Sex sells, there is no disputing that fact and certainly one of the more prevalent mediums to use sex is the movies. Almost since the dawning of the film industry sex has been part of the movie making process, one of the first films ever to be shown to the public was The Kiss and is basically just 47 seconds of a man kissing a woman. Sure, Hollywood decided to expand and occasionally add plot to their films but the basics still remain to this very day.
Of course the minute filmmakers started to use “sex” in their movies, groups crawled out of the woodwork to complaining about the amount of nudity, sex and violence in the cinemas. “Will someone please think of the children!” Censorship bills were passed and eventually the Hays Code was formed to ensure that films were not immoral, that scripts had to be approved before a film could go into production, and if a studio failed to follow the code they could face serious fines and their films banned from theatres. On the plus side, this made filmmakers more creative and sexual innuendo became one of their greatest weapons. Fireworks and other types of images were used to clue the audience in on what was really going on. When Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint celebrated their victory over the nefarious James Mason in North By Northwest, we got…
Not very subtle, but nothing the Catholic League of Decency could protest either. Over the years the battle with censorship raged on with different rating systems being implemented to warn audiences about what horrifying events may be in store for them. Rated G was good for the kiddies, PG suggested that maybe parents should be accompany the young ones, and Rated R was for discerning adults while Rated X was for the really explicit films, that is until the adult film industry co-opted that rating so Hollywood had to change theirs to NC-17.
This week we will be looking at a few examples of films that don’t just dance around the topic of sex, but ones that have sex as its primary driving force. Warning, some of these are not for the faint of heart.
Monday: The Story of O and The Image (1975). These two films exemplify the kinkier and more explicit side of sex in the movies. It was in the 70s that movies that by today’s standard would be considered pornography got proper theatrical releases and were reviewed by notable critics.
Tuesday: Shivers (1975). This film by David Cronenberg takes sex in an even darker and more fatal direction.
Wednesday: American Pie (1999). The teen sex-comedy really kicked off in the 80s with films like Risky Business and Fast Times at Ridgemont High but then got a strong boost in the 90s with a boy and his love of baked goods.
Thursday: R100(2013). You’ve got to hand it to the Japanese when it comes to the sex and the bizarre as can be seen in this a dark comedy about S&M.
Friday: Man of Steel XXX (2013). Hard core pornography exploded with the advent of the internet. You can see the strangest and nastiest shit imaginable on the net, so it’s up to a few adult entertainment studios to bring us some pornographic films with higher production values.
Saturday: Fifty Shades of Grey (2015). Though based on a book that gave millions of housewives the vapors, this movie is your standard Hollywood fair that thinks it’s edgy when it’s clearly not.
As the world’s moral compass continues to spin, one can never guess in what direction sex in the cinema will go. Will hard core sex make a return to the theatres? Will groups like the Catholic League of Decency make another comeback and increase censorship? But no matter what direction things go at your local movie house there will always be someone out in there in the world pushing the boundaries.