Friday, November 13, 2009

Mae West: Sex in Cinema

A new TV documentary on sex in cinema will include clips of MAE WEST — — which makes perfect sense.
• • Denver Post TV columnist Joanne Ostrow writes: Expect a spicy clip assemblage when Starz recounts the sexiest, most sex-obsessed, sexually boundary-breaking and sexually shocking movies of all time.
• • From "Lolita" to "Caligula" to "American Beauty," the most memorable moments are all here. Changing public attitudes toward depictions of sex and sexuality are explored in sometimes thoughtful ways, charting America's trend toward liberation, but mostly it's about the racy clips.
• • The hottest, most emblematic moments from movies that had something to do with sex are on display in a Starz Original, "Sex and the Cinema," debuting at 8 [this week].
• • The documentary explores how the boundaries have changed, what the Production Code did for creative approaches to sex decades ago, why sex can be the source of elements for good drama and what audiences see when they look at on-screen sex.
• • Things used to be much simpler in Hollywood, various directors note. Now, nudity in PG-13 is acceptable as long as it's not sexually motivated. The lines are blurred.
• • Sex is "the strongest drive in biology," according to director Paul Verhoeven ("Basic Instinct"). He says it works better than dialogue in movies to explain characters' psychology and motivation.
• • The clip fest considers funny, disturbing, athletic, and forbidden sex; merely suggested sex; kitchen-table "Postman"-style sex; underage sex; and various forms of illicit sex.
• • "Nudity is the smallest part of sex," says Ron Shelton, director of "Bull Durham."
• • The best sex scene in his movie "Waking the Dead," director Keith Gordon says, was the closeup of two faces during sex, relaying the experience.
• • Who gets credit for bringing sex to the screen in a new way? Humphrey Bogart, Barbara Stanwyck, Daniel Craig, George Clooney. Marilyn Monroe, of course. Bo Derek, Pamela Anderson, Halle Berry — all are sized up for their appeal. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are determined to be the "perfect storm of sexuality."
• • The usual high-minded, historic art references are thrown in to make the case that sexuality has been interesting for a long time. Cut from a closeup of a Grecian urn to examples of the earliest use of film (an Edison clip from "The Kiss"), onward to Rudolph Valentino, Mae West, and the parade of naked people doing what they'll do, onscreen ever since.
— — Source: — —
• • TV Review: Starz rolls out sexy movie clip fest
• • BY: Joanne Ostrow
• • Published by: The Denver Post — —
• • Published on: 11 November 2009

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