History of Sex in Cinema:
2005, Part 2
|Movie Title/Year and Film/Scene Description|
Lower City (2005, Braz.) (aka Cidade Baixa)
This acclaimed, sexually-explicit independent film was by co-writer/director Sérgio Machado (his debut feature film). The noirish, sultry, and grungy cityscapes were seedily portrayed in the film, including its strip clubs for lap dancing, floating brothels, gruesome cockfights, fixed boxing matches, violent and bloody fistfights, and sweaty, open-air bars.
The main star was Alice Braga (niece of famed 70s Brazilian actress Sonia Braga, appearing in her first major screen role, before appearing in the blockbuster I Am Legend (2007) opposite Will Smith), as:
She had two poor hustler friends:
Karinna was part of an erotic, doomed love-triangle threesome - often compared to a Brazilian version of Jules et Jim. She split the bonds between the two "brothers" with sexual tension, jealousy, taking advantage of their deteriorating relationship since childhood, and betrayal.
While traveling to Brazil's port city of Salvador da Bahia with them on their broken-down cargo motorboat in exchange for favors, the alluring Karinna soon became sexually-involved with both men in many heated sexual encounters and couplings (but never menage a trois), including dark alleyways.
The film's sexiest scene was Karinna's memorable pole-dance strip tease as "the blonde volcano" (with glitter on her glistening skin) performed in pulsating strobe lights at the Xanadoo club. At one point, Karinna declared to Naldinho: "I can't stay away from you or from him" - while he demanded: "You have to decide."
In another scene, Deco told Karrina: "We're not crazy enough to fight over a whore. I've had it with you. I don't want anybody's leftovers" but later asked Karinna to go away with him, although she feared prophetically: "You'd end up killing each other."
Controversial director Lars von Trier's sequel film to Dogville (2003) (part of a planned trilogy) was set in 1930s Alabama in a rural community that still practiced slavery at a secluded cotton plantation named Manderlay. The main character was:
In one of the film's subplots, Grace performed in a graphic, inter-racial sex (simulated) interlude scene (interpreted as semi-rape by some critics) on a basically bare soundstage with former studly slave Timothy (Isaach De Bankole). She was ritualistically undressed and placed fully naked on a bed as a detached narrator in voice-over spoke:
As the grunting and thrusting continued, Grace's mouth appeared wide-open as the handkerchief was displaced from her face. All of a sudden, she screamed: "No" as the camera dramatically pulled back from a side-view of the bed.
Grace Margaret Mulligan (Bryce Dallas Howard)
Match Point (2005)
This was famed writer/director Woody Allen's first R-rated dramatic-erotic thriller, and his first film set and shot in England. The film, without Allen's typical humor, recalled elements of A Place in the Sun (1951), Body Heat (1981), Fatal Attraction (1987), Allen's own Crimes and Misdemeanors (1989), his future film Cassandra's Dream (2007), and similarities to Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment 1866 novel. Its main tagline was: "Passion, Temptation, Obsession."
Its main characters, in a love triangle, were:
The film began with a voice-over narration from the amoral Chris - a metaphoric musing about chance, luck and fate. At the time, he was reading the great Russian novelist's best-known work Crime and Punishment and The Cambridge Companion to Dostoevsky. The narration was presented with a side view of a tennis net and the freeze-frame shot of a tennis ball suspended in space over the net - poised to fall on one side or the other:
While dating (and having sex with) Chloe in London and becoming acquainted with her wealthy Hewlett family, Chris met the flirtatious Nola over a game of ping pong. She called him "extremely aggressive" while he complimented her "very sensual lips." Soon after, Chris was appointed as an office-worker in the company of her father, as part of a preparatory "grooming" process. Although he was about to marry into the wealthy Hewett family, he was smitten with Nola, who summarized to him her relationship to Tom: "I was overwhelmed with attention." She warned him:
The first steamy, clandestine tryst between Nola and Chris occurred shortly after another of Nola's failed auditions. They both met up in a wheat-field near the Hewlett country estate during a rainstorm. After they kissed, she asserted: "We can't do this...This can't lead anyplace," but they continued kissing. They dropped down into the long grass and she rolled on top of him. Seen from behind, she was on top as Chris reached under her purple shirt, touched her buttocks, and kissed her breasts before they made love (off-screen).
Afterwards, Nola was distant to Chris: "I don't want to encourage anything. What happened, happened, Chris. I mean, the moment was very out of control for many reasons. I was upset, I was drinking, and the storm was overpowering...I'm not rationalizing. Passions are passions, but we're both very involved with other people....Look, you daydreamed about making love to me, and I'm not saying the fantasy didn't cross my mind, OK? We had our moment. But, you know, let's move on, get back to reality. Chris, we're gonna be brother and sister-in-law...Chris, forget it, it's over."
Luckily for Chris, the gold ring which he discarded after the burglary-shooting was picked up by a known drug dealer-addict (a junkie who was later found murdered) and the drug-related burglary-crime was pinned on him ("The old woman's wedding ring was right in his pocket...Name and date engraved right on it"). The case against Chris was closed ("He's another poor schmuck who cheated on his wife"). Meanwhile, Chloe's baby was born - and her father Alec joyously toasted the boy: "With parents like Chloe and Chris, this child will be great at anything he sets his mind to." Tom retorted: "I don't care if he's great. I just hope that he's lucky." The final shot of the film saw Chris troubled, standing apart and very disconnected from his happy family.
Nola with Tom
Chloe (Emily Mortimer)
The Continuing Affair
After the Murders
Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005, UK)
With her debut "indie" film, Miranda July served as writer/director and star of this year's winner of the Special Jury Prize for "Originality of Vision" at the Sundance Film Festival, as well as the Camera d'Or (Golden Camera) Best First Film prize winner at Cannes. The film was rated R for "disturbing sexual content involving children" - even though it presented comic views of underage sexuality in a series of subplots.
The story told about a romance between:
Other scenes included Richard's two Internet-savvy kids: six year-old son Robby (Brandon Ratcliff) anonymously sex-chatting on the Internet (in an instant message session initiated by his older 14 year-old brother Peter (Miles Thompson) with an unaware adult woman (Tracy Wright), and using the boy's own personal and innocent fixation about 'I want to poop back and forth' as the basis of the coprophiliac fantasy conversation:
The phrase was mistaken for exotic scatological talk (with the response: "It makes me want to touch myself") - drawn by Robby with this smiley or emoticon: ))<>(( . Eventually, the young Robby had a real-life meeting with the stranger sitting on a park bench, revealed to be Nancy Harrington (Tracy Wright), the director-curator of the local art museum (the Center for Contemporary Art) where Christine had submitted her work.
In another scene, 14 year-old Peter allowed himself to be the blindfolded subject of a blow-job competition (off-screen) by two precocious, sexually-provocative teenaged neighbor girls who wished to practice their fellatio skills - Heather (Natasha Slayton) and Rebecca (Najarra Townsend) - the act required two washcloths, a towel, and two pieces of candy (preferably mints). The same neighbor girls took up the dare of Richard's jolly co-worker, a perverted older neighbor named Andrew (Brad Henke) after he left sexually-lewd come-on notes taped to the windows of his house for them ("Then I would tell you to lick each other's tits while I licked both of your pussies") - but he sheepishly cowered inside when they called his bluff and came to his door to practice on him.
Melissa P. (2005, It.)
The coming-of-age tale by director Luca Guadagnino (and produced by actress Francesca Neri) was based upon the frank, scandalous best-selling teen memoirs book 100 Strokes of the Brush Before Bed by Melissa Panarello. It was co-produced with Spain by Italian thespians Francesca Neri and Claudio Amendola. Remarkably, the sexy Italian film was rated only PG in its own country, opening its viewing to 14 year olds there.
The title character role was about a baby-faced, maladjusted 16 year-old Sicilian high school girl:
She used sex to combat loneliness and neglect by her parents, conveyed through a "Dear Diary" format. Geraldine Chaplin played the part of Melissa's understanding, heavy-smoking grandmother Nonna Elvira, until she was taken to a convalescent home.
In the opening scene, bare-breasted Melissa masturbated and caressed herself in her room in front of a hand-held mirror, when she received a phone call. She also pleasured herself during a bath with a detachable hand-held shower nozzle aimed at her privates.
The child seductress also sought riskier extreme contact through sexual encounters with wealthy schoolmate Daniele (Primo Reggiani), first delivering oral sex to him near a swimming pool. After experiencing an orgasm in gym class while hanging from a rope and thinking about him, she lost her virginity with him in a more forceful coupling.
Further, through other sexual behaviors, threesomes, orgies (a shocking scene in a basement), and oral sex, she became a plaything for other males' gratification and sought to make an identity for herself.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith (2005)
In this action/comedy by director Doug Liman, two married assassins targeted each other from rival organizations, while engaging in romantic and sizzling interplay:
[Note: This was the film in which the two fell in love on the set. Pitt divorced a year later in late 2005 from Friends' Jennifer Aniston - and subsequently partnered with Jolie.]
In the memorable formal dance scene, they both stripped each other of their weapons as they danced. He joked with her about his sexuality when she checked his crotch for a weapon: "That's all John, sweetheart."
Later, in a monumental and destructive fight scene in their own house as they still called each other "sweetheart," they fought each other first with their fists.
They then fought with oversized weapons, concluding with guns raised at each other, but both were unable to pull the trigger. They called a truce - and then the bruised, turned-on lovers made passionate love.
At film's end, the couple were still engaged in marriage counseling (which also opened the film) - John encouraged the marriage counselor to ask the happy couple "the sex question" about how their sex lives had improved - the answer was "Ten" (on a scale from 1 to 10).
Mrs. Henderson Presents (2005, UK)
Stephen Frears' UK comedy (Oscar-nominated) was based on the true story of the Windmill Theatre in the 1940s in London - the playhouse was managed by an eccentric 70 year-old war-time widow:
She battled government censorship and transformed a run-down theater (the Windmill) in the 40s into a flashy revue of naked showgirls, when allowed to present shows with 'immobile' or motionless, fully-nude stage performers as living statues in 'artistic tableaux.' The performers (among others) included:
To provide equality of the sexes, there was a brief nude glimpse of the theater's stubborn manager Vivian Van Damm (Bob Hoskins).
The Notorious Bettie Page (2005)
Writer/director Mary Harron's R-rated period biopic, from a script co-written with Guinevere Turner, covered the life of '50s icon and brunette bondage pin-up queen Bettie Page (remarkably portrayed by actress Gretchen Mol). She often wore her hair as a shoulder-length pageboy haircut with bangs.
Playboy magazine founder Hugh Hefner said of her: "Bettie Page was one of Playboy magazine's early Playmates, and she became an iconic figure, influencing notions of beauty and fashion."
[Note: Page was the January 1955 Playboy centerfold, the first holiday centerfold. She was nude, on her knees and decorating a Christmas tree - and wearing only a Santa Claus cap.]
The film (alternating between both B/W and color) surveyed in a sketchy way Page's free-spirited life history:
During her modeling days, she was photographed in numerous tawdry and kinky, S/M cheesecake poses for self-promoting photographer Irving Klaw (Chris Bauer). Klaw and his sister Paula operated a mail-order business specializing in cheesecake and bondage poses. [Note: It has been estimated that there were 20,000 4-by-5-inch black-and-white glossy photographs taken of her by amateur shutterbugs from 1949 to 1957. Page had her most professional photographs taken in the mid-1950s by fashion photographer Bunny Yeager.]
Later in life at the age of 35, she walked away from modeling, turned back to Christianity and was born-again transformed. She died in 2008 at the age of 85.
Gretchen Mol as
Director Lee Daniels' daring, exploitative and provocative melodramatic crime-thriller (his directorial debut film) pushed the envelope and provided shock value with its story of inter-racial (and incestual) sex and crude violence.
It told about a female assassin named Rose (Helen Mirren) who was diagnosed with terminal cancer. She and her younger inter-racial lover/step-son Mikey (Cuba Gooding, Jr.), a shadowboxer, were commissioned to kill Vickie (Vanessa Ferlito), the supposedly unfaithful wife of Clayton (Stephen Dorff), a sociopathic and villainous mob boss. Their plan went awry when Vickie's 9-month pregnancy compelled Rose and Mikey to help her give birth when her water broke as they were about to kill her - and they then protected her and her newborn son.
In addition to the film's crude and violent content, it also contained sexually-graphic scenes. In an early controversially-indulgent scene of sodomy and anal sexual assault, Clayton threatened traitorous Tommy (Jack Krizmanich) when he was tied down to a pool table, accusing him of having sex with Vickie. An 8-ball was used as a gag in his mouth. Clayton rammed a jagged, half-broken pool cue up his rear (off-screen) before killing him.
In another equally-controversial scene, while having coital sex from behind with his topless girlfriend (Maria Soccor) draped over a desk - Clayton withdrew himself when interrupted by an argument outside his door, exhibiting his semi-erect condom-covered penis, and then shot dead those who disturbed him ("What did I tell ya about talkin' when I'm f--kin'?").
And in an outdoor sex scene between Mikey and Rose, Mikey shot her in the head with a revolver as she climaxed - an unusual mercy killing.
Three (2005, US/UK) (aka Survival Island)
Writer/director Stewart Raffill's preposterous erotic action/thriller (compared unfavorably to Dead Calm and Swept Away - with Madonna) was produced in 2003.
The unintentionally funny film - only released for a short time theatrically in mid-2006, was lambasted for being lame, poorly directed, acted and written (mostly for its characterization of Manny and for the voodoo subplot). It was also Kelly Brook-breast obsessed, with frequent views of her in and out of a skimpy white bikini.
It told a tale about a shipwrecked Caribbean private yacht, taken by a rich couple:
She and crew shiphand Manny (Juan Pablo Di Pace) were stranded and marooned on a remote island -- where conflict and sexual tension arose soon afterwards when Jack (without survival skills) also appeared and created a fierce love triangle.
The real-life couple who met on the set, Billy Zane and Kelly Brook were later engaged - and garnered headlines in late 2005 when Zane unsuccessfully threatened producers to remove Brook's nude scenes.
Desperate Housewives ABC-TV sitcom star Felicity Huffman earned an Oscar nomination for her role in this low-budget, R-rated independent road film. She was in a gender-bending role as:
Bree displayed full-frontal nudity as both a man (with a prosthetic penis) and as a woman!
S/he discovered that (s)he had fathered a 17-year-old son - a troubled and surly, drug-abusing 17-year-old gay hustler named Toby (Kevin Zegers).
In one scene, she/he relieved himself at the side of the road while traveling from NY to CA by car with his/her son (witnessed by him through the car's rear-view mirror).
Another scene showed him/her coming out of the bathroom and embarrassed to be seen in his/her underwear by his/her son, and in a post-operative scene, she checked herself out in the bathtub.
The Wayward Cloud (2005, Fr./Taiwan) (aka Tian bian yi duo yun)
Tsai Ming-liang's porn-musical was controversial for its full-frontal nudity and explicit oral sex.
In a metaphoric scene, a nubile nurse (real-life Japanese porn actress Sumomo Yozakura) was lying naked from the waist down on her back on a white bed - her legs were spread-eagled and bent at the knees, with a juicy half of a watermelon between her legs. Low-budget porn film actor Hsiao-Kang (Kang-sheng Lee) crawled toward the nurse's fruit - his tongue lapped at her, and his fingers prodded into the sweetly-sticky, squishy melon. After she had an orgasm, Hsiao-Kang stuck a vagina-sized chunk of drippy watermelon pulp in her mouth.
In another outrageous and bizarre Busby Berkeley-esque production number, a troupe of marching, bikini-clad females with red plastic buckets on their heads, small pink toilet plungers attached to their breasts, and thrusting blue plungers, circled around Hsiao-Kang dressed as a giant penis head in a large men's restroom.
Other scenes included one of Yozakura sitting on a kitchen counter and masturbating with a plastic water bottle, various making-of-porn scenes, and the film's controversial, open-ended final sequence.
Wedding Crashers (2005)
This bawdy film from director David Dobkin marked a return to R-rated comedies with numerous T & A shots. It was about two intrepid Washington DC bachelors, divorce mediators, and lifelong friends:
They invited themselves to nuptial receptions to pick up on women and bridesmaids (including one named Claire (Rachel McAdams) and her "stage-five clinger" sister Gloria (Isla Fisher)).
The film also included the sped-up, musical "wedding sluts" montage sequence, to the tune of the Isley Brothers' "Shout," of the two scammers at wedding receptions carousing, drinking shots, dancing, and popping champagne bottles - and soon after in bed with partly-clothed and topless women who flopped down on the bed in front of them (including in order, unclothed: busty brunette Rachel Sterling, Ivana Bozilovic, blonde Diora Baird as Vivian, and Hindu Woman (Naureen Zaim)).
There was also the racy scene of John being seduced by sexually-insatiable Kathleen "KittyKat" Cleary (54 year-old Jane Seymour) - the socialite wife of Treasury Secretary and presidential wannabe William Clearly (Christopher Walken). Kathleen invited John to sample her new breast implants. She opened her blouse and seductively boasted to the shocked John:
Left with no choice, he reluctantly reached out and felt her breasts, replying:
Although she appeared turned on by his mammary massage, he was rebuffed for sampling them and accused of being a "pervert."
Sampling KittyKat's Implants
Where the Truth Lies (2005)
This controversial, tangled and convoluted film-noirish feature film from Canadian director Atom Egoyan was a lurid and sexy backstage crime/murder mystery based upon Rupert Holmes' 2003 novel.
The film was filled with female and male nudity and was initially rated NC-17 by the MPAA for its sex scenes (especially the threesome scene). The film was released in both an explicit unrated version and as an R-rated version.
The erotic film was set in two time periods (1957 and 15 years later in 1972). In the earlier story, it told about an amoral and pill-popping comedy duo funny-man team in 1957 resembling Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis:
Often, there were flashbacks to 1957 based upon three chapters of Lanny's written autobiographical memoirs. In that year, the two performers held a record-breaking polio telethon in Miami, Florida. Then, they immediately vacated their Miami Versailles Hotel suite, and flew north to New Jersey to the Palace Del Sol Hotel. They were there for the opening of the hotel's showroom.
Strangely, right after their arrival in NJ, their Miami room service waitress (and adoring fan), red-headed college student coed Maureen O'Flaherty (Rachel Blanchard), was found naked and dead in their New Jersey hotel. The comedians broke up their act shortly afterwards. Her body was encased in a ice-filled crate of lobsters when they first arrived (although the official story was that she was found in the bathtub). The cause of death was allegedly from drowning combined with a drug overdose --
In reality, Rachel had been murdered (smothered) in Miami, Florida, then her corpse had been flown from there to Newark, NJ and planted there. But why?
Later, it was revealed that she was killed because she witnessed Vince's closeted bisexuality-homosexuality during an attempted threesome sex scene in their Miami hotel room the night before the 39-hour telethon. Lanny screamed at Vince for attempting anal sex with him as he made love in the missionary position to Maureen:
Afterwards, Maureen - who was researching the duo as an aspiring journalist, asked for a bribe to keep her secret and embarrassing knowledge quiet ("Who's gonna pay me?...I'm not looking for a tip..."). In the Miami hotel room, Maureen had kept her recorder on after a recorded interview, and had taped the unusual sexual encounter. Lanny went to bed, and discovered the next morning that she was dead.
Her killing was a psychosexually-related crime committed by Lanny's bodyguard, assistant and valet Reuben (David Hayman) who had smothered her with a pillow in order to silence her and protect his employment from blackmail and ruin for bisexuality.
15 years later in 1972, worldly, award-winning aspiring young journalist Karen O'Connor (Alison Lohman), a polio survivor who was once a "miracle" guest on their final telethon show before the murder, pursued the two comedians for more interviews, to uncover the truth. She had been hired to ghost-write Vince's autobiography - a book deal for which Vince would be paid $1 million.
Her job was to write a provocative article/book to find "where the truth lies" in the circumstances surrounding the duo's split and Maureen's mysterious death. During Karen's work on the book, she made love to Lanny during a one-night stand after a dinner date at a Chinese restaurant, while impersonating her best friend elementary school teacher "Bonnie Trout" - to keep her identity a secret.
When both Lanny and Vince learned Karen's true identity and objective, and Vince found out that Lanny had sex with Karen, he feared that the truth about Maureen's death would soon be revealed. To produce possible incriminating evidence against Karen (in order to then blackmail her), Vince drugged and photographed Karen at his place when she was having lesbian sex (possibly considered rape) with aspiring singer/prostitute Alice (Kristin Adams), who wore a bluish Alice in Wonderland outfit.
In one of the film's hotter lesbian scenes, Karen experienced 'wet' oral sex performed on her (a glistening chin emerged on her partner's face). Vince then proposed blackmail against Karen, unless she told her publisher that there was nothing suspicious about Maureen's death.
Toward the end of the film, Karen learned what had truly happened. It appeared that Vince was so drunk the night of the murder that he was unsure whether he had committed the murder or not. Nonetheless, in the film's conclusion, Vince committed suicide in the same Miami hotel where Maureen had died. Reclining in an ice-filled bathtub, he took a sleeping pill/champagne alcohol overdose.
And in the last few minutes, Reuben revealed that he had the incriminating tape that was recorded the night of the murder during and after Maureen's interview of the duo. He confessed that he had committed Maureen's murder. Reuben had first blackmailed Vince over the tape for a million dollars -- the reason that Vince had agreed to do a book deal for a million dollars. Then, in a second attempt at blackmail, he tried to coerce Karen into having her publishing firm purchase the tape for a million dollars.
The film's offensive scenes, some of which were shortened/edited, were set in their Miami hotel in the late 1950s:
Karen & Alice
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