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  1. Avatar Kimmi
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    says:

    **there may be conflicts of interest inherent in this piece, either known or unknown. Watch at your own pleasure, or just enjoy the review.Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird
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    says:

    One of the biggest (problems? limitations? issues?) is that it is so very difficult to make sex sexy on screen. Sure, you can make it porny… and, sure, that’s very exciting in the moment, but the second it’s over, ugh. Put it away. (I remember a quotation made by someone else that I can’t find now but… paraphrased, it was something to the effect of “when you watch porn for five minutes, you really want to have sex but when you watch it for twenty, you never want to have sex again.”)

    It’s all-too-easy to create *THAT*. But sexy? When you’re only limited to two senses? A few years back, when reviewing “Lust, Caution”, Slate movie critic Dana Stevens had an observation that said: Most on-screen sex scenes could be replaced by a title card reading, “And then they had sex.”

    When what you might imagine would have happened is likely to be in the ballpark of more sexy than what they show you on screen? You’re better off with the title card.

    As such, it’s probably a lot easier to be less subtle and do what people do in real life and use sex as a metaphor for connecting, or alienation, or loss, or selfishness, or power, or powerlessness, or loneliness, or whathaveyou. When you don’t do that, you pretty much just end up with a Cinemax After Dark kinda film at best.

    50 Shades seems like it’s going to be a big-budget Cinemax After Dark kinda film.Report

    • Avatar Kolohe in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      This past week’s The Americans had a fortiutious air date, in that it coincided with the marketing driven hype over FSoG. As it had one scene that was masterfully acted and directed, which was an excellent demonstration of how you film of love and pain, with more than a bit of sublimated eroticism. (but with no actual sex – which the show hasn’t been shy about showing in its run, pushing the limits of basic cable in that regard). (it was definitely a tough scene to watch, regardless)Report

    • Avatar Kimmi in reply to Jaybird
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      says:

      You really are trying to get me to review School Days, aren’t you?
      A skilled writer understands the value of understatement — of letting and leaving it to your imagination.
      In visual form, that’s a sheet, or a rocking car (or boat), or just looking at people’s feet.

      Pornography is deliberately designed to be both a bit addicting and a bit boring. After all, they want you to buy more more more…

      Also, people have triggers — what really “gets them off” about sex. You’d be surprised at what a TV writer can do with a woman trapped in a fur coat (oh, nothing overtly sexual, I promise).Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Kimmi
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        says:

        Well, I was trying to think of what could possibly get people to feel the (good, happy, romantic) equivalent of punched in the gut by a sex scene and couldn’t come up with much of anything.

        Then, because I’m That Guy, I was listening to “These Are Days” (by 10,000 Maniacs) and found the sort of thing I was talking about.

        It’s from 1:32-1:40 (but *ESPECIALLY* 1:37-1:40).

        Sex is so intimate that movies have to use it as either exploitation or a metaphor. You just can’t capture the weird fluttery stuff with sex. Since the weird fluttery stuff is available in a handful of other experiences, better to use one of those. It might actually work.Report

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