The MEDIA SHOW: Sex and the Cinema
THEMED EDITITION: SEX ON SCREEN Key Interviews with: Paul Verhoeven (film director); David Thompson (critic); Diane Kurys (film director); Adrian Lyne (director); ITEM 1 USA: SEX, CENSORSHIPAND CERTIFICATES Report on furore caused by the decision to downgrade Phillip Kaufman's latest film, 'Henry and June', from the adults-only X (=porn), as first suggested, to the new NC-17 category. Kaufman's previous, and narratively-similar film 'The Unbearable Lightness of Being' (1987) was given an R certificate. Does the different treatment show a liberalizing attitude, or residual doubts about a film attempting to explain the sexual desires and experiences of a female protagonist? Additional interviews with: Phillip Kaufman and Rose Kaufman (director and co-screenwriters, 'Henry & June'); Elizabeth Wilson (critic/author) ITEM 2 SHOOTING SEX SCENES: TRADE SECRETS What makes a scene erotic or 'sexy'? How do directors (and actors) handle these difficult scenes? Is it possible to find a new way of filming a love scene? Is it more erotic if you see less? Interviews with: Adrian Lyne (director, 'Fatal Attraction', '9½ weeks'); Ken Russell (director, 'Crimes of Passion'); Diane Kurys (director, 'A Man in Love') ITEM 3 SEX, HOLLYWOOD AND EUROPE Unlike cinema in Europe, American cinema and society has always had a problem in dealing with sex - until Marlon Brando broke through a hidden taboo in 'Last Tango in Paris' and showed that American stars could handle roles that treated sex and sexuality honestly and with feeling. Additional interview: Kurt Honeycutt (critic) ITEM 4 SEX, RELIGION AND AIDS In America the religious 'moral majority' continues to drive the opposition to sex scenes in film - unless the sex in question is shown as wrong, dangerous and leading to moral or physical punishment. This dual standard characterized the US certification of films in the 1980s. In the 1990s the new fear of AIDS has strengthened Hollywood's uncertainties and reinforced an underlying fear of sexual expression. Additional interview: Kenneth McKinnon (Lecturer in film studies); Andrea Stuart (author)
Sex and the cinema, in the light of feminism, gay politics and AIDS, how are filmmakers aproaching on-screen sex?