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Series / Green Porno

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And it just keeps getting better.

Hahahaha! Chase me! Mate with me! Seduce me! He is so strong... and sharp! Doesn't need a vagina at all! [male bedbug stabs her in the gut] OOOOOH! Ejaculate on my wound... the sperm will travel on their own... to my ovaries.
Isabella Rossellini, on the reproductive rituals of bedbugs.

Ok, Green Porno. Where do we start?

Green Porno is a series of comedic and educational short films created by and starring Isabella Rossellini, released on Sundance Channel from 2008 to date. In the films, Rossellini imitates the mating behaviors of various insects and other creepy crawlies in an intentionally low budget manner, with costumes and setpieces made of colorful construction paper, cardboard, and foam rubber, all while she presents the subject in a playful yet oddly sensual physical manner. More often than not, she portrays the male of the species, be it a honeybee drone who dies after participating in the new queen bee's virgin flight or a praying mantis whose head is bitten off by his mate. Subsequent seasons of Green Porno shifted focus to marine life, with whales, starfish, and barnacles given the same treatment on screen as snails, earthworms, and spiders, as well as a whole episode dedicated to the vagina with Rossellini monologuing in a forest of colorful cardboard penises. The third and final season of Green Porno had a more environmental message, with a look at animals found in Italian seafood and how human industry exploits them, as well as talks with Argentine marine biologist Claudio Campagna and a look at the elephant seals he studies in Patagonia.

Two Spiritual Successor series followed, also produced by Sundance Channel. The first of these was Seduce Me, which explored courtship rituals in a wider variety of animals, and with Isabella switching from playing the male to the female members of the species. An episode on Noah's Ark also highlighted animals that reproduce asexually and hermaphrodites that cannot work with the myth that one male and one female of every species was brought on board. The next series was Mammas, and focused on unique childrearing strategies in the animal world, including cannibalistic hamsters, acting piping plovers, parasitic cuckoos, and polyandrous dunnocks.

Outside of her work with Sundance, Rossellini has filmed other projects in the same vein and style as Green Porno. She worked with cosmetics company Burt's Bees for a series of short films titled "Burt Talks to the Bees", highlighting misconceptions about the honeybee and the issue of colony collapse disorder. She also created and starred in a documentary film for Discovery Channel titled Animals Distract Me, in which she discusses animals that are part of people's everyday life from a service dog she keeps with her throughout the film to the Demodex eyelash mite being attacked by a mascara wand she imagines herself as. She also had a Green Porno: Live show where she used puppets and clips from her films to discuss biology with a live audience.

Note that despite the name, there is nothing pornographic about the work. Unless you're a bug.

This series contains examples of:

  • Downer Ending: The male mantis fate, for reasons widely known. The female bedbug, for not so widely known reasons.
  • Gag Penis: Whales. Barnacles. Dolphins. Mallard ducks. All carefully and accurately crafted out of cardboard.
  • Gender Flip: A lot of times Isabella plays the male part. Or both the female and male half of it, with hermaphrodite creatures (earthworms, snails).
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Bedbug females have no sexual organs. They are "stabbed" by males and receive their sperm directly in their blood torrent and guts. So do snails with each other, being hermaphrodites.
  • Large Ham: Isabella indulges in this quite frequently, overacting and not taking things too serious being the whole point.
  • Mind Screw: Over and over again.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: The male mantis, while being eaten: "She would eat my head... But I keep copulating. Nothing stops me! I keep going!!! [humping beheaded] SEXXXX!!!"
  • Refuge in Audacity: The other whole premise of the show.
  • Sensual Spandex: YMMV over the sensual, but Isabella's costumes are made of this material. Sometimes with painted nipples over it... for some reason.

Alternative Title(s): Green Porn