8 million, and billed as "The Biggest Adult Production in History," featuring 11 sex scenes and over 600 special effects, has since received a whopping 30 nominations for next month's 2009 AVN Awards, including Best Video Feature, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Special Effects, and Best All-Girl Couples Sex Scene.
The screening, exclusive to UCLA students and the first of over 100 collegiate screenings planned across the country, drew nearly 1,000 students -- making it this year's largest audience for the campus thus far, eclipsing an Eagle Eye screening and an Alan Rickman appearance -- and during Dead Week no less.
Prior to Wednesday, the campus hosted five showings in the 1970s of Deep Throat. And the rest of the UC system is no stranger to pornography either, as Professor Constance Penley has taught a Film Studies Pornography course since the early 1990s (with its Spring 2008 class featuring special guests Vivid-Alt head/director Eon McKai and pornstar/director Kimberly Kane), and Professor Kassia Wosick-Correa teaches a Sociology of Sexuality course at UC Irvine (although it was in danger of being dropped for this year).
Meanwhile, the original Pirates was a cult phenomenon in 2006 at Carnegie-Mellon and Yale, where it drew thousands of students to sold-out shows. Similarly, Wednesday's Pirates II screening was controversial, as one blogger complained that, "As an American, I think the college should show some restraint and decency. The school has the right to screen it, but they did this as an official event unrelated to any class or coursework. As a Californian taxpayer, it upsets me to see how the state decided to spend my money - porn for horny co-eds. They have the Internet for that! As a USC Trojans [sic], it makes me laugh. What a bunch of losers."