The Film (2.5/5)
What is there to write about stump fucking? I don’t mean to be crass in using that term, as it’s the one used by Jeanne Silver, the titular star of Alex de Renzy’s 1977 film. I wasn’t familiar with the movie, and while the description on Vinegar Syndrome’s DVD hints at its star having a special attribute, I’d guess that this meant she had a penis. Nope - as it turns out, when Jeanne refers to her “dick” in the opening scene, she’s talking about the stump that she’s had for most of her life after her leg was amputated below the knee as a kid. The stump and the fucking Jeanne does with it is the main attraction, and while I’ve been writing about adult DVDs for almost a year, this one has left me...stumped.
On an intellectual level, I approve. While Jeanne’s stump is the selling point here, it’s never treated as a freakshow. The movie alternates between plotless sex scenes of Jeanne with various partners and interviews where she candidly discusses her stump and its role in her personal life. I don’t know if Jeanne’s stump fucking is empowering, exactly, but there’s probably a Lacanian essay to be written (by someone more well-versed in Lacan than me) on how she uses her disability as a source of phallic power. Certainly, the movie’s most notorious scene, in which she uses it to stump fuck a fellow in the butt, is an impressive and unique swapping of gender roles. If porn affords the opportunity to depict different forms of sexual expression, than Long Jeanne Silver is nothing if not groundbreaking.
But does it work as porn? Depends on the viewer, I suppose. For this viewer, it’s hard to say because of the stark, flatly lit way that de Renzy shoots every scene, favoring gynecological close-ups that allow you to see the main attraction but isn’t very flattering to Jeanne or her partners. I will say that Jeanne is pretty adorable, particularly in the interstitials - there’s one moment where she’s talking with China Leigh and Lori Blue and, when they ask if they can give her stump a try, she laughs to the point of tears at the sheer absurdity of the situation. Throughout it all, she maintains a peculiar, charming dignity. Plus, she looks awfully cute in knee high socks.
Vinegar Syndrome presents Long Jeanne Silver in an anamorphic widescreen transfer restored from 16mm elements. It’s a clear, detailed presentation that preserves the grainy look of the original, with minimal damage apart from visible splices to the original print. The 1.0 mono audio is clear throughout, with minimal hiss.
The sole extra a good one, a commentary with Jeanne Silver, who is interviewed by Joe Rubin via phone or Skype as she watches the movie for the first time. Jeanne has a great sense of humor and is remarkably frank about her life at the time, and she also offers memories of making the film (though she admits she was too stoned to remember much of it) and touches on her other adult work, such as the notorious Water Power. It’s an entertaining and often fascinating commentary, and it’s fun hearing her react to her scenes - at one point, as she hops towards her male conquest (who, Silver tells us, she picked up at a bathhouse) onscreen, she exclaims, “If I tried to hop like that now, I’d fall over!”
Vinegar Syndrome has given another formerly hard to find adult classic a solid restoration, with the added bonus of Jeanne’s commentary. Long Jeanne Silver is the definition of a specialty release, but the great thing about porn is that it caters to pretty much every specialty there is. If stump fucking is your specialty, or if you’re just in the mood for a truly unique viewing experience, Long Jeanne SIlver is highly recommended.