History of Sex in Cinema:
2001, Part 2
|Movie Title/Year and Film/Scene Description|
Lovely & Amazing (2001)
In this dramatic comedy by Nicole Holofcener, Emily Mortimer starred as timid and insecure Elizabeth Marks - one of three daughters in a dysfunctional family.
In one memorable scene, the body-obsessed aspiring actress left her shared bed naked and deliberately posed in front of egotistical, narcissistic, and callous fellow actor/boyfriend named Kevin (Dermot Mulroney).
As she turned slowly and asked for a candid evaluation and critiquing of the imperfections of her lithe body, he told her, reluctantly: "You ain't bad."
Monster's Ball (2001)
Director Marc Forster's mainstream Oscar-winning film was remarkable for its sexual candor and intensity, displayed through sexual couplings to ease life's pains.
Halle Berry won a Best Actress Oscar for her portrayal of estranged African-American single-mom and waitress Leticia Musgrove, who became involved with hard-drinking, racist, emotionally-drained Georgia prison (death-row) guard Hank Grotowski (Billy Bob Thornton). He often had sex with prostitutes (Vera (Amber Rules) in an early scene), favoring his accustomed position from behind.
In a scene of volatile, raw and intense inter-racial sexuality, the emotionally-devastated widow engaged in an animalistic scene of love-making before she begged him: "Make ... me ... feel ... good," turned him around, and rearranged herself on top.
She also accepted cunnilingus in another later scene, as the camera remained focused on her top half.
Hank with Prostitute
Vera (Amber Rules)
Mulholland Dr. (2001)
Best Director-nominated David Lynch's surreal, mystifying, dream-like work about Hollywood fame told about two female characters with twisting and turning dual personas:
They engaged in two steamy, topless, hesitant and exploratory lesbian love scenes. In the first scene, 'Rita' removed her robe, slipped into Betty's bed naked - and was asked the question: "Have you ever done this before?" followed by a kiss on the lips. Betty then confessed: "I want to with you. I'm in love with you. I'm in love with you." This was accompanied by more kisses and the sexual touching of each of their breasts.
In a second more explicit scene (disjointed due to an almost imperceptible switch in characters and setting), Betty (wearing a robe and carrying a cup of coffee) / Diane (topless and carrying a drink, and wearing denim cutoffs) joined a half-naked 'Rita' reclining on a couch. Betty/Diane caressed Rita's nipple and breast, and kissed her:
Also, Betty acted in a creepy but masterfully-acted audition scene in which she delivered a sexually-tainted script with a tanned and aging lothario Jimmy (Chad Everett) - as she whispered in his ear and bit his lip.
She also engaged in a non-explicit scene of masturbation (dry and painful) inside her jeans pants.
Betty: Audition Scene
Not Another Teen Movie (2001)
Director Joel Gallen's debut film, an R-rated prurient teen comedy (along the lines of the romantic comedy She's All That (1999) with Freddie Prinze and Rachael Leigh-Cook) contained plenty of raunchiness, scatology, and nudity. It was designed as a satirical, low-brow parody of high-school teen coming-of-age films mostly from recent years, but also from the 80s and 90s. Popular "beautiful jock" Jake Wyler (Chris Evans) made a wager with his friends that he could turn any girl into the prom queen (Pygmalion's theme) merely by associating with him - even a nerdy, gawky artist - a "pretty ugly girl" wallflower named Janey Briggs (Chyler Leigh). Another familiar plot line was that a trio of virgin freshman was on a quest to lose their virginity.
To set the tone for the remainder of the derivative film, it opened with an outrageous giant dildo scene (non-nude, however) in which bookish outcast and female lead Janey was in her bedroom masturbating in privacy under the covers with a twisting, buzzing long pink vibrator ("My Lil' Vibrator"). Suddenly, her family and friends burst in to wish her a happy birthday. When the dog pulled away her covers, her uncontrollable orgasm sent the vibrator spinning up into mid-air to land with a splat in the birthday cake.
The running gag was a perpetually-naked high school foreign exchange student provocatively named Areola (Cerina Vincent), a spoof of Shannon Elizabeth's Nadia in American Pie (1999). She appeared unnecessarily naked in every scene she was in, and spoke with an ever-changing accent. She proclaimed to John Hughes High School principal Mr. Cornish (George Wyner) in his office (with subtitles - deliberately moved to avoid obscuring her breasts):
When Areola was introduced to pony-tailed, glasses and overalls-wearing Janey, she kissed her on each side of her face. Janey, who was to show Areola to her first class, congratulated her: "I like your backpack."
In one scene set at a party, another bare-breasted girl (Jesse Capelli/Jennifer Leone) observed jealously and angrily that Areola - who strolled by naked - had on the same outfit as she did, while her friend responded to console her: "It looks much better on you." During an anticipatory prom musical number "Prom Tonight," Areola stood naked at her open window when an animated blue bird landed on her chest as she sang: "Look at me. My breasts are perky, yes?"
Original Sin (2001)
Assumed identities and duplicitous scams were two of the themes of writer/director Michael Cristofer's poorly-reviewed erotic crime drama. The two superstars Antonio Banderas and Angelina Jolie were hyped as the two passionate and duplicitous lovers in an arranged marriage, with steamy, overheated sex scenes, some of which were edited to avoid an NC-17 rating. [The explicit unrated version was about 6 minutes longer than the theatrical version.] Convoluted plot twists in the flashbacked melodramatic story were mostly predictable. Its tagline was: "Obsession. Lies. Desire. Lust..."
The trashy thriller with inane dialogue (similar to soft-core Red Shoe Diaries episodes) opened with a full-lipped unidentified female talking through her prison cell bars. She was about to be executed (by garrotting), and was narrating (in voice-over) her tale, the film's story, to a priest (Mario Ivan Martinez) - a flashback:
Julia Russell (Angelina Jolie) had arrived in late 19th century Cuba - as a mail-order mystery bride from Wilmington, Delaware commissioned to wed Don Luis Antonio Vargas (Antonio Banderas), who had advertised himself in a Baltimore newspaper as a clerk in a coffee export house, although he was the wealthy owner of a coffee-export business. He had expected a homely woman from her photographs, but she was an exquisitely beautiful and seductive female. She explained that she didn’t want him to be interested in her just because she had "a pretty face," so she had sent a picture of a plain-looking relative.
They both shared similar devious motivations - the film's major clue was stated by Julia: "We are both not to be trusted." They were married almost immediately, but did not consummate their love until a few days later ("And there, in his arms, she became someone else. Someone more like herself"). There were various glistening sexual couplings at different angles, photographed from above, and they shared a bath together in a metal tub.
She was actually a murderous imposter and con artist named Bonny Castle. She was working with scamming accomplice/lover Billy, actually private investigator Detective Walter Downs (Thomas Jane). He was pretending to track her down, although his real goal was to help her defraud Luis of his money, while she fled for the alleged murder of the real Julia Russell. Unexpected plot twists and revelations came, as the distrustful femme fatale continued to dupe both men - with more betrayals, counter-cons, and staged deaths.
During a fight between the two men, Luis shot and killed Walter, but Walter was not really dead (the gun had only blank cartridges), although Luis thought he was dead. On the side, Julia was secretly making love to the strongly jealous and possessive Walter/Billy (who carved lines into her back). He encouraged the two of them to kill Luis, but Luis discovered that Walter was not dead after following Julia one night to a brothel. Even though he knew of their deadly plot against his life, the masochistic, passionately-in-love, blindly, co-dependent lover drank a poisoned coffee concoction anyway, while confessing his love for her ("No other love but you").
Luis survived the poisoning as she dragged him to the train station, pursued by Walter/Billy. During a confrontation there, an enraged Walter thought that he had been betrayed, and held a knife to Julia's throat. Luis shot and wounded him in the stomach, and Julia pulled the trigger a second time to end his life. She cradled Luis in her arms and told him that she loved him.
The film concluded with Julia about to be executed at daybreak. But she had escaped her cell by wearing the priest's garment, and was now engaged in petty card shark schemes at a gambling table in Morocco with Luis. He told the other players:
Julia (Angelina Jolie) and
Luis (Antonio Banderas)
Making Love to Walter/Billy
The Piano Teacher (2001, Fr.) (aka La Pianiste)
Director Michael Haneke's provocative, harsh and disturbing film (originally titled "Let It Bleed"), although non-exploitative, won top honors as the Cannes Grand Jury Prize-winner. The film was released unrated, rather than with an NC-17 rating, and its US release was delayed due to its difficult subject matter.
It told about a love-starved, sexually-repressed, and masochistic Vienna Conservatory piano teacher Prof. Erika Kohut (Isabelle Huppert) in her late 30s who admitted: "The urge to be beaten has been in me for years." She dressed androgynously and acted harshly toward her students.
In one sequence, she visited a porn cinema peepshow (displaying a choice of four videos of hard-core fellatio and intercourse - blurred out) where she held a used, masturbatory tissue from a previous customer to her nose during viewing.
In another shocking self-destructive scene of self-mutilation in her bathroom, she sat in a stark white bathtub - naked under her robe - and used a disposable razor on her vagina (viewed with an angled mirror between her legs) to cut herself.
She ultimately developed an intensifying relationship (amour fou) with her admiring, unsuspecting pupil Walter Klemmer (Benot Magimel), in which she engaged in deviant sexual role-playing and sado-masochistic fantasies ("If you want to hit me, hit me"), macabre rituals, and dependency.
Her transmittals of depraved, arousing, sexual taunting, hand-written letters of unspeakable acts (or "instructions") to him led to an encounter in the school's restroom - then frustration when she masturbated him almost to climax and then stopped - and forbid him to climax.
When he angrily confronted her at home about her sickness and her domineering mother (Annie Girardot) and delivered several blows to Erika's bloodied face, he also displayed some tenderness to her to atone for his punishing blows by attempting love-making - to which she responded disgustedly and emotionlessly.
Porn Peepshow Scene
The Pornographer (2001, Fr./Can) (aka Le Pornographe)
French director Bertrand Bonello's self-important film was an arthouse-style look at the French pornography industry. It included an 11-second climax-ejaculation 'money shot' that had to be censored before distribution.
Amidst the pretentious drama and storyline about reconnection with an estranged son named Joseph (Jeremie Renier), it contained one graphic sex scene in its story about a semi-retired porn film director named Jacques (Jean-Pierre Leaud) who returned to making a hard-core film (only because it was profitable, but lacking emotional depth) with two real-life French porn stars:
Prozac Nation (2001)
Norwegian director Erik Skjoldbjaerg's coming-of-age film, his first English-language feature, was a downer film that experienced a delayed release, and was only widely available after its 2005 debut showing on the Starz! network and its release on DVD.
It starred Christina Ricci, who was known more for her early role as Wednesday Addams in The Addams Family movies (1991 and 1993). The controversial Miramax film gained further attention by featuring Ricci's first feature-film topless scenes as the sexually-promiscuous and drug/alcohol abusing heroine.
She portrayed self-destructive Elizabeth "Lizzie" Wurtzel - the gifted, alienated and unhappy author of an autobiographical best-selling book about her own bout with depression while an aspiring, intense mid-80s Harvard student writer.
Sex and Lucia (2001, Sp.) (aka Lucía y el Sexo)
Julio Medem's unabashedly sexy, erotic, intriguing and poetic art-house film (told with a twisting plot) was mostly a story about the passionate involvement between two individuals:
When they first met in a public restaurant, told in a long flashback sequence, she told him how she was an adoring fan of his first novel and proposed:
He responded: "I think I just did. Let's go get drunk and celebrate." When he took her back to his place later that evening, she encouraged him as she laid back: "Go ahead and undress me. Do whatever you want to me" although they both fell asleep.
After she wandered naked around his apartment the next morning, she showered and thought: "A ray of sunshine Brought your love to me," and then began to caress the sleeping writer, even touching his aroused genitals (including a split-second view of Lucia holding his male erection in close-up in the unrated version), telling him:
As they had intercourse, she screamed as she orgasmed: "I'm dying. I'm dying! My love. I'm gonna die!" They took very intimate, sexy Polaroid pictures of each other during more unabashed, sensual love-making that they used to inflame their passion at an outdoor cafe.
On a dare to do a striptease, she removed her black panties in public, and then playfully performed the panty-less, sexy strip back at his apartment singing: "I've got just what you want."
During more love-making games, he was blind-folded as she touched her finger, her elbow, her lips, her shoulder, and her breast's nipple to his lips, and then French-kissed him - then she got on her knees and straddled herself naked above his mouth and received tongue-flicks as she thrust her genital lips back and forth over him.
Then she was blindfolded as they made love, and told him: "Lorenzo, my love. I can't take anymore. So much love will kill me. I'm dying. I'm dying!"
Lucia (Paz Vega)
Director Sam Raimi's comic-book blockbuster Spider-Man (2001) included a much-imitated and spoofed upside-down kiss between masked superhero Spider-Man/Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) and Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst) in the downpour rain, after she has been saved by muggers in an alleyway.
He allowed her to peel back the lower part of his mask for their prolonged kiss.
Controversial film-maker Todd Solondz's third feature film was divided into two parts, one titled "Fiction" and the other "Non-Fiction."
The dramatic film was rated "R" - instead of NC-17 - only after the director agreed to visually 'censor' an explicit, discomforting sodomy scene in "Fiction." It had numerous and vigorous thrusts during rear-entry intercourse between an older black man and a younger white female-student. The image in the scene was blocked out with a prominent red box in the US release - the scene was un-censored in foreign prints and in the DVD.
In the sex scene under question, nude white female university student Vi (Selma Blair) with pinkish-blonde hair was instructed to "turn around" - she faced a wall when her black, Pulitzer Prize-winning creative arts professor Mr. Gary Scott (Robert Wisdom) pulled down his underwear and entered her from behind.
During intercourse, he repeatedly forced her to yell the N-word: ("Say N---er, f--k me hard") which she reluctantly obeyed, with each word accentuated by his physical thrusting and increasing in tempo and volume. When they were finished, she dressed and told him: "I'm tired, that's all."
Censored Sodomy Scene
with Vi (Selma Blair)
Director Dominic Sena's R-rated, plot-twisting crime story and action film was noted mostly for super-star Halle Berry's gratuitous, expensive topless revelation (reportedly for which she was contractually paid $500,000 in addition to her $2 million salary) from behind a book while topless sunbathing at poolside.
Berry played the sexy character of temptress Ginger Knowles opposite once-jailed computer hacker Stanley Jobson (Hugh Jackman) and ruthless maniac bank thief/spy Gabriel Shear (John Travolta).
After a failed hostage-rescue in the crime thriller's dramatic opening set in a bank, the film flashbacked four days earlier to Midland, Texas, where ex-con hacker Stanley Jobson (known as "the most dangerous hacker in America") was practicing golf (wrapped only in a towel) on his trailer park rooftop as he watched Ginger Knowles (Halle Berry) drive up in a red sports-car convertible. She was wearing a matching one-piece tight red dress while chewing on a red candystick.
The hot agent (providing the film's exploitative eye-candy) was there to employ Stanley's hacker abilities for her boss Gabriel Shear, a former counter-terrorist agent who had gone rogue as a spy, but Stan emphatically declined: "You're wasting your time. If I even touch a computer, I go straight back to Leavenworth. Do not pass Go, do not collect $200." She was brutally blunt: "I'm not here to suck your dick, Stan." But then he was convinced, for $100,000, to meet Gabriel at an LA night club. Almost penniless, Stan needed the money for lawyer fees to obtain custody of his daughter Holly Jobson (Camryn Grimes), who was living with her junkie mother, porn actress Melissa (Drea de Matteo) and her new lover, a porn king.
Ginger's most memorable "entrance" in the film came when she appeared topless while sunbathing, when Stanley came to her to request her car keys, so he could visit his daughter Holly.
Later in the surprise ending, Ginger was revealed to be a DEA undercover agent (when Stanley came upon her in black bikini underwear, with a wire attached to her leg), although in a second twist delivered later, she and Gabriel had survived explosions, were partners-in-crime, and sailed away together on a yacht in Monte Carlo after she had transferred $9.5 billion of stolen funds from her employer's account evenly into other accounts. Her password was "Swordfish."
One of the worst and most offensive movies of 2001 was writer/director Gregory Poirier's distasteful, misogynistic, mean-spirited sex comedy, in which women were repeatedly humiliated and disrespected (for example, Golfing Girl (Tracy Kay) was run over with a golf cart). Although it promised to be sexy, there was no full nudity (except for brief glimpses of male buttocks), lots of breast implants on display, and just plain raunchiness. The vulgar and juvenile film followed in a long tradition of better films (Porky's (1982) and American Pie (1999)), in its tale of a group of sexist, chauvinistic, moronic college buddies in their late 20s.
During the opening-credits cartoon, a pair of animated animals (a cat and a dog) groped at well-endowed caricatures of femininity, to the tune of The Offspring's "I Want You Bad." The stinker film's premise was that the men wanted - but actually neurotically hated and feared women - who were mostly portrayed as sniping, bitchy and domineering. The male "tomcats" knew that sooner or later, their macho gang would break up as each of them were married - an institution regarded as a detestable and cancerous option in life. They had paid into a high-yield mutual fund that grew to almost $500,000 - it would be the prize for the one who stayed single the longest. The tagline provided the summary: "The Last Man Standing Gets The Kitty." After seven years, the last two remaining bachelors were:
Bathroom-humor dialogue in the morally-reprehensible film was uncomfortably gross, for example, in a scene set in a Hard Rock Hotel/Casino bedroom in Las Vegas between Michael in his underwear and a beautiful blonde named Shelby (Playboy Playmate Julia Schultz). As she kissed his entire body, she urged him to "say it":
Michael (who needed to pay off his Vegas casino debts) planned to entice Kyle's mistreated and offended ex-girlfriend - statuesque pretty Natalie Parker (Shannon Elizabeth), into reuniting with an entrapped Kyle by seducing him and marrying him - so they could split the $500K bounty. Things didn't go well at first - she was an undercover cop who hauled Michael into the station for soliciting prostitution. When Michael explained the film's entire set-up during an interrogation scene in the police station, the investigating cop Officer Hurley (Bernie Casey) ironically said (about the film): "That was the most pathetic f--king s--t I have ever heard!" To make a long story short, Michael and Natalie inevitably and predictably became attracted to each other, but carried through with their deception.
A series of bad-taste offensive (and unfunny) jokes abounded for the "tomcats" in a number of unnecessary sub-plots:
In the contrived conclusion, Michael felt he had to stop Kyle's wedding to Natalie at City Hall (a spoof of a similar scene in The Graduate (1967)), but he was too late. All for naught - Kyle explained that he had married Natalie, but she had immediately annulled the wedding and disappeared, and he suspected that Michael and Natalie had bamboozled him for the cash, but he admitted that he was thankfully single and still fooling around.
There were at least three false endings to the film:
The only full nudity in the film was during the blooper out-takes seen interspersed between the closing credits. Michael was making love to one of the red lingerie-wearing strippers (Jovanna Vitiello) from the bachelor party, now bare-breasted beneath him.
Opening Credits Animation
Shelby (Julia Schultz)
Gorgeous Redhead Amber
Golfing Girl (Tracy Kay)
Tricia and Consuela
Breast-Milk for Coffee?
Natalie (Shannon Elizabeth)
Kyle (Jake Busey)
Jill (Heather Stephens)
Cherry (Rachel Sterling)
Stripper (Jovanna Vitiello)
Vanilla Sky (2001)
Writer/director Cameron Crowe's film was a Hollywoodized remake of Open Your Eyes/Abre los Ojos (1997, Sp.) by Spanish director Alejandro Amenabar.
The story told about formerly handsome, 32 year-old wealthy playboy David Aames (Tom Cruise), a publishing firm heir, who was charged with the crime of murder. He wore a latex facial mask to cover a disfigurement as he related his dreams and life story to psychologist McCabe (Kurt Russell). In flashback, the film showed how he became acquainted with his best friend Brian Shelby's (Jason Lee) recent acquaintance - a beautiful brunette named Sofia Serrano (Penelope Cruz), who warned: "We'd better watch out" but then kissed him.
David was attempting to ditch his possessive blonde lover Julie Gianni (Cameron Diaz) at the same time. Enraged and jilted, she revealed her obsessive jealousy to him: "You f--ked me four times the other night, David. You've been inside me...I swallowed your cum. That means something" and then asked: "Do you believe in God?" before she deliberately caused an automobile accident, killing herself and severely injuring David as a result.
In this plot-twisting film about the nature of reality, he 'awoke' from a drunken night lying in a New York City street (from here on, the film was an "artificial perception" or dream provided by a cryogenics company following his suicidal death) - awakened by Sofia's whispered words "Open your eyes."
She quickly became his lover and they made love in a fantasy love scene after she removed his post-operative mask and told him his face was "perfect." She asked: "Do you love me? I mean, do you really love me? Because if you don't, I'll just have to kill you." In a silly sequence of dialogue, he pointed to a mole between her breasts and suggested living there. She also asked, tellingly: "Is this a dream?" and he answered: "Absolutely" as they kissed.
David with Sofia
Warm Water Under a Red Bridge (2001, Jp/Fr.) (aka Akai hashi no shita no nurui mizu)
In this fanciful and eccentric tale (a sexual allegory), a remarkable woman named Saeko Aizawa (Misa Shimizu), who lived in an old wooden house by the Noto Peninsula that overlooked a red bridge spanning a river, had an unusual sexual power.
When water built up inside of her in a magical spring, she could only release or vent it by doing something wickedly immoral, like stealing (shoplifting), or more fully through a climaxing orgasm.
This caused a gushing flood and amazed her lustful male partner Yosuke (Koji Yakusho). The water actually flowed into the river, where it sustained life and attracted a special kind of fish (and fishermen) and seagulls.
Y Tu Mama Tambien (2001, Mex.) (aka And Your Mother Too)
Filmmaker Alfonso Cuarón's unrated tale of sexual discovery included multiple explicit scenes of both male and female nudity and sexuality in a coming-of-age, sensual journey film.
It told about a road trip by a trio to find a make-believe, idyllic beach named Heaven's Mouth:
She taught the two vulgar lads lessons about life, enticed and had sex with both of them - separately and together, although they expressed jealous sexual rivalry.
In one three-way scene in a hotel room after she danced with them in a cantina to the sound of a jukebox, she provided the catalyst for them to experience something entirely different between themselves. As they eagerly stripped her down and kissed her, she reciprocated with oral sex - as they both kissed and embraced each other.
Their journey ended at an isolated beach where she decided to have an end-of-life experience, due to a terminal illness.
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