History of Sex in Cinema:
|Movie Title/Year and Film/Scene Description|
The Canyons (2013)
Director Paul Schrader's soft-porn erotic thriller The Canyons (2013) promised to be a scandalous tale of sex, lies, cheating, film-making, mind-games, and murder. The malevolent, misanthropic thriller set in Los Angeles was written by Bret Easton Ellis. It was rated NC-17 (for explicit nudity and sex, including one contractually obligated, four-way sex scene), although the soft-core sex was basically topless for women and full-frontal for men. Shrader was known for directing American Gigolo (1980) and writing Taxi Driver (1976), while Ellis authored American Psycho (2000).
Made on a budget of $250,000, the salacious, melodramatic tale was first screened (out of competition) at the Venice Int'l Film Festival, but turned down by both the Sundance and SXSW film festivals for reported quality problems. It continued to be a low-grossing offering via VOD and iTunes.
The lethargic, dull, pretentious and lengthy film was made and viewed during a time when controversial 27 year-old former child film star Lindsay Lohan was undergoing numerous court appearances and stints of rehabilitation for drug use. Her co-star was real-life porn star James Deen (in his mainstream film debut), a well-endowed performer in thousands of adult videos.
Its sordid history in the 'making' (written as an on-set expose) was described in a NY Times Magazine article dated January 10, 2013 and titled "Here Is What Happens When You Cast Lindsay Lohan in Your Movie." Reportedly, Lohan's personal difficulties and erratic, unreliable behavior included ingesting sleeping aids, missing or being tardy to shoots, appointments and meetings, and being fired (and rehired).
In the modern-day noirish story, manipulative, sex-addicted sociopathic wannabe movie producer Christian (Deen) degraded his economically-dependent live-in plaything - his actress girlfriend Tara (Lohan). He continually brought both male and female sex partners (acquired online) for her to his Malibu mansion for sexcapades (he often sat back, watched, and masturbated). Their encounters were turned into homemade porno films, shot on Christian's phone. Before the four-way sex scene, adult film actress Lily Labeau (as "Young Hot Girl") joined full-frontal Christian as they proceeded upstairs to the bedroom to join Tara - for some lesbian kissing and unexpected male-male oral sex.
She escaped by falling for another struggling, pretty-boy actor (an old flame from her past) named Ryan (Nolan Funk), the lead in a B-grade slasher/horror film bankrolled by Christian's trust fund. Ryan professed his love for Tara, although he lived with Gina (Amanda Brooks) - Christian's assistant. When Christian, who was also trysting with Cynthia (Tenille Houston), a voluptuous yoga instructor, he became jealously aware of Tara's infidelity and their relationship - a deadly love-triangle, he let her go in exchange for a lethal favor.
Young Hot Girl
Swingers Foursome Scene
Screenwriter Andy Bellin's adaptation of Lovelace's 1980 book "Ordeal," directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (their second dramatic feature), told about the infamous porn actress Linda Lovelace turned anti-porn crusader in a little over 90 minutes. It was filled with numerous cameos, '70s clichés, and obvious period-costuming. The film generated lots of publicity but was a major flop - playing in 118 theaters, the movie grossed only $184,000.
The whitewashed biopic shot in grainy 16 mm portrayed aspects of Linda Lovelace's (nee Linda Susan Boreman) life from two different perspectives or time-shifts: first, a straight-forward version, followed by a rendering that illustrated how she was an abused, sexually-assaulted victim. A polygraph verified the facts of her confessional memoirs that she was exploited, degraded, and coerced, although many disavowed her claims that she performed sex-on-camera at gunpoint. Although she became a spokesperson for anti-pornography crusades, some accused her of suffering from "Linda Syndrome" - porn stars who sought acceptance from society by disavowing their pasts.
In real life, Lovelace suffered from hepatitis C (from a blood transfusion), starred in a "looped" stag film about bestiality (Dogarama (1971)), was addicted to pain killers and marijuana, had a liver transplant and a double radical mastectomy - the result of illegal silicone injections she received in 1971. She also gave birth to an illegitimate child at the age of 19 (the child was adopted).
27 year-old Amanda Seyfried starred as the frizzy-haired title character (without resembling her at all), while deglamorized, aging Sharon Stone played her disciplining, domineering Catholic mother Dorothy, and Peter Sarsgaard portrayed her charismatic, opportunistic hustler husband Chuck Traynor. Growing up in suburban Miami as a prudish, sexually-conservative young girl, she was discovered poolside in a bikini by "titty bar" owner Traynor - who soon married her.
Linda's pimping husband in the late 1960s and early 70s, who allegedly forced her into prostitution, procured the starring role for her in the first scripted porno film Deep Throat (1972) - an X-rated film about a fellatio-loving female with her clitoris in the back of her throat. The movie marked a turning point in commercial erotica whereby the focus of sexual pleasure for women became the focus. At a time of "porn chic," the adult film which entertained mainstream audiences grossed about $600 million (the most profitable porn film in cinematic history), while she claimed she was paid only $1,250.
This R-rated account of Lovelace's life was much more talkative about sex than showing anything on-screen (although she was topless during a photoshoot sequence, during an underwater swimming sequence, and in a scene of wedding night lovemaking). Small edits were made to only one sex scene (in which Traynor taught Linda how to perform oral sex) to avoid an NC-17 rating.
Real-Life Linda "Lovelace" (Boreman)
History Overview | Reference Intro | Pre-1920s | 1920-26 | 1927-29 | 1930-1931 | 1932 | 1933 | 1934-37 | 1938-39
1940-44 | 1945-49 | 1950-54 | 1955-56 | 1957-59 | 1960-61 | 1962-63 | 1964 | 1965-66 | 1967 | 1968 | 1969
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1990 | 1991 | 1992-1 | 1992-2 | 1993 | 1994-1 | 1994-2 | 1995-1 | 1995-2 | 1996-1 | 1996-2 | 1997-1 | 1997-2 | 1998-1 | 1998-2 | 1999-1 | 1999-2
2000-1 | 2000-2 | 2001-1 | 2001-2 | 2002-1 | 2002-2 | 2003-1 | 2003-2 | 2004-1 | 2004-2 | 2005-1 | 2005-2 | 2006-1 | 2006-2
2007-1 | 2007-2 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013
Index to All Decades, Years and Features
- History of Sex in CinemaA year-by-year look at the films, scandals and changing laws.
- History of Erotic FilmsEverything you ever wanted to know from the first sex symbol to the birth of porn.
- Movies That Challenged RatingsA ranked movie list of 10 milestone sexy films that challenged the ratings.
- Sexy Hollywood BombshellsA brief history of Hollywood's sirens including Monroe, Mansfield, and Mamie.
- Top 100 Controversial MoviesMany of these included controversial sex and violence.
- Sexiest Films of All-TimeOver 75 of the hottest films in movie history.