Subscription

The Pleasure Principle

From Victorian voyeurism to Soho striptease: how a hidden film industry emerged to satisfy the sexual appetites of (male) viewers.

Sex and cinema have been bawdy bedfellows almost since the first flickering frames hit a screen. As early as 1896, saucy shorts were already being cranked out to titillate voyeuristic - and invariably male - Victorian viewers. Time and tastes have moved on, and taboos have been swept away, but sex remained a constant preoccupation, and filmmakers continued to explore, enact and exploit our deepest, darkest desires - often attracting the attention of the censor in the process. This highly-combustible collection revisits and contextualises these sometimes scandalous, oft-disreputable films, incorporating 'mondo'-style exposés of Soho striptease, voyeuristic studies of British nudists and tragic tales of good girls gone bad - and much more besides.

Read more Close
Peeping Tom
Subscribe to watch

Peeping Tom

Drama1960101 minsDirector: Michael Powell

Michael Powell’s dark, disturbing, once controversial tale of a shy camera technician who films women as he kills them is now rightly deemed a classic

Rosebud
Subscribe to watch

Rosebud

Drama199114 minsDirector: Cheryl Farthing

A lesbian couple arouse the interest of their new neighbour in this erotic tale of voyeurism, power dressing and fantasy.

Prostitute
Subscribe to watch

Prostitute

Drama198198 minsDirector: Tony Garnett

Explicit and controversial drama. An ambitious working girl moves to London hoping to securing wealthier patrons, while her social worker friend fights to change antiquated prostitution laws.

Anatomy of a Pin-up
Subscribe to watch

Anatomy of a Pin-up

Documentary197130 minsDirector: David Cohen

This documentary explores attitudes to nude modelling in Britain - models, photographers and members of the public express their opinions.

Carousella
Subscribe to watch

Carousella

Documentary196526 minsDirector: John Irvin

A controversial, well-made documentary that follows the lives of three young striptease artistes working in Soho.

Strip
Subscribe to watch

Strip

Documentary196626 minsDirector: Don Defina

Documentary about the lives of the women who work at a striptease club called The Phoenix on Old Compton Street, in the heart of Soho in the swinging sixties.

Central Bazaar
Subscribe to watch

Central Bazaar

Drama1975142 minsDirector: Stephen Dwoskin

Five strangers explore their fantasies over a period of five days in Stephen Dwoskin's remarkable experimental film.

More Pleasure Principle films in our Free collection.

More Pleasure Principle films in our Rentals collection.