History of Sex in Cinema:
2000, Part 1
|Movie Title/Year and Film/Scene Description|
American Psycho (2000)
This film was one of the best instances demonstrating how violence could often be rated less harshly than sex by the MPAA ratings board.
There were multiple scenes of wealthy 27 year-old delusional New York stock executive serial killer Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale) dancing and singing to the music of Huey Lewis and the News, Phil Collins, or Genesis ("In Too Deep") as foreplay to grisly violence. The most shocking was the murder of his associate Paul Allen (Jared Leto).
To the tune of "Hip to Be Square," Bateman wore a clear rain-slicker in his apartment, as he hit his co-worker over the head with a shiny new axe head - with blood splattering over his face from the impact of the multiple vicious strikes (off-screen).
However, the scene that brought the greatest ratings controversy was the sexual threesome (edited to avoid an NC-17 rating) sex scene with two prostitutes: blonde Christie (Cara Seymour) and redhead Sabrina (Krista Sutton), in which Bateman rambled on about the lyrics of a Phil Collins song. He requested of Christie: "Get down on your knees so Sabrina can see your asshole," and then instructed Sabrina to perform oral sex on her: "Don't just stare at it, eat it."
When they all were having sex together (to Collins' "Sussudio") on his bed, Bateman vainly posed to admire himself in a mirror as he simultaneously videotaped the menage a trois in order to re-enact his fantasies from porn films.
In Paul's darkened bedroom on another occasion where he had invited two hookers, Bateman had sex with Elizabeth (Guinevere Turner) under a sheet, where he stabbed her to death. Then, the nude and bloodied Bateman chased after fleeing hooker Christie with a chainsaw and dropped it down on her from an apartment stairwell - she died a bloody death when it hit her in the back
Murder of Paul Allen
Killing of Christie
Baise Moi (2000, Fr.) (translated "Rape Me" or "Screw or F--k Me")
This daring and scandalous, unrated art-house import about heartless and irrational female sexual rage by two hardened and randy females was the first collaboration between French film-maker Virginie Despentes and former porn actress Coralie Trinh Thi. The script was adapted from Despentes' own 1995 novel.
The French female empowerment film was a very violent, sensationalist, bold, graphic and hard-core sex-filled version of Natural Born Killers (1994) and Thelma & Louise (1991) - a nihilistic and self-destructive picture that ran into extreme protest and controversy. Pressure groups sought to have the French government reclassify it as X-rated. It was banned in France, its native country of release.
The nihilistic and nasty road film set in modern-day France and shot on grainy digital video, featured two main female characters (both French adult film stars), lower-class French 'bad girls' who appeared to have lesbian tendencies:
Its porno-style, animalistic sexuality (fellatio, ejaculation and penetration) included - in the first fifteen minutes - an explicit and brutal rape/sodomy scene in an abandoned underground parking garage (against Manu and a drug-addicted friend of hers), with a close-up insert shot of the violated vagina of the friend. Manu's friend struggled, screamed, and resisted (and was bloodily beaten), while Manu laid back and accepted the violation from behind from the rapist - who soon became disinterested in her.
Shortly later, the anarchic Manu shot her unsympathetic, abusive and contemptuous boyfriend when he accused her of enjoying the rape. At around the same time, Nadine strangled her roommate during an argument.
Manu stole 10,000 francs from her brother's stash, then kidnapped Nadine when they had a chance meeting at a metro station. Manu forced her to drive them to Paris, as the two soon teamed up and told each other: "We'll follow our lucky star." They were tired of being pushed around by losers and low-lifes in their seedy, marginal neighborhood, so they decided to engage in a lucrative shooting spree and sexual romp across France.
They went on a randomly vengeful, remorseless, violent sex/murder spree on both men and women (a robbery/murder at an ATM, killings of a cop and gunstore clerk, the murder of a lewd guy in a street and of a male pick-up after receiving oral sex, and other instances of indiscriminate sex). They also sought violent sexual revenge in a climactic scene set in a swingers sex club where they used a phallic-shaped gun to perform anal rape and murder.
The 'Bad Girls'
The Gang Rape of Manu
The Faust legend was remade in this satirical comic updating of the original 1967 Dudley Moore (Stanley Donen-directed film) by director Harold Ramis. Elizabeth Hurley played the part of the trashy, seductive vamp-temptress Devil ("the Princess of Darkness"), her character based upon Raquel Welch's brief role as one of the seven deadly sins - LUST - in the original.
She victimized the pathetic, socially-inept, and lonely dweeb Elliot Richards (Brendan Fraser) working in a San Francisco call-center after he wished to get closer to unattainable co-worker Alison Gardner (Frances O'Connor) ("I would do anything to have that girl in my life"). She offered him seven "utterly fabulous" wishes (with sneaky loopholes) in return for his "piddly little" soul journeying to Hell. She rhetorically asked:
He wished for many things, such as wealth and power, emotional sensitivity, athleticism, intelligence, sexual endowment, and the President (Abraham Lincoln), all with complications.
Fortunately, his final wish was a self-less one, which voided his contract with Satan, and now self-realized, he found a new romance with a neighbor, Alison look-alike Nicole Delarusso (also Frances O'Connor).
In one scene in the Devil's throne room, Satan enjoyed having a slithery snake curl around her red-bikinied body in front of a painting of a nude and tempted Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
Raquel Welch as Lust
in the 1967 film
Coyote Ugly (2000)
This PG-13 sexy Flashdance-like romantic comedy, produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and directed by David McNally, was a cross between Cocktail (1988) and Showgirls (1995).
In New Jersey, aspiring, blonde-haired 21 year-old songwriter/singer Violet Sanford (Piper Perabo), a waitress, found that she was desperate and broke, so she moved to NYC to work as a bump-and-grind, scantily-clad barmaid at a hot bar called Coyote Ugly - she was nicknamed "Jersey."
The film's major sex scene had a steamier version of the scene including nakedness from Perabo's body double, found in the unrated extended "adult-related content" version. During the love-making scene, Violet explained what nervous stagefright felt like in order to seduce charming young Australian chef Kevin O'Donnell (Adam Garcia) amidst full-sized stand-up cardboard cut-outs of famous celebrities (Bill Clinton, John F. Kennedy, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, etc.).
She deliberately made him nervous ("the only way I can show you is to make you really nervous") by playfully and slowly stripping down while talking about her racing heart and shaking body ("and everything gets a bit cloudy").
She also described how she sometimes lost control: "it's been known to last all night...it's excruciating!" She then proceeded to kiss him, wearing only her bluish-purple tanktop and thong panties as she removed his shirt, and before long was making love to him with more sensuous kisses and naked embraces.
Violet (Piper Perabo)
Cruel Intentions 2 (2000)
Cruel Intentions (1999) was followed by director Roger Kumble's direct-to-video prequel Cruel Intentions 2 (2000) (compiled from footage originally shot for a FOX-TV show (unaired and cancelled) to be called Manchester Prep), set at the private high school Manchester Prep.
The story of sexual gamesmanship among teens included a steamy shower scene in which twin sisters Annie and Alicia Sorell (as seniors Gretchen and Sarah) shared bathing with naked Sebastian Valmont (Robin Dunne). The two asked him how he liked the Manchester prep school and when he responded: "It's... unbelievably hard," they looked at his member and replied: "Wow! It certainly is. Rock-hard. Down boy."
When he asked if they were sisters, they replied that they were "more like kissing cousins" and then incestuously kissed each other. They also suggested that it was "slippery when wet" when Sebastian slipped and fell. The girls also added how "Manchester Prep's a virtual whorehouse. As the school motto goes, "if you don't snort it, suck it'," causing him to squirt shampoo from a squeezed plastic tube like an ejaculation. When they left, they said: "See you on campus," and then played "Ring toss" with his erection by tossing a washcloth at it and announcing: "Score!"
In another sex-related sequence, Manchester Prep's good-girl Cherie Claymon (Keri Lynn Pratt) was tricked into experiencing an orgasm during a horse-riding lesson when told to move in the saddle "up and down, back and forth, faster, faster." After pleasurably orgasming, she fell to the ground and revealed after being asked if OK: "I never felt better."
[Note: It was followed by Scott Ziehl's straight-to-video sequel Cruel Intentions 3 (2004).]
(Keri Lynn Pratt)
Dancing at the Blue Iguana (2000)
Writer/director Michael Radford's ensemble film, a lesser version of Exotica (1994), examined the troubled lives of many of the exotic dancers in a suburban, San Fernando Valley California strip club named the Blue Iguana over the course of a week. Reportedly, Daryl Hannah and other co-stars researched their roles at various LA strip clubs, in particular Crazy Girls.
All of the six lead actresses appeared nude to some degree in the often incoherent, undeveloped film. The six major dysfunctional and troubled characters in the seemingly-improvised film included:
Jessie was a newcomer to the profession trying out for a position, in the Blue Iguana club where the rules ("no drugs, no handjobs, no blowjobs, and no f--king") were usually ignored. An unwanted pregnancy, an attempt at foster parenthood of an adopted child, and aspirations to be a poet were come of the issues facing the strippers.
The Gift (2000)
Director Sam Raimi's mystery thriller was representative of films that became notorious because of the first-time nudity of one of their performers - this one featured Dawson's Creek's Katie Holmes (Tom Cruise's future wife at the time).
Her character was a spoiled, promiscuous sexpot named Jessica King - the sultry daughter of a prominent citizen, who was suddenly and mysteriously missing in a baffling case.
Unexpectedly, during a flashback, Jessica ripped off her shirt and bared her breasts before nice-guy Georgia school principal and fiancee Wayne Collins (Greg Kinnear).
As he questioned her: "Why would you do this to me?," she confessed to her affair with backwater resident and abusive husband Donnie Barksdale (Keanu Reeves).
When she retorted back: "Maybe I wanted to be with a man for a change," Wayne slapped her.
She responded by slapping back and pushing him:
He pushed her backward onto a car hood and strangled her, and then put her body in the misty swamp water. It was revealed in the twisting plot that Collins killed socialite Jessica in jealous retribution.
Ginger Snaps (2000, Canada)
Director John Fawcett's werewolf horror cult film was followed by both a sequel (Ginger Snaps II: Unleashed (2004)) and a direct-to-video prequel (Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning (2004)). Its tagline was: "They Don't Call It the Curse For Nothing." The film's theme tying together puberty with blood, sexual desire and metamorphic body changes (including possession and infection) harkened back to other films, such as Cat People (1942), Carrie (1976) and The Company of Wolves (1984).
It told about two morbid, late-developing teenaged sisters who were rebellious, death-obsessed, world-hating Goths and disdainful school outcasts in a suburban Ontario high school (in the town of Bailey Downs, a "safe and caring community"). They conducted staged deaths of their own demise for a school project (shown in the innovative title credits sequence as a series of Polaroids):
When Ginger was attacked/bitten by a beastly lycanthrope ("The Beast of Bailey Downs") while walking through the woods, linked to the time of her first menstrual period ("the curse") and a full moon, she developed spiky tufts of body hair and a phallic-tail, feral teeth, cramps, a craving for flesh, and a foul temper. In a rest room, Brigitte spoke with her sister:
The changes caused a major rift between Ginger and her sister, who had made a pact to never be "average" and to suicidally "go together" when puberty arrived. Ginger also became more sexually interested in previously-taboo males, and drew male wolf-whistles when she strutted (and bounced) down the school hallway. Sexually adventurous and hormonal, she was lustily aggressive during her loss of virginity to football player Jason McCarty (Jesse Moss) in the back seat of his car. He was shocked by her masculine-like behavior and told her to "take it easy...just lie back and relax" - but she retorted with the same line, declaring that she was "the guy here."
During sex, she "infected" him. After the blood-inducing date in which she delivered bite wounds to Jason, Ginger stated her view of predatory teenaged blood-lust sex to Brigitte, as she threw up into a toilet bowl: "I get this ache and I thought it was for sex, but it's to tear everything to f--king pieces." Not satisfied with only having sex with Jason, she had killed the neighbor's dog.
Ginger also killed a school janitor (Pat Kwong-Ho), because she suspiciously feared that he had been looking "inappropriately" at her sister. She disemboweled him with her hand, and then told her sister that she loved the blood, linking the violence to solitary masturbation:
Threatened, Brigitte argued back: "I'd rather be dead than be what you are."
The film concluded with Ginger transformed into a monstrous Ginger-Wolf engaging in a killing spree, including a threatening showdown with her sister, who up until this point had attempted to rescue Ginger from her animalistic urges. Brigitte felt she no longer had a bond with her sister - she had a choice to either cure her sister with a syringe of "werewolf antidote" or to kill her with a knife, and chose the latter ("I'm not dying in this room with you"). She was intimately close to Ginger-Wolf, hugging her when she exhaled her last breath.
Gitano (2000, Sp.) (aka Gypsy)
This neo-noir film, a tale of crime and passion from co-writer/director Manuel Palacios was notorious for its very realistic love-making scene between the two main performers:
Heavy Metal 2000 (2000) (aka Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K. (Federation Assigned Ketogenic Killzone))
This futuristic animated sequel to the 1981 film was another "guilty pleasure" - an exploitative pop-cult film of sci-fi/erotica episodic fantasy stories accompanied by heavy metal hard rock. The likeness of Queen of the B-movies Julie Strain was incorporated into the cartoon and into its video-game sequel Heavy Metal: F.A.K.K.2.
The 'adult' underground cartoon with graphic, teen-oriented depictions of drugs, taboo-breaking sex, nude women (with large breasts), fantasy sword-and-scorcery, and gory violence featured buxom scream queen B-movie actress and ex-Penthouse Pet Julie Strain (Eastman) as the voice of Julie, and Sonja Ball as the voice of her sexy sister Kerrie (introduced in a gratuitous nude shower scene), with even more animated sexual signifiers (phallic shaped and vaginal iconography, intercourse, etc.).
There was, of course, female warrior Julie's revealing armored costume - a skimpy red thong with a breast-baring top. One of the more sexually-explicit scenes was one involving a robotic, cyber-sex slave doll (voice of Elizabeth Robertson), tauted by its handler:
The robot asked its male customer with a sexy voice: "Please select your sexual preference: vaginal, anal, oral, other." The film also included a scene in an alien nudie bar, where patrons enjoyed a six-breasted (3 pairs) stripper/dancer.
(voice of Sonja Ball)
(voice of Julie Strain)
High Fidelity (2000)
Stephen Frears' witty romantic comedy was based upon Nick Hornby's 1995 British novel of the same name, although the setting of the film was in midwestern Chicago. The film became immensely popular due to its ranking of important life-events like a hit-parade list.
It told of 30-something, commitment-phobic Chicago LP music store (Championship Vinyl) operator Rob Gordon (John Cusack), who was a walking encyclopedia of music knowledge, as well as a dance nightclub DJ, but suffering from a disastrous love-life.
He was dumped by his live-in girlfriend/lawyer Laura (Iben Hjejle) of several years. He bitterly announced that Laura didn't make the list of his all-time top-five breakups. Speaking directly into the camera about his bittersweet romantic life, Rob named his top five, each break-up accompanied by a vignette and flashback throughout much of the film:
Ultimately, Rob decided that Laura qualified as breakup # 5. He was shown - while lying sleepless in his empty bed - enduring an exaggerated fantasy nightmare of Laura having gasping-and-moaning sex with long-haired, pompous, New Agey former neighbor Ian 'Ray' Raymond (Tim Robbins) upstairs on a creaky bed in a red satin-lined boudoir, as he muttered:
Laura (Iben Hjejle) with
Ray (Tim Robbins)
Hollow Man (2000)
This creepy science-fiction horror thriller by Paul Verhoeven, a derivative of H.G. Wells' classic The Invisible Man, was followed by a direct-to-video sequel, Hollow Man II (2006) with Christian Slater.
In this first film nominated for a Best Visual Effects Oscar, brilliant scientist Dr. Sebastian Caine (Kevin Bacon) tested an invisibility serum on himself - with deviant consequences.
The 'hollow man' was tempted when he spied upon his pretty neighbor (Rhona Mitra), seen topless from an adjacent apartment. While she took a shower, he rang her doorbell but when she came to the door and viewed through the peephole, no one was there at her door. When it rang again three times, she opened the door and unwittingly let the invisible intruder in.
She was further watched at her dressing table as she rubbed cream into her skin and combed her hair - spooked by her moving mirror, she was then attacked and thrown on the bed, where she was presumably invisibly raped by the unseen assailant.
In the Mood for Love (2000, HK) (aka Fa yeung nin wa)
Writer/director Kar Wai Wong's romantic and evocative drama of sexual longing, unrequited love and lack of fulfillment - backed by a hypnotic, sad violin-tinged soundtrack with moody Nat King Cole songs - was one of the sexiest films ever made, without any overt sex in it.
The melodramatic foreign film opened with an intriguing quote:
It told about two very proper neighbors in an overcrowded Hong Kong walk-up apartment building in 1962, who shared the same Mah-jong playing landlady, Mrs. Suen (Rebecca Pan):
After some chance meetings in the cramped stairwell and hallways, both began to suspect that their respective marital partners were unfaithful, especially when Mrs. Chan mentioned: "You notice things if you pay attention." Oftentimes, both of their spouses would be away from home at the same time. To make the premise more pronounced, neither of the spouses appeared on-screen (only their voices or backs were shown). In the process of keeping each other company, sharing a meal, overcoming loneliness, and supporting each other, the two fell in love while remaining completely chaste. They were even non-sexual when on one occasion, Mrs. Chan was trapped inside Chow's bedroom and had to remain hidden for an entire overnight.
In several scenes, they play-rehearsed, practiced and recreated imaginary scenarios, such as asking their spouses if they were cheating ("Do you have a mistress?"). They also practiced breaking up with each other. All the while, the two painfully retained their nobility, decorum, repressed emotions and sublimated sexual desire by remaining platonic ("We won't be like them"). Their reticence to fullfill their sexual longings elevated their love to a higher level, although their passivity and formality approached the level of unintended avoidance.
In the conclusion set in 1966, Chow had moved to Cambodia, where he desperately tried to forget his past. As he had described earlier ("They went up a mountain, found a tree, carved a hole in it, and whispered the secret into the hole. Then they covered it with mud. And leave the secret there forever"), he went to the Buddhist temple at Angkor Wat, found a crevice in the rock carving, spoke into it, and then tried to eliminate his past memories by covering the hole with mud.
This caption ended the sad film:
Chow (Tony Leung) with
Mrs. Chan (Maggie Cheung)
Le Libertin (2000, Fr.) (aka The Libertine)
Writer/director Gabriel Aghion's bawdy, colorful costume drama-comedy was set in 18th century France when the publication and distribution of Enlightenment philosopher/sensualist Denis Diderot's multi-volume Encyclopaedia (the first) was banned by conservative church and state forces.
The film farce portrayed a day in the life of the decadent Denis Diderot (Vincent Perez), while he was at the country estate of Baron d'Holbach (Francoise Lalande) and his wife Baronne d'Holbach (Josiane Balasko) and pretty daughter Angélique (Vahina Giocante).
Scenes included rampant sex and gratuitous nudity, hedonism, crude innuendo and perversion (oral sex, gay threesomes, lesbian couplings and mute African eunuchs). Diderot posed nude when his portrait was being painted by beautiful and flirtatious 'spy' Madame Therbouche (Fanny Ardant) from Berlin, during which he experienced an erection, and chased (full-frontal) around the grounds after his wife Antoinette Diderot (Francoise Lepine).
Among other things, the film displayed a scene of Amelie's Audrey Tautou (as Julie d'Holbach) and Angelique playfully naked in a Turkish bath of milk.
Love & Basketball (2000)
Writer/director Gina Prince-Bythewood's romantic drama (organized as four quarters of a basketball game) told of the 13-year relationship/romance between two childhood neighbors/rivals growing up in early 1980s Los Angeles:
They were both aspiring basketball stars, who were competitive both on the court and in affairs of the heart. At their high school prom which they attended with different dates, he told her: "You don't look half bad," and they continued to make eyes at each other during a slow dance.
Later that night when he kissed her on the ground outside her nearby-bedroom window (to congratulate her for receiving an acceptance letter into USC), they decided to make love for the first time (an honest sex scene in which he paused to put on a condom) although she mostly concealed her breasts with her hands throughout the scene.
Afterwards, they continued to play basketball at USC, and in the film's sexiest scene (in "The Third Quarter" in the late 80s), they challenged each other to an indoor, one-on-one, strip game of nerf-basketball in his dorm room ("I score, you strip. You score, I drop something"). During the game ("All's fair in love and basketball, baby"), they both talked trash at each other (i.e. "Kiss my black ass") and he accidentally grabbed at her black sports bra. When Monica won and they kissed, he told her: "I wanted you to."
After growing apart and becoming star players, in the predictable finale (in "The Fourth Quarter" in 1993), the estranged couple played another late-night one-on-one ("I'll play you... One game, one-on-one" for his "heart") - the stakes were marriage to her or to Quincy's fiancée Kyra Kessler (Tyra Banks). Although Quincy won the game, he proposed "Double or nothin'" to choose her anyway - after which they kissed and embraced.
In the film's conclusion, they were married with a young daughter.
Quincy (Omar Epps) with Monica (Sanaa Lathan)
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