History of Sex in Cinema:
1994, Part 2
|Movie Title/Year and Film/Scene Description|
Academy-Award nominated Jodie Foster starred as the title character Nell Kellty in this engrossing Michael Apted-directed drama about a 30 year-old woman who was isolated her entire life in a remote cabin in North Carolina with her partially-paralyzed mother due to a stroke. This made her appear to be a 'feral' or 'wild child.'
Her unusual and almost incoherent speech was due to her conversations with a deceased twin sister until she was 6 years old, and listening to her mother's garbled words, and she was possibly conceived by a rapist.
Once the town's doctor Dr. Jerry Lovell (Liam Neeson) and therapist Paula Olsen (Natasha Richardson) came upon Nell, there was conflict over sending her to an institution or letting her remain in her familiar surroundings. As they studied her behavior over a three-month period, they realized that Nell was nocturnal, and that she had a twin sister who had died young.
In one scene, the untamed woman stripped down to go skinny-dipping/swimming in a moonlit lake (with the doctor joining her to reassure her), and in another, Nell lifted up her top in a poolroom-bar when a local raunchy redneck took advantage of her innocent naivete about civilization.
Priest (1994, UK)
This volatile, daring, provocative and controversial British drama from director Antonia Bird was accused of attacking the Roman Catholic Church's official views on homosexuality (or chaste celibacy of any kind by priests), and the sanctity of privacy in the confessional. The film was forced to be re-edited for its US R-rated theatrical release.
The film told about a conservative, gay Roman Catholic priest in Liverpool -- Father Greg Pilkington (Linus Roache) who broke his vows by engaging in homosexual sex with a man named Graham (Robert Carlyle), while also being tormented by a confessional from a young 14 year-old girl named Lisa Unsworth (Christine Tremarco) about incestual abuse from her father.
Rapa Nui (1994)
Director Kevin Reynolds' (and producer Kevin Costner) historically-questionable film about civil war on early Easter Island (known as Rapa Nui in Chile) in the remote SE Pacific. Throughout the melodrama set in the 1600s, there were many scantily-clad natives, including a mishandled and miscast Sandrine Holt.
The film told about a forbidden (and preposterous) 'Hollywoodish' star-crossed 'Romeo and Juliet' love story between two secret lovers who were from two opposing tribes:
The backdrop for the romantic melodrama was the perilous annual contest - the Birdman competition (taking a route along rocky cliffs and into shark-infested waters) - between representatives of all the clans, to determine who would reign as "Bird Man" for the next year. The shaman reluctantly promised Noro the hand of Ramana if he won and if she was confined during a 6-moon preparation period in a cave called the "Cave of the White Virgin," although she had already been de-virginized (and impregnated by Noro). Another male, a "Short Ear" named Make (Esai Morales), Noro's childhood friend but now the leader of rebel unrest, also vied to win Ramana's love.
The film ended with Noro as the sole surviving winner of the competition - he escaped the island with Ramana and their recently-born baby.
Ready to Wear (1994) (aka Pret-a-Porter)
Robert Altman's two-hour ensemble black comedy satirized the fashion industry through a look at the fashion world of Paris, and combined it with a murder mystery. It told about the lives (and loves) of an assorted group of fashion designers, supermodels, and journalists.
The "seductive comedy" featured dozens of characters, converging storylines (typical of Altman) and cameo appearances (Lauren Bacall, Harry Belafonte, Teri Garr, Forest Whitaker, Naomi Campbell, Lyle Lovett, Christy Turlington, Cher and others). It contained Altman's characteristic interweaving plot lines of the lives of models, designers (Richard E. Grant), fashion magazine editors (Sally Kellerman, Tracey Ullman, and Linda Hunt), Irish photographer (Stephen Rea), TV reporter (Kim Basinger), and journalists (Tim Robbins, Julia Roberts and Lili Taylor). The widely-despised head of the fashion council was Olivier de la Fontaine (Jean-Pierre Cassel) who was married to Isabella (Sophia Loren) - later he was found dead in his limousine (ruled a homicide although he choked on a ham sandwich) and his cohort Sergei/Sergio (Marcello Mastroianni) was considered a suspect. [Note: Loren and Mastroianni recreated their striptease scene from Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow (1964).]
Its most memorable scene was its eye-popping, two-minute runway show finale during Paris' week-long, annual "Pret-a-Porter" fashion extravaganza.
It was a sensational, all-nude fashion show put on by beleaguered French designer Simone Lowenthal (Anouk Aimee), the mistress of Olivier. In retaliation against her no-good, rebellious slimy son Jack Lowenthal (Rupert Everett), who engineered a corporate takeover and sold her name to Texan cowboy boot manufacturer Clint Lammeraux (Lyle Lovett), she hosted an all-nude fashion show. When the crowning moment occurred - a pregnant model parading down the runway during the show, the crowd burst into applause, as superficial, flabbergasted American FAD-TV fashion reporter Kitty Potter (Kim Basinger) took a microphone and described how "everything" was exhibited in Simone Lo's show:
The sequence featured over one dozen slim models, displayed by both real-life models and actresses, including:
Nude Fashion Show Participants
The Road to Wellville (1994)
Writer/director Alan Parker's adaptation of T. Coraghessan Boyle's 1993 novel of the same name told about the early 20th Century Reform movement for health self-improvement. The film was filled with scatalogical references and lots of nudity. Its tagline was:
The outrageous, satirical sex comedy chronicled the fanatical treatments at buck-toothed inventor/developer/health guru Dr. John Harvey Kellogg's (Anthony Hopkins) fictional Battle Creek Sanitarium in Michigan. There, affluent guests were rejuvenated by being subjected to daily colon cleansings, purgings, and yogurt enemas, the eating of roughage (and denial of meat), electric shock baths, flagellation and other shock therapies and battery-powered treatments applied to the genitals, womb manipulation massages, and sex abstinence. Kellogg argued: "Masturbation is the silent killer of the night! The vilest sin of self-pollution! The sin of Onan!"
It featured many big-name stars, including the couple:
Eleanor confided with her orgasm-obsessed, ample-bodied friend Virginia Cranehill (Camryn Manheim) - another patient. She was worried about her husband's possible addiction to opium, his alcoholism, and also she was concerned about his sex drive: "He always wanted (sex). It was (don't tell me - grunt, grunt, thank you very much, good night, spit, snore)....It wasn't that I didn't want him... (Marriage is legalized prostitution, my dear)... I wanted to be more than a hole in the mattress that answers to a name." Eleanor wanted to have sex with her husband but admitted: "I want so much to love him. I've just forgotten how." She eagerly explored the 'Der Handebunge technique' - a vaginal stimulation practiced by one of the lecherous womb doctors, Dr Spitzvogel (Norbert Weisser), administering a therapeutic massage of the womb.
She also asked Virginia when they were in a massage session: "Tell me Virginia, honestly. Do you think that sex is harmful?" Virginia sighed: "Another ridiculous idea dreamed up by men. The only thing harmful about sex, my dear, is when women don't get enough of it when they want it, or don't get to enjoy it when they do." She introduced Eleanor to a love of bicycle riding for the "pleasures" it gave on long rides - what she termed a 'bicycle smile.'
Due to William's forced separation from his wife Eleanor (who sponged herself while engaged in frequent milk baths), he found himself libidinously attracted to two other females:
Later, William also came upon Ida sitting topless under a veil in her room. She removed the veil to reveal her sickly green face, and he turned away as she asked: "It's my face, isn't it?...You're staring at my face...What color is it?" To be polite, he answered her twice: "Veridian...creme de menthe."
She admitted it was green, although he said it was more "pale" than green. She then claimed that she was cold, denied his suggestion of a blanket, and asked Will: "Will you please lay on top of me?" When he came closer, she requested: "Would you please close the flap?" - he obliged by covering her head with the veil. Then she whispered an order: "Now do it."
Nurse Irene Graves
(Lara Flynn Boyle)
Spanking the Monkey (1994)
David O. Russell's debut directorial film was this black comedy - the film's title was another term for "masturbation." The independent feature film told about a self-abusing, introverted college freshman named Ray Aibelli (Jeremy Davies). He was continually interrupted touching himself in the bathroom by the whining family dog, and he experienced a rocky relationship with his neighborhood girlfriend Toni Peck (Carla Galio) due to his graceless and rough manner.
Ray was forced by his philandering, acerbic and domineering father Tom (Benjamin Hendrickson) to care during a hot summer for his recuperating, emotionally-dependent, and bed-ridden depressed mother Susan (Alberta Watson) who suffered from a broken leg.
During their close time together (helping her shower, etc.), they developed an off-limits, mother-son relationship. The most controversial scene was one late at night in which he rubbed massage lotion into her upper thigh and they commenced love-making.
Because of his spiraling depression and guilt over the forbidden love with his mother, he suicidally jumped off a cliff.
The Specialist (1994)
Two supposedly sexy box-office superstars were featured in this body-conscious, 'guilty pleasure' thriller-tale of murder and revenge against the underworld set against the neon backdrop of Miami. It won two Razzie awards (Worst Actress - Sharon Stone, Worst Screen Couple - Stone and Stallone) from its five Razzie nominations, including Worst Actor, Worst Supporting Actor (Rod Steiger) and Worst Picture.
The two ultra-buffed stars were:
May hired Ray to avenge the murder of her parents.
They appeared in a number of sex scenes, including a lengthy, exhibitionist shower scene that featured their taut and toned bodies - his biceps and pectorals and her breasts. The scene began in a Fontainebleu Hotel bedroom where they kissed - he let her hair down, and told the alluring female that she had a "beautiful face." To the tune of bluesy jazz music, they undressed and caressed each other and made love on the bed - the scene then segued into the shower where they kissed under the steamy showerhead. They sank to the shower floor where they stretched out and made love.
Their dialogue was unintentionally funny and unsexy, as, for instance, this double-entendre line as she soaped up his chest from behind and then came around to his front to kiss him. She noted that she had faked her own death, so that she could witness the demise of ruthless criminal Tomas Leon (Eric Roberts). She also sexily stated that 'specialist' Ray only built bombs focused on their target:
Ray and May
(Stallone and Stone)
Writer-director Andrew Fleming's debut feature was an R-rated fairly crude, blatantly-stereotypical romantic sex comedy about a coed triangle. It took the unlikely premise that there was a mix-up in Freemont University (UCLA?) dorm assignments. The mistake placed three unlikely individuals together in a dorm suite:
In an early scene in their cramped quarters, obviously heterosexual Stuart was given time to "socialize with friends" -- he was seen removing the purple bra from friendly dorm laundry girl (Katherine Kousi) and kissing her breast.
Their "delicate equilibrium" was quickly upset when Eddy found Alex showering in the suite's bathroom - and she announced herself as their new roommate. The teasing and prudish post-modern coming-of-age film dabbled with whether Alex's reluctant, stand-offish and "sexually-ambivalent" love interest Eddy might be gay ("I like them (girls), I just don't want to have sex with them"), while Stuart was ardently pursuing her (the film's basic plot was summed up early on by Alex: "You have the hots for me, I have the hots for him, and sooner or later he's gonna have the hots for you").
Although they made a "sacred vow" together to remain only friends, that line was soon crossed. Dialogue was exemplified by lines such as this, mostly from Stuart:
The film displayed Alex having an orgasm fully dressed as she seductively squirmed around on a library table in front of Eddy, and oral sex was delivered by Stuart to Alex under a blanket while she spoke on the phone to Eddy.
During a skinny-dip scene, the three were naked and kissing until interrupted by a group of young hikers led by a priest who saw them and then began laughing. Afterwards, Eddy (in voice-over) described the significance of their kissing:
The film eventually included a soft-core three-some sex-sandwich bedroom scene in which Alex was naked between the two men, with Alex interested in Eddy, while he was interested in Stuart, and Stuart was interested in Alex. At the end, Eddy's musings in voice-over, accompanied by a few flashback images, summed up:
The Skinny-Dip Scene
Threesome with Alex
(Lara Flynn Boyle)
True Lies (1994)
James Cameron's expensive, cross-genre film was an action-comedy, in which Arnold Schwarzenegger starred as computer salesman Harry Tasker. He was actually a US secret double agent, married to bored, demure traditionalist wife Helen (Jamie Lee Curtis). They had a daughter named Dana (Eliza Dushku). Because of his job requiring extensive travel, Helen began to suspect that Harry was having an affair, while at the same time, Harry was worried that Helen was involved with a used car salesman named "Simon" (Bill Paxton), posing as a spy to seduce her.
Using the resources of his counter-terrorism and intelligence task force, Harry interrogated her behind a one-way mirror - as a punishment and as a test - of her fidelity and her extra-marital relationship with "Simon." She confessed that she had second thoughts about her marriage and had considered leaving Harry ("a boring jerk") for Simon:
He presented Helen with a choice - to go to prison or to be sent on a "mission" to seduce a double-agent while posing as a prostitute named Michelle. She chose the latter. In the film's sexiest scene, she was sent to the Hotel Marquis, where she was ordered to perform an arousing and provocative strip-tease for a mysterious, suspected arms dealer (a disguised Harry appearing as a darkened figure), while secretly planting a bug on his phone.
She used one of the bed-posts as a stripper pole, undressing down to sexy black lingerie and black high heels as Harry watched from dark shadows - amazed at her convincing bump 'n' grind. When she finished, he instructed her (with a tape-recorded message): "Now lie on the bed and close your eyes." She replied: "But I thought you only liked to watch." He teased her with a red rose, tickling her with it from her nose to between her breasts, before attempting to kiss her. She destroyed the mood by bashing him with the phone, and kicking him in the stomach while he groveled on the floor, shouting out: "You pig! Bastard!"
Helen's (Jamie Lee Curtis) Striptease
Uncovered (1994, Sp./UK)
Based on the book "The Flanders Panel," this neglected murder mystery was filmed on location in Barcelona by directors Jack Baran and Jim McBride. Its tagline was: "To Some - Murder Is an Art."
The film starred Kate Beckinsale (in an early, boyish short-haired role - with hairy armpits - before starring in Pearl Harbor (2001), Van Helsing (2004) and The Aviator (2004)). She portrayed the character of Julia Darro, a young and talented art restorer in Barcelona, Spain. Aging and prissy British homosexual Cesar (John Wood) who called her "Princess" was her jealous guardian because her parents had died when she was young.
She thought she had discovered clues to a centuries-old murder and then became surrounded by a modern-day succession of deaths/murders - including her ex-lover Alvaro (Art Malik), the terminally-ill owner of the painting Don Manual (Michael Gough), and Julia's female boss Menchu (Sinead Cusack). There were parallel clues that she had 'uncovered' in an inscription of a 15th century Flemish master painting of a chess game (titled La partida de ajedrez (The Chess Game)) between two men - it read "Who killed the knight (or white horse)?" (Latin: "Quis Necavit Equitem?") The hidden ancient inscription suggested a politically-motivated, wrongful, unsolved murder of the knight in the picture, committed by one of the subjects in the painting.
The discovery or 'uncovering' scene occurred as she drank a glass of wine, approached the ancient 500 year-old painting and studied it - in a topless reflection. In the end, with help from chess expert Domenec (Paudge Behan), it was revealed that Cesar was the murderous culprit. [Cesar was the estranged brother of the owner of the painting, expelled from the family when he was a teenager.] Julia was forced to shoot Cesar to death (in the heart) in self-defense in the climactic conclusion.
Woman of Desire (1994)
This film-noir wanna-be, capitalizing on the success of Basic Instinct (1992), was directed by Robert Ginty (not Bo Derek's husband John this time - a rare occurrence). One attempt at cleverness was to have some of the character's last names matching famous directors: David Lynch, John Ford, Walter Hill, etc. But the plot had lots of loopholes and was unnecessarily confused and twisting.
Its taglines were:
Star Bo Derek was identified as the "woman of desire" - who lived by the motto: "A long time ago I decided that the key to life was pleasing men."
The plot was about yacht captain Jack Lynch (Jeff Fahey), who was accused of two crimes:
According to Christina, Jack was captaining Ted's yacht when the two fought, Jack shot Ted and tossed him overboard, and his body was still missing. Jack raped Christina, and a storm tossed both Jack and Christina overboard. She was at the hospital while Jack was found washed up nude on a beach.
Jack sought out veteran attorney Walter J. Hill (Robert Mitchum) to help defend him and prove his innocence. Hill thought the testimony was contradictory and would vindicate Jack:
Things became very complicated when Christina began love-making with Ted's identical twin brother Jonathan Ashby (also Steven Bauer). She also appeared in sex and nude scenes with Jack atop a chrome-decorated motorcycle ("It's a custom Renegade love machine"), and in the shower.
Ultimately, Christina was revealed to be in cahoots with "Ted" -- now masquerading as his surviving brother Jonathan, although she was double-crossing him by still having sex with Jack. She explained to "Ted" that she had killed his brother, not Jack: ("Jack wouldn't go through with it. He was all entangled in the lines. All I had to do was push. I've been trying to forget about it ever since"). Hill explained his own conclusions to Jack - asserting that Christina was still lying to him:
Then in another twist, "Ted" was shot and killed at a carnival, in full view of all the major protagonists.
In a concluding voice-over, the conniving Christina explained to her psychiatrist Dr. Laskus (Robert Whitehead) in a clinic that she had inherited the yacht due to the court's resolution of the matter - and her doctor was revealed to be her new husband!:
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