May 28, 2013

Too much gay sex?

1. Steven Soderbergh is asserting that all the movie studios turned down his Liberace biopic "Behind the Candelabra" (now playing on HBO) because it was "too gay." This is a story of a wealthy 58-year-old entertainer going after an 18-year-old guy and it includes explicit scenes depicting anal intercourse — 2 elements that major studios might reject even in heterosexual love stories, but crying homophobia may work to lure in the very viewers who would be repelled by old+young and anal sex in a heterosexual love story.

2. Meanwhile, at the Cannes Film Festival, the Palme D'Or went to "Blue Is the Warmest Color," which has "intensely erotic, incredibly realistic, quite lengthy, and almost certainly unsimulated sex scenes" with 2 women:
I clocked the first sex scene between Adèle and Emma — replete with fingering, licking, and, as a friend called it, "impressive scissoring" — at an approximate ten minutes. Audience walkouts began around minute nine. That turned into spontaneous applause (and relieved laughter), when the women climaxed and finished a minute later. Was that scene, and the many other graphic, erotic moments to follow, "necessary to tell the story?" Film.com's Jordan Hoffman asked in his review. "Please believe the part of my brain that doesn’t house a lecherous voyeur when I say yes, absolutely."
What's going on?

ADDED: The more a movie approaches pornography, the more viewers are justified in deciding what they want to watch based on their own sexual proclivities.

AND: There's a point — and it may be different for different viewers — where a movie becomes pornography. At that point, you might walk out, as some people did at "Blue Is the Warmest Color." But let's say you like watching pornography. Still, you might prefer to watch it at home and in private. And you might get impatient with the excessive dramatic scenes around the sexually explicit parts. In "Blue Is the Warmest Color," I see that "[t]heir relationship falls apart because of subtle differences in social class and ambition." Well, that sounds awfully tedious by porn standards! And if it's porn, of course, you get to reject the actors — like Michael Douglas as Liberace — whose bodies are not sexually stimulating to you. That's not anti-gay. That's your own sexual preference, which you are entitled to.

IN THE COMMENTS: Misinforminimalism says it's "worth noting":
1. The protagonist is 15.
2. This is based on a graphic novel (i.e., a comic) that was far less graphic than the movie. Tells you something about the director.
3. The movie's 183 minutes long, so perhaps the ten minute sex scene leaves nearly 3 hours to develop the plot so it's all ok?
4. Did I mention the protagonist is 15? 
I had not noticed the age in this movie. As I said up there at #1, accusations of homophobia may be used to pressure us not to numb ourselves to something that we would otherwise object to.

171 comments:

Rusty said...

All I know is that Game of thrones wasn't on.

alwaysfiredup said...

It's simple, Alt-H: When you start tearing down social norms, there's no natural endpoint. The Bible used to be a convenient backstop to further moral deterioration, but that's considered primitive now. Modern secular liberalism has no morality and believes that anything one wants to do, one should be able to do. This is just more in that vein.

ricpic said...

Mr. Soderbergh, my anus is ready for its close-up now.

Michael K said...

I am certainly no prude with a couple of divorces to my credit (?) but I still prefer the old movies where the sex scenes were in your imagination. In Casablanca, it is obvious that Rick and Ilsa had had sex just as it was obvious (and implied) that Sam Spade and Miss Wonderly, in Maltese Falcon, had had sex when she says "You'd do this to me ?"

If I want pornography, and sometimes I'm in the mood for it, it's free on the internet.

AprilApple said...

Hollywood out of ideas.
Pornography going mainstream.

Seeing Red said...

All I'm going to say on the Liberace bio is who cares now?

His audience is dead, the age group that remembers him on Batman might not even care.

So Liberace was a chickenhawk?

Ewwwwww.

YoungHegelian said...

I remember Liquid Sky (1982) having a pretty impressive lesbian scissoring scene for a theatrical release.

C'mon, a 10 minute lesbian sex scene? That's a porn film. Stop lying about it.

Rose said...

1. They've had to up the ante in the shock-factor category.

2. No one dares cry foul anymore, so they'll get away with what could never be done in the 'hetero' realm.

3. Our society is dangerously schizophrenic, with anything goes and excessive prudery and censorship co-existing. Kid's programming is affected too, with Lena Dunham wannabes involved in production, bored and rudderless, with no bounds keeping things clean.

Chef Mojo said...

Remember when George Lucas was whining that it was tough to make Red Tails and get it distributed because of rampant racism in Hollywood?

I detect a pattern here.

Chip S. said...

What's going on?

Are you asking why straights find lesbian sex scenes more watchable than gay scenes?

I dunno, but I'm sure some evolutionary biologist can concoct a story that fits.

SteveR said...

I liked the original versions of Blue Is the Warmest Color's "intensely erotic, incredibly realistic, quite lengthy, and almost certainly unsimulated sex scenes". I understand there are websites where they can be viewed.

Mitchell the Bat said...

If scissoring dependably results in simultaneous orgasms then I'm getting a sex change and becoming a lesbian.

Misinforminimalism said...

Worth noting...
1. The protagonist is 15.
2. This is based on a graphic novel (i.e., a comic) that was far less graphic than the movie. Tells you something about the director.
3. The movie's 183 minutes long, so perhaps the ten minute sex scene leaves nearly 3 hours to develop the plot so it's all ok?
4. Did I mention the protagonist is 15?

Sigivald said...

Part of it might be that nobody actually cares about Liberace.

Sorun said...

"Scissor me timbers!"

AllenS said...

Sex between two women is like erotic. Sex between two men is like yuck.

John Gout said...

The butt sex mafia strikes again. It's to the point that I'm afraid to leave my house.

YoungHegelian said...

Back in the evil 80's, I also saw Fassbinder's Querelle.

I saw the film with my wife & a female friend. After the film ended the female friend turned to me & said "You know, that film taught me more about the mechanics of gay male sex than I ever really wanted to know."

Ignorance is Bliss said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sorun said...

"but crying homophobia may work to lure in the very viewers who would be repelled..."

Straight women who get a feel-good buzz for being hip and "tolerant." The same women Hillary will rely on. You go girl!

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Too much gay sex?

Considering your two examples:

Example 1: Yes.
Example 2: No.

If I didn't have double standards, I'd have no standards at all.

Methadras said...

All this is, is the normalization of pornography. The softcore pseudo porn on TV isn't enough anymore. However, why the fuck would anyone want to go see Michael Dougless and Matt Damon pretend to be Liberace and his boy toy? Do we really care about Liberace's struggles to bed young boys? Maybe we need to see another shot of him standing up from his piano in front of his audience and flair out one of his massive capes like dracula. This is just lurid shock for the sake of it. Oh NOES!!! Buttsecks!!!

YoungHegelian said...

@Sorun,

Straight women who get a feel-good buzz for being hip and "tolerant.

Or, rather, straight women who feel a strong need to have their sexual urges pass social validation before they can act on them, which is why we have Lena Dunham. "Sex & the City", and all them shades of gray!

Icepick said...

but crying homophobia may work to lure in the very viewers who would be repelled by old+young and anal sex in a heterosexual love story.

Yes, people will flock to depictions of old men butt-fucking young men because if they don't they'll be called homophobes. What a marketing plan!

Darrell said...

Men like to see two women. Men also like to see a hundred women. Pretty much any non-zero positive integer would make the statement equally true.

Paddy O said...

Liberace was gay?

Jay said...

but crying homophobia may work to lure in the very viewers who would be repelled by old+young and anal sex in a heterosexual love story.


Or, not.

Icepick said...

Mr. Soderbergh, my anus is ready for its close-up now.

Does your anus have a tattoo? [WARNING: NSFW!]*

* THat has to be the most unneeded NSFW warning ever.

ADDED: Also, who is surprised that the Huffington Post is THE "go-to" site for anal tattoo stories?

John Gout said...

If you disagree you're a HOMOPHOBE!!!!!!!! And probably a RACIST too!!!!!!

Darrell said...

Over the weekend, I stumbled across a Youtube player that had legitimate ballet and contemporary dance performances, all featuring nudity. It had fifty-something clips. I watched them all. Dancers are wonderful to watch. Nude dancers are better still. More research is needed.

Lem said...

The more a movie approaches pornography, the more viewers are justified in deciding what they want to watch based on their own sexual proclivities.

You always want to look for a bigger bang for your buck... as Ben Bernanke would say.

Icepick said...

"Scissor me timbers!"

Damn, I wish I had thought of that....

cassandra lite said...

Then there's the inconvenient fact that, in a movie theater, you can't beat off. Just ask Pee-wee.

cubanbob said...

Classy art-house porn is still porn. Skip the porn and make it an interesting story. Or skip the arty stuff and go straight porn. The producers and directors need to figure out who the intended audience is.

Robert Cook said...

"I remember Liquid Sky (1982) having a pretty impressive lesbian scissoring scene for a theatrical release."

Hmmm...I don't remember that. I'll have to watch it again. I do remember the protagonist as a serial victim of emotional and physical assault by all around her, even by those who were purportedly her friends and loved ones. If the scissoring scene you recall was with her and her lesbian lover, (the bitter performance artist we see singing in a club near the beginning), I recall thinking that was less a scene of two lovers making love than a rape, (just as the protagonist is literally raped at another point by a male character who is played by...the same actress being raped!)

A friend who saw it with me when it was still showing as a midnight film at the Waverly Theater in NYC, (now the IFC Film Center), said he thought it was such a lively, colorful, fun movie. I was shocked! I very much like and admire the film and have seen it several times, (and have it on dvd), but the film depicts a milieu filled with narcissistic, abusive, hateful people who are damaged and who do damage to others in turn. In short, it is a sort of horror film, (albeit with dark comedy). I can't help but see it as a film about the "beautiful people" in New York's downtown of the time, in other words, it's a film about heroin addicts.

Robert Cook said...

I thought BEHIND THE CANDELABRA was wonderful and funny, if ultimately sad.

Paddy O said...

This reminds me a bit of the responses to George Bush, who was portrayed as, paradoxically, both a blithering idiot unable to speak a sentence and a diabolic genius putting his nefarious plans into action.

Sexuality is portrayed as deeply ingrained in our being, defining our very self, the impulse to which everything else must bow. And also no big deal, just something people do, some people do it differently, get over your hang-ups.

Sexual hang-ups are both everything and nothing. Both defining identity and unrelated to a person's psychological health.

So, the deep repulsion most men have for watching other men have sex with each, based on the utterly primal sexual drive for procreation with women, is supposed to be simply put aside. For the sake of art, of course. Because sex is meaningless, so get over the primal repulsion. By watching it we want to somehow affirm that sex is everything, defining Liberace and shaping his very essence. Gay is identity, heterosexuality is just another form of colonialism.

All and nothing at the same time. very postmodern. But most people can't and don't want to live with those contradictory goals in mind.

Unknown said...

The Liberace movie just isn't very good. Sort of a flatline. Just the uninteresting story of a old queen leching after a pretty boy opportunist.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lem said...

10 years ago, Vincent Gallo put in a very graphic oral sex scene in his movie and reviewers trashed it.

Maybe every 10 years or so they are going to push water to test the envelope.

YoungHegelian said...

@RC,

If the scissoring scene you recall was with her and her lesbian lover, (the bitter performance artist we see singing in a club near the beginning), I recall thinking that was less a scene of two lovers making love than a rape..

Yes, RC, that's it. And is, as you say, a borderline rape scene. I wasn't saying it was loving & tender. I'm just saying that you'd be hard pressed to see such a graphic depiction of scissoring in a theatrical release.

It is, as you say, a horror movie about horrible people, many of whom meet their just doom by becoming food for "Indian" (the alien in the saucer who feeds off their post-orgasmic endorphins). There isn't a lot of charity towards one's fellow man in the movie, unlike, say "Repo Man", also from the same time.

I must say, however, that I appreciated how the directors of "Liquid Sky" used a synthesizer version of Marin Marais' La Sonnerie de Sainte Geneviève du Mont as the basis for their soundtrack.

Jay said...

Yes, too much gay sex:

The film does indeed have its share of gay love and intercourse, including a sweaty, grunting sequence in which Scott (played by Matt Damon) is taking Liberace from behind while the aging performer offers him drugs to take during sex.

Isn't that good family fun?

traditionalguy said...

The Roman Empire pre-Constantine is back in all of its pagan glory.

The use of attractive slave boys for sex by the rich and powerful men was not that big a deal then, and now it's back.





Alan said...

Beavis and Butthead said it best, "Lesbians are cool". I'd qualify it to exclude most real world lesbians since only 5 percent at best are attractive to straight men.

AprilApple said...

This is a story of a wealthy 58-year-old entertainer going after an 18-year-old guy and it includes explicit scenes depicting anal intercourse.

&


I clocked the first sex scene between Adèle and Emma — replete with fingering, licking, and, as a friend called it, "impressive scissoring" — at an approximate ten minutes.

Bring the whole family.

cubanbob said...

Older men and younger women.
Older men and younger men.
Older woman and younger men.
Older woman and younger woman.

Older people find younger people more physically attractive. So what is new and novel about this story?

By the way doesn't Micheal Douglass have a much younger and otherwise more physically attractive wife than a comparable woman of his age? What is the age difference between Douglass and his wife and Liberace and his boyfriend? Does anyone notice the irony in Douglass portraying a chicken hawk in the film while being married to a much younger woman in real life?

YoungHegelian said...

@AprilApple,

Bring the whole family.

Well, April, you must admit, that if the two films were shown back to back as a double feature, there would be something for everyone, as it were.

Paul Zrimsek said...

it includes explicit scenes depicting anal intercourse — 2 elements that major studios might reject even in heterosexual love stories

Not all that explicit, really-- if it had been a heterosexual scene there would have been no way of telling it was anal. It was only the second creepiest thing in the movie anyway; top billing goes to the part where Liberace pays for the kid to get plastic surgery to look more like Liberace.

Lem said...

That's not anti-gay.

Just like a parents decision, that an inflight movie was inappropriate for his kids, did not constitute 'grave danger to the aircraft'.

Its all soap opera melodrama today. like Rh says.

Robert Cook said...

I am no prude and I do enjoy pornography, but I don't think explicit sex belongs in a serious, dramatic film. I don't even think mere nudity is necessary or desirable 99% of the time, much as I might enjoy seeing this or that actress naked. But there's precisely the problem: our viewing of nudity and sexual behavior elicits such powerful feelings in us--whether of arousal or distaste--that they unbalance a dramatic film, destroy the "suspension of disbelief." Rather than see the nudity or sex acts as part of the dramatic continuum, the fictional "dream" is destroyed as we look and see and think, "Wow! That's ________ naked!" or "Holy Wow! That's __________ having sex!"

My objection is purely aesthetic.

Proponents of live theater often speak of the unique power of live theater given the imaginative participation required by the audience, a result the limitations of creating a "real" mise en scene" on a stage. In this same way, the suggestion of nudity or of sexual acts is more powerful dramatically than is the reality, as we can create our own images, consistent with our participation in the "dream" of the movie, rather than be disturbed by the stark reality of the naked actor or specific sexual behavior put right before our view.

Do I think it's impossible for a talented filmmaker to incorporate real sex into a dramatic film successfully and in a way necessary to the film? No. But I do think it's damn near impossible, and 999 out of 1000 filmmakers who try it won't succeed.

edutcher said...

Those old enough to remember Lee remember everybody thought he was weird whether we had gaydar yet or not.

And playing homosexuals has ruined every actor's career except Robert Redford's - and that's only because nobody saw the movie.

As for "Blue", I don't care how much "intensely erotic, incredibly realistic, quite lengthy, and almost certainly unsimulated sex" is in it, 3 hours is wayyyyy too much estrogen.

YoungHegelian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
YoungHegelian said...

@RC 1:12 post

Well said, RC!

And perhaps the first time in history that you've said something that 9 out of 10 posters to this board would agree with!

Icepick said...

Sex between two men is like yuck.

Yeah, nothing says gross like a stiffee covered in shit.

Original Mike said...

"Michael Douglas as Liberace"

That's all I need to know.

Robert Cook said...

Well, thank you, YH!

bpm4532 said...

I was bored with the HBO movie and turned off after 20 minutes. I just didn't buy the performances. It seemed like it was more suited to funnyordie.com.

gutless said...

To paraphrase Governor Palin, "I can see Hell from here".

gutless said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
chrisnavin.com said...

Robert Cook, we'll have to discuss aesthetic boundaries in the coming socialist paradise at the next meeting.

You have much to offer for the cause.

drunkdebunker said...

Deleted my TIVO'd "The Borgias" after the last episode where Cesare's bodyguard/assassin had a wat-too explicit romp with some dandy from Milan...they just can't leave us alone...no, not "them," I mean Hollwood and it's relentless propagandizing, to the point of making otherwise great shows unwatchable...same for "Shameless."

Kensington said...

I'm sorry, but I'm not interested in watching a fifteen year old girl have sex with anyone, no matter how many awards the "libertines" want to throw at it.

Icepick said...

As I said up there at #1, accusations of homophobia may be used to pressure us not to numb ourselves to something that we would otherwise object to.

Yeah, which gets back to that 18 year-old trying to cover the fact that she was having sex with a 14 year-old b saying, "Homophobia!"

prairie wind said...

Does anyone notice the irony in Douglass portraying a chicken hawk in the film while being married to a much younger woman in real life?

Nah. What I did notice is that Michael Douglas hasn't had much attention lately. This will fix that.

traditionalguy said...

The last barrier to fall is age limits for seductions. The practice of middle age gay men taking teenage boys as companions/lovers creates similar bad outcomes to middleage heterosexual women taking teenage boys boys as their companion/lovers.

Colette's Cheri and the Last of Cheri raised that problem of the young lover eventually abandoned as the middle age partner as he/she ages and dies.

Torah was for protection of the young while the neo-Pagan culture is for destruction of the young.

rhhardin said...

The old guy in Thomas Berger's "Who Is Teddy Villanova?" (an excellent vocabulary-building book) asked about lesbian lovemaking with, as I recall, "What do they do, muff each other?"

That was a long time ago. It's still a great book. An arch detective novel parody.

As for porn going mainstream, mainstream has disappeared. I haven't been to a movie in decades.

damikesc said...

I clocked the first sex scene between Adèle and Emma — replete with fingering, licking, and, as a friend called it, "impressive scissoring" — at an approximate ten minutes.

10 minutes? Dear lord.

If they're hot, though...never mind.

Sex between two women is like erotic. Sex between two men is like yuck.

Reality that few really like to admit...but dudes are ugly. Seeing two ugly dudes sweating, grunting, and thrusting isn't anybody's fantasy (if you look at most statistics, women --- overall --- would prefer seeing 2 women as opposed to 2 men having sex).

Or, rather, straight women who feel a strong need to have their sexual urges pass social validation before they can act on them, which is why we have Lena Dunham. "Sex & the City", and all them shades of gray!

I always thought "Sex and the City" was gay men writing about how they think women talk about sex.

10 years ago, Vincent Gallo put in a very graphic oral sex scene in his movie and reviewers trashed it.

"The Brown Bunny" was pretty bad without Sevigny going hog wild...if ya catch my drift.

And while Cookie might be off on his politics (but is repectably consistent), him on movies is pretty rock solid.

damikesc said...

The last barrier to fall is age limits for seductions. The practice of middle age gay men taking teenage boys as companions/lovers creates similar bad outcomes to middleage heterosexual women taking teenage boys boys as their companion/lovers.

If they took the identical movie and had his pray be a 15 year old girl, no way any network would ever televise it.

I don't get why boys are apparently disposable.

Freder Frederson said...

This is a story of a wealthy 58-year-old entertainer going after an 18-year-old guy and it includes explicit scenes depicting anal intercourse — 2 elements that major studios might reject even in heterosexual love stories

Gee, I guess you forgot about Last Tango in Paris.

bgates said...

playing homosexuals has ruined every actor's career except Robert Redford's

Aside from Tom Hanks, Antonio Banderas, Tommy Lee Jones, Sean Penn, and Al Pacino, I can't think of many exceptions to that at all.

Methadras said...

It doesn't end here Althouse. It's only beginning.

Pogo said...

If only the Magic Gay Elf would STFU once in awhile.




Ignorance is Bliss said...

bgates said...

Aside from...

You forgot Heath Ledger. Don't know about Jake Gilli-whats-his-name, as I didn't notice him having a career either before or after.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Oh, and Billy Crystal.

madAsHell said...

Are you asking why straights find lesbian sex scenes more watchable than gay scenes?

1. Two chicks.
2. No dicks.

What's not to like??

Valentine Smith said...

Candelabra is a very honest film, a rarity nowadays. For example, There's L's relief at the death of his mother, revelatory conversations during the sex scenes, and the rather sordid nature of basically oppositional relationships (old-young, rich-poor).

Perhaps, Thorsen did gild the lily somewhat in portraying himself as a self-sufficient adult male after being tossed out by L, as I hear he is currently doing time in NV for drug dealing, but then again, he did write the history.

Nomennovum said...

I don't think scissoring is pleasurable for women. But I have an open mind on the issue. So, you ladies out there, if you have experience with scissoring and you think it's pleasureable, please tell us about it and what made it pleasurable, etc.

edutcher said...

I think we can safely say this is another step in the Pederasty Is OK
movement, right along with the Nothing Wrong With Polyamory and Incest Isn't Really Icky movements.

Freder Frederson said...

This is a story of a wealthy 58-year-old entertainer going after an 18-year-old guy and it includes explicit scenes depicting anal intercourse — 2 elements that major studios might reject even in heterosexual love stories

Gee, I guess you forgot about Last Tango in Paris.


Gee, I guess Freder forgot that was an independent Euro production.

Or can he recall which American studio fronted it?

William said...

The movie wasn't as homophilic as I feared, but it was nonetheless dishonest. Picture some Disney star or Justin Bieber in the Matt Damon role and then you can see how evil Liberace was. In the movie, Liberace was decadent, excessive, and self indulgent but not truly evil. That's a gloss. They turned up the volume on his pathos and glossed over the evil. Compare and contrast with how HBO treated Alfred Hidtchcock and Tippi Hedren in their recent movie.

Rabel said...

"the film depicts a milieu filled with narcissistic, abusive, hateful people who are damaged and who do damage to others in turn"

That is also the plot of every Seinfeld episode.

Or an Obama cabinet meeting.

Kensington said...

Over the weekend I used scissors to pry a mouse off a sticky trap. He didn't seem to find it very pleasurable, though, based on how much he bit the blade as I was freeing him.

William said...

In movies where stars play football or baseball stars, you can instantly see where they're too light or clumsy to be professional athletes. Something similar happens when stars try to do an explicit scene in their movies. They don't have the tats or crazed enthusiasm of a true porn star. Such crude representations cheapen the art of pornography.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Or can he recall which American studio fronted it?

"Last Tango In Paris" got an "X" rating when it "came out."

The famous butter scene was filmed on a parquet floor.

Butter?

Parkey!

Charlie Martin said...

Maybe if it's so hard to define what is or isn't pornography, there just is no such thing? Maybe, just maybe, there are movies with more explicit sex and less explicit sex (or even no sex) and people should just pick what movies they want to see themselves?

El Pollo Raylan said...

The only movie I ever remember walking out of was "Henry: Portrait Of A Serial Killer." I'm much more repulsed by gratuitous violence than by sex. And I think it's fine to walk out of movies. Some filmmakers strive for that, I think. They consider themselves more of a success if they can achieve it--plus it generates talk and piques curiosity. Some bloggers do this to garner traffic.

Ann Althouse said...

"'This is a story of a wealthy 58-year-old entertainer going after an 18-year-old guy and it includes explicit scenes depicting anal intercourse — 2 elements that major studios might reject even in heterosexual love stories.' Gee, I guess you forgot about Last Tango in Paris."

So... a movie from 40 years ago that wasn't even a Hollywood movie... that's your point of reference?

Well, in fact, sex with underage persons was seen differently back then. Just ask Roman Polanski. It was part of the sexual revolution, which challenged bourgeois value.

But even then, Brando's character wasn't supposed to be attractive, it wasn't a "romance," and the anal sex scene was something close to rape.

It was deliberately degrading to the woman, and Maria Schneider said:

"I should have called my agent or had my lawyer come to the set because you can't force someone to do something that isn't in the script, but at the time, I didn't know that. Marlon said to me: 'Maria, don't worry, it's just a movie,' but during the scene, even though what Marlon was doing wasn't real, I was crying real tears. I felt humiliated and to be honest, I felt a little raped, both by Marlon and by Bertolucci. After the scene, Marlon didn't console me or apologise. Thankfully, there was just one take."

Also, per Wikipedia: "Schneider subsequently stated that making the film was her life's only regret,[9] that it "ruined her life," and that she considers Bertolucci a "gangster and a pimp."[10] In 2011, Bertolucci disavowed that he "stole her youth," and commented, "The girl wasn't mature enough to understand what was going on."[11] However, in 2013 he stated in the Dutch television program College Tour: "I feel guilty, but I don't regret it."[12]"

But back then, the elite effused and hadn't yet internalized feminism, so this is what we were proud of ourselves for ingesting.

Things are different now. Movies are different. They're less serious. More for kids. Porn is gotten through easily available porn. Arty bullshit isn't cranked out as it was in the old "foreign films" days.

But there once was "Last Tango in Paris," and it had and old man with a very young woman and there was anal sex. You're right about that.

kcom said...

"Maybe if it's so hard to define what is or isn't pornography, there just is no such thing?"

No, there is such a thing. Just as sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, sometimes pornography is just pornography. It's not a movie. It's just porn.

Rabel said...

"The famous butter scene was filmed on a parquet floor."

A word to the wise - go with the unsalted.

kcom said...

And for those interested in that sort of thing, Maria Schneider died a couple of years ago from cancer at age 58.

This is what Wikipedia quotes Bertolucci as saying on that occasion:

"Her death came too soon, before I could hold her again tenderly, and tell her that I felt connected to her as on the first day, and for once, to ask her to forgive me. Maria accused me of having robbed her of her youth and only today am I wondering whether there wasn't some truth to that," he added.

El Pollo Raylan said...

Bertolucci said: Her death came too soon, before I could hold her again tenderly, and tell her that I felt connected to her as on the first day, and for once, to ask her to forgive me.

Yeah right. The guy had 40 years to make amends for debts in arrears and he didn't do it. Artistic cowardice.

EMD said...

Candelabras are incredibly hard to hide behind.

chuck said...

I'm waiting for the summer blockbuster Theseus and the Minotaur and starting with an extended scene showing Pasiphaë having sex with the white bull. That is, if they can find a bull who takes longer than a few seconds to finish. Then a flashback to Daedalus working to construct the wooden bull with detailed discussion of the design decisions. I could really get into the design and construction work.

cubanbob said...

10 years ago, Vincent Gallo put in a very graphic oral sex scene in his movie and reviewers trashed it.

"The Brown Bunny" was pretty bad without Sevigny going hog wild...if ya catch my drift.

That movie really did wonders for their careers.

Revenant said...

No one dares cry foul anymore, so they'll get away with what could never be done in the 'hetero' realm.

It was done in the hetero realm long ago. I direct your attention to the films "Romance" and "Brown Bunny".

Or, hell, to "Boxcar Bertha" and "Sweet Sweetback's Badass Song" a generation before that.

El Pollo Raylan said...

"Romance" IMDB stars: 5.3/10
"Brown Bunny" 4.9/10
"Boxcar Bertha" 6.1/10
"Sweet Sweetback's Badass Song" 5.5/10
________________________________
"Behind The Candelabra" ?

People vote with their feet.

El Pollo Raylan said...

But the Liberace movie had stars at both ends.

So to speak

hombre said...

Hollywood is preoccupied to the point of obsession with homosexuality and pedophilia.

hombre said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rick67 said...

Where to start?

1) I think straight men are less repulsed by lesbian sex than gay (anal) sex. Enjoying a woman's body? Awesome. Enjoying a man's body? Yuck.

2) So what about women? Is it the opposite for women? I don't know.

3) I think there is something about penetration of a man's body that straight men (and women? again I don't know) find horrifying. Produces a visceral negative reaction. I'm not defending or excusing this.

4) The two actresses in "Blue" are young and gorgeous. They just are. I think the average straight man is going to much more open to watching them naked and engaged in sex. Than watching Michael Douglas and Matt Damon.

5) So I don't think the disparate reactions to "Liberace" versus "Blue" are homophobic (whatever that buzzword means at the moment) so much as understandable.

6) That having been said... I did look at pictures from Cannes and wonder if the director was thinking "dang - I got an award for this!?!" Porn and prurience disguised as art?

Jerome said...

"... accusations of homophobia may be used to pressure us not to numb ourselves to something that we would otherwise object to."

The word "homophobia", like the word "Islamophobia", was invented to stigmatize completely reasonable attitudes as mental illness. A phobia is an irrational fear. People who are afraid of Muslims are not irrational. And very few people actually fear homosexuals. People who use these terms are trying to demonize those they disagree with, without having to justify their own positions.

Amartel said...

Gay sex again? It's becoming tedious. Well, wait, sexual desire is never tedious. Politicized sex, however, is tedious. Politics ruins everything. Sports, Entertainment, Work, Sex, America. Everything.
Look at the lesbians, looooooook. For 10 minutes. Look at the gays, looooooook. Interesting that both movies feature older-younger partners. Is that "transgressive" or is it the work of ancient Hollywoodies manufacturing ratification for screwing their young assistants? Yeah. We know.

I did watch the Liberace movie because I had a cold and it was on constantly. I couldn't watch it all the way through, it was that bad. Turned it off then back on 3 hours later and it was still playing so I eventually saw the whole thing. It was awful. Subject matter, tired. Story, predictable. Dialogue, stilted. Sets, 70s western baroque. (Durrhh.)Performances mainly mediocre. Michael Douglas, as always, does a mean Michael Douglas impersonation. Which is fun for a while. Matt Damon just misses every time. Like clockwork. That's a talent but not one I'd pay for. Rob Lowe had the grace to be interesting.

Revenant said...

People vote with their feet.

I can't speak for "Brown Bunny" or "Romance", but "Boxcar Bertha" was a financial success and launched Martin Scorcese's career.

"Sweet Sweetback", of course, was one of the most profitable indepedent films of all time, and is credited with launching the "blacksploitation" genre of the 1970s.

Revenant said...

And very few people actually fear homosexuals

Few people in absolute terms, perhaps, but an abundance of people who comment here do.

E.g., every time the issue of allowing gay scoutmasters comes up, the locals predict the BSA will devolve into 24/7 gay orgies and child rape.

Amartel said...

Gay sex again? It's becoming tedious. Well, wait, sexual desire is never tedious. Politicized sex, however, is tedious. Politics ruins everything. Sports, Entertainment, Work, Sex, America. Everything.
Look at the lesbians, looooooook. For 10 minutes. Look at the gays, looooooook. Interesting that both movies feature older-younger partners. Is that "transgressive" or is it the work of ancient Hollywoodies manufacturing ratification for screwing their young assistants? Yeah. We know.

I did watch the Liberace movie because I had a cold and it was on constantly. I couldn't watch it all the way through, it was that bad. Turned it off then back on 3 hours later and it was still playing so I eventually saw the whole thing. It was awful. Subject matter, tired. Story, predictable. Dialogue, stilted. Sets, 70s western baroque. (Durrhh.)Performances mainly mediocre. Michael Douglas, as always, does a mean Michael Douglas impersonation. Which is fun for a while. Matt Damon just misses every time. Like clockwork. That's a talent but not one I'd pay for. Rob Lowe had the grace to be interesting.

Icepick said...

So Bertolucci and Brando were abusive assholes. Who woulda thunk it!??!

Dante said...

That's your own sexual preference, which you are entitled to.

For now, at least. You see, it's sexist and unfair.

Also, I'm vaguely disturbed by the choice of words here. You are entitled to your sexuality. It begs the question of what. Am I entitled to say gay sex is revolting to me? Or is that something I'm not "entitled" to.

Icepick said...

I did watch the Liberace movie because I had a cold and it was on constantly.

You should have watched "Dinocroc Vs. Supergator" on SyFy instead.

Dante said...

It begs the question of what ... I'm not entitled to.

Also, it sounds like someone deeming my entitlement, as if someone is granting me the right. Passive voice, very disturbing.

sinz52 said...

This isn't the first supposedly mainstream movie featuring real nonsimulated sex scenes.

"9 Songs" (2004) was another one.

That movie was very explicit--the actor actually ejaculated on camera.

Lem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chip Ahoy said...

Oferchristsake, at the start, Alt-H = Althouse, not the keys Alt, H. See? It does not make sense in the computery language so it must be understood in the play along made-up language, and it does.

TML said...

"Scissor me, Xerxes!!!"

Michael K said...

hombre said...

"Hollywood is preoccupied to the point of obsession with homosexuality and pedophilia."

Maybe that's because it is real life to them, or lots of them.

"every time the issue of allowing gay scoutmasters comes up, the locals predict the BSA will devolve into 24/7 gay orgies and child rape."

No, many of us think it will be the end of Boy Scouts. What parent is going to send a boy on an overnight campout with gay scoutmasters ?

edutcher said...

Revenant said...

And very few people actually fear homosexuals

Few people in absolute terms, perhaps, but an abundance of people who comment here do.


There's a sweeping statement that is going to go down in flames.

E.g., every time the issue of allowing gay scoutmasters comes up, the locals predict the BSA will devolve into 24/7 gay orgies and child rape.

Only because it's happened enough times in the past. That's why the Scouts are only going so far as to let kids in (and most of those "gay" kids probably aren't, their parents want them to be - it's so fashionable), no homosexual Scoutmasters.

Do a little research.

Jason (the commenter) said...

Please! We're on about the sixth season of RuPaul's Drag Race; "too gay" is the same sort of garbage you see on direct to video DVD covers:

"The sex scenes that were too hot for the censors!"

"The violence that was too much for the film review board!"

You've all just been played!

Crunchy Frog said...

This isn't the first HBO show to go down the Hershey Highway. Omar gave it to his several boyfriends on various episodes of The Wire.

At least he had the benefit of not having a wrinkly ass. *shudder*

El Pollo Raylan said...

That movie was very explicit--the actor actually ejaculated on camera.

No doubt shot in a single take with no refractory lens to blur the camera's focus.

rcocean said...

Things people don't want to see:

1) Gay Sex
2) Sex with Ugly people
3) Sex with Old People
4) Pedophilia
5) Sex with Fat people
6) Close-ups of Dicks and vaginas

So what Do people want to see:

1) Pretty women naked
2) Pretty women having sex
3) 2 Pretty Women having sex

rcocean said...

As for Liberace, who cares? My mother liked Liberace. And she's 75.

Revenant said...

Hollywood is preoccupied to the point of obsession [...] pedophilia

Can you give some examples of this "obsession"?

William said...

Liberace had AIDS and knew it. It was claimed that he had several lovers and did not inform them of this fact. You could make a case that he was a lot more evil than he appeared in the movie.

Revenant said...

Only because it's happened enough times in the past.

You're quite delusional, ed.

Rabel said...

Spoiler alert.



Dinocrock kicked Supergator's ass.

edutcher said...

rcocean said...

As for Liberace, who cares? My mother liked Liberace. And she's 75.

Now or then?

Liberace was on TV in the 50s. And a lot of people's mothers and grandmothers watched him because he played nice songs and was clean and articulate.

Revenant said...

Only because it's happened enough times in the past.

You're quite delusional, ed.


And you're blowing smoke.

rcocean said...

That's right. Women like my Mom liked Liberace in the 50s and early 60s.

People under 50 don't know who the fuck he is, and men over 50 may know who he is but don't care.

And I'm talking about White people. I doubt many people of color of any age or sex give a shit about Liberace.

rcocean said...

So why a movie? Why not a movie about Mitch Miller?

Carol said...

Ann must remember "I Am Curious, Yellow" circa 1969. Lots of depressing simulated sex with soft-ons. Usual depressive Swedish theme.

Craig Howard said...

Reminds me of my grandparents' much-awaited evening of seeing "Valley of the Dolls". Must have been 1964 or 1965?

How surprised I was when they came home a couple hours early because they'd walked out in the middle. Grandma was incensed that they "were making violent love under the sheets".

I developed another reason to like Patty Duke that night.

bagoh20 said...

These artsy versions are nothing more than a fart scene for the self-imagined sophisticates. If you want story this is a distraction, and if you want porn, it's too soft to sit through.

The best scizzoring is from South Park

They did it in numerous scenes long hard and hot, and with an honest goal in mind.

Rabel said...

sinz52 mentioned the movie "9 Songs."

As a connoisseur of fine art I was intrigued and curious as to exactly what "ejaculating on camera" meant because it sounded quite messy and those movie cameras must be awfully expensive.

In the IMDB parental guidance section I found two wonderful quotes:

1. "A woman gives a hand-job to a man and lots of real life semen shoots out and into her hand!"

I'm not sure I believe this as the makers of movie magic have blurred the distinction between "real life" and CGI. There's also the possibility of stunt semen.

2. "His erect penis fills the screen for a very prolonged scene."

God help us all if the Enzyte people ever get ahold of this technology.

Joe said...

I "love" it when shitty actors blame a specific movie/TV show on why their career didn't take off.

Equally comedic are crappy actors who end up in good TV shows and then quit at the height, convinced they are slated for stardom, only to watch their career go down the toilet.

bagoh20 said...

Wait. What? Dinocrock and Supergator were scissoring?

Maybe this is worth seeing?

El Pollo Raylan said...

@Rabel. Your description came in handy.

Rabel said...

El, Good work. Took me two reads to get it.

rcocean said...

Hear the latest fart joke?

rcocean said...

Sad that Titus doesn't show up to talk about his shit.

Roux said...

Frankly we are tired of it being pushed in our face. Enough already.

You want to be gay, fine but stop pushing me to accept it. I don't approve of your lifestyle but I don't care either.

Also getting a little tired of the stereotype.

Revenant said...

Frankly we are tired of it being pushed in our face. Enough already.

You have an amusingly expansive definition of "your face", if HBO and foreign films qualify.

Joe said...

Frankly we are tired of it being pushed in our face. Enough already.

I think that's a different movie.

That said, just fucking ignore it. You remind me of people who bitch about what's on TV, but don't bother turning it off (or changing the channel.)

William said...

There was recently a movie with Bill Murray about FDR. None of the sex scenes were explicit. Good. I'd just as soon not see FDR or, for that matter, Bill Murray in an explicit sex scene......l thought the Liberace movie was entertaining and interesting, but the sex scenes were a distraction. Those scenes took you out of the movie. I kept thinking that that's Matt Damon kissing Michael Douglas. WTF! I don't think they even got paid extra for it. I think they thought that such scenes increase our tolerance of homosexuals and make the audience better people. I repeat. WTF.

David Davenport said...

Maybe if it's so hard to define what is or isn't pornography, there just is no such thing? Maybe, just maybe, there are movies with more explicit sex and less explicit sex (or even no sex) and people should just pick what movies they want to see themselves?

How about:

"Maybe if it's so hard to define what is or isn't pedophilia and the appropriate age of consent, there just is no such thing? Maybe, just maybe, there are movies with more explicit sex with younger and younger girls or boys, and less explicit sex (or even no sex) and people should just pick what movies they want to see themselves?"

betamax3000 said...

Scarlett Johansson Boyfriend Robot says: I Told Scarlett it Is Okay to Consider The English Remake. If that is What She Wants. I will Support Her in her Artistic Choices.

There is No Reason for Her to Leave Me.



betamax3000 said...

Scarlett Johansson Boyfriend Robot says: Perhaps the Older Woman Role could be Fulfilled by Reese Witherspoon.She is Still Attractive for Being Old.

Revenant said...

Maybe if it's so hard to define what is or isn't pedophilia and the appropriate age of consent, there just is no such thing?

You have trouble figuring out what is or isn't pedophilia? Try checking IDs for dates of birth. :)

betamax3000 said...

Scarlett Johansson Boyfriend Robot says: I have Told Scarlett tha Reese Witherspoon.has the Pushed-In Nose of An Older Lesbian and Scarlett Laughs: there is No Reason for hr to Leave Me.

David Davenport said...

Youtube's got almost everything. Here's Liberace in 1957 playing Piano Roll Blues & Strauss.

They should have made another Dracula movie and cast Meister L. as Drac, seeing as how Bela Lugosi was old and sick.

David Davenport said...

You have trouble figuring out what is or isn't pedophilia? Try checking IDs for dates of birth. :)

If an American can't marry a fifteen year old person, that's unacceptable discrimination! It's a civil rights issue.

betamax3000 said...

Scarlett Johansson Boyfriend Robot says: I have Told Scarlett that if she played a Younger Lesbian Who Was True To Herself and was in a Lesbian Relationship where she Helped Helen Mirren Discover Her Older self as a Lesbian they Would Both Win Oscars.


There is No Reason for Her to Leave Me.

betamax3000 said...

Scarlett Johansson Boyfriend Robot says: I am Okay with you Putting a Finger in my Ass and murmuring "Sean Penn, Sean Penn, Sean Penn": I realize this is Hollywood.

betamax3000 said...

Scarlett Johansson Boyfriend Robot says: I am Okay with Three Fingers and "George Clooney": He has Won an Oscar. He is an Artist.

betamax3000 said...

Scarlett Johansson Boyfriend Robot says: I can Accept Brad Pitt and Four Fingers: He and Angelina Jolie have Been Through So Much.

betamax3000 said...

Scarlett Johansson Boyfriend Robot says: I Will Not Accept Two Thumbs, a Pinkie and Johnny Depp. Unless There is A Good Reason. Honey Scarlett Baby: I know You always Have a Good Reason.

betamax3000 said...

Scarlett Johansson Boyfriend Robot says: I Wish Johnny Depp Clipped His Nails.

But it is OK: he is in Character as a Pirate. Pirates have Unclipped Gay Nails.

betamax3000 said...

Scarlett Johansson Boyfriend Robot says: Baby, I am Sorry About the Misplaced Two Fingers and yelling "Matt Damon!" It was an Accident of Geometry.

betamax3000 said...

Scarlett Johansson Boyfriend Robot says: You can be the "Damon". As many Fingers as You Find Artistically Necessary: I Understand.


There is No Reason to Leave Me.

Revenant said...

If an American can't marry a fifteen year old person, that's unacceptable discrimination! It's a civil rights issue.

You also appear to be confused about what the word "pedophilia" means. :)

betamax3000 said...

Scarlett Johansson Boyfriend Robot says: You can be the Six-Fingered "Affleck": Argo was Work of Art.

betamax3000 said...

Scarlett Johansson Boyfriend Robot says: Baby, I love that Your Fingers are So Artistic yet Thin. I also Appreciate that you Never Robert Downey Jr. Me without My Unspoken Yet Understood Consent. We are On The Same Page.

betamax3000 said...

Scarlett Johansson Boyfriend Robot says: Your Ten Fingers are an Ensemble Piece. You are Sharing as an Actress and a Soul.

betamax3000 said...

Scarlett Johansson Boyfriend Robot says: I will Willingly Be your Philip Seymour Hoffman. Using your Toes only Expands your Capabilities as an Actress.

I will Do My Best To Hold Still.

betamax3000 said...

Ann has Telepathically told me to Stop Now.

Message Received.

betamax3000 said...

I apologize for Spilling My Drink(s) on the Carpet and Smoking in the Bathroom.

jr565 said...

If you're going to do gay porn, you don't want to see an old geezer in it. Helll, that's true for regular porn. I realize that Ron Jeremy is a dynasty, but who wants to watch a fat hairy old guy screwing a hot chick. Gross.

So, if there is an objection to a Liberace biopic that shows him having anal sex, the objection is first that its gay anal sex. And secondly that its a gay old, ugly fag having anal sex.

n.n said...

It's not rape-rape. It's not pornography-pornography. It's not dysfunctional-dysfunctional. It is confusion-confusion, it is progressive, and it diminishes human dignity.

Baron Zemo said...

Revenant have you ever been involved with the Boy Scouts?

Baron Zemo said...

How many Jerry Sanduskys should the Boy Scouts be forced to take on as Scout leaders?

One. Five. Fifty.

It would take just one and the lawsuits that would ensue to destroy the BSA forever. Which is of course the goal.

Baron Zemo said...

If the Boy Scouts are to survive they can not make the mistake that the Catholic Church.

I don't think they will survive actually.

Another traditional American institution will be sacrificed on the altar of political correctness.

Baron Zemo said...

The Boy Scouts are just one step on the ladder.

The same arguments will be used against religious denominations that would refuse to put such people in a position of authority. Despite the documented disaster that that entailed.

It is only a matter of time until the forces of political correctness will go after every temple, synagogue and church.

Winter is coming.

Joe said...

If an American can't marry a fifteen year old person, that's unacceptable discrimination! It's a civil rights issue.

In several states a fifteen-year-old can get married with with permission from the parents and/or courts.

(While looking this up, I ran across the following: "Parental consent is needed in Mississippi if under 21 years of age. If parents or guardians do not give consent at time of application, they will be notified via certified mail. The marriage application will be held for three (3) days.")

Baron Zemo said...

Everyday the right to follow the doctrines of your religion are chipped away by forces of political correctness who use the courts to enforce their will.

Today we have a case where a gay lay teacher was artificially inseminated and became an unwed mother and was terminated by the Catholic school that she worked at under a contract that stated she would follow Catholic doctrine as a condition of employment.

David Davenport said...

In several states a fifteen-year-old can get married with with permission from the parents and/or courts.

Fifteen's already legal?

The we want ten
and we won't quit
Until we win!

Civil rights on the march!