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Is there a soft-porn scene in the Scotland /Africa movie? His two documentaries on mountain terror and Munich Olympics were very good, so I imagine his porn would be ok.

Posted by Garrrett | June 11, 2007 2:39 PM

Hey Charles, did you see 'This Film Is Not Yet Rated'? There were some great sex scenes in that one... Of course they were all arbitrarily rated R or NC-17 by the MPAA. Clearly it's morally dangerous to show women obviously enjoying sex on-screen. It's gotta be "paltry copulation" to be widely distributed. No wonder our society is so afraid of sex... Even on screen it looks awkward!

Posted by Katelyn | June 11, 2007 2:44 PM


Posted by monkey | June 11, 2007 2:54 PM

Amen! For all of Kubrick's gifts a "Lolita" based on almost-too-subtle-to-catch innuendo and pointed glances was doomed to fail, because "Lolita" *is* sex, is sensual. Plus I'm not sure how old Sue Lyon was, but there was no way, even in my most concentrated suspension of disbelief she looked or seemed younger than 30.

I thought the recent Lolita was quite good (though this may be due to a crush on Jeremy Irons), but I think they made him a little too sympathetic. Rereading the book now (which on my first reading at the age of 15 I took to be a grand love story), I'm suprised at what a misanthrope and general asshole Humbert is.

Posted by KatieDay | June 11, 2007 3:00 PM

Nabokov and Charles have obviously missed the hilarious Shortbus, a vast improvement of on-screen sex.

Posted by SDA in SEA | June 11, 2007 3:37 PM

If I had a time machine, it would be used to go back in time and fuck Vladimir Nabokov. Never has non-erotic literature been so arousing.

Shortbus did a great job with on-screen sex, but that also had to do with the fact that much of the sex was real, not simulated. His comment was on how terrible we are at sexual pantomime.

Posted by Aislinn | June 11, 2007 4:34 PM

Well... I doubt we ever can ever get good sex scenes in a general sense of the word, because sex in a general sense of the word actually sucks. Good sex is exceptionnal; we tend to forget because we only remember the few good times, and, heck, because we spend so much time fantasizing about good sex that actually doesn't exist.
There's almost always something terribly wrong with my girls; apart from physical aspects, they rarely dream of what I dream--and I'm not even a kinkster, even more rarely do they dream it at the same time as I do.
Why would it be different on screen? Most of the time, the type of girl feature simply won't turn me on, the sex scene comes exactly at the moment I don't want it to come and the eroticity of the pictures shown is miles from mine. So all I get is a mild hard-on at best, which I usually don't feel like having anyway. Only if I hate more than and hour and a half ago and I'm not hungry, only when I'm in a mood for sex, only when it so happens that the movies' eroticity more or less matches mine and is not entirely devoid of originality (which is too rarely the case), only when its setting in the scenario doesn't turn me of and only when the actors are fit can the sexual scenes exit the world of every-day mediocrity to hold some sublime--if sublime they have. And when it fails, well: every-day mediocrity.

But I don't think they are there for the beauty. They are present for their eye-catchiness. Sometimes they are serve the scenario (take The Empire of Senses). Honestly, I loved it as a teenager, but as a man, it's just a bother and a way to throw sex into everydayness--or rather throw the audiovisual of sex into everydayness.

Posted by Mokawi | June 11, 2007 5:07 PM

*Only sometimes do they actually serve the scenario

Posted by Mokawi | June 11, 2007 5:09 PM

mokawi is awesome.

if the problem of having good sex scenes is lack of authenticity perhaps it's then in convincing actors and actresses to have authentic sex on camera.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 11, 2007 6:25 PM

I also find it difficult to imagine situations where people have sex in a context where it adds to a story line, or isn't just tacked on for eye candy.

Posted by Bellevue Ave | June 11, 2007 6:31 PM

Imagined sex or written imagined sex is always better than visual representations thereof. In one, you are a particiant, in the other, always a voyeur and consequently, always lonely. To be a voyeur watching people pretend to have sex, badly, is probably the ultimate experience in pointless torture. I am with Nabokov on that 100%

For good acted sex in a non-porno motion picture look no further than "The Night Porter"(Liliana Cavani) "Crash" (Cronenberg)or to blur the line, some Tinto Brass... up to "Caligula" which blurs many lines. For unconvincing real sex, see any major US porno flick.

The thing is, I think that with sex, there is always doubt... unless its written. Has sex on screen improved? "Shortbus" was genius, and it has been a long dry spell since the mid-1970s with only occasional wet patches.

Posted by Alice | June 11, 2007 6:44 PM

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