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Taking PlaceLocation and the Moving Image$
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John David Rhodes and Elena Gorfinkel

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780816665167

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816665167.001.0001

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Tales of Times Square: Sexploitation’s Secret History of Place

Tales of Times Square: Sexploitation’s Secret History of Place

(p.55) 3 Tales of Times Square: Sexploitation’s Secret History of Place
Taking Place

Elena Gorfinkel

University of Minnesota Press

This chapter explores the ways that 1960s sexploitation cinema, particularly films produced in New York City, sets its sights on the ecstatic mass cultural plenitude of Times Square. Examples of these films include Bad Girls Go to Hell (1965), The Lusting Hours (1967), Hot Skin Cold, Cash (1965), Aroused (1966), Career Bed (1969), and Vibrations (1968). In them, the placeness of Times Square as a local and intimate geography and as a symbolic system bears out a larger cultural and ideological narrative regarding inner cities, moral blight, and urban development. What sexploitation cinema tracks in this period, particularly in the middle to late 1960s, is the very reconfiguration of the meanings of Times Square both regionally and nationally in relationship to erotic commerce and the meanings of public space, through the contingencies and unexpected synergies of the local.

Keywords:   sexploitation films, American cinema, New York City, mass culture, Times Square, place

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