Sex Scene Analysis

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Watching sex on screen is fascinating for me on many levels. At the most primal one is me also feeling sexually aroused as I allow myself to get immersed in the scene and identify with the characters doing the deed. Then I start thinking: what do these actors actually feel or think about while they are fucking? How difficult is it to act out this 'love' scene? Then beyond that, if I am watching the film with other people, I examine their reactions and compare it with mine, to "watch ourselves watch" [255] as Linda Williams (2008) would have put it. I argue from experience that the affective value of sex/love scenes conserves relatively well. Compared to action or horror scenes whose novelty and 'special effects' may wear off in the next viewing,…show more content…
Three contemporary examples come to mind: Catherine Breillat's Anatomy of Hell (Anatomie de l’enfer, 2004), Michael Winterbottom's 9 Songs (2004), and John Cameron Mitchell's Shortbus (2006). These films can all be seen to hybridize Last Tango in Paris' "jabbing, thrusting, eroticism" [247] with Deep Throat's elements of "feature-length, hard-core, sound and color pornography" [252], as well as also being emotionally challenging dramas. I want to inquire: How does the salience of unsimulated sex alter these films' dramatic affect? And how do these films further blur or 'queer' the boundaries between erotica and…show more content…
From the bells and rockets in Deep Throat symbolizing sex, now in these films we actually have sex stand for something. In Anatomy of Hell, it serves as the means to the shattering of the gay male's ego via the intense display of female sexuality. In 9 Songs, it is a manifestation of a man's longing and possible melancholia. In Shortbus' post-9/11 backdrop of anxiety among NYC's inhabitants, going into Shortbus and having uninhibited sex serves to soothe the characters' existential angst, as something to make them feel more sure of being

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