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Heavy Petting

Overview

Those of us who had to suffer such "instructional" films as Dating Do's and Don'ts in high school will be especially entertained by Heavy Petting. In the visually sarcastic manner of the nuclear-age documentary The Atomic Cafe, the film assembles masses of information and misinformation about teenage dating rituals of the 1950s. Clips from contemporary movies, TV programs, commercials, and "sex hygiene" short subjects are used throughout; perhaps once upon a time these vignettes could have been taken seriously, ...
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Overview

Those of us who had to suffer such "instructional" films as Dating Do's and Don'ts in high school will be especially entertained by Heavy Petting. In the visually sarcastic manner of the nuclear-age documentary The Atomic Cafe, the film assembles masses of information and misinformation about teenage dating rituals of the 1950s. Clips from contemporary movies, TV programs, commercials, and "sex hygiene" short subjects are used throughout; perhaps once upon a time these vignettes could have been taken seriously, but here they're only good for howls of laughter. Interspersed among the vintage footage are interviews with such children of the 1960s as David Byrne and William S. Burroughs. One look at the 1950s as depicted in Heavy Petting, and it's easy to see how the sensuous, psychedelic '60s came to be.
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Special Features

Disc 1: Rare Extended Sexual Confessions of Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Spalding Gray, Abbie Hoffman and More!; Filmmaker Interview; 16x9 Widescreen; Disc 2: Ten Hilarious Sex-Ed, Anit-Pornography and VD Scare Films of the 30s, 40s, and 50s Including: Perversion for Profit, Dance Little Children, The Innocent Party, As Boys Grow, Easy to Get and More!.
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Fred Beldin
This freewheeling documentary ponders the sex lives of teens in the 1950s and '60s, but what might be a whimsical ride down memory lane for baby boomers won't necessarily translate for all viewers. Heavy Petting investigates a very white, middle-class version of adolescence, illustrated through clips from classroom "mental hygiene" films of the era and interviews with former teenagers who reminisce about youthful misadventures with the opposite sex. Most of the anecdotalists are actors, performance artists, and musicians, ensuring some lively talk and a few clearly embellished tales. Still, their remembrances ring with the same tone as their co-stars from the private sector, all bemused stories of confusion about the mechanics, ethics, and mysteries of reproduction. Political celebrity Abbie Hoffman recalls competitive circle jerks, musician David Byrne remembers worrying about impregnating his girlfriend through skinny dipping, and writer William S. Burroughs seems genuinely embarrassed when poet Allen Ginsberg waxes nostalgic about his early yearnings for love. Stories about dating rituals and fashion missteps might not be so universal for children of different generations or ethnic backgrounds. Luckily, Heavy Petting is filled with highly entertaining clips from the collection of ephemeral film archivist Richard Prelinger, who chose a series of delightfully ironic and iconic scenes from educational/propaganda films like Dating Dos and Don'ts, How Much Affection?, and Perversion for Profit. These passion plays of conformity, paranoia, and moral absolutes provide empirical data on the state of adolescent sex that transcends the interviews.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/29/2007
  • UPC: 767685984833
  • Original Release: 1989
  • Source: Docurama
  • Presentation: Special Edition / B&W / Colorized
  • Time: 1:15:00
  • Format: DVD
  • Sales rank: 69,313

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Heavy Petting, Disc 1
1. All Hell Broke Loose [6:20]
2. Birds and Bees [11:57]
3. Ask For a Date [6:49]
4. Every Error You Can Make [4:36]
5. Take the Wiggle Out [5:01]
6. Going Steady [6:10]
7. How to Say No [6:19]
8. Other Boyfriends [4:45]
9. All the Way [4:29]
10. Use a Rubber [8:17]
11. Deliver Us From Evil [3:56]
12. Credits [5:34]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Heavy Petting, Disc 1
   Play
   Scenes
   Extras
      Extended Interviews (113Min)
         Play All (113Min)
         Director's Intro (4Min)
         Abbie Hoffman (17Min)
         Burroughs/Ginsberg (21Min)
         Sandra Bernhard (12Min)
         Spalding Gray (22 Min)
         David Byrne (8Min)
         Laurie Anderson (6Min)
         Barry Bartkowski (14Min)
         Zoe Tamerlaine (9Min)
      Original Trailer (2Min)
      Making of Heavy Petting (6Min)
      Filmmaker Bio
Disc #2 -- Heavy Petting, Disc 2
   Play All
   Bonus Films
      As Boys Grow...
      Molly Grows Up
      Dance, Little Children
      The Innocent Party
      In Defense of the Nation
      Easy to Get
   Extras
      Director's Comments (4Min)
      About Docurama Films
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