Having trouble trying to get to sleep one night, I knew I could count on the TV to help me overcome that problem, but I actually came across a rather decent documentary of Hollywood's love and hate attitude throughout the golden age of cinema to today's market with the somewhat embarrassing or outrageous word - SEX. In this 100-minute feature (that's narrated in a steamy female voice) we get many snippets of infamous sexual films or acts within them that had a huge impact on Hollywood's progression throughout the times. Ranging from that of the suggestive sexuality of the 30's and 40's with their seductive sirens of the big screen (Monroe and Mansfield) and also the stunning pinups. The 50s cheeky pop culture with its sexual innuendo and very lovely starlet Brigitte Bardot. The carefree 60s with its spirited love and erotic acts provided some sex symbols of the screen - like Sean Connery (for 007 fame) and Elizabeth Taylor. Then there's the 70s where it went gangbusters with its boldly raw exploitation transformation with hard-core porn, skin flicks and that of Blaxploitation films. Definitely the high point in the growth market with names like Russ Meyer, Raquel Welch and Jane Fonda. But in the 80s exploitation was pretty much underground. Throughout the 80s it looks basically at teen sex comedies and through the 90s was that of sexual violence and domination. We get a bit of the teen targeted films were sexuality really opened up again with the likes Wild things, Swimfan and Cruel Intentions and then the adult takes in Boogie Nights and The Ice Storm. Then we come to 2000 were there's some clips and thoughts are on the jokey sex comedies that flooded the screens.
We get a lot insight and random revelations about that of the church's influence on Hollywood, how film-noir crafted it own touch, that of the production code, how Hollywood compares with the European market, the rating system that was introduced in the 60s, the uproar on the Cleopatra fiasco between Taylor and Burton, Vampire and lesbian craze for tempting flesh, the controversial aspects of same sex love stories and how AIDs came to the forefront. Plus the introduction of the NC-17 tag. But the big question was how should they approach this interesting theme? Obviously with an open-mind.
The directors, actors, film critics, authors, journalists and historians are all familiar here and they discuss throughout their thoughts or about their involvement in such films (we see) that seem to ruffle feathers of the politically correct who see sex as some sacred taboo that should say behind close doors compared to say violence. But for Hollywood sex is a big money drawer as it tempts us into fantasy mode, but more often they seem to promise more then they actually deliver and play it safe (well, with the odd exception).
Some (yeah there's a lot) of the films we see bits of pieces or learn something about are:
Ecstasy. Lolita. Pleyton Place. Butterfield 8. Cleopatra. Dr. No. Marnie. Who's Afraid of Virginia Wolf? A Guide for a Married man. Valley of the Dolls. The Graduate. Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice. The Boys in the Band. Midnight Cowboy. 100 Rifles. Vixen. Beyond the Valley of the Dolls. The Blue Lagoon. Myra Breckinridge. Last Tango in Paris. The groundbreaking 'Deep throat'. The Rocky Horror Picture Show. The infamous 'Caligula'. Don't Look Now. Risky Business. All the Right Moves. Cruising. Fatal Attraction. Basic Instinct. Henry and June. Boys Don't Cry. The Ice Storm. Boogie Nights. There's Something about Mary. American Pie and Unfaithful.
Those above are more from the 60s and onwards. I'll be damn trying to remember everyone. Sure there are some noticeable stuff that aren't evident (like that of De Palma and Eastwood's Play Misty for me), but since it clocks up 100 minutes you'll know definitely some stuff would be on the cutting room floor. Most of the interviews are interesting in what they got to say, but some get more screen time then others and actually from those ones who had small parts they probably could've added more of a variety to the mix if given the chance.
It was a fair watch that provided some informative facts and amusing thoughts from those involved, but again I wouldn't really go out of my way to see it.
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