History of Sex in Cinema:
The Greatest and Most Influential
Sexual Films and Scenes

(Illustrated)

1998, Part 1



The History of Sex in Cinema
Movie Title/Year and Film/Scene Description
Screenshots

B. Monkey (1998, UK/US)

Miramax's little-seen crime and romance thriller by director Michael Radford (his follow-up film to Il Postino (1994)) was taglined: "Angel By Day, Armed & Dangerous By Night." Even after being recut and reshot, the Miramax film - a cross between Jonathan Demme's Something Wild (1986) and Tony Scott's True Romance (1993), did very poorly at the box-office.

The main character was:

  • Beatrice (Asia Argento), colloquially known as B. Monkey for a monkey tattooed on her shoulder (Note: the tattooed actress was the daughter of Italy's horror film master Dario Argento)

She was frequently completely naked, portraying an Italian jewel thief practicing her trade in London.

The underworld boss mobster was Frank Rice (Tim Woodward), and her partners-in-crime were a gay couple:

  • jaded and pot-smoking Paul Neville (Rupert Everett)
  • and Beatrice-obsessed Bruno (Jonathan Rhys Meyers), the gang's getaway driver

Uncharacteristically, she fell in love with a geeky, middle-class elementary school teacher (and moonlighting hospital PA system jazz DJ who loved Django Reinhardt records) named Alan Furnace (Jared Harris).

She straddled two worlds while being sexually attracted to the mild-mannered teacher (who became impotent the first time she proposed making love) when they fled to the Yorkshire countryside, but then she was haunted by her past life.





B. Monkey
(Asia Argento)

Chained Heat III: No Holds Barred (1998) (aka Dark Confessions)

European director Lloyd Simandl made this sequel, one of so-called "Czechsploitation" films, not to be confused with Chained Heat 3: Hell Mountain (1998). Various versions toned down the nudity and violence (whipping). The UK video version cut out the full frontal nudity during the white slavery auction. The sex scenes were also been toned down (especially the lesbian scenes).

Sexually-enslaved women were entrapped by dominant blonde Erica (Rene Riffel). When a young American female on vacation arrived at a sinister European monastery, she found that women were being sexually-dominated and auctioned off - the film's memorable slave auction scene where buyers inspected the goods. Erica also took some of her slaves to her bed, such as Lili.

Chained Heat III: No Holds Barred (1998) (aka Dark Confessions)
Erica
(Rene Riffel)
Lili
(Eva Aichmajerova)
Angeline
(Kate Rodger)
Jennifer
(Lisha Snelgrove)
Erica with Lili

(Katie Patrosky)

Anya
(Petra Spindler)

Edge of Seventeen (1998)

Director David Moreton's (debut feature film) and screenwriter Todd Stephens' semi-autobiographical, unrated, nostalgic gay coming-of-age arthouse film was set in 1984 in Sandusky, Ohio.

It told about the sexual initiation and evolution of the relationship between a high school senior and a co-worker:

  • Eric Hunter (Chris Stafford), a nerdy, naive 17 year-old senior
  • Rod (Andersen Gabrych), a flirty bleached-blonde, openly gay Ohio State college student who was Eric's co-worker at the Grub Wagon amusement-park fast-food restaurant

In a very frank and explicit scene set in a motel, Eric experienced sexual awakening through an awkward and clumsy physical coupling with Rod and then was left after their quick one-night stand and summer fling.

Even after discovering his gayness, Eric pursued an unsatisfying romantic relationship with his best female friend Maggie (Tina Holmes) and eventually "came out," frequented the local gay bar, and changed his physical appearance with bleached hair, mascara, and an androgynous look.



Gia (1998)

Director Michael Cristofer's provocative HBO made-for-cable TV to video film was a dramatic biopic about one of the first US supermodels whose tragic career rose and swiftly fell with her 1986 death at the age of 26 due to AIDS (from an infected needle). The film was released in various versions, including an unrated one (with an additional six minutes of sexually explict footage).

It included passionate lesbian love games between two females in NYC:

  • Gia Maria Carangi (Golden Globe award-winning Angelina Jolie), a doomed, wild, self-destructive, Philadelphia-born native, bi-sexual cover girl, sexually-aggressive
  • Linda (Elizabeth Mitchell), a photographer's assistant make-up artist, conflicted about her bi-sexuality

There was a subtly provocative scene in which Gia wore her boyfriend's briefs underwear.

After being together, a fully nude Gia attempted to stop Linda from leaving and pursued her into the hallway naked. She asked: "What happened? What's the matter?" Linda only remarked: "You don't have any clothes on." Gia quickly replied: "Don't change the subject." Linda confessed: "I have a boyfriend...so, I have to go." In her inimitable manner, Gia quipped: "Where the f--k does everybody go when they have to go, huh?" Linda then admitted: "I'm really very square." Gia promised to make breakfast for Linda if she didn't go. The elevator door behind Linda opened, and a startled gentleman in the lift asked: "Going down?"

Three Daring Scenes
(1) Naked Fashion-Shoot Behind a Chain-Link Fence
(2) Naked Full-Body Kissing
(3) Shared Shower Sequence

The film ended with Gia's death, and her voice-over narration (with words from her own journal) as she got up and walked toward the camera:

"Life and death, energy and peace. If I stop today, it was still worth it. Even the terrible mistakes that I have made and would have unmade if I could. The pains that have burned me and scarred my soul. It was worth it, for having been allowed to walk where I've walked, which was to Hell on Earth, Heaven on Earth, back again, into, under, far in between, through it, in it, and above."







Gia
(Angelina Jolie)

The Girl of Your Dreams (1998) (aka La Niña de Tus Ojos, Sp.)

This Spanish film production from director Fernando Trueba was based on the true story of the events that occurred during the filming of Carmen, La De Triana (1938) (aka Carmen, the Girl from Triana) and Andalusische Nächte (1938) (aka Nights in Andalusia). In reality, both films, funded by Spain's dictator Franco during the Spanish Civil War, starred actress Imperio Argentina and were made by Spanish film companies at UFA Studios in Nazi Germany (during the Spanish Revolution).

In the comedy-drama film, Spanish film-makers in UFA Studios in Berlin were making two versions (one Spanish, one German) of the Andalusian musical 'The Girl of Your Dreams' with sexy Andalusian star-actress Macarena Granada (Penelope Cruz). She had accepted the role after the producer promised to try and get her anarchist father out of jail.

Macarena Granada (Penelope Cruz)

She was sleeping with the director Blas Fontiveros (Antonio Resines), but then caught the eye of lustful, evil Nazi Minister for Propaganda Joseph Goebbels (Johannes Silberschneider), whom she needed to pacify in order to get the Spanish version of the film completed. When she stripped for Goebbels and allowed him to kiss her breasts, he was knocked over the head (from behind) with a revolver in the hands of her Russian-Jewish fugitive lover from a concentration camp prison. Then, they had sex together next to the unconscious Goebbels.

The film concluded with a Casablanca-like ending, as Macarena tried to help her lover escape, endangering the entire troupe.


Macarena
(Penelope Cruz)

Great Expectations (1998)

Alfonso Cuarón's R-rated modern adaptation of Charles Dicken's novel featured lushful cinematography set in Florida and New York City.

It told about the long-term relationship over a period of years between an artist and the love of his life:

  • Finnegan Bell (Ethan Hawke), an artist
  • Estella (Gwyneth Paltrow), golden-haired, cool, elitist and radiant

It included two water fountain kissing scenes (one in their youth as 10 year-olds - portrayed by Jeremy James Kissner and Raquel Beaudene, and one as adults), a nude painting scene (with only brief partial-nude glimpses of Paltrow, although the sketch displayed full-frontal nudity), and a passionate love-making scene.


Happiness (1998)

Controversial film-maker Todd Solondz's infamous and subversive unrated film about pedophilia was a black satire on middle-class suburban dysfunctionality.

The film won the Cannes International Critics Prize in 1998, but was considered repulsive by the MPAA -- it received an NC-17 rating, even without explicit intercourse or violence.

The film portrayed an unlikeable suburban dad and psychiatrist - Dr. Bill Maplewood (Dylan Baker), who was a predatory pedophile.

He exhibited his disorder in the scene at a little league game, in the backseat of his car (where he masturbated to a teen magazine), and during a sleepover hosted by his adolescent son Billy (Rufus Read) when he drugged and molested his son's schoolpal and teammate, and then bragged about enjoying it.

The shocking film included the scene of an honest conversation between father and son regarding the father being a "serial rapist" and "pervert."

Son: "Would you ever f--k me?"
Father: "No, I'd jerk off instead."

Also its famous ending scene was of Billy admitting: "I came" (masturbating while spying on a buxom sunbather from the balcony).




High Art (1998)

Writer/director Lisa Chodolenko's honest and convincing 'lesbian chic' film (her feature film debut) won the screenwriting award at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival.

It told about a doomed and troubled lesbian relationship between two females who gradually fell in love and experienced deeper feelings for each other:

  • Lucy Berliner (Ally Sheedy), a dark-haired, burnt-out, thin, retired, chain-smoking, 40 year-old drug-addicted gay photographer, Syd's upstairs neighbor
  • Sydney (or "Syd") (Radha Mitchell), an ambitious, 24 year-old, light-haired heterosexual, interning associate editor of a NY high-art photography magazine/journal (Frame)

Yuppified Syd was living with her boyfriend James (Gabriel Mann), while the decadent Lucy lived with her masochistic, frequently-stoned partner Greta (Patricia Clarkson), an ex-Fassbinder German film actress in the neighboring upstairs apartment.

Sydney (Radha Mitchell) and Lucy (Ally Sheedy)

Syd was able to convince her employers, including frequently hung-over executive editor Dominique (Anh Duong), to have Lucy work for the journal, with Syd as her editor.

During a trip to upstate New York in a pivotal scene, they experienced a slow, intimate and maturely-presented sex scene as they explored their insecurities and decided to have sex for the first time, blurring the lines between their personal and professional lives. Both were cheating on their respective love-partners, and Greta in particular became a rival for Lucy's affection.


Lucy with Greta
(Patricia Clarkson)

How Stella Got Her Groove Back (1998)

This R-rated erotic romantic comedy (and 'weeper' melodramatic chick flick), by director Kevin Rodney Sullivan, told the May-December love story of an escapist affair between two African-Americans. Its tagline described the unusual wish-fulfillment, "jailbait" pairing: "Sometimes you have to break the rules to free your heart." The romance was between two individuals with a vast age discrepancy (title character Stella described it as "almost not a felony"), who first met while on a Montego Bay-Jamaican getaway vacation.

  • Stella Payne (Angela Bassett), a sexy 40 year-old SF stockbroker, a divorced single mother with an 11 year-old son
  • Winston Shakespeare (Taye Diggs in his film debut), a handsome, younger assistant chef with a beautifully-honed and chiseled body

Stella was vacationing with her best friend Delilah Abraham (Whoopi Goldberg). The film's sensual intensity was found in its earliest scenes when the couple first met, flirted, and experienced several sexual encounters, after Delilah answered Stella's question: "What would I do with a twenty-year-old?" --- "F--k him!"

In MTV-film style, the couple were "intimate" in bed and also in a shower sequence with sensual kissing and non-explicit body touching (and an extended, lingering gratuitous shot of Winston's bare buttocks), followed by a scene in bed when Stella sat on Winston's lap and experienced an orgasm.



Winston (Taye Diggs)
with Stella (Angela Bassett)

The Idiots (1998, Denmark) (aka Idioterne, Les Idiots)

Danish filmmaker Lars Von Triers filmed this stark black comedy with a hand-held camera - it was the second film made under the rules of Dogme '95. The subversive and unconventional film was made to protest bourgeois principles and conventions.

Its story was about a Copenhagen commune of eccentric, middle-class individuals who pretended to be "spazzing" - or finding one's 'inner idiot' as if they were retarded or mentally challenged, to liberate themselves from social restrictions.

It was an extremely controversial film due to its nudity (including one quick view of an erection in a shower scene), group sex, and a brief graphic view of unsimulated penetrative sex. The extended orgy sequence of the R-rated film was censored for U.S. audiences with black bars blocking images of male genitalia.

The Extended Orgy (or "Gang-Bang") Sequence

Nana
(Trine Michelsen)


Josephine
(Louise Mieritz)


Sex in Cinematic History
History Overview | Reference Intro | Pre-1920s | 1920-26 | 1927-29 | 1930-1931 | 1932 | 1933 | 1934-37 | 1938-39
1940-44 | 1945-49 | 1950-54 | 1955-56 | 1957-59 | 1960-61 | 1962-63 | 1964 | 1965-66 | 1967 | 1968 | 1969

1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985 | 1986 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989
1990 | 1991 | 1992-1 | 1992-2 | 1993 | 1994-1 | 1994-2 | 1995-1 | 1995-2 | 1996-1 | 1996-2 | 1997-1 | 1997-2 | 1998-1 | 1998-2 | 1999-1 | 1999-2
2000-1 | 2000-2 | 2001-1 | 2001-2 | 2002-1 | 2002-2 | 2003-1 | 2003-2 | 2004-1 | 2004-2 | 2005-1 | 2005-2 | 2006-1 | 2006-2
2007-1 | 2007-2 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013

Index to All Decades, Years and Features


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