Content warning: this article discusses sexual assault.

Melburnians who couch their horniness in intellectualism are out of luck: The Astor theatre has cancelled its panel talk and screening of Deep Throat, the highly controversial 1972 porno.

The film, directed by Gerard Damiano, was scheduled to screen on April 6 due to its cultural value, which, sure. As a film, Deep Throat was a sensation: it was once of the first pornos to include more than just fucking. Now, there was character development and plot, both of which involving a woman realising her clitoris was in her throat. Contextually, it blew up, and became part of 1970s America’s conversation regarding art and obscenity.

But ultimately, we question whether it’s a film worth actually watching, rather than just discussing. Especially given that the film’s heroine, Linda Lovelace (who later in life went by Linda Boreman) spoke out against the film in later years, alleging that her husband and porn producer Chuck Traynor forced her into pornography.

In a 1980 article and subsequent interviews, Lovelace alleged she was physically assaulted by Traynor and at one time forced to create a beastiality film by gunpoint.

“When you see the movie Deep Throat, you are watching me being raped,” she said. “It is a crime that the movie is still showing”.

This is why the Coalition Against Trafficking In Women Australia officially complained: all mention of the film was deleted from The Astor’s site on Friday.

It’s not exactly a question of whether the event’s organisers knew of Linda’s accusations, either – they are inseparable from how the film is discussed, and indeed, the event planned to address the accusations in the post-film panel.

One of the proposed panels guests, historian and film critic Emma Westwood, has expressed her disappointment on Twitter, suggesting that the readily-available-online film’s cancelled screening is censorship of art.

Maybe Palace Cinemas just realised making a profit off screening a woman’s alleged rape in the name of intellectual discussion isn’t a cute look. That’s a thought.

Source: Sydney Morning Herald

Image: Deep Throat