When porn was born: Denmark had its own Moon landing moment in 19 … 69 – The Post

When porn was born: Denmark had its own Moon landing moment in 19 … 69

The Danish film institute is marking the 50th anniversary of the legalisation of pictorial pornography in pioneering Denmark

In character on the set of ‘Der må være en sengekant’ (photo: DFI)
May 22nd, 2019 5:21 pm| by Ben Hamilton

On July 20, the world will be marking the 50th anniversary of man walking on the Moon, but Denmark has its own 50-year landmark to celebrate, which involved more than just a few pocket-rockets taking off in aptly-named 19 … 69.

In May 1969, Denmark became the first country in the world to legalise pornography in a pictorial form, two years after lifting a ban that effectively permitted written pornography.

And starting from May 30, the DFI national film institute will be showing a collection of ten films at Cinemateket in Copenhagen to pay tribute to the porn pioneers who changed the way we viewed sex forever.

Not just blue movies
The program, which has been curated by Jesper Andersen, includes a number of pre-1969 films that explore the pros and cons of legalising pornography.

As the feature 1966 film ’Gift’ warned, it would be a free-for-all for sub-genres such as bestiality, and Denmark didn’t end up sufficiently legislating against such films until the last decade.

While two of the other pre-1969 films –  ’Jeg – en kvinde’ (1965) and ’Uden en trævl’ (1968) – were works of pornography and swiftly banned, enabling them to be in pole position once the legalisation was approved.

Also included are several documentaries that reflected on the widespread international outcry.

Relatively mainstream
One element that might surprise film fans 50 years on is how some of the country’s most popular actors – such as Poul Bundgaard, Karl Stegger and Arthur Jensen – appeared in the early porns.

The Stjernetegns (star sign) series were probably the best known porn films in the early 1970s, and the program includes three of its movies: ’Mazurka på sengekanten’ (1970), ’I jomfruens tegn’ (1973) and ’Der må være en sengekant’ (1975).

But pornography quickly ceased to be mainstream when the women’s liberation movement started to question its values, and the whole genre quickly lost its avant-garde status.