• Eugene Weekly Loves You!
Share |

Porn by the People

n Savage’s annual HUMP! film fest brings a smattering of amateur erotica to Eugene

As is now somewhat of a tradition, this year’s annual HUMP! homemade porn festival — conceived and carried out by “Seattle’s only newspaper” The Stranger — descends on our fair city this weekend.

Full disclosure: I’ve never been. Up until this screener, I’d never seen what this festival had to offer and, admittedly, I had my own preconceived notions. 

So I’m going to make an assumption here — dangerous, I know: There are those of you who have already bought your tickets, maybe weeks ago, and there are others still who would never be caught dead at such an event. To each his or her own. 

But allow me to address the rest of you — those who might be on the fence about going to check out this little pornography festival-that-could (and has) for 12 years running.

I can’t guarantee there is something for everyone, because at this point, I don’t know that there ever could be. But what The Stranger has managed to do is to put together a collection of films representing a vast smattering of some of the most-oft-sought genres, casts and kinks to provide, it’s hoped, an up-to-5-minute connection (yes, these shorts have a time limit) for just about anyone.

If you hold any concerns about rules — which may seem a strange thing to hold going into an event like this but, believe me, we all have ’em — there are, as far as I could locate anyway, three: No poop. No animals. No minors.

Strangely comforting.

You may also wonder, “Why?” Why would anyone enter a contest such as HUMP!? I imagine being comfortable with your sexuality, having a message you would like to send about your kink, or not having anything necessarily better to do with a couple of Saturday afternoons could be reason enough.

Barring that? Don’t worry — there are cash prizes. Totaling $15,000. So that seems to provide a little motivation as well.

But what about quality? I admit I went into this expecting to see a dozen or so films shot on shaky hand-held cameras, striving but never achieving. I am grown up enough to admit that I was wrong. 

Despite the implication of the word “homemade,” many of these films feel far better than amateur. The lineup opens artistically enough with The Forbidden Tango, containing well-practiced choreography and musical accompaniment. 

The mere production value of other dialogue-free films — such as the beautifully animated The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife and the artistically shot, antique-tinged The Little Merman — leave one awestruck and even in need of a quick reminder that this is a collection of amateur films. 

Some films dip into humor, making light of a kink or kinks, like It’s Fucking Complicated, or breaking right into an accordioned song, as does A Pervert’s Guide to Avoiding Loneliness

There is even a spot of hopeful beauty in a film titled I’m Not Poly but My Boyfriends Are, an unexpected and thought-provoking film that opens with a completely non-sexual on-camera confessional of the beginnings of one age-advanced woman’s sexuality.

Maybe I haven’t convinced you to experience HUMP! for the first time. Maybe I haven’t helped you set aside fears or reservations about sitting in a movie theater with dozens of your friends and neighbors watching pornography.

But maybe, just maybe, this HUMP! homemade porn festival virgin’s account of this year’s collection of films has left you feeling curious, open-minded and/or GGG. 

One last nudge? Go for it.

Dan Savage’s HUMP! plays 7:15 and 9 pm Friday and Saturday, March 10-11, at Bijou Art Cinemas; tickets and info at bijou-cinemas.com or 541-357-0375.