History of Sex in Cinema:
2004, Part 1
|Movie Title/Year and Film/Scene Description|
Writer/director Oliver Stone's controversial costume-epic film documented the life of ambitious, bisexual Alexander the Great of Macedonia, known for his world domination and invasion-conquest of the Persian Empire in 331 BC. Stone blamed "raging fundamentalism in morality" in America for the film's ultimate failure, claiming that the catchphrase "Alex is Gay" turned off potential audiences.
During the wedding-night bedroom scene, the title character and his newly-wed bride were:
The couple had passionate, animalistic heterosexual relations (accompanied by wrestling, knife-fighting, clawing and cat-like hissing), even after she discovered his homosexual relationship with his battlefield commander Hephaistion (Jared Leto).
Strangely, there were no explicit male sex scenes (with caressing or kissing, although there was lots of innuendo and soulful gazes), given the obsession about Alexander's alleged sexual preferences with both Hephaistion and Persian slave boy-eunuch Bagoas (Francisco Bosch).
Alexander with Roxane
Writer/director Charles Shyer's film was a remake of the 1966 Michael Caine film of the same name, although now taking place in New York City.
The commitment-phobic title character of Alfie (now a limo driver) was played by Jude Law.
One of his womanizing conquests was undemanding model Nikki (Sienna Miller).
Other female dalliances were with:
Anatomy of Hell (2004, Fr.) (aka Anatomie de l'Enfer)
This was another of the pushing-the-limits, controversial, provocative and sexually-graphic unrated films of writer/director Catherine Breillat, exploring previously forbidden, obscene and disgusting topics. It was basically a sequel to her earlier film Romance (1999, Fr.). Her latest work featured some graphic (and distasteful) scenes, although not necessarily erotic. The opening credits ironically stated that the numerous intimate female genital closeups (of labia) were provided by a body double. The two main characters were only identified as:
This hardcore, ground-breaking body-horror film, adapted from her novel Pornocracy, opened with an explicit oral sex scene (male-on-male) outside a gay nightclub disco. Inside the club, an anonymous suicidal woman (model Amira Casar) slitting her left wrist met a homosexual hustler (Italian porn star Rocco Siffredi) in the nightclub's toilet. She explained her motivation: "Because I'm a woman." After her slashed wrist was bandaged, she was seen slashing her neck (a fantasy) - and she rewarded him with oral sex in the park.
She hired the reluctant, misogynist gay man (known only as "Man") for four consecutive nights to watch and study her nude body ("Watch me where I'm unwatchable. No need to touch me. Just say what you see") in her isolated cliffside ocean beachfront house. There, she performed various unusual acts to achieve "total intimacy." She confronted his repulsion of women by investigating the inside of her body. She challenged his anti-female feelings ("The fragility of female flesh inspires disgust or brutality, women depend on one or the other"), such as having him look at her naked hairy genitals:
[In one of the film's two flashbacks, three prepubescent boys played 'doctor' as they pulled down the underwear of a little girl behind a bush and looked at her vagina.]
She also had him paint her vagina, anal opening (rectum) and lips with lipstick, insert his fingers into her with blood and vaginal secretions (which he wiped through his hair), violate her from behind while she slept with the wooden handle of a large 3-pronged garden rake, and insert (and re-insert) a 'stone' dildo into her vagina. In addition, a bloody tampon was dipped into a glass of water ("as the aged do with their dentures") as an engorged teabag - and they drank the reddish liquid.
She demonstrated how to insert a tampon ("So one can insert it, without touching oneself, keeping one's virginity intact"). After having vaginal intercourse with her during menstruation, she gushed her menstrual blood onto his member, resulting in a blood-drenched penis. He left and went back to a bar, where he bragged: "I reamed her pussy so hard, no one will want her again!"
He remorsefully returned to her abode at the end of the four days, where he found that the mattress was missing and she had left the bloody sheets. The film ended tragically - he found her at the edge of the ocean cliff, and when he approached, she walked backwards and fell to her death in the raging womb of the ocean. [Earlier, it was said that "This ocean, like a woman, could engulf you and make you vanish into its loins."] Had he pushed her off, was it an accident, or was it all a fantasy?
The Woman (Amira Casar) With The Man (Rocco Siffredi)
Bad Education (2004, Sp.) (aka La Mala Educación)
Writer/director Pedro Almodovar's very explicit and personal film was a Hitchcockian noir-melodrama from Sony Pictures Classics which implied Catholic church child abuse and misconduct (implied pedophilia). Its flashbacked themes, in a story-within-a-story (or film-within-a-film) included lost youth, mistaken and shifting identities and gender transformation.
The Spanish film with English subtitles was rated NC-17 for a scene of mutual masturbation among young teen boys, among others, as well as explicit gay sex scenes, the "Moon River" sequence, and an erotic pool scene.
Its story spanned multiple years, as it told about the reuniting friendship in adulthood (in the 1980s) between two males who had been sexually-abused as boarding school boys by a Catholic priest, the manipulative (and tormented) Father Manolo (Daniel Giménez Cacho) during the Franco era:
Angel left a film manuscript with Enrique, recounting their experiences of abuse. Upon reading, it was revealed that Ignacio had grown up to become the karaoke drag-queen character of Zahara (also Bernal). For revenge, Ignacio was now a transvestite working clubs with his pal Paca (Javier Cmara), and engaged in blackmailing the priest for his sins.
Enrique decided to produce, direct, and adapt Ignacio's film script, bringing the past and present (and fact and fiction) to collide together.
During their adolescence in the 60s, the two boys went to a movie theatre where they stimulated each other while watching 50's Spanish sex star Sarita Montiel (as Soledad) on screen in Esa Mujer (1969, Sp.). After hours at night, they both were caught in the bathroom (in a toilet stall) by Father Manolo.
During a school retreat, the young Ignacio (Ignacio Pérez) was forced by Father Manolo to sing the Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer classic "Moon River" while the boy's friends swam nearby.
Ignacio was eventually expelled from school by Father Manolo in order that he could lustfully enjoy Enrique for himself.
Before Sunset (2004)
In this sequel to the first film Before Sunrise (1995), two lovers Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Delpy) met again nine years later, with only a short time before Jesse's flight left. At the end of their time together, they went to her apartment to have tea and listen to a CD recording of Nina Simone singing Just in Time.
Recalling a Nina Simone concert that she had attended, Celine performed an impression of the singer as she stopped in the middle of a song and came to the edge of the stage, while slowly moving her hips side to side and puckering up her lips in a pout, seductively speaking:
Celine then warned Jesse: "Baby, you are gonna miss that plane." Jesse responded quietly and knowingly: "I know" as he held his left hand up and briefly twirled his wedding ring with his left thumb.
The screen faded to black before the closing credits.
Jesse (Ethan Hawke)
Maverick young filmmaker Jonathan Glazer's mysterious, metaphysical, unconventional and controversial film was a box-office disaster. It was accused (and denounced at Cannes and other film festivals) of pedophilia and creepiness, with its sexually powerful scenes. The two main characters were:
He claimed to be the 'reincarnation' of her dead husband Sean -- ten years after his death.
One of the heavily-debated scenes was one between Anna and the naked boy in a bathtub, when he announced his identity, and the scene of their passionate kiss.
Another talked-about scene was at an orchestral concert (Wagner's Die Walkure) when conflicted emotions overtook Anna's face in an intense close-up.
There was also the scene of Ann flirtatiously asking the boy over ice cream sundaes if he could really take care of her needs: "Have you ever made love to a girl?"
Esteemed director Mike Nichols' sexually-frank R-rated film, a cinematically pungent version of Patrick Marber's 1997 Broadway play, featured characters played by against-type actors:
All engaged in destructive behavior against others, including their brutally honest, insult-ridden, and gutter-talk dialogue.
When Anna revealed her long-term indiscretions with Dan to Larry after he revealed that he had slept with a prostitute, the angered husband asked: "Is he a good f--k?...Is he good?" When she responded positively, she also added that he was a "different...gentler" lover. He went further and wanted to know more details about their sexual behavior:
Her last answer: "It tastes like you, but sweeter." He replied: "That's the spirit. Thank you. Thank you for your honesty. Now, f--k off and die, you f--ked up slag!"
The film also gained notoriety for editing out Portman's fully-nude private strip scene for the final release, leaving her topless and with a G-string, but only viewed from behind or in obscured shots.
Club Dread (2004) (aka Broken Lizard's Club Dread)
Director Jay Chandrasekhar's film was a combination horror-comedy spoof, including elements of the murder-mystery Ten Little Indians, bloody Friday the 13th slasher films, I Still Know What You Did Last Summer, stoner dialogue, a serious Scary Movie, low-brow raunchy comedies, Jimmy Buffett, and T&A of the Girls Gone Wild variety.
It told about a tropical, booze-soaked Costa Rican beachfront vacation spot named Pleasure Island where rock star owner Coconut Pete (Bill Paxton) and staff were plagued by a series of machete-murders (at the film's end, it was revealed that the killings of staff members were committed by "fun police" officer Sam (Erik Stolhanske)).
The film opened with three staff members exploring part of the island inside a deserted mausoleum, two of whom flung off their tops (Tanja Reichert as blonde Kellie and Elena Lyons as brunette Stacy) to engage in kissing, and joking about the statue of a monkey with an extremely exaggerated phallus. But soon, the male was assaulted and killed by a machete-wielding masked character, and the two females were pursued to their deaths. Kellie was pushed off a cliff, and Stacy was decapitated.
In the film's most talked-about scene, one of the resort's vacationers was an uptight blonde named Penelope (Jordan Ladd, daughter of TV's Charlie's Angels Cheryl Ladd, grand-daughter of actor Alan Ladd, and niece of Leigh Taylor-Young), who claimed she was a student at Oral Roberts.
However, the horny blonde kept advancing on one of the resort's staff members, nervous swimming coach Juan (Steve Lemme) (who called her Peen-Na-Lope) - he thought she was suspicious. She claimed that calamari was an aphrodisiac (she stuffed some into Juan's mouth), and then suggestively said that she wanted to wrap her little tentacles around him.
In a bedroom before first-time sex as she removed her turquoise-blue bikini top over her head, she unpredictably confessed that she was a runaway Olympic gymnast:
She ably demonstrated her skills by both backward and forward topless flips before landing on his lap and making love to him.
Kellie (Tanja Reichert)
Kellie (Tanja Reichert)
and Stacy (Elena Lyons)
Stacy Just Before Being Beheaded
Cruel Intentions 3 (2004)
Scott Ziehl's straight-to-video film was another sequel. It followed after director Roger Kumble's direct-to-video prequel Cruel Intentions 2 (2000) - the first sequel released after the original film Cruel Intentions (1999).
The predictable film featured more seductive and erotic games of betrayal played by Cassidy Merteuil (Kristina Anapau), the younger cousin of one of the characters from the first film, at a fictitious Santa Barbara college.
Others joining her were Jason (Nathan Wetherington) and Patrick (Kerr Smith).
One of the unpleasant goals of mean-spirited sexual wagers amongst three students was to seduce and then dump various victims. Only minor characters in the film exhibited any nudity.
A Dirty Shame (2004)
This censor-baiting film was a return to trashy cult form and perverse bad taste for director/writer John Waters. It was given a questionable NC-17 rating (for its "pervasive sexual content") despite no real hard-core content, and could best be described as a gleeful nouveau "nudie-cutie."
Waters' film was an incredibly sophomoric, nonsensical, silly film about sexual obsession and perversion as an allegory for the tale of Jesus Christ and his twelve apostles as magically endowed sex addicts (!) who became empowered to change the attitudes of sexually-conservative, anti-sex "Neuters."
It told about repressed, middle-aged convenience store manager Sylvia Stickles (Tracey Ullman), a normal, prudish, everyday housewife who had suffered a head concussion in a freak car accident and thereafter became an insatiable sex addict. Before her conversion, her horny husband Vaughn (Chris Isaak) had to retire to the bathroom with dirty magazines when he had to satisfy his "marital needs." Sylvia continually demanded oral sex for herself ("Let's go down to the Holiday House and f--k the whole bar!"), and picked up a plastic water bottle with her "runaway vagina" while dancing the hokey pokey in the Gentle Care Nursing Home for old folks.
Sylvia's oversexed daughter was Caprice Stickles (Selma Blair) - a wayward nymphomaniac who had ludicrously large, balloon-shaped prosthetic breasts. She was continually under arrest for indecent exposure, although she performed legal stripteases at a biker bar named Holiday House (with stripper name Ursula Udders) for individuals such as Fat F--k Frank. Sylvia would confess to her daughter: "I'm a cunnilingus bottom and I'm your mother."
There were many bizarre ideas and sexual fetishes in the Harford Road neighborhood, such as:
In the finale, self-proclaimed sexual healer and part time mechanic Ray-Ray Perkins (Johnny Knoxville), with an elongated tongue who earlier performed mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on a squirrel, ejaculated straight out of the top of his head. He was joining all the others, who were giving themselves head injuries to cause sudden insatiable sex drives. He splattered whitish, gooey semen onto the screen - as the film credits began.
Down to the Bone (2004)
This low-budget, unrated, naturalistically-dramatic film (shot on high-def video) from first-time director Debra Granik had only a limited theatrical release, although it was lauded at the Sundance Film Festival (with a Directing Award and Special Jury Prize for star Vera Farmiga). Farmiga was also voted Best Actress by the LA Film Critics Association.
The story told about a struggling couple in upstate New York:
She took the difficult and painful step to seek rehabilitation, when she became involved in a co-dependent relationship with another recovering heroin addict and male nurse named Bob (Hugh Dillon).
He promised her a new life with a house-cleaning business.
This mostly unfunny teen sex (raunchy) comedy from the writing team of Alec Berg, David Mandel, and Jeff Schaffer (the director), producers of Road Trip (2000) and Old School (2003), was chock full of bare breasts and other nudity.
Before the titled "Eurotrip," in a hot-tub scene during a graduation party, Candy (Molly Schade) appeared pointlessly topless (only in the un-rated film version full of added nude scenes). She was rubbing an imagined dirt smudge or spot on her right breast while horny student Cooper (Jacob Pitts) advised her to locate the mark.
The main story was about four American teens, including high school senior Scott Thomas (Scott Mechlowicz), who traveled to Europe to have Scott finally meet his pretty Berlin Germany penpal Mieke (Jessica Boehrs).
Along the way in one of the film's many gratuitous sex scenes, the group encountered a nude/topless beach with dozens of female extras sprawled around sensuously, with two of the young ladies (Edita Deveroux and Petra Tomankova) mutually enjoying a massage - this scene was preceded with a view of a beach with fully-nude males.
Girls in Orange Juice Ad
(Tereza Brettschneiderova and Kristyna Simova)
Girl Play (2004)
Two real-life narcissistic lesbians starred in this straight-to-video lesbian, romantic comedy love story. It was an adapation of their own original, two-part play Real Girls, directed by co-writer Lee Friedlander. The actresses were:
The non-exploitative film told how the two frustrated actresses met and fell in love while working on a play.
The two were cast by director Gabriel (Dom DeLuise) to star as leads in a local Los Angeles sapphic stage show, in which they were to pose for a topless publicity shot.
During rehearsals (with many narrated soliloquies directed toward the camera) to bring out their "intimacy," the two platonic friends found themselves brought together for the first time as lovers and partners.
There was also one soft-core lesbian love scene between Lacie and Cass.
Robin (Robin Greenspan)
and Lacie (Lacie Harmon)
Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle (2004)
Up and coming Swedish-born star Malin Akerman had a bit role in this comedy as tow-truck driver Freakshow's (Christopher Meloni) attractive blonde wife Liane.
She enticingly invited Harold (John Cho) to reach out and fondle her breasts as she opened her top and asked:
They were abruptly interrupted by her husband.
[Note: Akerman would soon go on to appear as Juna in HBO's short-lived series The Comeback (2005) and in 2006 in the role of Tori on the Emmy award-winning HBO original series Entourage. She also starred in The Farrelly Brothers' comedy remake The Heartbreak Kid (2007) as the newlywed, sex-crazed bride Lila.]
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