Official Selection, Hot Docs 2012
This film contains explicit subject matter that may shock some spectators. Minors not admitted.
"[…] une oeuvre conceptuelle troublante, qui ouvre chez le spectateur des abîmes de questionnement […]" — Isabelle Regnier, LE MONDE
"[…] ce kaléidoscope évite le piège de la complaisance pour construire une mise à nu, au propre comme au figuré, pleine de désarroi, de mélancolie et d'une auto-ironie au vitriol." — Xavier Leherpeur, LE NOUVEL OBSERVATEUR
A tripod-mounted camera continuously records the words and gestures of a crew hard at work on a film set. Nobody is paying it any attention, all too busy concentrating on their tasks. As the director adjusts the lighting, one of the actors is caressing his genitals to maintain his erection, while an actress applies a sperm-like lubricant to her lips. The feature in production is not like many others. However, for these artisans that have chosen pornography as their bread and butter, this is just a typical day at work, much like any other at filmmaker HPG’s studios.
Avant-garde superstar of the French adult-cinema scene with over 600 titles to his name, HPG is a pioneer of the sub-genre known as “gonzo”. He is also responsible for a few cinematic essays, including the unclassifiable Cannes success ON NE DEVRAIT PAS EXISTER. HPG has earned the wrath of the press and the accolades of Jean-Luc Godard and Lars Von Trier. For over a decade, HPG has archived recordings of his film shoots with one idea in mind: to offer these raw, on-the-spot images to someone with an outsider’s perspective, in order to produce a documentary. That someone turned out to be Raphaël Siboni. The world-renowned visual artist went through thousands of hours of footage to come up with IL N’Y A PAS DE RAPPORT SEXUEL, a unique feature that takes us behind the green door into the backstage world of the porn industry.
Siboni’s first film stands out from other documentaries having tackled the subject through its consistently neutral perspective. His goal isn’t to glorify or demonize the genre but rather to expose raw chunks of reality through the presentation of brief episodes. More than coldly revealing the simulation of sex on screen, this rattling documentary transforms its audience into voyeurs spying the day-to-day tribulations of HPG’s small crew. Members of the latter expose their true colours, even if flattering ones are few and far apart. While the title argues that there isn’t any sexual relation, there are indeed human relations between fragile beings motivated by glory. They gravitate around HPG, a disconcerting eccentric constantly on the verge of an explosion. While the laughs are prominent, this uncompromised work is shocking in its authenticity. You won’t believe your eyes.
— Simon Laperrière