Friday, January 10, 2014

Sex on the screen: No longer taboo?

Amber Larson, CC Liu, Wisdom Quarterly; Nicholas Barber (Culture/, Jan. 8, 2014)
"Blue is the Warmest Colour," a French coming-of-age-story (Sundance Selects)
Sex on screen: No longer taboo?
The recent cinema movies "Blue is the Warmest Colour" and "Nymphomaniac" have attracted attention for their graphic sexual content. Is this explicit trend more than skin deep?
Troubled, sure, but smarter than us.
The most talked-about eight minutes in cinema last year [2013] were in the French film, "Blue is the Warmest Colour." The movie’s graphic lesbian sex scene was so explicit and prolonged -- frankly, it looked exhausting -- that Abdellatif Kechiche’s three-hour coming-of-age drama could have been dismissed as pornography.

It's out of control (Bjork)
And yet, while there was much debate concerning the morality of a 52-year-old male director telling two naked young actresses [Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos] to contort themselves into human reef knots, the film won the Palme d’Or ["Golden Palm"] at the Cannes Film Festival and went onto garner rave reviews. Most critics accepted that "Blue is the Warmest Colour" wasn’t a blue movie -- but an honest, unflinching portrayal of first love.

It wasn’t a one-off, either. When you scan the list of 2013’s films, you could be forgiven for thinking that today’s directors have sex on the brain....

Lust is a terrible thing ("Mondo Amore" Williams/
Gwyneth Paltrow [America's most hated celebrity] and Mark Ruffalo...appeared in "Thanks for Sharing," a drama about a support group for sex addicts
Michael Winterbottom and Steve Coogan made "The Look of Love," a biopic of Paul Raymond, one of Britain’s wealthiest strip-club proprietors and pornographers.
Outrageous celebrity sex quotes
Another biopic, "Lovelace," featured Amanda Seyfried as the star of the revolutionary 1970s hardcore hit, "Deep Throat." And Joseph Gordon-Levitt, last seen in "Looper"... chose a different kind of film for his debut as a writer-director. In "Don Jon," he played a New Jersey bartender who watched porn on his computer several times a day, despite having Scarlett Johansson (another Avengers star) as his girlfriend. More

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