History of Sex in Cinema:
2004, Part 2
|Movie Title/Year and Film/Scene Description|
Head in the Clouds (2004, UK/Can.)
Australian writer-director John Duigan's sweeping WWII romantic (and erotic) melodrama was set in the warring 1930s, in England, Paris, and Spain, highlighting sacrifices made to fight fascism and a decades-long love affair. The art-house period picture did fairly poorly at the box-office, although it was Charlize Theron's first film after winning Best Actress for Monster (2003).
The glamorous actress played the part of young American heiress Gilda Bessé, a free-spirited bohemian female "with a definite weakness for falling in love" who soon engaged in a threesome - when she shared her Parisian apartment with two others:
Guy considered himself "a lucky man living with two beautiful women." She first met Guy on a rainy night, earlier in the film, when she was forced to stay overnight with him when he was a chivalrous, first-year Cambridge student. She remarked: "Beauty, bravery, and brains. What a catch! You also have a nice willy, and I hope to dream about it."
Later, as civil war threatened in Spain, both Guy and Mia departed for the country to support the Loyalists against Franco's fascist forces, against Gilda's wishes that she didn't want to be abandoned - and Mia lost her life in an ambulance bombing. However, Guy returned to Paris, worked with British intelligence to aid the French Resistance, and eventually reunited with Gilda, who was romancing Gestapo Nazi Major Franz Bietrich (Thomas Kretschmann) - and an inevitable tragic ending.
The film included scenes of bisexuality in a hot two-girl tango sequence in a Parisian nightclub during a romance with Mia (a scene paying homage to the famous dance in Bertolucci's The Conformist), sex on a billiards table, a threesome (in which Gilda bedded both roommates in one scene), S & M, and a sexy topless bathtub scene with Guy in which Gilda wore only a fedora and a man's tie.
Gilda Kissing Mia
Jersey Girl (2004)
Writer/director Kevin Smith's uncharacteristic PG-13 comedy-romance received mixed reviews, for his original screenplay.
Ben Affleck starred as NYC music publicist Ollie Trinke who was recently widowed and devastated by the death of his lover/fiancee Gertrude Steiney (Jennifer Lopez) during childbirth, and left caring as a single parent for their precocious daughter Gertie (Raquel Castro). After moving to Jersey and taking a job as a streetcleaner, his first-grader (after the fast-forward) was fast learning about the birds and the bees with a young neighbor boy with his pants pulled down:
She encouraged her father to rent movies (often in the adult section), and he met video-store clerk/graduate student Maya Harding (Liv Tyler) - an amazingly-frank, free-spirited and appealing young woman. In a diner scene over coffee (that originally gave the film an R-rating, but on appeal was reduced to PG-13), "tight-ass" Ollie was embarrassingly confronted by Maya about why he rented porno films, presumably for masturbation material. To calm him and reassure him, she freely admitted with frank dialogue that she masturbated twice a day herself, with a "healthy sexual appetite":
When he confessed that he'd rather hang out with his kid than get laid, she divulged: "l'm kinda crushin' on you right now, Trinke." Then when he told her that he hadn't had sex in seven years since his wife died, she replied: "You've gotta get back on the horse, man!" She flirtatiously encouraged him with a forward invitation to go to his place "for some sex..really short casual sex" -- "l'm just talking about two consenting adults having some casual sex" - and then logically tried to persuade him:
Gertie arrived home just as the two were voraciously kissing each other - he removed her blouse, grabbed her breasts through her bra and kissed between them. When the half-dressed couple raced into the shower together and Gertie flushed the toilet, she caused Maya to scream when the water turned hot and revealed their hiding place.
Bill Condon's biopic of controversial, Midwestern human sexuality researcher Dr. Alfred Kinsey (Liam Neeson) (its tagline: "Let's talk about sex") stirred up protest about the impact of his pioneering work, interviews and publications on morality and behavior - including his Kinsey Report (aka Sexual Behavior in the Human Male) in 1948 and its follow-up Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (1953).
The non-erotic, non-exploitative, and non-prurient film was attacked by morality extremists for its candid and frank drama about the famous Indiana University doctor's obsessive life-work. His revolutionary techniques were exhibited for example, in a b/w educational sex film of patient Barbara Merkle (Kathleen Chalfant) masturbating - one instance of using movie and still cameras to record sex acts.
It illustrated how Kinsey's own free-thinking wife Clara "Mac" McMillen (Oscar-nominated Laura Linney) had painful sexual problems with her inexperienced husband during their honeymoon. On their wedding night, the two virgins were so sexually naive that their attempts to consummate their marriage were a complete failure. They later realized that they were unaware of a physical challenge - Mac's thick hymen had impeded their union. [Note: Kinsey also had a strict religious upbringing which impacted his own personal feelings about sex (feelings of shame when contemplating masturbation for himself as a young man) and his own inability to be completely comfortable with his own body. It told about how a young Kinsey was punished with a confining genital strap to prevent him from masturbating by his ultra-moralistic, bullying, and repressive minister father (John Lithgow).]
Later, Kinsey's wife was engaged in an extra-marital affair with Kinsey's own bi-sexual teaching assistant Clyde Martin (Peter Sarsgaard). And Kinsey himself, a closet bisexual, also had a homosexual relationship with Clyde, who appeared nude in a full-frontal scene.
In the film's final heartbreaking interview scene with an older, middle-aged lesbian subject (Lynn Redgrave in a cameo), she expressed how she was freed from homosexual guilt after experiencing lesbian feelings: ("After I read your book, I realized how many other women were in the same situation. I mustered the courage to talk to my friend and she told me, to my great surprise, that the feelings were mutual. We-we've been together for three happy years now. (she stood and gratefully took his hand in hers to thank him) You saved my life, sir").
Kinsey (Liam Neeson) with Clara (Laura Linney)
With Clyde Martin
Final Interview Subject
9 Songs (2004, UK)
Maverick British director Michael Winterbottom's ultra-graphic, 69-minute romantic love story was composed of the recollected memories of a male's affair with a female while flying over the snowy wastes of Antarctica. The film followed a traditional romantic arc, from initial infatuation, to passionate love, and then disenchantment and the end of a relationship.
It was artistically shot in digital chiaroscuro and released unrated, and consisted almost entirely of real-time, unsimulated sex scenes beginning with commonplace sex - and then culminating with more experimentation. This sexually-explicit, naturalistic mainstream British film brought up the main question: "Is this porn or cinematic art?"
The film was told from a single viewpoint, recalling the adventurous physical encounters over time between the young couple in London:
Their relationship was interspersed with nine live-concert songs (the film's title) which supplemented the story line with their lyrics. She realized that she was very skinny and flat, and asked Matt as she stood before a mirror: "Do I look like a boy?" He assured her: "Yeah, that's one of the reasons why I like you."
The explicit scenes included sexual intercourse (often in closeup), including oral sex (both male and female), masturbation, penetration, bondage, anal sex, and ejaculation. In the bathtub scene, she played with his penis between her feet.
In the bedroom blindfold scene, he told her to fantasize that she was pleasuring herself and being watched as he massaged her body and delivered cunnilingus: "You're on a beach in Thailand. Your eyes are closed so you can't see anything. You feel them watching you" -- she continued the narration as she was orally pleasured by him:
Later, she confessed to him, "Sometimes when you kiss me, I just wanna bite you and not in a nice way. Like I want to hurt you, like I want to bite your lip really f--king hard and make you bleed."
After a table-dance experience in a night-club where she was the lesbian-esque recipient (not him!), she intensely masturbated to a white, buzzing dildo/vibrator by herself - and shortly later laid back limply on the bed and allowed him to watch her self-love, although he appeared disinterested and returned to the kitchen -- the turning point in their loss of intimacy. During their love/power struggle, however, they continued to have make-up sex as things fell apart -- she reversed positions with him and gave him fellatio, to completion - the film's most explicit scene.
She gave him a book on Antarctica for his birthday, and read portions to him, possibly deeply symbolic of their own demise: "The ice is everywhere and everything. It spreads to all sides, an unbounded void of alien whiteness and geometric rigor. Antarctica is the highest, windiest, driest continent..." Earlier, he had prophetically said this about his explorations in Antarctica: "Claustrophobia and agoraphobia are in the same place - like two people in a bed." Eventually, she told him that she was going back to America - and had added: "Sometimes, you have to have faith in people" - and in narration, he said: "She was happy to be leaving." The day she flew from London was the first time she invited him to her apartment - "She didn't want any goodbyes."
Lisa (Margo Stilley) and
Matt (Kieran O'Brien)
The Notebook (2004)
Director Nick Cassavetes' old-fashioned, tearjerking, sentimental romantic story of separation and return followed an unfolding, star-crossed relationship between two teenagers, from the 1940s to many decades later:
The story of the two lovers was narrated many years later in a nursing home, from a notebook read by an elderly man (James Garner) to a convalescing, Alzheimer's female patient (Gena Rowlands) - later revealed as the couple.
When the two lovers met after a seven-year separation (and she was about to be married), they enjoyed a rain-soaked kiss after an idyllic afternoon row-boating through a spectacular duck-filled setting, as she learned for the first time that he had written her 365 love letters (one each day for a year) - although her domineering mother had intercepted them. Noah professed on the dock: "It wasn't over. It still isn't over!" and they passionately embraced and kissed.
He carried her back to the mansion (now renovated by him as a tribute to his lost-love) where they had first attempted to make love, but were interrupted. They progressively stripped off their clothes as he brought her upstairs and placed her on the bed for passionate sex. When they were finished, she exclaimed: "You gotta be kidding me. All this time, that's what I've been missin'? (pause) Let's do it again," as she mounted him again.
Later, as they reclined in front of a fireplace drying their wet clothes, he told her as she showered him with more kisses:
Allie (Rachel McAdams) with Noah (Ryan Gosling)
Seed of Chucky (2004) (aka Child's Play 5: Seed of Chucky)
Writer/director Don Mancini's horror/black comedy film (titled with a reference to the evil doll's ejaculate-seed, and the fifth in the long-running series of Child's Play films) featured an outrageous series of scenes - it was the first in the series to contain nudity. In the opening credits sequence, animated sperm swam down a vagina to fertilize an egg.
There also had to be a slashing shower scene, one in which Chucky took a knife to Claudia's Mum (Stephanie Chambers), shown from his point of view as he made stabbing motions and she soon laid dead on the floor.
It was noted as featuring the first doll masturbation scene in film history, when the evil Chucky (voice of Brad Dourif) used the visual aid of Fangoria Magazine to produce sperm which he captured in a small cup. He was photographed pumping in the bathroom by paparazzi Pete Peters (John Waters!).
The ejaculate 'seed of Chucky' was then placed in a large turkey baster by the possessed doll Tiffany (voice of Jennifer Tilly) (she pulled down her blouse to flash her large, very-anatomically-correct breasts) to inseminate and impregnate an unconscious Jennifer Tilly (Herself), who then experienced an accelerated pregnancy.
[Note: The film heavily referenced Tilly's lesbian scene with Gina Gershon in Bound (1996) when she described her scenes in the film in order to seduce neophyte director Redman into letting her be the Virgin Mary in his upcoming film.]
|Species III (2004)
Director Brad Turner's Species III (2004) was the series' second sequel, following the two earlier films from 1995 and 1998. This one was a low-budget, direct-to-cable (Syfy Channel)/DVD picture, in a rated and unrated version, with the tagline: "Beauty is Only Skin Deep." It carried on the sci-fi story of a female alien creature who sought to mate and spread her species.
Natasha Henstridge (who had played both Sil in the first film and Eve in the second film) opted out of this installment (although she made a brief cameo appearance as Eve in the film's opening). She was replaced by Sunny Mabrey as Sara - Eve's sexually-aggressive daughter - the first genetically perfect specimen.
After her slimy birth from a cocoon, she soon emerged as a full-grown beautiful blonde, aided all the while by biochemistry university professor Dr. Abbott (Robert Knepper), who kept her in his home lab and hoped to modify the alien DNA to make a creature less dangerous to human beings. The lonely and sex-starved alien sought after prospective pure or perfect male mates on the campus.
In the meantime, another more vicious half-breed alien, a genetically-imperfect creature named Amelia (Amelia Cooke) was also seeking to mate with Eve's offspring, and to rape Sara.
Taking Lives (2004)
This Warner Bros' retreaded psychological thriller was very similar to Twisted (2004) released at the same time, and its opening credits sequence was reminiscent of David Fincher's Se7en (1995).
It told about an investigation by French Canadian police for a serial killer, who for 20 years had been assuming the identity of each of his victims ("taking lives") to begin a new life and thus avoid capture - telegraphed by the film's tagline: "He would kill to be you."
In the pre-credits sequence, the serial killer was first personified as young nerdy teenager Martin Asher (Paul Dano) in 1983 on a road trip across Canada. After befriending teen Matt Soulsby (Justin Chatwin), the disturbed Martin murdered him and assumed his identity. He then continued his killing spree for over two decades (seen during the credits).
Over 20 years later in present-day Montreal, psychic American FBI profiler Illeana Scott (Angelina Jolie) on special assignment was first introduced (with a close-up of Jolie's famously-puffy lips) while lying in an earthen grave at a construction site, to intuitively sense the feelings of the latest murder victim. She also incessantly studied a set of gruesome crime-scene photos that she also taped above her bed, to gain insight into the case. During the investigation into the numerous killings, Illeana became acquainted with local art dealer/salesman James Costa (Ethan Hawke), an eye-witness to the latest murder. She was worried that Costa was the next target and helped the police to protect him. Illeana had determined that Martin Asher was their serial killer who was taking the lives of his male victims: "All of these men have something in common, something that he desires. Simply a life different from his own....He's like a hermit crab. He outgrows one shell and he starts looking for a new one."
But then it appeared that the case was abruptly over when the suspected 'Asher,' who was angrily holding Costa as his hostage, died in a gruesome car accident following a chase. [It was later revealed that the 'Asher' that died was actually gay art thief Christopher Hart (Kiefer Sutherland), who was trying to collect a debt owed by 'Costa'.] With the case about to be dismissed, the next scene was in Illeana's hotel room where she was passionately romanced by Costa. She exposed her bare chest to him when he backed her against a wall. As he laid her down on a table, he broke glassware behind her as she steadied her balance by extending her foot for leverage. He then carried her over to the nearby bed where they finished having sex with their clothes on, while she looked up at the crime scene photos of dead people she had taped above her bed.
In the film's obvious reveal and plot twist, it turned out that Costa was the actual serial-killer murderer - Martin Asher, who had been impersonating Costa for many months after killing him. Inside an open elevator, Illeana saw Costa/Asher covered in blood, standing over the decapitated body of his own mother Rebecca (Gena Rowlands) whom he had just killed. Illeana was terminated by the FBI for "egregious lack of judgment and conduct unbecoming" - for having sex with Costa/Asher at the conclusion of the investigation.
In the climactic confrontation scene about seven months later in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in a remote rural farmhouse, poor Illeana (after losing her job) had actually set up a well-orchestrated trap. She was pretending (as a decoy wearing a prosthetic enlarged belly) to be pregnant with Asher's twins (due to the fact that she had intercourse with Costa earlier) - and stabbed an attacking Asher to death in the heart with a pair of scissors during a fierce struggle, after he had stabbed her in the belly. She removed her fake belly as he died, and vengefully told him: "Everything you saw I wanted you to see. F--k you!" She phoned the police afterwards to tell them: "It's over." She was advised: "Good. Stay put. I'll call this in. They'll be there soon."
(Angelina Jolie) with
Team America: World Police (2004)
Director Trey Parker and film-maker Matt Stone, better known for the animated South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut (1999), created this puppet comedy satire with political undertones regarding an elite force of paramilitary police fighting world terrorism. This time, puppets/marionettes were featured almost exclusively as cast members.
Immediately, the infamous marionette bedroom sex scene ran into censorship problems and a possible NC-17 rating. Parker and Stone were required to show the MPAA nine different edits in order to secure an R-rating in the single scene. For one, the puppet defecation scene had to be cut, but it was later restored on the unrated DVD version. Both admitted that they deliberately had added the objectionable elements so that the MPAA would focus on those and let the rest of the film go untouched.
The hilarious action film send-up contained a humorous scene of intensive, hard-core sex between Gary (voice of Trey Parker) and Lisa (voice of Kristen Miller), two life-like puppets/marionettes (without genitalia) who engaged in sex in various positions:
When Will I Be Loved (2004)
This post-feminist, mostly-improvised James Toback-directed film, an Indecent Proposal tale, contained four very sexual scenes, one of which occurred during the opening credits. The main character was:
The film's opening included Vera's extended erotic, unself-conscious, leisurely nude hot shower sequence. It was supposedly an introduction to how she would later demonstrate her highly sexual and intellectual powers. She used a hand-held water jet from the shower head to stimulate herself.
Later, femme fatale Vera videotaped her hot lesbian tryst with a lover behind a gauzy curtain, had sexually frank discussions with her potential employer - a college Professor Hassan Al-Ibrahim Ben Rabinowitz (Toback), and was pimped for $100,000 by her hustler boyfriend Ford (Frederick Weller) to a visiting Italian billionaire Count Tommaso Lupo (Dominic Chianese).
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