Posted at 22:03 on 10 Oct 2011 by Pandora / Blake
Northern Spanking have just released an unusual new film called The Travelling Disciplinarian and the Novelist. This film is remarkable in a number of ways.
- It stars the now-retired Niki Flynn in footage that has never been released before. Ms Flynn also co-wrote the scenario.
- Adding to the "spankee gaze" credentials of this scene, the other writer was Amelia Jane Rutherford, who also produced and directed it for Spoilt Ladies Spanked, a project which never went live. After this shoot, Amelia decided she wasn't suited to having executive responsibility of a spanking site and far preferred to work for other people.
- In a testament to how very lovely Amelia is, she donated the footage to Northern Spanking after their troubles a couple of years ago when they were maliciously "outed" by a local paper and Paul lost his job as a result. So we get to see it anyway, and Northern Spanking got some awesome extra films to help relieve the pressure in their time of need. How brilliant is that? You can read Paul's comments about this geneous gesture here, and I think it speaks volumes about the supportive and open-hearted example Paul and Lucy themselves have set.
- The Spoilt Ladies Spanked project seems to have very much been a reaction against the schoolgirl-tastic state of the spanking film scene, and an attempt to add a bit of diversity, sophistication and elegance. I was really looking forward to seeing the fruits of this endeavour, and The Travelling Disciplinarian and the Novelist does not disappoint.
Niki Flynn plays a novelist who persistently fails to meet her deadlines. We see her obsessing over ginger biscuits, constantly checking her email, and mourning an empty bottle of wine at 11am. No wonder her editor has hired a Travelling Disciplinarian (Hywel Phillips) to visit her and make sure she meets the deadline for her project this week. I expect every writer will empathise with Niki's desire for someone to come in and force her to work when she's struggling with procrastination.
Niki and Hywel both give excellent performances, with Hywel carrying off an objective, dispassionate (but not unkind) character who is very good at his job and has his client's best interests at heart. "Now then," he says evenly, ten strokes into her caning, "Let us have a little conversation on the subject of motivation." His clinical attitude is extremely hot, and I particularly enjoyed the 'calibration stroke' to assess Niki's tolerance, and the cheerful professionalism with which he hands her a consent form to sign at the end.
Consent is actually one of the things this scenario handles best, and that's entirely the fruit of Amelia and Niki's perspective, I think. Although Niki's character hasn't asked her editor to hire this man or invited him into her home, he manages to talk her into accepting his methods, appealing to her self-awareness and arguing that this isn't any odder than some of the other wacky 'cures' for procrastination she's tried. As a glimmer of hope sparks within Niki, she agrees with a wistful sort of desperation, asking "Will this really inspire me?"
She's not given a choice - and yet, in a way, this is her wildest dream come true. The consent in this little scene is delightfully complex, and very grown up, without losing any of the edge of a wholly deserved punishment.
Sadly, there are some imperfections. The caning includes a lot of slow motion, which bothered me in Amelia's Sunday Spanking too. In this film more than half the strokes of an eighteen stroke caning are shown in slow motion - which not only disrupts the pace and immersion of the scene, for me, but is even more annoying when it slows the voices and Niki's cries down as well. However, this all seems to take place during the close up shots of her bottom, which makes me wonder if this wasn't an accident, perhaps with one camera perhaps mistakenly set to the wrong speed.
(I also thought it was a slight shame, given the context, that Niki had visible cane welts on her thighs from an earlier scene - but I know how hard that sort of thing is to avoid, especially on a two day shoot.)
Overall the acting and the concept more than carry this, and it's very much worth seeing - particularly if you want to see more grown-up spanking, complex consemt, or (like me) are curious to see glimpses of the spanking site Amelia will never launch, or the last few scenes Niki Flynn made before she retired.