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Sex and nudity in film

 
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The Third M?n
Studio Exec


Joined: 09 Sep 2003
Posts: 575
Location: Chasing Stef around post-war Vienna

PostPosted: 02.21.2004 2:53 pm    Post subject: Sex and nudity in film Reply with quote

When is nudity/sexuality used correctly in film? When must it be used and when must it not be used? Is it right to show nudity for the hell of it?

Discuss

More often than not, nudity is an element used as gratuitously as possible; such is the case of all the Bond films, for example.

However, in films such as Mulholland Dr., [though many seem to refuse to accept the idea], nudity is used because it serves to add something to the story, apart from proving to be immensely rewarding [the hot lesbian action is incredible and whatnot, but it forms part of the story and actually has something significant to say].

By "gratuitous" I mean "woo-hoo" -- i.e. unnecessary material which is only shown/included in order to arouse. Partly, yes, but you can still go "woo-hoo!" "HOTT!" or "hubba-hubba!" when something is not gratuitous. Case in point [again]: Mulholland Dr.

There are also some instances in which nudity/sexuality is not gratuitous but merely redundant; filmmakers have to learn how to suggest and imply instead of showing it all. Case in point: Jim Sheridan's In America. I loved the film, but the scene in which the two parents had sex put me off quite a lot. Right, so it did follow the context of the film. They're doing it for the right thing [at least that's what Sheridan, a Catholic, is telling us]: to pro-create, not just for mere pleasure. While it was certainly not been for boner's sake, I thought that it was unnecessary. We know the parents are going to have sex, but why the need of showing it all? Why not just imply it instead of cramming it into our faces when it is clear that they're going to do it?
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matt header
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 623
Location: Milwaukee, WI

PostPosted: 02.21.2004 4:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nudity and sexiness rarely go hand in hand. Sexiest movie of all time: The Lady Eve with Barbara Stanwyck, or maybe Baby Doll with Carroll Baker. Least sexy movie of all time: Showgirls. There you go.

I'll state the redundant and say that sex and nudity is appropriate when it furthers the atmosphere or the theme of a film. A Clockwork Orange, for example, needs nudity. Incidentally, I thought the sex scene in In America was excellent (it says a great deal about both characters, and is done with a rare creativity), and you're right about it being appropriate in Mulholland Dr.

In Roman Polanski's Macbeth, during one of her fiercest soliloquies, Lady Macbeth performs it completely naked. Why? One could argue it's gratuitous, but basically in that scene Lady Macbeth makes no room for human compassion: her innermost desperation and cruelty is laid bare, and the accompanying nudity parallels her uninhibited viciousness. That's actually one of the most disturbing examples of nudity I've ever seen.
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matt header
Studio Exec


Joined: 26 Jun 2003
Posts: 623
Location: Milwaukee, WI

PostPosted: 02.22.2004 1:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We should also not forget the socio-political implications of the classic Jenna Jameson film Where the Boys Aren't 17. The way the twenty-eighth sex scene in the film displays an allusion to Marx's notion of dialectical materialism is really quite astonishing.
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the night watchman
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Joined: 27 Jun 2003
Posts: 1373
Location: Dark, run-down shack by the graveyard.

PostPosted: 02.22.2004 1:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let me just say that I have no problems with a movie that is frankly interested in being erotic. I will agree with Matt's observation that, curiously, movies with no or little explicit nudity are often time more erotic than ones with a tit shot every five minutes. I suppose that's because erotica is a state of mind, while explicit sex is an anatomy lesson.
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"If you're talking about censorship, and what things should be shown and what things shouldn't be shown, I've said that as an artist you have no social responsibility whatsoever."

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