Sex and the Cinema
From the sanctioned to the forbidden, the suggestive to the blatant, evocations of sex have saturated cinema with a heady distillation of fleshly passions. Whether laced in the rapturous rhetorics of romance or seeking to pack a harder erotic punch, cinematic representations of sex and sexual desire have provided cinema with one of its major attractions. Sex and the Cinema traces the numerous factors and contexts – artistic, institutional, political and socio-cultural – that have shaped the way that sex appears in film. How does cinema mediate sex? Why is sex presented often in transgressive terms? What ideals and values inform its depictions? Given that cinematic representations of sex have perhaps caused more controversy than any others, Sex and the Cinema charts the cultural norms and contestations that are often diversely in play and explores forms and themes such as narrative, incest, romance, sado-masochism and 'real' sex. Films discussed include Don't Look Now, Intolerance, The Blue Angel, Now, Voyager, Basic Instinct, Written on the Wind, Evil Dead II, Emmanuelle, A Taste of Honey, and The Night Porter.