Sex and the Cinema
OverviewFrom 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 cinematic depictions of sex? 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. Formal conventions used to represent sex and desire in cinema, as well as themes such as adultery, incest, romance, sado-masochism and 'real' sex are explored. Films discussed include "Don't Look Now", "Broken Blossoms", "Emmanuelle", "Secretary", "Close My Eyes", "Eyes Wide Shut", "Ginger Snaps", "Frenchman's Creek", "Baise Moi", "Romance", "The Story of O", "Zandalee", "Way Down East", "Red Dust", "The War Zone", and "Oedipus Rex".