History of Sex in Cinema:
|Movie Title/Year and Film/Scene Description|
A number of cable-TV dramatic series have continued to spark debate about nudity and sex on cable TV, and especially what some critics have termed "sexposition" - or unnecessary gratuitous nudity of its female performers. This sampling below is only a continuation of what came in the year before.
About Cherry (2012)
The R-rated showbiz drama film marking the directorial debut of Stephen Elliott (a former sex worker) was subtitled with the tagline: "There's no such thing as going too far." The poster advertising the film was of the nude shirtless backside of a pig-tailed schoolgirl with a plaid skirt sitting on a desk, in front of a group of film cameras (one of the film's major sequences). For authenticity regarding the world of pornographic film-making, the script was co-written by Lorelei Lee, a veteran of almost 100 porn films. The film was first made available as video on demand and then opened for limited release in theatres.
The slow-moving, coming-of-age film told of the evolution of a young, blonde 18 year-old teen Angelina (Ashley Hinshaw in her debut starring role) living in a broken family in Long Beach, CA who became an adult film starlet. Her depraved boyfriend Bobby (Jonny Weston), who sought a referral fee and hinted: "Do you want to wash other people's laundry forever?", convinced her to pose for some topless pictures for Vaughn (Ernest Waddell), to be posted on a website. She enjoyed posing topless while reclined on a fur-lined sofa.
Afterwards, with the $500 - she journeyed north to San Francisco with her resentfully-platonic best friend and confidante Andrew (Dev Patel). She started out as a cocktail waitress in a strip club, where she was soon introduced to wealthy, drug-addicted, art-appreciating lawyer Francis (James Franco), and Margaret (Heather Graham), an ex-porn star (and lesbian) who was directing adult fetish films for the website Bod. [Note: Much of the film was actually shot inside the San Francisco Armory, which housed the porn website Kink.com.]
During a photoshoot directed by svengali director Margaret, Angelina - now screen-named Cherry - posed for the cameras as an innocent schoolgirl, first touching herself, then stripping to black underwear, and then going topless. Margaret talked her through the sequence as she also gave directions behind the camera:
The nurturing mentor Margaret developed a crush on Cherry (and kissed her), causing a rift in her 8-year relationship with her own girlfriend Jillian (Diane Farr). Their breakup scene was slightly voyeuristic and involved angry sex.
'Cherry" progressed from solo masturbation (for online patrons, while awkwarding touching a giant dildo), to girl-on-girl, online bondage porn and S&M, and finally to full-on boy-girl scenes. When she graduated to more lucrative hard-core sex on camera, the scenes were timid - limited basically to waist-up views.
In the film's conclusion, Francis became upset at his girlfriend, asking: "Why do you do whatcha do?" She responded blankly, "This is my job." He then went further: "How am I supposed to, uhm, f--k you tonight after you just got done f--king, I dunno, five guys?" She added: "Everybody's tested. Are all of your girlfriends tested?" He claimed she was his only girlfriend. Angelina eventually decided to move in with Margaret and decided to take a turn at directing porn herself.
Solo Online Posing
Girl on Girl
American Reunion (2012)
This was the eighth installment in the American Pie film series, and the fourth that was theatrically-released:
Many of the stars from the first two or three films reprised their roles in this sweetly-raunchy, tedious comedy, to continue the tale of the teens 13 years later - now struggling with sex at middle-age. Its tagline was: "SAVE THE BEST PIECE FOR LAST."
The setting for the sappy ensemble film was the 10th year reunion (actually 13th) of classmates at East Great Falls (Michigan) during a momentous weekend. Some of the singles from the earlier film were now married, such as Jim Levenstein (Jason Biggs) and Michelle (Alyson Hannigan), with a two year-old son Evan. The couple had a sex-less love life which was stuck in a rut (he watched porn on his laptop and pleasured himself into a lubricated sock, while she masturbated alone in a sudsy bathtub with a hand-held shower head).
Other characters included:
The profanity-laced, sex-drenched tale revolved around three weekend events: an 18 year old's birthday party, Stifler's house party, and the reunion itself. It included both male (including an extended shot of Jim's genitals covered up by a see-through glass pan lid) and female nudity (from minor supporting characters rather than from the main stars), some very suggestive sex scenes, and lots of sex talk. The shenanigans, break-ups and pair-ups included:
The most nudity was seen in the sequence involving Jim's meeting up with his seductively tempting next-door high-school-aged neighbor Kara (Ali Cobrin), someone he used to baby-sit but who was now all "grown up." She invited him to her 18th birthday party ("I want you to come so bad"), after which Jim drove the inebriated, virginal Kara home. Next to him in the car, she propositioned him: "I want you to be my first...I can't think of a better birthday gift" and stripped off her dress. He had great difficulty sneaking her back into her house - carrying her half-naked outside and then into her house and up her stairs to her bedroom.
(Seann William Scott)
Attack of the 50 Ft. Cheerleader (2012)
Famed independent film producer Roger Corman, the master of schlocky B-movies ("The King of the B's"), Edgar Allan Poe adaptations, and various creature features, brought this 3-D film (his first ever) to the screen (TV) for the EPIX cable network. The movie was another example of his branding style - an entertaining, fun-filled, profitable venture, and a throwback to the T&A films of the 70s and 80s. The film was actually a remake or "re-conception" of Corman's own Attack of the 50-Foot Woman (1958), and similar to Jerry Lewis' The Nutty Professor (1963) and parts of Gulliver's Travels. It was advertised with the obvious tagline: LOOK AT THE SIZE OF THOSE POM POMS!
It told of a scientific experiment that went awry. An aspiring college cheerleader Cassie Stratford (Jena Sims, Miss Georgia Teen USA in 2007) felt that she was nerdy, mousy, and ugly (with facial acne) ("Being me sucks"). Urged by her vain and pushy mother Brenda (Sean Young), Cassie hoped to become a member of the school's most popular sorority led by the film's antagonist - the evil and bitchy Brittany Andrews (Olivia Alexander).
The freshman scientist took a performance-enhancing, anti-ugly serum, and grew to gigantic proportions (in stages). At first, she was pleased with her transformation - she stood in front of a mirror and admired her new figure, but then problems arose. Brittany emulated her, and self-administered a double dosage of serum shot into both of her breasts. Soon after while having sex, her bra burst open as she grew in size right before her partner, and he fled in shock from the room.
In the film's climax, the two topless 50 foot cheerleaders battled it out with 'bitch-slaps' on the football field on Homecoming day ("The Knock-Down Drag-out of the Century") - better than the regular half-time show entertainment. Cassie was supported by her geeky science friends, who provided her with serum to transform Brittany back to normal size. After Cassie injected Brittany in the gluteus maximus with a serum-syringe, her rival didn't return to normal size but was slightly miniaturized. Cassie also accepted the reverse transformation for herself ("I think I like the old me better") as the film ended.
In addition, there was an earlier masturbatory shower scene, enjoyed by Tiffany (Anne McDaniels), who was then attacked by a giant spider in a nearby toilet stall.
Bel Ami (2012, UK, Fr.)
French writer Guy de Maupassant's 1885 second novel, Bel Ami, or, The History of a Scoundrel: A Novel, was the basis for this erotically-steamy film by theatre director Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod.
In this cynical costume drama, heartthrob Robert Pattinson starred as the main character, amoral Frenchman Georges Duroy. He was a 19th century, peasant-born, Parisian soldier-turned-journalist who was involved with a succession of mistresses and lovers (all married):
The power-hungry, ruthless, misogynistic, charming Parisian lothario was able to advance up the city's social ladder (during the Belle Epoque era) by manipulative sexual trysts with these talented and influential upper-class women. For example, the talentless Duroy was able to get employed at the newspaper due to their influence. There were many passionate sex scenes, several of which involved nudity (breasts and buttocks were visible). Soon, Duroy was able to find himself a position of influence as the paper's gossip editor and as Madeleine's husband.
Clotilde de Marelle
Bikini Spring Break (2012)
The Asylum has produced quite a few direct-to-video, 'guilty-pleasure' sex comedies (garnering many negative reviews) within the past few years (with similar copy-cat titles to larger films, such as American Pie or other series), including Barely Legal (2011), MILF (2010), #1 Cheerleader Camp (2010), Sex Pot (2009), and 18 Year-Old Virgin (2009).
This R-rated, low-budget teen sex comedy immediately opened with plentiful views of bare breasts beneath the credits - a boobs montage in the locker-room. As its sole claim to fame, the raunchy film probably has more breast shots than almost any other in recent memory. However, there were no sex scenes (just kisses), instances of sexual contact, or full-frontal nudity. It was competing with another more highly-publicized, similarly-titled film (with much less skin), Spring Breakers (2013) with Vanessa Hudgens and Selena Gomez.
Director/co-writer Jared Cohn included all the prerequisite features of this kind of film as well - a wet-T shirt contest, a soapy car wash, green Jello-wrestling, a stripper montage (topless in thongs), topless mechanical bull-riding, and a locker-room sequence (broadcast onto the football field's jumbotron scoreboard). Revenge of the Nerds' Robert Carradine starred in the tiresome flick. The film's tagline advertised: "Sweet, Small-Town Girls, Until..."
The conservative college, with its alcoholic band director Coach Gil (Robert Carradine), sent its female marching band 3,000 miles to Miami, Florida to compete in a national competition. Five main coeds drove in a bus with the band's instruments (the rest of the band flew ahead!):
Unfortunately, their misadventures began when they became stuck in Ft. Lauderdale following a bus accident, and they frequently doffed their tops to compete in the wildest and wettest Spring Break party of the year, to win $10,000 to fix their bus.
The Cabin in the Woods (2012)
Director Drew Goddard's witty R-rated horror film (his feature-directing debut) was derived from a script he co-wrote with Joss Whedon. The self-aware, mischievous film, with plenty of in-jokes, had the tagline: "You think you know the story." It was derivative of, and paid homage to earlier classic horror films, such as Sam Raimi's first two Evil Dead films (1982 and 1987), Ringu (1998, Jp.), Eli Roth's Cabin Fever (2002), Ju-on: The Grudge (2003, Jp.), the Scream films (1996-2011), Wes Craven's New Nightmare (1994), the works of H.P. Lovecraft, and the thematic set-up of The Truman Show (1998). Although it was actually shot in 2009, it was held up by MGM's bankruptcy, and then by new owners' Lionsgate that delayed the release for 3-D conversion (although it was eventually released flat).
The principal characters (obvious archetypes), all young and sex-crazed college students, ventured in an RV to Curt's cousin's new place, the Buckner place - a "cabin in the woods" located on a rural lake (similar to Friday the 13th's locales):
Everything that the group did was monitored by a group of white-shirted and short-sleeved technicians in a high-tech control room or command center - two conducting surveillance on the group were Gary Sitterson (Richard Jenkins) and Steve Hadley (Bradley Whitford). (There were similar projects underway in Sweden, Spain, Japan, and other countries around the world.) They were observing, manipulating, and betting on the outcome and fate of the choices of the characters - the film's slasher victims. The cabin was wired with hidden cameras, and the behaviors of the characters could be guided by pheromone sprays in the forest or mood-enhancing drugs. A large whiteboard, used by the scientists for betting which monsters would be picked, displayed dozens of horror categories, scenarios, and monsters to be selected for inclusion, i.e., Alien Beast, Vampires, Yeti, Sugar Plum Fairies, Dismemberment Goblins, Hell Lord, Zombie Redneck Torture Family, Deadites and Angry Molesting Trees.
As expected in any film in the teens-in-the-woods subgenre, the lusting couple (after a healthy dose of sex pheromones) were led to the woods. Moonlight and temperature were manipulated to be just perfect, as the slutty Jules removed her blouse for Curt. They were monitored by the techies, one of whom commented as she went topless: "Score!" However, Jules was almost immediately killed and decapitated by zombies.
In the climactic conclusion, the last two survivors (Marty, immune to the technicians' drugs, and last remaining virgin Dana) who were fighting back against their manipulated enslavement, entered (via elevator) into the underground laboratory labyrinth. In the lower levels of the tech facility, they were spoken to, via the PA system, by The Director (Sigourney Weaver), who described the scenario that they had just acted out. They were five stereotypical teens doomed to die, to appease the "ancient ones" during an annual ritual sacrifice, as part of an ancient pact. Teens were fateful carnage for a blood-lusting Satan-like creature orchestrating the quasi-governmental organization to placate evil, to forestall a global apocalypse if the sacrificial scenario wasn't completed somewhere in the world. This time around, all of the other groups had failed:
In response, the two survivors unleashed an attack of many different creatures, including werewolves, spiders, mummies, zombies, ghosts, giant snakes, an Alien (1979) creature, killer robots, a Clive Barker-like Cenobite, and a killer clown. The technicians in the control room were among the victims, as was the Director. Marty and Dana decided not to follow the suggestion to die for the larger cause. In the film's final scene, they smoked pot together, and gave in to the sleeping, giant evil gods that were rumbling underneath them. The Ancient One's gigantic hand and arm from the lower chamber rose up to destroy them.
The Five Characters
The Control Room
Cloud Atlas (2012)
Cloud Atlas was based on David Mitchell's 2004 multi-award winning novel of the same name, directed by Andy and Lana Wachowski, and Tom Tykwer. The convoluted film consisted of six loosely interconnected storylines, interlinked or interwoven by the film's theme of reincarnation, played by performers in the ensemble cast who were in multiple roles across many different time periods (past, present, and future):
Writer/director Craig Zobel's low-budget crime-drama thriller was "inspired by true events" - an incident that occurred in April of 2004 in a Mt. Washington, Kentucky McDonalds restaurant. In the psychodrama's fast-food restaurant, a fictional ChicWich fast-food facility in Ohio, young, blonde and innocent 19 year-old employee Becky (Dreama Walker) was detained, stripped, and sexually assaulted.
The middle-aged, matronly, ineffectual restaurant manager Sandra (Ann Dowd) and her engaged, slightly-drunk fiance Van (Bill Camp) received a call from Officer Daniels (Pat Healy). He authoritatively claimed to be a policeman and that he had an incriminating surveillance videotape of an employee stealing $1,400 from a customer's purse. The caller urged the manager to take the suspected Becky, who resembled the appearance of the criminal, to the back stock room of the restaurant for a strip-search (the alternative was to immediately send her to jail), after the stolen cash was not located in her purse or clothing. He also added that Becky's home was being searched as part of a larger investigation for suspected marijuana possession.
The restaurant employee was forced into complying - Becky strip-searched herself in front of Sandra and Marti (Ashlie Atkinson), another female employee. As events escalated, three different men were stationed in the room to keep a watchful eye over her, leading to her complete humiliation and sexual violation:
The entire incident (the prank call and hoax) was discovered to be fraudulent, perpetrated by a telemarketer and family man. The final moments of the film stated that the strip search prank-call scam had occurred over seventy times across thirty U.S. states.
As it turned out in reality, the caller was thought to be a prison guard in Florida, 37 year-old David Stewart, a married father of five suspected of 160 such telephone hoaxes over ten years. In 2004, he was charged with soliciting a sex act and impersonating a police officer, but was acquitted of all charges during a 2006 trial. The restaurant manager Donna Summers received a year's probation, and her fiance pleaded guilty to sexual abuse, sexual misconduct, and unlawful imprisonment, and received a 5-year jail sentence. The victim Louise Ogborn received an undisclosed sum of money from McDonalds, which had appealed the jury's decision to award her more than $5 million in compensatory and punitive damages.
Devil Seed (2012, Canada) (aka The Devil in Me, UK)
Director/writer Greg Sager's possession-styled thriller/horror film was a derivative and predictable film within its genre, with plot elements ripped off from The Exorcist (1973), Demon Seed (1977), and The Entity (1982). Its tagline was: EVIL GROWS WITHIN...
After the summer holidays, virginal Alex Froshiber (Michelle Argyris) moved into a rented house with two roommates: friend Jessica Martin (Shantelle Canzanese) and bitchy, slutty blonde Breanne Whitaker (Vanessa Broze) - who was actually sleeping with Alex's unfaithful boyfriend Brian Wolski (Kevin Jake Walker) and provided all of the film's gratuitous nudity.
After a night of drinking and partying, Alex and Jessica visited a fortune teller who gave Alex a psychic reading about her future. She was forecast to experience both death and doom. (This was explained by an early flashback during an introductory montage - an exorcism which went wrong some time in Boston in 1972 - 40 years earlier.)
She began to experience blackouts, sleepwalking and sleep-time moaning. She heard voices, had unexplained injuries (scratched thighs and defaced cleavage), screamed foul-mouthed blasphemous obscenities, saw satanic symbols in her school-notebook, and felt she was going insane. She (or the house itself) seemed to have become possessed and haunted by a demonic spirit, confirmed when she went to the library to look up "demonic possession" on Google.
She was rape-attacked (mostly off-screen) by an invisible demonic figure. She became pregnant with the unclean spirit, and required an exorcism from a priest, the same one from the prologue, to rid her of the malevolent demon.
Dracula (2012, It.) (aka Dracula 3D, or Dario Argento's Dracula 3-D)
Italian horror director Dario Argento's unoriginal version of the vampirish, blood-sucking tale, also available in stereoscopic 3-D, included a mish-mash of cultish elements for a Dracula film, including gothic atmosphere, nude vampiresses, violence and blood. It was riding the wave of many vampire films, including HBO's True Blood, Let the Right One In (2008, Swedish), and the Twilight movies.
As the familiar iconic tale was told in a kitschy, Euro-trash, exploitative manner, vampire Count Dracula (Thomas Kretschmann) - with long fingernails and fangs (and at one point transforming himself into a giant praying mantis) - was intrigued by the entrancing Mina Harker (Marta Gastini), the reincarnation of his beloved Dolingen De Gratz who had died around 400 years before.
Sexy Lucy (37 year-old Asia Argento, the director's daughter), the mayor's daughter, was promised eternal life if she would lure her old friend Mina to the Transylvanian village of Passo Borgo, near to Dracula's castle. Lucy would first pretend to offer Mina's clerk-husband Jonathan (Unax Ugalde), her newlywed husband, a castle librarian job. After her arrival to join her husband, Mina gave Lucy a sponge-bath.
Much of the choppy film's dialogue was leaden and ludicrous, along with various plot holes and poor, soap-operish acting. However, the nudity and sleazy sex factor among the females was excessive, including that of Tania (Miriam Giovanelli). In the opening scene, the beautifully buxom Tania secretly met her lover late at night in a barn for love-making - a nude scene. She was then stalked by Dracula (as an owl) and attacked, making her one of the undead. She became Dracula's slutty assistant, a mostly-naked vampire, who often walked around in a low-cut, body-hugging, transparent white dress, to seduce Jonathan, so that afterwards Dracula could consume him.
In the film's conclusion, Rutger Hauer appeared as the vampire hunting Abraham Van Helsing, with wooden crosses and stakes, holy water, and garlic to combat Dracula and his forces.
Tania (Miriam Giovanelli)
Opening Scene - Barn Tryst
Tania as a Vampiress Seductress
Farewell, My Queen (2012, Fr. ) (aka Les Adieux à la Reine)
Director Benoît Jacquot's gorgeously sexy French drama, an opulent period piece, fictionalized the story of French Queen Marie Antoinette (Diane Kruger), on the eve of the 1789 French Revolution (and Bastille Day). The tale was adapted from Chantal Thomas's 2003 novel. It was one of many similar films about the doomed queen, including Sofia Coppola's recent Marie Antoinette (2006) starring Kirsten Dunst.
The Sapphic story was set at the gilded Palace of Versailles over a period of three days. It was told through the feminine viewpoint of young and naive lower-class Sidonie Laborde (Léa Seydoux), the Queen's self-negating, totally-devoted reader (lectrice). She was critiqued by one of the aging servants: "You're so young. And already blind." The resourceful reader traveled up and down the back corridors of Versailles, listening to murmurings as the royalty was besieged from without. When the fall of the Bastille and news of the revolt circulated (with a list of the heads to be cut off), there were mass defections, broken alliances, and some suicides. Sidonie asked urgently: "What will happen to us?" although she vowed to be steadfast to the Queen: "Stay with her as long as she needs."
The intense and compelling quasi-historical drama highlighted a love triangle involving the moody, unpredictable, hedonistic and frivolous Queen, who was married to neglectful husband King Louis the XVI (Xavier Beauvois). While tended by Sidonie, the Queen was in a scandalous, passionate lesbian relationship with:
The Queen asked Sidonie: "Have you ever been attracted by a woman, to the point that you suffer in her absence?", hinting at her own lesbian longings for the Duchess. In one of the film's most interesting and erotic segments, Sidonie thrilled when the Queen applied rosewood water to her mosquito bites/rash on her arm, but also silently seethed in jealousy over the Queen's morally-loose, lascivious infatuation with the beautiful aristocrat Gabrielle.
The film concluded with Sidonie's willing sacrifice ("I cannot refuse her anything") to protect the Queen and her pampered mistress - potentially an ultimate sacrifice. The ill-fated Marie Antoinette was determined that her lover, the Duchess, must flee for her life, while she would stay behind to face her destiny. Before the Duchess left, the Queen hugged the Duchess one last time, telling her: "Let me inhale one last time the scent of your youth."
In the final scene, Sidonie stripped off her own dress and stared at the Queen, with a look of longing and sadness - feeling slightly betrayed. The Queen had ordered her to impersonate the fleeing Duchess, who would accompany her dressed as a servant. Sidonie was attired in the Duchess' green satin gown, reminding the Queen of her lover ("Tell Gabrielle that I'll never forget her"). As Sidonie departed, in order to prepare for the costume-switching decoy-escape with the Duchess, the Queen gratefully kissed Sidonie.
Sidonie and the Queen
The Queen and Duchess
Gabrielle de Polastron
Director Robert Zemeckis' R-rated action-thriller was his first live-action film since Cast Away (2000), and the second R-rated film of his career.
In the opening non-sexual scene set at the American Value Suites hotel near the Orlando, Florida airport, a clock radio turned on at 7:14 am. Flight attendant Katerina (Trina) Marquez (Puerto Rican actress Nadine Velazquez) rose totally naked from bed and walked to the bathroom. [During most of the scene, the camera was at a stationary angle at the foot of the bed, as she walked in and out of the frame.] Her African-American partner Whip Whitaker (Denzel Washington), later revealed to be a veteran pilot for a regional airline, was naked under the bed-sheet. He answered his cellphone - a call from his divorced 'ex-wife' asking for financial support. His frustrating conversation was a 'shake down' for money for his estranged son's tuition, while he was accused of being a liar:
He had obviously slept and had sex with Katerina the night before - the room was disheveled and there were beer bottles strewn around, one of which served him another swig. As he talked on the phone, she returned to the room and slowly slipped on her clothes, beginning with her dark-red, skimpy thong panties. Katerina briefly climbed atop Whip. He was due to pilot an early-morning 9 am flight to Atlanta with 102 passengers. Before leaving the room, he was also snorting a line of cocaine as a pick-me-up, adding to his major addiction problem of alcoholism.
The main focus of the film was the spectacular flying ability of Whip (even though he was high), as he piloted his plane through turbulent thunderstorms, followed by a malfunction. In a gripping sequence, Whip was able to invert the aircraft during a nose-dive to force it to level out, before crashing the plane in an open field, and saving everyone except six. However, post-crash toxicology reports revealed that he was on drugs, even though it was a miracle that he had avoided a potentially more devastating tragedy.
Director Brandon Nutt's low-budget, B-movie action-thriller, a straight-to-DVD effort, resembled Die Hard (1988), Executive Decision (1996) and Air Force One (1997) with its testosterone-driven plot about the unraveling of an international conspiracy onboard a hijacked plane from Paris to the US - with a "twist" ending.
It opened with a lavish Parisian party hosted by wealthy, brash British CEO industrialist Bruce Lieb (Craig Fairbass), who was suspected of shady business practices by the SEC. US government agent Paul Ross (former UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture) was investigating a global terrorist crime syndicate known as The Tribe, and discovered that their next target was billionaire Lieb.
Ross was hired by Lieb to serve as a bodyguard aboard his private plane, a huge luxury jumbo jet. There, he encountered his own leggy estranged ex-fiance Olivia (Tiffany Dupont) and Lieb's burly Aussie bodyguard Otto Southwell (Dominic Purcell). The villains were led by Rostow Pawlak (Holt McCallany), who planned to rob Lieb Industries, hijack the plane in mid-air during a trans-Atlantic flight, and parachute off the plane with the cash deposited in a Swiss bank account.
The film was rated R in part for a explicit sex scene between two of the plane's passengers, including Taylor Jeffries (Marla Malcolm) who showed everything topless - but the scene ended with both shot dead.
The R-rated, brutal and violent gangster-crime film from Australian director John Hillcoat was set in 1931 in Prohibition-era Franklin County, Virginia, and was adapted by writer Nick Cave from the 2008 book The Wettest County in the World, written by Bondurant grand-son Matt Bondurant. The film's tagline boasted: "When the Law Became Corrupt, Outlaws Became Heroes."
Various brothers in the Bondurant family were real-life "lawless" bootleggers running a moonshine racket-business, and searching for the American dream:
The story told about the Bondurants who were doing business with big-city, legendary villainous Chicago mobster Floyd Banner (Gary Oldman). They ran into conflict with a corrupt police force led by intimidating, psychopathic Chicago-based federal agent Special Deputy Charlie Rakes (Guy Pearce). The glove-wearing, bow-tied, foppish and preening Rakes wanted a share of the lucrative business and was willing to lawlessly intimidate competitors with extreme violence (killings, beatings, throat slashing, a revenge castration), torture (tar and feathering) and rape.
To round out the violence were two 'girlfriend' characters:
As noted in the 2013 Academy Awards ceremony's risque musical number by Seth MacFarlane, "We Saw Your Boobs," a number of actresses were known for baring their breasts on-screen, e.g., Meryl Streep in Silkwood (1983), Naomi Watts in Mulholland Dr. (2001), Angelina Jolie in Gia (1998), Anne Hathaway in Brokeback Mountain (2005), Halle Berry in Monster's Ball (2001), Nicole Kidman in Eyes Wide Shut (1999), Marisa Tomei in The Wrestler (2008), Kristen Stewart in On the Road (2012), Charlize Theron in Monster (2003), Helen Hunt in The Sessions (2012), Jessica Chastain in Lawless (2012), Jodie Foster in The Accused (1988), Hilary Swank in Boys Don't Cry (1999), Penelope Cruz in Vanilla Sky (2001), Kate Winslet in Heavenly Creatures (1994), Jude (1996), Hamlet (1996), Titanic (1997), Iris (2001), Little Children (2006), and The Reader (2008).
Three mentions were for 2012 films, including Kristen Stewart for On the Road (2012) - see below, and two Best Actress Oscar nominees: Helen Hunt in The Sessions (2012) - see below, and Jessica Chastain (nominated for Zero Dark Thirty (2012)) for this film - she was noted for her nudity in her first on-screen naked appearance in a love-making scene with Forrest.
Lay the Favorite (2012, UK)
British director Stephen Frears' off-beat comedy-drama was based on Beth Raymer's memoirs about her life as a stripper, boxer, and journalist. Rebecca Hall starred as high-pitch voiced, thirty-something naive "private dancer" (lap-dancing stripper) Beth, who left her hometown and moved to Las Vegas with aspirations of becoming a cocktail waitress. There, because of her semi-idiot-savant skill with numbers, she was employed by charismatic professional gambler/bookmaker Dink Heimowitz (Bruce Willis), aka The Sure Thing.
Soon after, Dink's pseudo-romance with the uninhibited and bubbly Beth, his Lucky Charm, disturbed his emotionally-fragile, jealous wife Tulip (Catherine Zeta-Jones). Things turned more difficult when the ditzy Beth also became involved running a highly illegal off-shore operation in Curacao for fellow NY bookie and bi-polar gambling addict, the loud-mouthed Rosie (Vince Vaughn).
The film included female nudity - rooftop topless sunbathing (although Beth kept her top on) with redhead Darcy (Jo Newman) and blonde Holly (Laura Prepon).
(l to r) Beth, Darcy
(Jo Newman) and Holly
In this mind-bending, intelligent sci-fi action thriller by talented writer-director Rian Johnson, 25 year-old Joe Simmons (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) lived in the year 2044 in the burned-out, socially-decayed, dystopic metropolis of Kansas City. He was a low-level, yet specialized hitman (or "looper") with fated fellow looper Seth Richards (Paul Dano), working for crime boss Abe (Jeff Daniels) in a Kansas syndicate. Abe had been sent back from the future by the mob to manage or run the loopers. The contract killer was hired to assassinate each of the mob's victims at a pre-arranged drop-off point, a remote corn/wheat field.
Although time travel was to be invented in 30 years, it was outlawed. It was appropriated and used by criminal gangsters, such as controlling mastermind mob boss Rainmaker from 30 years in the future (2074), to execute their enemies and leave no trace. The goal was the closing of every single loop. Targeted enemies to be eliminated were sent back to the present year of 2044, to be disposed of by their younger selves. This would be a foolproof and clean method to eliminate the loopers (or close the loop) - and leave no trace.
Because of his fancy and lucrative lifestyle and career, young hedonistic Joe was able to afford fine retro clothes, a classic red Miata, and a fancy hooker/showgirl Suzie (Piper Perabo). She worked as a can-can dancer at Abe's nightclub "La Belle Aurore." After a naked encounter together, she told him that their relationship didn't go further than "services rendered."
The main plot was that Joe found himself in a twisting situation where his next target was himself - 30 years older Old Joe (Bruce Willis). Old Joe had been living a good life in the future - in Shanghai, China with a wife (Xu Qing). He had traveled back in time - to find and kill the monstrous Rainmaker as a kid, to save his own loving wife in the future. [Her death had been ordered by a man known only as "The Rainmaker."]
The younger Joe was in hiding from his own mob boss at the remote Kansas farmhouse of devoted single-mother Sara Rollins (Emily Blunt) with her son Cid (Pierce Gagnon). He suspected that Cid might be one of the children Old Joe thought was the Rainmaker, so he was there to protect Sara and her child.
The mind-bending conclusion revealed that Cid was the Rainmaker. Joe realized that if Old Joe killed Sara, Cid's destiny would be disastrous, filled with anger and hatred. He would grow up to become the evil, vengeful Rainmaker, creating a closed time loop of murder and revenge:
To remedy and avert the situation, younger Joe shot himself to death in the heart to erase Old Joe's life, just as he was about to shoot Cid's mother. Old Joe immediately disappeared in front of Sara.
Old Joe (Bruce Willis)
Magic Mike (2012)
Director Steven Soderbergh's R-rated comedy-drama was set in the world of male strippers - taglined: "Work all day. Work it all night." Its authenticity as an ensemble drama was enhanced by the fact that actor Channing Tatum was a male exotic dancer (named Chan Crawford) in the late 1990s in Tampa before coming to Hollywood. The amount of male nudity was considerable (skimpy G-string thong shots, buttocks views) with lots of pelvic thrusts and phallic-shaped props, but there were no full-frontal shots (male or female). In one sequence, one of the exotic male dancers in the club was prepping for his performance with a hand-operated suction device or pump, used to enlarge his penis for better viewing onstage.
In this cautionary moralistic tale, there were some scenes of drug and alcohol abuse, kinky sex, and of course, profanity. Many of the male dancers frequently shaved off their body hair. In contrast, one of the scenes of topless female nudity was provided by Olivia Munn (her first nude scene) as bisexual psych grad student Joanna - Mike's non-committal on/off lover.
The story was about the 30 year-old title character, Mike Lane (Channing Tatum) - a Tampa-area roofer, car detailer, and furniture maker by day and stripper by night - the star performer Magic Mike at the Club Xquisite Male Revue among a group of other males. His undeveloped entrepreneurial intention in the film was to start his own small furniture design business.
He introduced impressionable college dropout (who lost a football scholarship) and co-construction worker, 19-year-old Adam "The Kid" (Alex Pettyfer), to the nightclub. There the sleazy owner, leather-clad MC Dallas (Matthew McConaughey) offered him a job after he was pushed on stage and convinced to remove his clothes. [The character of Adam was based on Channing Tatum's past.] Dallas described the lure of the profession to Adam:
Dallas also kept the other star males in the crew from leaving by promising them equity in a new larger club in the Miami area. The other bare-assed male performers for the all-female clientele, calling themselves the Kings of Tampa, included:
Adam's older, straight-laced, caring, responsible yet judgmental blonde sister Brooke (Cody Horn), a medical records keeper, was skeptical and disapproving of his newfound lucrative career, and feared for Adam when he was tempted into debauchery and abusing drugs. She engaged in a romantic yet strained and tested relationship with Mike.
On the Road (2012)
Brazilian director Walter Salles' slow-moving, self-indulgent 'road film' (he previously directed the biopic The Motorcycle Diaries (2004, Sp.)) was the first film adaptation of Jack Kerouac's semi-autobiographical cult novel (published in 1957 although written in 1951). Another film attempting to create the same ambiance was Monte Hellman's existential classic Two Lane Blacktop (1971).
With languid generation-defining prose, the over-long film (at almost 140 minutes) told about late 1940s and early 1950s travels 'on the road.' Its taglines were: "The best teacher is experience," and "Desirous of everything at the same time." The Beat generation, with its adventurous spirit, anti-materialism, cheap thrills, jazz listening, poetry writing, experimental use of hard drugs, generational existential angst and frequent free sex, was highlighted in this randomly-episodic film.
The main character was free-spirited, charismatic, bi-sexual Dean Moriarty (Garrett Hedlund), incarnating and modeled after Neal Cassady, the hedonistic, narcissistic rebellious, quasi-mythical Beat icon. Dean joined three others in NY:
Then, Dean, Marylou, and Sal traveled from coast to coast across the US (the aimless road journey covered New York, Denver, San Francisco, New Orleans and Mexico), attracting various colorful followers, such as:
In one of the film's more bizarre scenes set in a moving car, bare-breasted Marylou masturbated - a double-hand-job - both naked Sal and Dean (on either side of her in the front seat of a car). It was one of three scenes when Kristen Stewart was topless; in another, she was engaged in a three-way sex scene with Dean and Sal.
(l to r) Carlo, Sal, and Dean
The Master (2012)
42 year-old writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson's sixth film was this well-crafted, visually-compelling, intelligent, R-rated psychological drama. It was highly acclaimed, with three Academy Award Oscar nominations for its performers: Best Actor (Joaquin Phoenix), Best Supporting Actor (Philip Seymour Hoffman), and Best Supporting Actress (Amy Adams). However, it spawned considerable controversy for its similarities to the leader of the Church of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, author of the book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.
Overall, its main unsettling theme was the search for life's answers and self-fulfillment by a disciple following a guru/master - often an extremely elusive, pseudo-religious and difficult relationship. By using an informal technique called "processing" proposed by the "Master," a series of lengthy, free-association sessions would help to relive past traumatic events and eliminate toxicity, negative emotional impulses, and inner turmoil. The same questions would be repeatedly asked (i.e., "Do your past failures bother you?") until they were emotionally nullified and disempowered. Every one's spirit had carried through for many trillions of years, in past lives and in different bodies (or "vessels"). Detailed memories were to be recalled (or imagined) and deliberated upon again and again, in order to have them lose their power, to heal oneself and to bring oneself back to an "inherent state of perfect." However, Val Dodd (Jesse Plemons), Lancaster's son, didn't believe in his father's teachings: "He's making all this up as he goes along."
The film's story concentrated on three main fictional characters in the early 1950s. The main focus in the film was on the rogue drifter Freddie and his difficulties adjusting to civilian life, not on "The Master" title character - Lancaster Dodd. It emphasized the bond that developed between them, including wayward and unpredictable Freddie's wild swings from loyal fanatical devotion (including beating up those who argued against the Cause) to doubt and betrayal:
There were quite a few instances of overt sex in the film:
Freddie Having Sex with
Nude Sand Sculpture
Martha (Amy Ferguson)
Peggy with Lancaster
Freddie with Winn
(Jennifer Neala Page)
The Paperboy (2012)
Director Lee Daniels' tawdry, somewhat perverted and lurid tale was widely praised for Nicole Kidman's portrayal of a feral, trashy Southern female. The campy and compelling film's basic tale was about two reporters investigating a convicted death-row inmate awaiting execution in Lately, Florida (Moat County). The screenplay (by co-writers Daniels and Dexter) was based upon Peter Dexter's 1995 novel. The atmospheric, startling and profane drama was an official selection for the Cannes Film Festival in 2012, and received a long yet questionable standing ovation.
The infamous and notorious film was mostly known for the scene in which Nicole Kidman squatted and peed on Zac Efron on a beach after he was stung by a jellyfish (a first-aid folk remedy).
Omniscient voice-over narration via flashback of the events and proceedings from many years earlier was provided by Anita Chester (Macy Gray), the mother-substitute and domestic housekeeper of the main Jansen family after the mother "ran off." She was mostly relating and interpreting the experiences of aimless blue-eyed 20 year-old son Jack Jansen (Zac Efron). He was a one-time swimming champion - but now the paperboy in town after being kicked out of the Univ. of Florida for vandalism (emptying the pool water). After entering Jack's room without knocking, Anita was accused of potentially catching him masturbating. She comically imitated Jack by mock-masturbating through her padded pantyhose with her legs propped up on the bed ("I could have been jerking off").
Enterprising, idealistic Miami Times journalist Ward Jansen (Matthew McConaughey) (with his black assistant writer Yardley Acheman (David Oyelowo) from London) returned to his small Florida hometown. Ward joined up with his younger handsome, and impressionable brother Jack, the paperboy title character who delivered the paper (and was mostly seen in tight white underwear). The two were there to investigate a salacious murder case, in the sweaty summer of 1969, to try to secure the release of imprisoned Hillary van Wetter (John Cusack). Both Jansen brothers disliked new girlfriend/fiancee Ellen Guthrie (Nealla Gordon) of their estranged girl-chasing father W.W. Jansen (Scott Glenn), the publisher of the local Moat County Tribune. [Note: Later, just before W.W. married Ellen, Anita was fired.]
The death-row inmate van Wetter was charged with knifing to death unscrupulous, unpopular local redneck Sheriff Thurmond Call (Danny Hanemann). Ward and Yardley had been in contact with and aided by carnal Charlotte Bless (Nicole Kidman), an aging (40 years-old) and frisky Southern belle. Sex-hungry and trashy, she wore false black eyelashes, a Barbie-doll bottle blonde hairdo and wig, cleavage-revealing clothing and micro-miniskirts in bright yellows and oranges. Charlotte was a corresponding pen-pal with many "dangerous" cons, and had become erotically fixated on van Wetter. She steadfastly believed he was innocent and wrongly-convicted even though she hadn't met him. Anita explained how Jack, whose mother abandoned him when he was five years old, fell in love with the town's hot-and-bothered nympho Charlotte. "That horny little boy wanted to jump her on first sight."
Already horny, Charlotte sent "good vibrations" to the jailed inmate while parked in Jack's car (Jack was the hired driver) in the lot outside the prison. When the group gathered for their first interview with the creepy, sweaty, puffy-faced and deranged van Wetter, Charlotte became even more convinced that they had to be together and marry. During the questioning in a visiting room, lust-driven psychopathic van Wetter only spoke to Charlotte, and asked: "Spread your legs open a little bit. Mmm. Yeah. Now tear off them pantyhose. Rip those off...Move your hands away. Now open up your mouth. You picture what you wrote me in your letters." She ripped through her pantyhose, then touched herself through her clothed pink panties (seen in a close-up upskirt shot) and mimed oral sex. She moaned and gasped, open-mouthed, as she touched herself. They both were masturbating separately - and orgasming (he ejaculated in his pants - a wet spot was visible on his leg) - without even touching each other and sitting 10 feet apart, as everyone else watched silently or looked away. The visit was prematurely stopped by a suspicious prison guard. Anita recalled: "Jack came home and threw up after that. He couldn't believe he still loved her after what he saw, but he did."
Anita continued to tease Jack and observe how he was obsessed with sexpot Charlotte: "You'da thought Jack woulda had a girlfriend by now, but all he did was jerk off to the pictures in those nudie magazines that was under his bed. Now she was all he could think of night and day. Oh yeah, he was definitely in love. He needed her." At the beach while Jack read Lolita, Charlotte sensed Jack's obsession: "You want me to blow you, don't ya? You don't have to answer. I know it's true. I'm not gonna blow a friendship over a stupid little blow-job." When he went swimming and was stung repeatedly on the arms and face, three girls in two-pieces who saw Jack's allergic reaction and red sores suggested a home remedy: "You're supposed to piss on a jellyfish sting." Charlotte was angered: "If anyone's gonna piss on him, it's gonna be me. He don't like strangers peeing on him" - and then squatted over him and let loose a stream of yellow urine.
There were a number of revelations and striking scenes as the investigation proceeded:
Anita Chester's (Macy Gray)
Charlotte (Nicole Kidman)
Charlotte in the Prison
At the Beach:
The Infamous Pee Scene
Charlotte In a Dream
and Making Love to Jack
Charlotte with Hillary
The Sessions (2012)
The Sundance Film Festival premiered Australian-American writer/director Ben Lewin's audacious R-rated art-house film - the true story of Berkeley-based poet, autobiographer and journalist Mark O'Brien (John Hawkes). He had hired a hands-on "sex surrogate" named Cheryl Cohen Greene (Helen Hunt), a married mother with a Massachusetts accent, to help him lose his virginity and discover sex at the age of 38. The story was inspired by an article O'Brien had written in 1990 titled "On Seeing a Sex Surrogate."
The movie strangely brought together the themes of two other diverse films: The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007) and The King's Speech (2010). And Hunt had starred (and appeared nude) in a similar movie 20 years earlier titled The Waterdance (1992).
The Motion Picture Assn. of America rated the dramatic film R for "strong sexuality including graphic nudity and frank dialogue." However, all of the nudity came from 49 year-old star Helen Hunt, who was required to often be naked in the film during the six fairly explicit and graphic sex "sessions." She had approximately nine breast-baring scenes, and four full-frontal glimpses. Hawkes' character Mark, however, was never nude, presumably because an erect penis or male frontal nudity would have delivered the film an unacceptable NC-17 rating, making the film commercially unviable.
Mark was a devout Catholic, and had never had sex - one of his greatest frustrations beyond his disability. He believed that sex out of wedlock was a mortal sin and was therefore conflicted about the issue. His main physical problem was that because of childhood polio at the age of 6 that had given him a curved spine, he was paralyzed from the neck down. He was able to achieve involuntary erections during sponge baths. [Until he died at the age of 54 in 1999, Mark was required to spend 20 hours a day in an iron lung. During the other few hours, he was put on a portable respirator.] One of his caregivers, pretty student Amanda (Annika Marks), caused Mark to develop an innocent crush on her, but she was scared away and rejected his advances when he proposed marriage. He began to consider how to proceed with his sexual longings and have sex for the first time ("to know a woman in the Biblical sense").
After learning about the idea of a professional sex surrogate when he was researching the sex lives of disabled individuals, he sought and discussed receiving the church's approval to have sex therapy with his spiritual counselor and long-haired priest, Father Brendan (William H. Macy). Brendan agreed with the idea (assuring him that God would give him a "free pass on this one. Go for it!"), and Mark was able to hire Cheryl. Mark and the priest continued to speak to each other, in interwoven segments, as he confessed his increasingly erotic feelings after each meeting. For each therapy session, assistant Vera (Moon Bloodgood) wheeled Mark to her at a motel.
Verbally frank with her extremely nervous and terrified client, Cheryl proceeded step-by-step and matter-of-factly. She explained during their first awkward encounter that she wasn't a prostitute. Only six therapy "sessions" were allowed in order to avoid having him develop an emotional attachment to her, although she added: "The limit is six. That gives us plenty of opportunity to explore." [In an interview, Hunt explained the difference between a prostitute and a sex therapist: "A prostitute wants your return business, and a sex surrogate does not."]
She stripped naked, then started body awareness sessions, and there were Mark's inevitable bouts of premature ejaculation. She reassured Mark that they would eventually have sexual intercourse, although his body was horribly twisted. The film, however, never showed explicit intercourse.
Cheryl Cohen Greene
(Helen Hunt) with
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