Ninja Thyberg’s debut feature film is an unflinching journey into the male-dominated L.A. porn industry through the lens of Bella (Sofia Kappel), a 20-year-old newcomer from small-town Sweden. Arriving at LAX customs, she’s asked the titular question “business or pleasure?”. Placed into housing with other models, a very bumpy ride begins. With local color imbued by eye-popping visual palettes, as well as a cast of real-life professionals (Kappel excluded), PLEASURE explores Bella’s agency — questionable as it’s sometimes presented — via the gender roles and commodification that run hand-in-hand with an industry that trades upon both.
Mature audiences only. No one under 18 admitted.
“Explicit from its first moments, Thyberg’s film explores power, sexuality and friendship, adopting a female worker’s-eye-view in a male-dominated industry in order to show that the glossy, pristine sets tell a different reality to that behind the camera.” —Emily Maskell, Little White Lies “Grounded in years of meticulous research into the porn scene and cast with actors drawn entirely from that world except for Kappel herself, PLEASURE is very persuasive in its evocation of the milieu… As it happens, the supporting turns from adult film performers…represent some of PLEASURE’s true delights. Well used to improvising in character and fearless on screen, they bring a salty, self-confident naturalism to the proceedings, like they just wandered in from an early Harmony Korine or David Gordon Green film shooting across the lot.” —Leslie Felperin, Hollywood Reporter