The sex 'issue' - part II

Last week I wrote about how 'realistic sex' has become the remit of independent cinema as a chaste Hollywood currently shies away from anything remotely erotic. I also wondered what indies will come up with and whether arthouse audiences really want real sex on the screen. Well, yesterday I came across this video showing the standing ovation that John Cameron Mitchell received in Cannes following the screening of his sexually explicit Shortbus film (due out in 2007). I guess the reaction of the crowd answers my question...


Thessa said...

Yes, the current climate in the US is very restrictive and it has influenced the film industry. Gore Vidal has written very well about the government's grip on moviemaking during WWI in his excellent book "Hollywood". On the other hand porn is so pervasive here that billions of American teenagers grow up thinking that porn is real sex.

It couldn't be further from the truth since porn is highly artificial and created its own rules. So rather than explore their own sexuality, American teenagers are imitating porn moves. Usually the girls come up short in this respect, since porn is designed purely to augment male pleasure.

Anonymous said...

What about Brokeback Mountain? And isnt all filmed sex simulated really? From A NY'er living in London

thessa said...

Antonio was asking himself - and us - whether there was a need for the portrayal of 'real' sex in arthouse films.

I don't think the intimacy - mostly in the form of relationship-observations - portrayed in Brokeback Mountain barely counts as sex on film.

As a Dutch person living in New York I am observing that yes, Hollywood has gotten very prudish on one hand and on the other hand, porn has become so popular in the US it's almost mainstream.

So on one hand you have films that show nothing and on the other you have films that show a very stylized artificial kind of sex that is designed to please the guys, not the poor 16-year old girl who barely knows her own body.

I'm often shocked by how submissive girls and women are in the US - yes even NY career women. Euro women take much less BS from guys.

Audiences for the Michael Winterbottom and John Cameron Mitchell type films are always going to be there.

Larry Clarke's Wassup Rockers - about Mexican skater kids in Compton - is supposed to be very good and naturalistic and realistic. I haven't seen it yet, but hope to do so soon.

Antonio Pasolini said...

Hi Liz, sure, all filmed sex is 'real sex' because that is what acting does: create an illusion. But I think there are filmmakers who want to push the boundaries of what is considered tasteful and perhaps reclaim sex from the pornographic industry.

And Thessa, thanks for you comments!