Sweet Sinema: Nica Noelle, Mile High Team for Hardcore Homages

LOS ANGELES — Nica Noelle has an enviable track record for a female porn director. Three years ago, she was instrumental in the creation of Mile High Media’s Sweetheart Video line. Emphasizing strong characters, good stories and realistic sex, it quickly became one of the leading girl-girl brands.

“A year later,” Noelle told XBIZ, “we decided, why don’t we try doing this with boy-girl features. So we started shooting Sweet Sinner movies.”

Sweet Sinner was a boy-girl version of the same kind of story and character-oriented product. It too proved successful and Nica reaped critical kudos, with two consecutive XBIZ Award nominations for Director of the Year - Body of Work.

Now Noelle is pushing the envelope even further with Sweet Sinema, a line of hardcore homages to sexually-themed mainstream movies.

“It’s something I’ve been mulling over for quite a while, the idea of taking stories — plays, books, movies — and reinterpreting them from an erotic perspective. Obviously we change things about the story. We don’t want to make a carbon copy of someone else’s work.”

As Mile High vice president Jon Blitt put it, it’s all about “taking popular, familiar storylines and incorporating them into the Sweet Sinner formula.”

“We don’t really call it a remake,” Noelle said. “We call it a re-interpretation, and we include sex between the main characters that have the primary relationships.” Instead of fading out or getting fuzzy, these XXX versions show those characters going at it graphically.

Noelle hastens to stress that she’s not doing parodies, which though often funny she finds not erotic. Her work is based on a passionately held conviction that porn can offer an experience that is emotionally satisfying as well as physically arousing.

The working relationship between her and Blitt has been close and productive. “Nica brings something so unique to these movies,” Blitt said. “I just find the way the stories are, the way the real sex shines in them — to me it’s completely different than anything else in X. That really translates into good sales for us.”

Blitt was encouraged by the success of the Sweet Sinner release “My Girlfriend’s Mother,” inspired (right down to the box cover photo) by “The Graduate.” “It did amazing for us. And that’s kind of what brought us into starting a separate brand.”

Noelle has shot three Sweet Sinema features so far, starting with “Fatal Seduction,” (yes, that’s “Fatal Attraction”) with Amy Fisher, Katsuni, Evan Stone and Xander Corvus.

She is most excited about the second one: a hardcore version — “complete with the anal sex butter scene”— of “Last Tango in Paris,” with Manuel Ferrara and Katsuni in the Marlon Brando and Maria Schneider roles.

Noelle said the two French stars did “probably the most intensely erotic and artistic scenes I’ve shot — ever. I didn’t expect them to take it quite so seriously, and they really did. What they managed to do with each other… I have just never been part of anything like that.”

Katsuni told XBIZ that Noelle “uses all her sensitivity as a woman to create her own style of porn. She has a real gift: she's able to show the best part of a performer. I'm not talking about hardcore performances but about sensuality and chemistry.” She and Ferrara, she said, “will never forget this experience. After all these years we never had the opportunity to do these kinds of scenes.”

Noelle refers to Ferrara as her “go-to guy.” A veteran of several Sweet Sinner titles, he also stars in the third Sweet Sinema production, a takeoff on “9 ½ Weeks,” along with Inari Vachs and Teri Weigel. She calls comeback queen Vachs “a terrific performer, and she’s great with dialogue too.”

Such actors are Noelle’s ideal.

“One of the problems I run into all the time is that the world tells people who are in porn that it’s just porn and nobody takes it seriously. Everybody is a little self-conscious about putting their hearts into it, acting like they take it seriously, because everybody is perceiving it as some kind of a joke. So it’s hard to find people who are really interested in trying to do something meaningful.”

Reaction from fans to the Sweet Sinner brand has validated her approach. “It’s been huge. I don’t just get mail, I get really long emails, from people talking about how affected they are by watching real sex with people who look like they want to be together — with tension and seduction and conflict, things they can relate to.”

“Fatal Seduction” releases Sept. 14, with the other two — both to be re-titled — coming out in October (Weeks) and November (Tango).

“They’re scheduled for one a month,” Blitt said, “and obviously, if people go crazy for it, we’ll up the production.”

Pictured: Katsuni and Manuel Ferrara.