History of Sex in Cinema:
2000, Part 2
|Movie Title/Year and Film/Scene Description|
Malena (2000, It./US)
Writer/director Giuseppe Tornatore's (known for Cinema Paradiso (1988)) nostalgic, coming of age romantic drama was set during 1940s fascist-wartime Sicily. The European release of 106 minutes was cut to 92 minutes by Miramax to reduce the liberal scenes of nudity for American audiences.
The story told of voluptuous schoolteacher Malena Scordia (Monica Bellucci, a beautiful model turned actress) - a seductive, luscious heroine (with flowery dresses) in the friendless seaside town of Castelcuto. She was the object of transfixed, autoerotic, fanciful romantic infatuation for lots of young town boys, including 13 year old Italian boy Amoroso Renato (Giuseppe Sulfaro) who rode a second-hand bicycle, and served as the film's narrator.
The maturing adolescent boy was transfixed by Malena as were others. She was met with lecherous stares, nasty gossip about her promiscuous sexuality, and wolf whistles from the men, and jealous gossip from the women when she strolled through town.
Renato often spied upon her (he watched as her dress strap fell to reveal one breast, and another time saw her bathe her breasts with lemon juice). With others, he found himself aroused by her ("What a wonderful ass...What I wouldn't give for an hour with her"). He stole her panties from a laundry line, often saw her face in place of others, and masturbated frequently while thinking about her on his squeaky-springed bed.
He fantasized that he was touching Malena as he was lying on his bed (and planning to masturbate to a booklet of pictures of naked females). His bedroom door opened and Malena entered and stood before him in a white dress. He pulled down her white silky dress and removed her black bra straps, to reveal her breasts in front of his eyes. He then moved his hands slowly down her entirely naked body.
In parallel scenes during self-pleasuring, he also imagined her as his co-star in a series of elaborate, sexually-charged erotic black and white fantasies (of being her hero and making love to her) inspired by his favorite movies: Tarzan films ("Me Tarzan, you Malena"), westerns ("Renato, you've got the biggest gun in the West") and gladiator films.
Renato was taken to a local brothel by his father (Luciano Federico) to be sexually awakened. When preparing to have sex with prostitute Lupetta (Elisa Morucci) who was instructed to "treat him right," he was asked: "Is it your first time?" He responded: "I've imagined it many times." For an instant, he imagined that Malena was standing nude in front of him.
She became a mistreated war widow when her new husband Nico (Gaetano Aronico) died during the war, and her father, a Latin teacher Professor Bonsignore (Pietro Notarianni), died during an Allied bombing.
Small-town prejudice from jealous women and murmuring crowds falsely accused her of adultery ("I'd skin her alive...How disgusting"), as circumstances forced non-conformist, widowed and poverty-stricken Malena to become a prostitute - fulfilling the false charges laid against her. She began serving clients including occupying members of the German army.
After the liberation of Sicily in the war, the townsfolk (mostly female) again scorned and humiliated Malena, and punished her for her beauty. They dragged her into the street, crudely clipped off her hair with a pair of scissors, and left her severely beaten, bloody and half-naked in the piazza's street. As they banished her, they screamed at her:
Lupetta (Elisa Morucci)
Co-writer/producer/director/star Rob Morrow's (with his feature debut as writer and director) was both a romance and a character study of Tourette Syndrome, through its story about afflicted New York painter and sculptor/artist Lyle Maze (Rob Morrow), who felt that he might never find romance or companionship.
A romantic triangle between the three major characters (the artist and another couple) was the predictable plotline in this melodramatic chick flick:
It featured a very full-frontal nude scene of Oscar-nominated (for You Can Count on Me (2000)) Laura Linney as pregnant fashion stylist Callie, the live-in lover/girlfriend of idealistic and liberal doctor Mike (Craig Sheffer), Lyle's best friend. She posed for the painter while Mike was on an extended overseas medical mission with Doctors Without Borders, and inevitably, Lyle began to fall in love with her.
In another scene, brunette Lenna (Sheila Zane) also posed naked for the artist.
The Monkey's Mask (2000, Australia)
This Australian erotic and provocative, neo-noir, crime-murder mystery-thriller, directed by Samantha Lang, hinted at its subject matter with the tagline: "No evidence just a smell of sex and violence." The sapphic murder mystery contained various graphic sex scenes between its two main female stars:
Diana, who was married to cold and handsome lawyer Nick (Marton Csokas), was a sexually-voracious femme fatale who enjoyed kinky sex. She was drawn into a torrid, lustful lesbian love affair with Jill. They shared numerous lesbian love scenes (including oral sex).
At the same time, Jill was searching for the strangulation murderer of young victim Mickey Norris (Abbie Cornish) - a nymphomaniacal university student in Sydney, whose amateur poetry was laced with sex and death.
In the opening scene, Mickey read some of her poetry while standing in front of an audience:
(l to r) Jill Fitzpatrick (Susie Porter) and Diana Maitland (Kelly McGillis)
Naked States (2000)
In this highly-rated, attention-getting, 74 minute HBO documentary (America's Undercover series), photographer Spencer Tunick traveled cross-country around America for five months in the late 90s to capture uneroticized pictures of nudes in every one of the 50 US states. The tagline was, appropriately: "AMERICA'S IN FOR A NUDE AWAKENING."
He specialized in images of people becoming spontaneously nude, often in large group settings, such as:
Many everyday folks were interviewed for their views on body image and on getting nude, often describing liberation and self-expression.
100 Girls (2000)
Writer/director Michael Davis' Cinderella-like teen-sex comedy (direct-to-video) told about geeky, love-struck college student Matthew's (Jonathan Tucker) desperate quest for a mystery woman with whom he had sex in a darkened elevator during a power outage/blackout one night.
The only clue the girl-obsessed Matthew had was her pair of panties - he went on a search (involving scenes of voyeurism, various disguises, and burglaries) to find the matching bra in a girls' dormitory ("virgin vault") of 100 girls - the film's title.
Although there were many sexy females in this film and sex-filled dialogue, there was minimal outright nudity among them, including:
It was later discovered that the mystery female was promiscuous art-school student Patty (Emmanuelle Chriqui) (pictured), who had a mean and abusive boyfriend.
In one of the film's memorable monologues, Matthew vowed that he would be transformed by his dream woman:
Director Philip Kaufman's major studio film, an R-rated historical period drama, starred Oscar-nominated Geoffrey Rush as the victimized, crazed and imprisoned Marquis de Sade as an inmate in the Charenton Asylum for the Insane administered by the head religious priest Abbe du Coulmier (Joaquin Phoenix).
The infamous censored and incarcerated author (appearing naked at times in his cell) persuaded one of the insane asylum's laundry girls, feisty Madeleine "Maddy" LeClerc (Kate Winslet), to smuggle in writing paper and ink so that he could continue his scandalous work. Later in the film, the Marquis used wine, blood, and even his own feces as ink, when deprived.
During the course of the film, Coulmier developed an attraction for the disciplined (whipped) laundry girl punished for her infraction - who later became the innocent victim of an asylum riot.
In the film's most notorious sequence, Madeleine was put on display in the asylum's chapel on an altar with candles surrounding her. She had a very filmy cloth over her naked body, which Coulmier pulled back. He then started to kiss and fondle her, and began to make love to her. He climbed on top of her -- and then was startled when her eyes opened and she kissed him back and held him as they started to make love (with her legs around him), until a pounding at the door awakened him from his perverse dream. He horrifically realized that he was embracing a corpse.
Marquis de Sade
Rated X (2000)
Distributed by cable TV's Showtime Network and directed by actor Emilio Estevez, this R-rated film was a semi-biopic portrayal of American sleazy-porn pioneers of San Francisco - The Mitchell Brothers. The film was taglined: "They put the 'X' in Sex." It was released in both R-rated and Unrated versions (a minute longer).
It was advertised as having "no limits" in its account of the two brothers:
Told in flashback, the film surveyed their early grindhouse film-making days, the Mitchell Brothers' establishment and proprietorship of the O'Farrell Theater, and the production of their X-rated Behind the Green Door with former Ivory Snow model Marilyn Chambers (Tracy Hutson of TV's Extreme Makeover - Home Edition). Artie reassuringly described to Marilyn how she would star as Gloria, who was:
Their spiraling-down lives due to drug and alcohol use, and personal conflict leading to the death of Artie at the hands of his own brother in 1991, which opened the film.
Reindeer Games (2000) (aka Deception)
John Frankenheimer's action-crime thriller starred Charlize Theron as beautiful femme fatale Ashley Mercer (Charlize Theron) - a dead con's pen-pal girlfriend - who engaged in a wild sex scene in a motel room in the film's opening to seduce ex-con auto-thief Rudy Duncan (Ben Affleck). [When Rudy's cellmate Nick Cassidy (James Frain) was killed during a prison riot, Rudy took Nick's place and met up with Ashley when he was released.] Note: The names Rudy and Nick referred to two familiar Christmas characters: Rudolph and St. Nick or Santa Claus.
The twist was that he was assuming his cellmate's identity, and reluctantly became involved in a plan to hold up the Tomahawk Indian reservation casino in Michigan.
Theron provided some gratuitous topless nudity (after removing her black bikini top with one hand and flinging it away, while holding a drink glass in her other hand) in a swimming pool scene with her psychopathic outlaw trucker 'brother' Gabriel Mercer (Gary Sinise), revealing that she wasn't actually his abused sister/relative - but his love interest, in her complex, plot-twisting plan to rob the casino. Rudy watched in amazement as they seductively embraced each other.
Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Director Darren Aronofsky's effective and disturbing film told about the consequences of drug use for four individuals:
Pre-release discussions claimed the film bordered on pornography and glamorized drug use.
In the film, Sara's addiction to weight-loss and obsession with being on a television show led to hallucinations, near insanity, and shock-treatment, while the harrowing price of heroin addiction caused her son Harry's arm to become severely infected and require amputation. Meanwhile, despairing and pained Marion, earlier seen in full-frontal before a mirror, prostituted herself to pay for her addiction.
The most controversial sequence took place at a stag party hosted by black pimp Big Tim (Keith David). It was argued that the scene was a necessary component and message that the cautionary film had to deliver about the consequences of drug use. It was a nasty, extremely-graphic lesbian orgy scene with a shared anal dildo between Marion and her female partner. The two wanted to increase their earnings in front of the frenzied crowd of party animals, when Marion's partner asked: "So what are we gonna do now?" In a degrading so-called "ass-to-ass" scene, Marion shared a two-headed greased-up dildo with another female as a group of spectators watched, tossed bills at them, and shouted as the pace quickened: "Ass-to-ass!" and "Cum! Cum! Cum!"
The scene shocked the MPAA which rated the harrowing film as NC-17 - Aronofsky and distributor Artisan appealed the ruling, claiming it was "neither correct nor justified." The appeal was denied, so Artisan was compelled to release it unrated. A slightly-modified, edited R-rated version of the film was released on video with a shortened sex scene.
Road Trip (2000)
Documentarian Todd Phillips' fiction-film debut was a raunchy, vulgar gross-out teen comedy that was typical of the new decade - with plentiful sex gags.
It featured beautiful, seductive, and aggressive sorority girl Beth Wagner (Amy Smart) whose one-night-stand sexual romp after stripping down to dark red panties as payback to male classmate Josh (Breckin Meyer) was videotaped and accidentally mailed to Josh's girlfriend Tiffany Henderson (Rachel Blanchard). As Beth removed one layer of clothing, she asked: "What do you look for in a girl?...Do you feel better yet?" When he responded that he felt a little better, she proceeded to go topless, as he commented: "She should be nice and attractive and...topless, and topless." She then climbed on top of him to kiss him.
This incident set up the cross-country road trip of the film's title from Ithaca, New York to Austin, Texas to intercept the damaging tape.
Another scene involved a student named Barry Manilow (Tom Green) at a party - who narrated the entire film in flashback. He conducted a sexual 'educational' experiment (the rubbing of each other's bare nipples) with two topless co-eds (Aerica D'Amaro and Bridgett Wise - each billed as Barry's Girl): "We're touching. It's a lot of fun. We're having a good time."
Several other females were gratuitously naked (Jaclyn DeSantis as Heather and Aliya Campbell as Wendy, others full frontal in the unrated version) in a pictorialization of Barry's story in a girls' locker room. Topless, Heather described to Beth her view of males:
[Note: See also director Steve Rash's direct-to-DVD/video sequel titled Road Trip: Beer Pong (2009).]
Scary Movie (2000)
This R-rated comedy-horror spoof film (with many sequels in subsequent years) was accused of over-the-top tasteless, and offensive violence and sex.
It opened with the parody scene of Drew Decker (Carmen Electra) having her clothes stripped off by a masked killer (Dave Sheridan) (resembling the Scream murderer), and then running in her white bra and panties - in slow-motion - through lawn sprinklers while being chased. Her breast transplant was ripped out of her left chest by the killer's knife when she was stabbed. As she raced for help, she was hit and upended by her father's car, and the killer again approached with his knife to slash her - as the credits began.
There was also an outrageous and tasteless orgasm scene in which a virginal Cindy Campbell (Anna Faris) was being encouraged to have sex with her crazed boyfriend Bobby Prinze (Jon Abrahams). When he went to remove her panties, bats flew from her crotch area, and her pubic hair cascaded outward, as she giddily remarked: "I guess it's been a while." He joked: "It's very, uh, 70s of you." He put on protective glasses and took a hedge mower to her large growth of pubic hair.
Shortly afterwards, she was experiencing vigorous sex on top of him, screaming out: "What's my name, Bobby?", slapping him across the face, and growling. She was propelled to the ceiling with a gusher when he had an explosive orgasm as she was grinding on him. His volcanic ejaculation caused a massive firehose stream of whitish liquid to shower her upwards, where she was plastered to the ceiling. Bobby was so emptied out and drained that his chest frame became dessicated.
In another scene in a bathroom stall, a penis first tickled and then burrowed its way into Ray Wilkin's (Shawn Wayans) ear and exited out his other ear on the other side of his head.
The Opening Scene with Drew Decker (Carmen Electra)
A low-budget, extremely difficult-to-watch, independent, cult horror film (shot on raw video) from director Eric Stantz (with a production company named Wicked Pixel) told of a sadistic serial killer named Leonard (or "Leo") (Tommy Biondo) who took as his final prisoner a female named Clara (Emily Haack). The shocking, underground film was shot over a 13 day period, and its major star Biondo was also the film's screenwriter who had extensively researched serial killers to make the film more authentic (Biondo died of a head injury before the film was released).
The film opened with a Steadicam scene in which Leo was abused as a child by his half-naked sister (Elizabeth Hammock) and mean brother (Sam Maiden, Jr.), shown from the young boy's POV.
The hard-core, repulsive 95-minute film was titled 'Scrapbook' because Leonard recorded his sordid experiential story ("this is the story of my life, everything that the world needs to know and more. My pride and joy") with scrapbook writings, Polaroids, and other bits of trophies collected from his unfortunate victims. He told Clara:
The deluded fame-seeker was expecting the exhibition of the scrapbrook would bring "TV deals, movie deals, Jerry Springer! All of it! All through this!"
The voyeuristic film documented the harrowing, brutal and degrading experience that the humiliated and bound Clara had to endure, including beatings, multiple rapes, and being urinated on, and more, while she was starved, treated like an animal by being placed duct-taped in a trash can, and kept filthy and naked for the majority of the film. At one point, he dragged her into a dirty shower where he stripped her, attached her with handcuffs to the showerhead, roughly scrubbed her, threatened her with a straight-edged razor ("You gonna try and run?" he taunted), and forced shampoo down her throat before taking Polaroids - as he videotaped most of the incident. After the shower, he ordered her to lick and suck his limp penis, as he fondled himself - presented in full view, before commanding her to lie back, spread her legs, and touch herself. When he attempted intercourse with her, he became frustrated over being impotent, and angrily violated her with a bottle until she began to hemorrhage.
Eventually, she turned the tables on her tormentor by communicating with him through the scrapbook, by reading his entries and by adding to them with messages to him (she wrote: "My old life is becoming faded. I'm starting to understand you. You may be all I need...You are all I need") - and taking ultimate control. Manipulatively, she explained that she knew what to give him, and argued that the world needed to see him too, as she saw him, because she had learned what he was like.
She then seduced him (asking: "Do you love me?"), she intimately touched him and tantalized his body with the tip of a sharp knife ("Is it better when I do it to you, huh?") while he pleasured himself - she even drew some blood on his upper chest. While he was still naked, she duct-taped his hands and legs as he laid back on a cot (promising: "You'll like this...Don't you like it better when I'm doing it?") before lying on top of him - and then stabbing him with the knife in the bottoms of both of his feet. She took Polaroids of him screaming, and then repeatedly bashed his head with the camera itself. She added his pictures to the last pages of the scrapbook and escaped into the outdoors where she hobbled away, as the film faded to black.
Clara (Emily Haack)
Clara with Leonard (or "Leo") (Tommy Biondo)
Water Drops on Burning Rocks (2000, Fr.) (aka Gouttes D'eau Sur Pierres Brulantes)
Director Francois Ozon's four-act, dark comedy/tragedy was from an unproduced play by 19-year-old Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Set in 1970s Berlin Germany and confined to the interior of the apartment of the central character, it examined both homosexual and heterosexual relationships.
The story centered on 20 year-old bi-sexual, red-headed Franz (Malick Zidi), who functioned as the live-in lover and houseboy for domineering and predatory 50 year-old bisexual traveling insurance salesman Leopold Bluhm (Bernard Giraudeau). By the end of Act 1, they had consummated their sexual love for each other in the bedroom, indulging in Franz's fantasy of a "dream man" - a stranger coming to bed wearing an overcoat.
Six months later, Act 2 found them at odds with each other, getting on each other's nerves, and constantly bickering, but their sex life remained good (Franz: "I never want another man after you"). Soon, they contemplated splitting up (Leopold: "We're good together, we just can't live together"). Things would change for the gay couple with the sudden arrival of the two ex-loves of both males in the remaining acts.
Franz rekindled love and the joy of sex when rejoined, during a surprise visit while Leopold was away, with his buxom blonde, lovelorn, and abandoned ex-fiancee Anna (Ludivine Sagnier) - they had known each other for almost four years. After her arrival, he noted that she had changed - looking at her bounteous chest: "You've changed, for the better. You're much prettier." He acted out the 'man-in-overcoat' fantasy with her before love-making (Anna later described their sex: "We've made love for two days straight. We got lots of pleasure").
In Act 4, they planned to move out, get a house and have children together to start their lives over ("...now we're together and we'll make it"), when Franz realized he couldn't have abandoned Leopold by himself without her - he admitted: "I think I still love him," and was saddened by the thought. Leopold's sad-eyed, "complicated" ex-lover Vera (Anna Thomson) of seven years, who had undergone a sex change operation (according to Leopold, she was "a former buddy who cut his dick off in Casablanca"), also arrived on the scene. Anna was intrigued by the company: "I want to stay awhile. The situation is so exciting."
In the midst of sexual game-playing in the nihilistic film, the dominating and bossy Leopold commanded the humiliated group: "Everyone in the bedroom" - and both Anna and Vera were especially excited about the prospects of going to bed with him. Franz fantasized about murdering Leopold by shooting him in the forehead, while he made love to the other two women. During their threesome, Leopold showed a sexual preference for the younger Anna, and Vera left the bedroom (as Franz noted: "Fresh flesh wins out"). Commiserating with fellow outcast Franz in the living room, Vera admitted that when Leopold stopped loving her, she took a drastic, love-crazy measure: "I had a sex change for him, out of love for him, so he'd want me again. I was a boy and I became a woman." For awhile, the sex-change brought back his desire, but then it again died ("He made me a whore. Then he left me").
To his surprise, Vera proposed to Franz: "I'm not too old for you?...Well, maybe we could try something together," but he cautioned her: "It's too late." He told Vera that he had suicidally taken poison and was dying. Just before expiring, he told her: "I'm his creature, too." Meanwhile, Anna was happily making love to Leopold in the back bedroom, as he promised her how to easily make more money: "You''ll need to work for me."
Anna's reaction to Franz' death was: "Who'll father my children?", but Leopold calmed her by ordering her back to bed. He continued to exert his control and entrapment over an unloved and unwanted Vera when he instructed her: "Get undressed and come join us in bed," but when Vera replied, "You don't need me," he responded: "You need me" (the same words he had earlier said to Franz) - the film's final spoken line.
Franz (Malick Zidi)
Anna with Leopold
The Whole Nine Yards (2000)
Director Jonathan Lynn's black comedy crime caper about the Mafia contained multiple double-crosses.
The farce starred Amanda Peet as Jill St. Claire - a wide-eyed, perky receptionist/dental assistant in suburban Quebec. Her boss was accident-prone dentist Dr. Nick "Oz" Oseransky (Matthew Perry), who was married to nasty, double-dealing, shrewish French-Canadian wife Sophie (Rosanna Arquette).
After serving five years in prison and now in a witness-protection program, a contract killer - a Chicago gangster named Jimmy "the Tulip" Tudeski (Bruce Willis) (under the pseudonym "Jimmy Jones") - moved in to live next door to Oz in his suburban neighborhood, and became friends with him. Dr. Oz was desperate to get rid of his awful wife - so when she suggested that he fly to Chicago to rat out Jimmy to his old employer - the Hungarian mobster Janni Gogolak (Kevin Pollak), Oz agreed. He was led to believe that he would collect $10 million in return, which would allow him to afford an expensive divorce from Sophie. As it turned out, Sophie really wanted to collect the insurance money after her husband was murdered by a hired hitman.
Sophie's main goal was to off her husband, and she wanted Jimmy to do the hit, but then changed her mind and exposed Oz' plot to Jimmy. In the meantime, Jimmy found himself targeted by Gogolak gang members he had testified against. And then it was revealed that Jill was hired by Sophie for $5,000 to kill Oz, but after working with him, she had changed her mind. Jill - the starry-eyed, wanna-be, ingenue hitman apprentice began to idolize Jimmy and became part of his plan to set a trap for the hitmen targeting Jimmy.
In Tudeski's house, she stripped down to heels and a gun at the top of the staircase to get the edge - advice given to her by Jimmy. When the hitmen appeared and snuck upstairs, she innocently asked the two: "Hi. Are you guys looking for someone?" to distract them before they were both shot in the back by Jimmy. She then helped by using her gun to kill a third man. He complimented her: "Nice work" and suggested that she stay undressed, and in about 60 seconds told her to stick her head out the window. Jimmy’s Chicago gangster-friend Franklin 'Frankie Figs' Figueroa (Michael Clarke Duncan) complimented her: "You know, I can't think of nothin' finer than a fine naked woman holdin' a gun. And you're just all kinds of fine, now ain't you?" She quipped: "Don't get any ideas." As he walked away, he replied: "Seriously sweet ass." When another mystery hitman appeared outside, she smiled and asked innocently from an open window: "Can I help you?" before he became another victim. Jimmy then instructed her: "Now you can get dressed."
Jill St. Claire
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