This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001

22Apr/12

TRIBECA FILM FESTIVAL: SEXY BABY

SEXY BABY explores sexuality in the cyber age in fascinating ways

SEXY BABY (Jill Bauer & Ronna Gradus, 2012)
Monday, April 23, Clearview Cinemas Chelsea, 3:00
Friday, April 27, Clearview Cinemas Chelsea, 8:30
www.tribecafilm.com
www.sexybabymovie.com

Journalist Jill Bauer and news photographer Ronna Gradus take a fascinating look at how the availability of online pornography and the spread of social media are influencing mainstream culture in the poignant documentary Sexy Baby. Bauer and Gradus explore the lives of three very different female characters who have very different ideas about what it means to be female. Winnifred is an intelligent, thoughtful twelve-year-old girl living in New York City who likes to dress provocatively and uses Lady Gaga as a role model. “We’re, like, the first generation to have what we have, so there’s no one before us that can kind of guide us,” she says. “I mean, we are the pioneers.” Laura is a twenty-two-year-old North Carolina kindergarten teacher who has decided to undergo labiaplasty after a boyfriend complained about the size of her genitalia. “I just feel that it would be a huge turn-on to a guy to look like a porn star,” she admits. And thirty-two-year-old Nichole is a former porn star known as Nakita Kash who is now trying to start a family while making a living teaching pole dancing to women. “The adult entertainment world has completely infiltrated the mainstream,” she explains. “I do blame that on the digital age.” Bauer and Gradus follow the three main subjects around as they go about their daily business, resulting in a remarkably intimate portrait about the state of contemporary womanhood without making any grandiose statements or delving into politics and religion (and wisely avoiding talking-head experts), instead concentrating on Nichole, Laura, and Winnifred as they open up their lives and speak freely about their hopes and desires in a world flooded with TMI. Filled with intriguing dichotomies, Sexy Baby infuriates and titillates, frustrates and engages, while making you think long and hard about where we all are heading.

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