Friday, December 16, 2005
Top 10: Sex Scenes
Every Friday, when I ask Jess what my Top 10 subject should be, she responds, "sex scenes." I've been avoiding it, as I am a shy cat, but as I'm at a loss for ideas today, why not. Beats a "Christmas movies" list.
1. Don't Look Now (1973) - Director Nicolas Roeg cuts between a husband and wife making love and getting ready to go out for the evening. The couple has recently lost a daughter; the juxtaposition of their downright creative sex and the small, loving gestures they exchange afterwords heighten the melancholy romance that sets this apart from other horror movies. It's often been speculated that then-couple Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie are actually having sex in this scene; that there's even a question is a testament to the scene's believability.
2. Last Tango in Paris (1972) - The butter scene is the most-referenced (often by hack stand-ups), but my favorite scene is the early one when Paul (Marlon Brando) and Jeanne (Maria Schneider) first meet in a vacant apartment. The scene, which exists somewhere between lovemaking and rape, is reminiscent of the Francis Bacon paintings seen during the opening credits - it's stark and brutally honest. Neither actor is naked, but both seem completely exposed.
3. Y Tu Mama Tambien (2001) - I wanted to cheer the first time I saw the climax (how unfortunate that no equally fitting word exists) of Alfonso Cuaron's film, which blows wide open the gender politics that have been simmering under the surface throughout.
4. Wild at Heart (1990) - Easily the sexiest movie on this list. It's hard to pick just one sex scene - the sex is really more of a subplot here - but David Lynch employs rock music and a remarkable use of color that leaves us as much in love with Sailor (Nicolas Cage) and Lula (Laura Dern) as they are with one another.
5. American Psycho (2000) - Conversely, the funniest sex scene on this list. Patrick Bateman (Christian Bale)'s videotaped menage a trois with two call girls to Phil Collins' "Sussudio" not only works as a critique of the character's emptiness, it's also just wonderfully ridiculous.
6. A Clockwork Orange (1971) - The fast-motion three-way between Alex (Malcolm McDowell) and two underaged girls, scored to the "William Tell Overture," probably shouldn't be as funny as it is. Kubrick is easily my favorite perv (well, second favorite).
7. American Beauty (1999) - "Fuck me, your majesty!"
8. Videodrome (1983) - James Woods. Deborah Harry. Piercings. Hallucinations. Not the sexiest entry on this list, but possibly the most memorable.
9. The Man Who Fell to Earth (1976) - David Bowie's penis.
10. The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) - I'd like to know exactly why our lord and savior getting busy is so offensive. Seriously.
Feel free to get awkward on the comments board.