• Public Affairs (Vinegar Syndrome) Blu-ray Review

    Released by: Vinegar Syndrome
    Released on: February 25th, 2020.
    Director: Henri Pachard
    Cast: Annette Haven, Paul Thomas, Joey Silvera, George Payne, R. Bolla, Kelly Nichols, Annette Heinz, Michelle Maren
    Year: 1983
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    Public Affairs – Movie Review:

    New York Congressman Nicholas Stern (Paul Thomas) is a politician whose star is on the rise. He’s also one of New York’s most eligible bachelors. When the movie starts, he’s in his Winnebago on the campaign trail, making speeches, shaking hands and trying to shore up votes. He promises to clean up the city, instill proper values and do away with the filth in Times Square!

    Behind the scenes, however, Stern is a bastard, happy to get head from his naïve assistant, Jodee (Annette Heinz) and then take her back to his office for some backdoor action, whether she likes it or not! Clearly enamored with the Congressman, it’s clear later on when he fools around with other girls at a party and has another chick go (Michelle Maren) down on Jodee that her crush on Nicholas is starting to wane. Meanwhile, a beautiful reporter named Elvira Lawrence (Annette Haven) is following Stern’s campaign for a TV news channel. She and Stern’s campaign manager, Tommy Corona (Joey Silvera), begin seeing one another and soon she starts to realize that maybe Stern isn’t the upstanding citizen he pretends to be on the campaign trail. She sets out to learn the truth, while Stern hopes to make sexual amends with Marybeth Von Holenwohl (Kelly Nichols), the wife of wealthy donor Fritz von Holenwohl (R. Bolla, or Robert Kerman if you prefer) who he lusted after back in his high school days.

    Directed by Ron Sullivan (as Henri Pachard) and very nicely photographed by Larry Revene, Public Affairs hits all the right notes. It’s got an excellent sense of dark humor to it and at the same time, does a nice job of making some very valid barbs at the hypocrisy of the right wing and the moral majority. The script is clever, offering a few fun twists along the way, and it’s one of those adult films that would likely have worked just as well without the penetration shots and genital close ups.

    But penetration shots and genital close ups we get, and plenty of them. As a sex film, Public Affairs also works very well. Revene’s cinematography frames the action well and the performers all do great work here. There’s a lot of chemistry when there needs to be, and so too is there convincing trepidation and nervousness from Heinz’s character, as there should be to make her character work as well as she does. The action, in addition to the fucking, is solid across the board. Paul Thomas is perfect for the male lead. He’s a charismatic guy and this movie lets him really go for it, playing the politician perfectly but also providing a commanding presence in the sex scenes. Kerman’s character is here mostly for comic relief and he does that well, while supporting work from Joey Silvera and George Payne is quite good, Silvera in particular proving quite humorous when he initially doesn’t want to perform oral sex on Haven because ‘I’m Italian!’ The ladies are just as good here. Haven is a sight to behold, very attractive here indeed but also just as good as Thomas in the acting department. Heinz is, as noted, surprisingly effective in her part, she does a great job, and Kelly Nichols, while she doesn’t have as much to do, is definitely sultry enough to work in her scenes.

    Public Affairs – Blu-ray Review:

    Public Affairs comes to Blu-ray from Vinegar Syndrome framed at 1.85.1 in AVC encoded 1080p high definition on a 25GB disc looking damned near perfect, restored in 2k from its original 35mm negative. There is a tiny bit of print damage here and there but the emphasis there is on tiny, just a few white specks now and then. Otherwise the image is nice and clean. It shows great detail throughout, nice depth and texture too. No problems with any noticeable compression artifacts to complain about, and the image is free of noise reduction or edge enhancement problems. It looks fantastic!

    The 24-bit DTS-HD Mono track is fine. It’s properly balanced and the dialogue is clean, clear and balanced. There are no problems with any hiss or distortion and the score used in the film sounds pretty solid as well. Optional subtitles are provided in English only.

    Extras start off with a featurette called Going Public which is an interview with co-writer/producer Joyce Snyder who speaks on camera for eighteen-minutes about how her journalism work led to her taking a job writing for Swank which quickly segued into her getting into producing adult pictures. She then talks about where the idea for Public Affairs came from, what it was like collaborating with Pachard on the picture, her thoughts on what the cast and crew brought to the picture, some novels that she’s written and more.

    Also included on the disc is a forty-eight-minute audio interview, conducted by Joe Rubin of Vinegar Syndrome, with actress Annette Heinz who talks about how she started off as an exotic dancer in 1970 at sixteen years old before getting into the adult film business. She then talks about working the circuit, playing the accordion, what her routines were like, her family background, getting into adult film business and some of the clubs and theaters she worked at while still dancing. She also talks about doing press events, making her debut in Consenting Adults, her feelings about having sex on screen, how the video era sapped all the money out of theatrical adult pictures, what it was like working on Public Affairs and how they had a great makeup artist on the set, working with Ron Sullivan as a director and what he was like on set and quite a bit more.

    Menus and chapter selection are also included. We do get some nice reversible cover sleeve art, however, and the first 2,000 units purchased directly from Vinegar Syndrome get a very nice limited edition, embossed slip cover designed by Earl Kessler Jr.. As this is a combo pack release, a DVD version of the two movies taken from the same restorations is also included.

    Public Affairs – The Final Word:

    An excellent release for an excellent movie. Public Affairs is top notch vintage smut, offering the right balance of story and sex and told with a good sense of humor and plenty of style. It also features a great cast at the top of their game. Vinegar Syndrome’s Blu-ray release looks and sounds great and the two interviews do a nice job of documenting the film’s history. Recommended!

    Click on the images below for full sized Public Affairs Blu-ray screen caps!