When a DVD shows up on your doorstep and you rip open the package to see Jenna Jameson, Ron Jeremy and Jesse Jane gracing the cover, it’s hard to know what to expect. Then when the tagline states “An R rated look at an X rated industry”, it’s a little difficult to believe, but that’s precisely what Michael Grecco’s “Naked Ambition” turned out to be.
First and foremost, Grecco isn’t some hack. He’s shot covers for Time, Wired, Entertainment Weekly and other top magazines as well as being an AP photojournalist. He has the resume to pull off such an ambitious project and does it easily.
It would have been easy to have bare breasts and other parts of the anatomy displayed throughout this documentary, and while there are moments of possibly objectionable material, it’s not over the top. Grecco presents a documentary that is as tasteful as it can be and is more eye opening than one would imagine.
With the adult industry’s biggest night, the AVN Awards on the horizon, Grecco and his crew take on the huge project of trying to capture the essence of the event for a coffee table in – in just three days. While going after some of the major players in the adult industry, Grecco has his eye on two that he’s been unable to confirm their involvement – Jameson and Hustler godfather Larry Flynt.
Two threads that connect the documentary together are the lives of actresses Sunny Lane and Joanna Angel. Both are up for Best New Starlet Award and you follow the two as they ready themselves for their big night.
It shows that there are more intelligent people involved in this industry than a person would think. These are people that have chosen a path for one reason or another and consider it strictly a business. Don’t get me wrong, you’ll see your fair share of unintelligent people, but isn’t that the case with any profession?
As his book begins to take shape, Grecco is still missing Jameson and Flynt, with his last opportunity of capture the two adult industry titans at the AVN awards. He sets his crew up as the official photographers of the event and finally captures his quarry.
What amazed me about the documentary is how many families or couples are involved in the industry. Lane’s parents supported their daughter by attending the awards ceremony and there is a couple that the husband is the director and his wife is the star of their films. Talk about a unique dynamic.
“Naked Ambition” respectfully depicts an industry that will forever be shrouded in controversy and moral objectiveness, but is able to bring a human element that shows the industry to be more than bare flesh. Grecco’s lens is able to strip each subject bare and is more revealing than any of their exploits on the screen.