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LAST CHANCE to Win a Valentine’s Day Dinner & a Movie from Fandango!

February 1, 2013



Our friends over at FANDANGO want to make your Valentine’s Movie Date Night a hit! And we want you to help us get the word out about our new book, 150 Shades of Play. Fandango wins, we win, and hopefully YOU win too! Here’s how to play:

Between now and Sunday February 10th, include the title 150 Shades of Play along with this link — http://say.ly/pEj4J7E –  in a Tweet or a Facebook Post, let us know you’ve done so, and you’ll be automatically entered to win Fandango’s awesome Date-Night prize:

  • a $100 Visa Gift Card
  • a $30 Fandango Gift Card

Post that link as many times as you like, because the more you post, the more chances you’ll have to win! (Mentioning the book as an excellent Valentine’s Day gift may not help you win the contest, but it will endear you to us for always and ever!) Let us know whenever you Tweet or FB post by immediately emailing a screenshot of the post to us here, including your name and US mailing address (no PO Boxes), which we promise to keep private;  on a Mac, Command+Shiftshift+4 lets you drag and capture an area of the screen; click here for instructions on taking screenshots on either a PC or a Mac. <Don’t skip this part or your post won’t count! The deadline for entry is EOD EST on Sunday, February 10th, 2013. One lucky winner will be drawn at random and announced on our site the next day, with the prize arriving before Valentine’s Day.

While you’re waiting to win the Fandango Movie Date Night prize, check out their VALENTINE’S DAY MOVIE GUIDE for tips on the perfect movie to see together. Supplement your prize (or have a backup if you don’t win) with a cute VALENTINE’S DAY GIFT CARD FROM FANDANGO for your sweetie (see below). And don’t forget to order a copy of 150 SHADES OF PLAY for after the movie!

What’s Your Favorite Incest Plot-Line?

January 17, 2013


Flowers in the Attic

Our Bodies, Ourselves. Judy Blume. Flowers in the Attic. If you grew up in the ’80s, chances are these books had a pretty big impact on your sexual development. In other words, as far as V.C. Andrews’ book goes, you probably have a bit of a thing for incest plot-lines. Forbidden love, up in the attic, with your hot sibling! Swoon. But it’s not the only story to explore the erotic potential of fictional incest. Think Angels and Insects, for example, or all those daytime soaps where two lovers find out they’re actually siblings separated at birth. Bummer for them! Hot for the rest of us!

So, tell us… what other titles belong in this incest genre? It could be a book, movie, TV show, highbrow, lowbrow, whatever. We’ll compile a list and publish it on our site soon. You’re welcome.


Top 10 WTF Sex Scenes

January 15, 2013

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All top ten lists are, by their nature, subjective, but this one is especially so — because one person’s “WTF” sex scene is another person’s monkey spanking material. (Exhibit A: we’d qualify a lot of porn as WTF.)

A few qualifications: David Lynch probably deserves a place in this list (okay, David Lynch definitely deserves a place in this list!), but because we’ve already written an entire post dedicated to his effed up sex scenes, we left him off this time. And LAST TANGO IN PARIS should probably be on here, but we are just so damn sick of talking about that freakin’ butter scene. The SHOWGIRLS pool scene is hilarious and weird and WTF hall of fame-worthy, but we already covered that one, too.

Also, we tried to steer clear of most cinematic depictions of rape, because it didn’t seem right to include those scenes alongside crushed-chicken sex and apple-pie onanism. “WTF” just seems a little too jokey of a response to the graphic violent sexual assault in a movie like IRREVERSIBLE. Oh, and we mostly stayed away from horror movies, too, even though it’s kind of a rule of thumb that the scarier the movie, the more messed up the sex is — we just didn’t have the stomach to go there (if you do, you’ll probably enjoy this list).

Which is not to say that some of the sex in the list below isn’t kill-me-now bleak. In fact, you’ll probably want to rent MARY POPPINS after making it to number one. But just in case you actually want more, check out our earlier post, The 20 Most Disturbing Sex-Themed Movies.

10. CRASH (1996)
James Spader plays a TV commercial producer who enjoys lots of vanilla sex with his wife until he’s involved in a car crash and overnight finds himself aroused by three-car pile-ups and the injuries they cause. Turns out there’s a whole community of people who feel the same way (we suppose this notion was more shocking back in 1996, when there wasn’t an internet chat room for every fetish under the sun). The entire movie is pretty WTF, but the, er, climactic moment occurs when Spader’s character has sex with Rosanna Arquette’s open leg wound. Yep, he did. Please don’t make us type that again.


Does it count as a WTF if it’s a John Waters film? Isn’t his name on the billboard kind of a heads-up? You say, “WTF, I want my money back” and the ticket guy says, “WTF, it’s a John Waters movie, what did you expect?” But even for Waters, the scene where a couple has sex with a live chicken between their bodies is out there. And that’s no rubber chicken. It’s an actual, freshly dead chicken from the butcher shop that gets crushed between them while they do it. We’re pretty sure that chicken didn’t consent to be in a three-way chicken snuff film. (Apparently, the crew ate it afterwards.)


How to pick just one fucked up sex scene from this fucked up road movie that makes FREEWAY look like THE LITTLE MERMAID? Could it be when a teen boy eats his own semen? Or how about when another teen boy is castrated by a pair of garden shears, shortly after a MMF threeway? No, we think the winner is when Rose McGowan’s character is raped with a statue of the virgin Mary. Yep, that’ll do it.


7. AMERICAN PIE (1999)
Masturbation is as American as apple pie! The “feel-good” movie of the year. We’re annoyed at ourselves for including this in the list, but how could we not? That would be like compiling a list of the Top 10 Movie Sex Scenes Involving Dairy Products and leaving out Marlon Brando and the butter.


We will forgive Lea Thompson anything — even her TV show CAROLINE IN THE CITY — because she starred in SOME KIND OF WONDERFUL. But we wonder whether she can forgive herself for starring in HOWARD THE DUCK. In this movie, her character strips down to her underwear and attempts to seduce a talking duck, who is on Earth to stop some kind of alien invader. Check out their flirty banter as they lie in bed together (in other words, Thompson read this script and then agreed to star in this movie):

Howard the Duck (checking out Thompson’s butt in her skimpy undies): “I have developed a greater appreciation for the female version of the human anatomy.”
Thompson: “I can’t seem to find the right man.”
Duck: “Maybe it’s not a MAN you should be looking for.”
Thompson (coy): “Do you think I might find happiness in the animal kingdom, Duckie?”
Duck: “Like they say, doll, love’s strange. We could always give it a try.”

She proceeds to fondle him and his duckie plume gets a hard-on, which he embarrassedly apologizes for like he’s just come all over her thigh. She climbs on top of him and Duckie freaks out and says he can’t do it. “I was just kidding,” she says (riiiight), and then the movie goes on like we weren’t just about to witness Lea Thompson having alien duck sex. For the record, this was a Spielberg and Lucas production. WTF?

Read the rest of this entry »

Our Golden Globies

January 14, 2013


In honor of the Golden Globes last night, we — the Tina Fey and Amy Poehler of the sex writing world — decided to give out our own awards for the evening:

Most Sensual Congratulatory Kiss
Sally Field to Daniel Day Lewis (Best Actor for Lincoln). Her hands cradling his face and their slow gentle lip-on-lip action put his wife’s lifeless kiss two seconds before to shame.

Best Feminist Moment
A tie between:
In her acceptance speech for Best Actress for Zero Dark Thirty, Jessica Chastain thanked director Kathryn Bigelow, saying “You’ve said that filmmaking for you is not about breaking gender roles, but when you make a film that allows your character to disobey the conventions of Hollywood, you’ve done more for women in cinema than you take credit for.”
After President Bill Clinton introduced Lincoln, Amy Poehler said, “What an exciting special guest! That was just Hillary Clinton’s husband! Oh my god!”

Most Awkward Moment
Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement recipient Jodie Foster, in a speech trying desperately to be funny and profound about singledom, sexual orientation and privacy, but just coming across as painfully weird

Worst Fashion Theme
Plunging neckline (almost) down to the belly button, revealing underboob cleavage and making everyone nervous (hopeful?) for a nip slip. Worst offenders: Jessica Chastain & Amy Poehler.

Cutest Couple
Ben Affleck (winner, Best Director & Best Movie for Argo) & Jennifer Garner (presenter of Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical to Hugh Jackman for Les Miz)

Oddest Couple
Jodie Foster & Mel Gibson, there together as BFFs

Worst Shoes
Lena Dunham, winner of both Best Actress in a TV Comedy and Best TV Comedy for Girls. If you cannot walk in your shoes without them making you look like you have polio, either wear some bedazzled Chuck Taylors or go barefoot. Otherwise, it ironically cramps your famous unorthodox, do-it-my-way style. No one can see your shoes in these floor-length ball gowns anyway.

Best Romantic Dis
Tina Fey: “You know what, Taylor Swift? You stay away from Michael J Fox’s son [the Mr. Golden Globe of the evening].”
Amy Poehler: “Or go for it.”
Fey: “No, she needs some me time to learn about herself.”

Best Sexual Dis
Tina Fey: “Quentin Tarantino [who was nominated as Best Director for Django Unchained] is here — the star of all my sexual nightmares.”


Top 10 Worst Lines in Rom Com History

January 8, 2013


Maybe you think that nominating specific lines in romantic comedy as bad is kind of superfluous. But that’s probably because you’re thinking only of Kate Hudson’s oeuvre — and forgetting about, say, ANNIE HALL or MOONSTRUCK. Remember when Nicolas Cage told Cher:

“Loretta, I love you. Not like they told you love is, and I didn’t know this either, but love don’t make things nice — it ruins everything. It breaks your heart. It makes things a mess. We aren’t here to make things perfect. The snowflakes are perfect. The stars are perfect. Not us. Not us! We are here to ruin ourselves and to break our hearts and love the wrong people and die. The storybooks are bullshit. Now I want you to come upstairs with me and get in my bed.”

Man, those lines are as perfect as a snowflake.

And then there’s Nora Ephron (R.I.P.), who single-handedly revolutionized the romantic comedy. The genius of her movies is that there’s something in them for everyone — maybe you swoon over Harry declaring his love for Sally in the middle of a New Year’s Eve party (“I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible.”), or maybe you prefer the oddball humor of the “baby fish mouth” Pictionary scene, or Harry exclaiming in horror, “That’s it? Some faceless guy rips off all your clothes, and THAT’S the sex fantasy you’ve been having since you were twelve?” And do you remember hearing the line “I’ll have what she’s having” for the very first time?

This is what romantic comedy can be, at its best. Below is what it can be at its worst. (By the way, we limited ourselves to romantic comedies, which is why you won’t find such corkers as “Love means never having to say you’re sorry,” from 1970’s LOVE STORY or “Hold me, like you did by the lake on Naboo,” from 2005’s STAR WARS: EPISODE III.)

Em probably shed a tear during each of the scenes below, despite simultaneously rolling her eyes. Lo refuses to admit seeing most of them, but if she did, she rolled her eyes all the way into the back of her head.


Will (Richard Gere): “You don’t want to die! You want to live!
Charlotte (Winona Ryder): “You don’t think I’ve been through this so many times? I don’t want to give people hope when there isn’t any!”
Will: “Why not? Maybe we need hope.”

Oh right, Will — because your need for a little “hope” is more important than Charlotte coming to terms with the fact that she’s fucking dying. And because you’re an aging playboy who finally — at age, what, sixty-something? — fell in love (with someone three decades younger), she’s supposed to pretend she’ll get better just to celebrate the fact that you love her, you really luuuurrrve her? Try picking on someone your own age next time.


Carrie (Andie MacDowell): “Is it still raining? I hadn’t noticed.”

Oh come on. How about if we punched you in the face for saying that? Do you think you’d notice that? Also, any movie that has Hugh Grant choose Andie MacDowell over Kristin Scott Thomas is just plain wrong.


Sara (Kate Beckinsale): “You don’t have to understand. You just have to have faith.”
Jonathan (John Cusack): “Faith in what?”
Sara: “Destiny.”

First of all, this is the most ridiculous plot line we’ve ever heard of — you meet the guy of your dreams and you decide to intentionally lose his number and hope that fate or faith or destiny or some shmaltzy Hollywood screenwriter will deign to bring you back together. And second: we’re pretty sure that not even Meryl Streep could pull off this line… and yet they hired Kate Beckinsale.

7. NOTTING HILL (1999)

Anna Scott (Julia Roberts): “I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her.”

Oh, infantilism, it’s so charming! The only thing that could have made this line worse is if she’d decided to deliver it in baby talk. Oh, and also: you’re a freakin’ movie star! (Anna Scott the character, we mean.) You make millions of dollars. And yet you’re worried that this is a little intimidating to someone of the opposite sex — a little emasculating, even — and so you downplay it all and turn yourself into a giggling schoolgirl. Woman up!

6. HITCH (2005)

Hitch (Will Smith): “Life is not the amount of breaths you take, it’s the moments that take your breath away.”

in a tie with…

Hitch: “Any man, anytime, has the chance to sweep a woman off her feet. He just needs the right broom.”

Did this screenwriter actually go into a Hallmark store and steal lines from fridge magnets and novelty kitchen aprons? Read the rest of this entry »

Top 10 Directors Not Afraid of Nudity

November 26, 2012


If you spend a lot of time analyzing movie sex scenes like we do, you might find yourself rolling your eyes at how many on-screen couples manage to have sex without ever showing any skin…or who fall asleep with a sheet covering them just so…or who always put on a shirt and underpants when they get out of bed to pee, no matter how raunchy things just got. Where’s the nudity? Where’s the raunch?

And even when there is nudity, it isn’t always what it seems: It’s not uncommon these days for actresses to wear band-aids over their nipples during shooting, and then nipples are added later, in CGI (with the actresses’ full permission). We’re not sure what this accomplishes, exactly — except put a bunch of body doubles out of work.

Fortunately, there are still some directors around who are very, shall we say, comfortable with on-screen nudity. And we mean the real kind — not the CGI kind. Only after we finished this top 10 list did we realize it was entirely male, which we suppose shouldn’t surprise us — after all, most of the nudity is female. But we dug up male nudity — or, at least, equal-opportunity nudity — where we could. You’re welcome!

10. Lars Von Trier
Is there anything Lars Von Trier is afraid of when it comes to movie-making? (Except perhaps slapstick humor — we can’t quite see him going with a banana peel gag.) This Danish filmmaker makes very smart films, which might make you feel like less of a perv about all the nudity if the works weren’t also extremely disturbing. He is one of the founders of the purist avant-garde film movement Dogme 95, which shuns special effects and other Hollywood gimmicks — which is perhaps why he’s known for showing unsimulated sex in his films like THE IDIOTS (1998) and ANTI-CHRIST (2009), as well as full-frontal nudity of both the male and female variety. Oh, and his company, Zentropa, also produces hardcore pornography. Who doesn’t have a hardcore porn-producing hobby these days?

9. Judd Apatow
Judd Apatow was so annoyed at a test audience’s squeamish response to a penis in WALK HARD: THE DEWEY COX STORY (2007) –which he wrote and produced — that he announced, “I’m gonna get a penis or a vagina in every movie I do from now on. … It really makes me laugh in this day and age, with how psychotic our world is, that anyone is troubled by seeing any part of the human body.” That might explain the closing-credits penis montage in SUPERBAD (2007), which Apatow produced. “America fears the penis,” he said. “And that’s something I’m going to help them get over.” The offending schlong in WALK HARD — which appears behind John C. Reilly’s head in an orgy scene — made the cut, though from a different angle than the original, to reduce the delicate audience’s exposure to too much ballsac. Apatow also produced FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL (2008), which features Jason Segel’s awesome nude breakup scene.

8. Adrian Lyne
Adrian Lyne’s movies are pretty much synonymous with dark sex — think, 9 ½ WEEKS (1986), INDECENT PROPOSAL (1993), FATAL ATTRACTION (1987), LOLITA (1997), and UNFAITHFUL (2002). But on the set, while shooting nude scenes, Lyne claims the atmosphere is much lighter. He says he sets the mood by acting like a “demented cheerleader,” shouting encouragement like, “Good, good, good. Give me a little more of that. Show me your beast. Water, water! Great!” He’ll even pop a bottle of bubbly to help his actors relax, like when shooting that kitchen sink scene between Glenn Close and Michael Douglas in FATAL ATTRACTION. Directing this sort of thing, he says, is like a “bizarre kind of menage a trois” with the actors.

7. John Waters
Like Lars Von Trier, John Waters is a fan of equal-opportunity, full-frontal nudity and unsimulated sex scenes — but only Waters includes real live chickens between his actors’ bodies while they do it (that was 1972’s PINK FLAMINGOS). And while we find it hard to defend his infamous dog poop scene, we will say that most of his nudity makes a point — his life’s work examines sexuality, homosexuality, and gender issues.

PINK FLAMINGOS was part of a trio that Waters labeled the TRASH TRILOGY, along with FEMALE TROUBLE (1974) and DESPERATE LIVING (1977). These early films are the filthiest and starred his personal troupe of actors known as the Dreamlanders, including Divine and Mink Stole (with names like that, you could hardly expect them to keep their clothes on); he’s also a fan of casting pornstars.

Until THE WIRE came along, John Waters was pretty much the only reason most Americans ever thought about Baltimore.

6. Steven Soderbergh
So there’s no dog poop in Soderbergh’s films, and you probably won’t find any snuffed chickens, either. This director manages to be incredibly racy (e.g. SEX, LIES, and VIDEOTAPE, 1989) while maintaining his mainstream Hollywood status with movies likes CONTAGION, ERIN BROCKOVICH, and the OCEAN’S ELEVEN franchise. You’d think that to achieve this, you’d have to focus exclusively on female nudity — but he just proved this theory wrong with MAGIC MIKE (2012). Okay, sure, there was plenty of female nudity in there, too, but we’ll take it.

In 2009’s THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE, about a Manhattan call girl, Soderbergh tried — unsuccessfully, in our opinion — to prove that pornstar Sasha Grey could actually act. But with that film he did manage to make one of the raciest R-rated movies we’ve ever seen.

His position on this list was almost rescinded for calling his 2002 movie with Julia Roberts and Blaire Underwood “Full Frontal” when it didn’t contain any nudity, let alone full-frontal nudity.

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Top 10 Films That Represent the War on Women

November 16, 2012

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While the topic of women’s rights doesn’t have the box office draw of a bunch of dudes getting wasted at a bachelor party, say, or a bride-to-be getting diarrhea in the middle of the street, there are many excellent movies that cover various aspects of the War on Women (either directly or metaphorically)—workplace discrimination, violence against women, restricted access to abortion, sexual harassment, and all that fun stuff. So when you make a bag of popcorn for one of these movies, not only will you be entertained, you’ll also be spending some quality time thinking about women’s rights. In other words, you can feel virtuous about that time on the couch. You’re welcome!

10. WORKING GIRL (1988)
What was it about the eighties? Sure, we enjoyed ERIN BROCKOVICH kicking ass in a push-up bra in 2000 (especially the “634 sexual favors” scene), and pretty-in-pink Reese Witherspoon certainly put a few sexist lawyers in their place in 2000’s LEGALLY BLONDE. But for a comedy about women not being taken seriously in the workplace—whether it’s due to their looks, their background, their catty and competitive female boss, etc.—you can’t beat WORKING GIRL, with Melanie Griffith riding the Staten Island ferry to the tune of Carly Simon’s “Let the River Run.” The film almost (almost) convinced us that actress Melanie Griffith is just pretending to be a total airhead. Of course, this being the eighties, the kick-ass heroine spends a remarkable amount of time in her skivvies, and says things like, “I have a head for business and a bod for sin. Is there anything wrong with that?” Okay, Jessica Rabbit. Still, we are forever indebted to this film for reminding men everywhere that itchy scratchy “sexy” lingerie is not at the top of most women’s birthday wish lists.

9. ANTICHRIST (2009)
In the world of director Lars Von Trier, the battle of the sexes is a literal one—gory, violent, and almost unbearable to watch. ANTICHRIST was a polarizing film: some viewers found it unforgivably misogynistic, while others found it a gorgeous meditation on guilt, grief, and sex—and the intertwining of the three. It’s an arthouse horror film, which means you get smashed testicles (Willem Defoe’s) and a self-butchered clitoris (Charlotte Gainsbourg’s), and yet the violence is meant to serve a higher purpose: demonstrating the meaningless of everything. Or maybe it’s a lesson in just desserts for a man who is obnoxiously sure he knows what’s best for his little wife. Either way, Von Trier’s message is clear: the battle of the sexes will not end well for anyone. In case you need another reminder—less bloody, but emotionally, just as gory—may we suggest IN THE COMPANY OF MEN (1997). ANTICHRIST airs Friday November 16th at 12 am on the Sundance Channel.

8. THE ACCUSED (1988)
THE ACCUSED did more to undermine the “she was asking for it” bullshit rape “defense” than any other movie to date. In it, Jodie Foster (who won the Best Actress Oscar that year) plays Sarah Tobias, a poor, uneducated woman who goes to a bar in a mini skirt, gets high, and then gets gang-raped, while a bunch of other men cheer on the attack. If you came of age around the time this movie was released, as we did, you probably still get chills remembering it. (Which is probably why the 2007 movie THE BRAVE ONE got made. It wasn’t anything to write home about, but how awesome was it watching Jodie Foster grab a gun to avenge her own sexual assault and the murder of her husband? Pretty awesome, if you ask us.) THE ACCUSED is the ne plus ultra of rape movies; other titles lean more toward the rape-and-revenge genre—so satisfying to watch, even if feminist critics are divided on the topic. Some of our favorites in this area are THELMA AND LOUISE (1991), THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (2011), IRREVERSIBLE (2002), RAPE ME (2000), EXTREMITIES (1986), and SUDDEN IMPACT (1983), the Dirty Harry film that spawned the catchphrase, “Go ahead, make my day.”

7. BLUE VELVET (1986)
Is Isabella Rossellini, as nightclub singer Dorothy Vallens, a femme fatale, a damsel in distress, a symbol of domestic violence, or the Oedipal mother every son secretly wants to fuck? And does Kyle MacLachlan, as college student Jeffrey, want to save Dorothy or fuck her or hit her or be mothered by her—or all of the above? It depends on which critic you ask. Suffice it say, this role conveys the incredibly complicated relationship Hollywood (and beyond) has with female sexuality. In the end, Jeffrey falls for sweet-faced Sandy (Laura Dern), who dreams about robins as a sign of hope. Which certainly didn’t earn David Lynch any Feminist of the Year awards. Still, it’s hard to blame someone for choosing robins after they’ve lived in Lynch’s world for a while.

Sometimes the war on women is perpetrated by an army of one, a person who is supposed to love and honor his wife/girlfriend. Recent statistics suggest that one in four women has experienced domestic violence and that between one and three million women experience abuse by a former or current partner every year. Which makes this 1984 made-for-tv movie — starring Farrah Fawcett and based on a 1980 non-fiction book — still depressingly relevant. It tells the story of the thirteen years of brutal abuse Francine Hughes suffered at the hands of her husband before she set fire to their house, killed him and was ultimately found not guilty for it by reason of temporary insanity. It’s one of the most realistic and therefore chilling portrayals of domestic violence made for the screen, small or big. For better or worse, Hollywood can’t seem to get enough of domestic violence storylines. To list just a few: WHAT’S LOVE GOT TO DO WITH IT, ONCE WERE WARRIORS, BOYS ON THE SIDE, SLEEPING WITH THE ENEMY, THE COLOR PURPLE, ENOUGH, FRIED GREEN TOMATOES, KINDERGARTEN COP (seriously!), RAGING BULL, THIS BOY’S LIFE, WHERE THE HEART IS… Man, we’re depressed just reciting that list.

Read the rest of this entry »

Rosemary’s Baby Could Have Been Made in 2012

November 2, 2012


ROSEMARY’S BABY is part of Sundance Channel’s SCARY POLITICS series — it airs on Election Day, November 6th, at 9PM, at which point we’ll know if progressive values prevailed or if Satan won.

You hear a lot these days about Republicans rolling back women’s rights all the way to the ’50s and ’60s: vowing to defund Planned Parenthood; to allow employers to decide whether or not their female employees can have their contraception covered; to put the rights of an embryo above those of a woman via the Personhood Amendment; to outlaw all abortions, even in cases of rape, incest, and threats to not only the health but the life of the mother. They won’t even commit to laws ensuring equal pay for women doing the same work as men!

Take the viral video recently making the rounds, featuring the classic women’s lib anthem from 1964, “You Don’t Own Me” by Lesley Gore. After a variety of women (some famous, some not) lip sync all the lyrics (“Don’t tell me what to do…I love to be free to live my life the way that I want”), Gore says to the camera, “It’s hard for me to believe, but we’re still fighting for the same things we were [in the 60s]. Yes ladies, we’ve got to come together, get out there and vote, and protect our bodies. They’re ours. Please vote.”

Another piece of ’60s pop culture that’s scarily relevant to today’s political landscape is a film now airing on the Sundance Channel: the 1968 classic horror film ROSEMARY’S BABY, based on the bestselling 1967 novel of the same name, which tells the tale of a young woman who’s tricked into conceiving the Devil’s spawn in late 1965. (The baby’s due in June of the next year, get it? Born 6/66!) “You Don’t Own Me” could have been its theme song.

The film is directed by Roman Polanski, who isn’t exactly the poster boy for the feminist freedom fight against injustice (he’s still wanted in the U.S. for unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl when he was 43, back in 1978). And yet ROSEMARY’S BABY is a perfect expression of the growing feminist movement of the ’60s: it captures the tension between the old-school traditions of a patriarchy built on female subjugation and the new-found power and will of the modern woman who is curious, smart, and fiercely independent.

At the start of the film, Rosemary Woodhouse is actually pretty old-school herself: a naive, Catholic, country girl who’s now a homemaker in the big city, married to a D-list actor whom she dotes on. He walks in the door, and she’s got a sandwich ready for him. But when he and his newfound besties, a geriatric couple who live next door, start controlling her every move, including every aspect of her pregnancy, she starts getting suspicious — and starts fighting back.

The craziest thing about this movie — besides the Satanic orgy with all the naked AARP members — is how many scenes call to mind topical political issues of today:

Read the rest of this post on the SUNDANCE CHANNEL blog.


Top 10 Sexual Extremes in Film

October 19, 2012


This list originally ran here on the SUNDANCE CHANNEL.

Some things to keep in mind about our list: To make the cut, the films actually had to have some redeeming qualities (so, sorry BOXING HELENA and HUMAN CENTIPEDE!). We tried to pick films that represented ten different extremes — after all, variety is the spice of (sex) life! And while some of the “extremes” in this list are indeed criminal, others are simply lifestyle choices — and in no way do we mean to impugn the latter by including alongside the former.

Have fun walking on (the cliff edge of) the wild side!



Catherine Deneuve, fabulously dressed in outfits designed by the then-little-known Yves St. Laurent, stars as an upper-class, Parisian housewife who can’t bring herself to have sex with her husband when he comes home at night — but fucking strangers for money at the local brothel in the afternoons seems to be no problem. (“Belle de jour” is the French term for a day lily, which only blooms during the day.) Some might think the story was boundary-pushing for its time, but get this: it’s based on a novel published in 1928! Directed by Luis Bunuel, promoted by Martin Scorsese for its 2002 DVD-release, and ranked #56 in Empire magazine’s list The 100 Best Films of World Cinema.

Runner Up in the Prostitution Category: VIVRE SA VIE



Non-monogamy often gets a bad wrap, and BREAKING THE WAVES doesn’t exactly reverse that trend. When a Norwegian oil-rig worker breaks his neck and loses his ability to perform sexually, he encourages his simple-minded wife to take new lovers and report back about her escapades. As her affairs grow more deviant and his recovery improves, she mistakes correlation for causation. Needless to say about a Lars von Trier film, it does not end well. Called one of the 10 best films of the 1990s by both Roger Ebert and Martin Scorsese.




This is probably the least Sundance-y inclusion on our list (thanks to the nail-in-the-penis footage), and yet it was indeed a Sundance Film Festival documentary.  In fact, it won a Special Jury Prize. SICK details Flanagan’s use of masochism not only for sexual gratification, but for regaining some control over his body, which was ravaged — and ultimately defeated by — by cystic fibrosis.

Runner Up in the Masochism Category: THE PIANO TEACHER


CRASH (1996)

Not to be confused with the 2004 Academy Award winner for best picture about race relations in L.A. No, this 90s movie — based J. G. Ballards’s 1973 novel of the same name, directed by David Cronenberg and starring James Spader and Holly Hunter — is all about symphorophilia: sexual arousal from staging and watching a disaster. In this case: car crashes. It received crazy mixed reviews: Roger Ebert gave it 4 out of 4 stars; we gave it a big goose egg for making soda come out our noses during the ridiculous sex scenes. Still, it won the Special Jury Prize at Cannes that year. Go figure.

Runner Up in the Paraphilia Category: Pixar’s CARS (just kidding)



This is probably the closet thing you’ll ever get to a lighthearted film about incest, except for maybe THE HOTEL NEW HAMPSHIRE (but with that, the incest was just a side plot, so it doesn’t count). Still, SPANKING is pretty dark — which is to be expected when your main character ends up in a sexual relationship he’s not happy about with his own mother (we mean, if he were happy about it, that’d be a whole ‘nother story). It won the Audience Award at Sundance and the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay.

Runners Up in the Incest Category: THE WAR ZONE and THE HOUSE OF YES


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This I Believe: Slow Kisses, High Fiber, Soft-Core Porn, Baseball

October 9, 2012


Bull Durham (1988)

We were listening to the “This I Believe“ show on our local public radio station a few days ago — “This I Believe” is an international organization that gets people to discuss their core values, and is based on the popular 1950s radio series of the same name, hosted by Edward R. Murrow. They have over 100,000 essays archived on the site and new episodes appear via public radio or podcast every week. Occasionally the essays are inspiring, but they can be a little insipid, too — and we were reminded of two of the best — though unofficial — I Believe speeches in the history of movies… both in Bull Durham, the 1988 baseball movie starring Kevin Costner, Susan Sarandon, and Tim Robbins. We only wish this kind of I Believe moment would occur on public radio every now and then.

Susan Sarandon plays Annie, a Minor League baseball groupie who chooses one player a season to have an affair with; in the movie, she has to decide between rookie pitcher Ebby (Tim Robbins, hilarious as a himbo) and Crash, the veteran catcher assigned to him (Kevin Costner). She’s got her own internal moral code for her sex life (e.g. she tells Crash, “Despite my rejection of most Judeo-Christian ethics, I am, within the framework of the baseball season, monogamous”) and this is how she describes her beliefs:

“I believe in the Church of Baseball. I’ve tried all the major religions, and most of the minor ones. I’ve worshipped Buddha, Allah, Brahma, Vishnu, Siva, trees, mushrooms, and Isadora Duncan. I know things. For instance, there are 108 beads in a Catholic rosary and there are 108 stitches in a baseball. When I heard that, I gave Jesus a chance. But it just didn’t work out between us. The Lord laid too much guilt on me. I prefer metaphysics to theology. You see, there’s no guilt in baseball, and it’s never boring… which makes it like sex. There’s never been a ballplayer slept with me who didn’t have the best year of his career. Making love is like hitting a baseball: you just gotta relax and concentrate. Besides, I’d never sleep with a player hitting under .250… not unless he had a lot of RBIs and was a great glove man up the middle. You see, there’s a certain amount of life wisdom I give these boys. I can expand their minds. Sometimes when I’ve got a ballplayer alone, I’ll just read Emily Dickinson or Walt Whitman to him, and the guys are so sweet, they always stay and listen. ‘Course, a guy’ll listen to anything if he thinks it’s foreplay. I make them feel confident, and they make me feel safe, and pretty. ‘Course, what I give them lasts a lifetime; what they give me lasts 142 games. Sometimes it seems like a bad trade. But bad trades are part of baseball – now who can forget Frank Robinson for Milt Pappas, for God’s sake? It’s a long season and you gotta trust it. I’ve tried ‘em all, I really have, and the only church that truly feeds the soul, day in, day out, is the Church of Baseball.”

Later, she asks Crash what he believes in, and this is how he responds. It’s almost — almost — enough to make us like the word “pussy”:

“Well, I believe in the soul, the cock, the pussy, the small of a woman’s back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap. I believe Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. I believe there ought to be a constitutional amendment outlawing Astroturf and the designated hitter. I believe in the sweet spot, soft-core pornography, opening your presents Christmas morning rather than Christmas Eve and I believe in long, slow, deep, soft, wet kisses that last three days.”