History of Sex in Cinema:
The Greatest and Most Influential
Sexual Films and Scenes

(Illustrated)

1991



The History of Sex in Cinema
Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Film/Scene Description
Screenshots

At Play in the Fields of the Lord (1991)

This fairly realistic, three-hour long (186 minutes) South American/Brazilian rain forest tale was an adaptation of Peter Matthiessen's well-regarded 1965 novel by Brazilian director Hector Babenco (and producer Saul Zaentz). The six-month shoot in the Amazonian jungle was plagued by sickness, heat, reptiles, and other insect creatures.

The well-intentioned Universal Pictures movie performed poorly - on a budget of $36 million, it only recouped $1.3 million in revenue (worldwide).

The tagline of the dramatic and epic adventure story, about the clash of civilization vs. the uncivilized, was:

  • An adventure beyond the limits of civilization, faith and passion.

The film was set in the early 1960s, and opened with a plane running out of fuel in the dense Brazilian Amazon River basin, where members of the Niaruna tribes lived upriver and deep in the jungle. The two occupants of the plane - two mercenary-explorers or adventurers - were forced by the local Commandante Guzman (José Dumont) to remain in a remote outpost town known as Mae de Deus. [Note: Niaruna and Mae de Deus were both fictional.]

  • Lewis Moon (Tom Berenger), a pilot, a white-educated American (and "half-breed Cheyenne" Indian), embittered
  • Wolf (Tom Waits), nicknamed "Wolfie"

Lewis Moon (Tom Berenger)

Wolf (Tom Waits)

Commandante Guzman (José Dumont)

Currently in the area of Mae de Deus ("Mother of God"), there were also various groups of missionaries who were there to do "the Lord's work" - to convert the indigenous peoples to Christianity. They also attempted to bring Western civilization to the primitive natives, usurping their own ways by bribing them with food and other bribe-gifts and trinkets, and forcing them to adopt foreign practices such as baptism and clothing to cover-up nudity:

  • Rev. Leslie Huben (John Lithgow), a virtuous-sounding, condescending, pompous American missionary, with his pretty, short-haired, tall blonde and naive wife Andy Huben (Daryl Hannah); Huben was clearly opposed to and competitive against the Catholic's missionary efforts (what he termed "The Catholic Opposition")
  • Martin Quarrier (Aidan Quinn), a born-again, do-gooder evangelist missionary from South Dakota who was fascinated by the natives, accompanied by his repressed, judgmental, zealous, puritanical, culturally-insensitive, overweight and intolerant wife Hazel (43 year-old Kathy Bates), and their young son Billy (Niilo Kivirinta); they were newly-arrived in the area to aid in conversion efforts at a destroyed Catholic mission
  • Father Xantes (Nelson Xavier), a Catholic priest, the only surviving individual after the Niaruna brutally massacred a group of Catholics (including raping the nuns) in their religious outpost deep in the jungle; the buildings of the settlement were found to be destroyed and uninhabitable, and needed to be reoccupied and re-established by the Quarriers, assisted by their superiors the Hubens

Rev. Leslie Huben (John Lithgow)

Andy Huben (Daryl Hannah)

Martin Quarrier (Aidan Quinn)

Hazel Quarrier (Kathy Bates)

Billy Quarrier (Niilo Kivirinta)

Father Xantes (Nelson Xavier)

To leave Mae de Deus with a tank of gas and approved papers, Moon and Wolf were offered a deal by the corrupt, ruthless and land-hungry Commandante Guzman to frighten the tribal villagers in the Niaruna settlement (identified by a clearing and large roundhouse in the middle of the jungle), by bombing them from their small plane in order to scare and chase them off ("for their own good") and facilitate gold-mining and reap profits within the area. However, once Moon flew over the area with Wolf, he noticed the natives defending their village with simple bows and arrows, and decided against the Commander's diabolical agenda to eliminate the natives who impeded "progress."

Lewis decided to return to his wild tribal roots and seek his true identity after he received a spiritual calling. He drugged himself with a drink known as "ayahuasca" to cause hallucinations, then flew by himself over the deep jungled area. He radioed back: "I'm at play in the fields of the Lord," then jumped out with a parachute, stripped naked and entered the Niaruna village while being escorted by tribesmen. He was greeted and accepted by the natives as an emissary - as the God of thunder (known as "Kisu-Mu"), and revered by the elders, the native children and young females.


Moon Revered by Niaruna Children
Moon Accepted by a Niaruna Female - Pindi (Ione Machado)

Moon potentially could enable the various jungle tribesfolk to join a crusade to unite against the incursions of the white man's missionaries. (Earlier, Moon had asked Martin the pointed question: "If the Lord made Indians the way they are, who are you people to make them different?")

The destroyed Catholic outpost needed to be completely rebuilt and settled by the Quarriers, with initial help from the Hubens, and a civilized native known as Kori (Ruy Polanah). After the Hubens departed back to Mae de Deus, Martin - and particularly Hazel - struggled with accepting the 'wayward' customs of the natives, although their young son Billy, who immediately adopted nakedness, was blithely and quickly acclimated to the "nasty little savages." Eventually, the Quarriers established momentary contact with the curious Niaruna who emerged from the jungle during a brief visit and were amused by various objects, gifts and trinkets of mirrors, eyeglasses, machetes, and food.

The Quarriers were devastated when Billy contracted blackwater fever (a fatal condition resulting from malaria) and swiftly perished. After learning of Billy's death, the Niaruna tribesmen (including an unrecognized Moon) performed their own ritualistic ceremony, and then angrily blamed Rev. Huben (who had come to take Billy to a hospital but was too late), forcing him to flee back to Mae de Deus for awhile. It was revealed that Huben was in cahoots with the Commandant, promising that if the Niaruna hadn't been pacified and civilized in a year by the mission, he would allow more forceful (deadly) measures to be taken. Martin soon appeared to completely lose his Christian faith: ("What more do you want, it cost me my son!"), while the grieving Hazel became moody, paranoid, irrational ("Are we in Hell and just don't know it?"), and gradually lost her mind.

Much later, when the Hubens returned to check on the Quarriers' mission and fortify it with a barbed wire fence against the savages, Martin argued with and confronted Rev. Huben for his failed approach to tame the natives.

Meanwhile while in the jungle, Andy performed a nude bathing scene in a natural pool, and then didn't realize she was being spied upon and approached while she rested next to a gigantic tree root. Startled by the presence of someone else, she abruptly stood up. She received and reciprocated kisses on her face and lips gently given by Moon (whom she thought was a native) before running off. She later confessed not to her husband but to Martin: "It was beautiful. He touched me so gently," and reluctantly admitted she wanted to have sex, but didn't: ("I never wanted anything so much in my life"). Andy then added: "It was Lewis Moon."

Andy and Moon's Jungle Kisses

Ironically, the kisses turned out to be deadly. Moon returned to his Niaruna village and roughly approached his 'wife' to both kiss her and demand rape-sex after pushing her to the ground. Moon passed on Andy's contagious flu-cold that soon spread rapidly and infected the entire Niaruna tribe (and caused many deaths). The Niaruna attempted to quell the disease through ritualistic ceremonies, and then angrily surrounded the mission (with Moon in their midst "resurrected from the dead") and blamed the white-man missionaries for the pandemic. Moon had come with them to beg for medicine to prevent the Niaruna from dying, when suddenly, Martin and Andy realized that Moon had spread the disease by kissing her.

Moon's efforts were thwarted (and the Niaruna departed) when a deranged Hazel appeared to perform an unflattering and embarrassing nude native dance (partially clothed with a thatch of leaves and layers of mud), before being ushered away. When the Reverend denied medicine to Moon, Martin sided with Moon and reprimanded his superior: "We can't save their souls if they're dead." Still, the stubborn Reverend resisted Moon: "You're leading these people into darkness and corruption," until Andy retrieved the box of life-saving medicine and handed it to Moon. Rev. Huben then chastised his wife for having sinfully compromised herself with Moon somehow, but she wouldn't submit to his hypocrisy: "Why is a white man's nakedness sinful to look upon when a red man's nakedness is not?"

Another threat surfaced after Rev. Huben, who claimed he was justly doing the "Lord's will," radioed Guzman and gave him the go-ahead to begin bombing the uncooperative Niaruna - to literally "exterminate" them. The two missionary wives were evacuated from the mission, while Martin and the Reverend stayed behind.

In the film's conclusion, a helicopter bombing of the village was imminent by the Commandante. With the help of the Reverend's Niarunan helper Uyuyu (Jose Renato Lana), Martin trekked to the already-decimated jungle village to warn them of danger, where he spoke to Moon. He concluded that his righteous crusade to bring Jesus to the natives was truly a delusional and failed enterprise: "It would have been better for them never to have known us." Meanwhile, Rev. Huben fearfully abandoned the Catholic mission and its doomed future and returned to Mae de Deus to admit defeat to "Satan's darkness."

Back in the Niaruna village, Martin reluctantly followed Moon's orders to save their lives by praying to Moon (seen as a god) to protect the village. Nonetheless, a helicopter hovered over the village and began dropping fiery bombs from the sky. During the chaos, Martin was struck and killed by Uyuyu, who blamed him for his people's devastation. As Moon fled the village in a canoe, he was forced to defend himself (with his revolver) and kill the new young Niaruna chief who challenged his god-like status, although now, Moon was left not knowing where he belonged. The film ended with a lengthy pull-back aerial view of Martin in a crucifix-pose in the middle of the burned down native village.


Pilot Lewis Moon - Flying Over the Niaruna to Bomb Them

The Niaruna Roundhouse in the Jungle - Aerial View


Niaruna Male Shooting Arrows at Moon's Approaching Plane





After Parachuting Down, Moon Entered Naked Into the Center of the Roundhouse, Greeted by Niaruna Elders



Naked Native Females Lined Up at Mission to be Clothed by Hazel

Billy Quickly Acclimated to the Native Lifestyle

Photo Taken of Native Children


Curious Niaruna Native Woman at the Catholic Mission

Moon Revered by the Niaruna

Moon with Pregnant Niaruna Wife Pindi

Death of Billy



Moon Spreading the Contagious Virus to His Niaruna 'Wife' Pindi Through Kisses and Rape-Sex


Hazel Quarrier's Weird Nude Tribal Dance


Martin's Death in the Niaruna Village

La Belle Noiseuse (1991, Fr.) (aka The Beautiful Troublemaker or The Beautiful Nuisance)

Jacques Rivette's very-lengthy (almost four hour) drama, with minimal dialogue (except for the first hour), was nominated for the Palme d'Or prize at the Cannes Film Festival, and won the Grand Prize of the Jury award.

It told about the creative process regarding:

  • Edouard Frenhofer (Michel Piccoli), an uninspired, married, impatient and aging French artist-painter who had become reclusive

He suddenly returned to work on an abandoned, neglected masterpiece of ten years - the painting was known as "La Belle Noiseuse," when offered to paint the attractive girlfriend (of three years) of gifted young artist Nicolas Wartel (David Bursztein) who was visiting at his rural Provence chateau. His pretty new muse was:

  • Marianne (Emmanuelle Béart), a strong-willed model and aspiring writer (of a children's book)

Edouard Frenhofer (Michel Piccoli)

Marianne (Emmanuelle Béart)

Elizabeth (Jane Birkin)

Ten years earlier, Frenhofer's original and favorite model was his wife Elizabeth (Jane Birkin). But then his inspiration abruptly ended and it was left unfinished. Marianne, his newly-acquired muse, was his next model - suggested and volunteered by Nicolas.

In his vast, long-neglected stone-walled studio, Frenhofer began by making multiple artistic sketches of Marianne, the first two with her clothed. Then, he asked her to put on a dressing gown, after which she was required to pose nude for the remainder of their time together. She was unaware that he wanted to keep her as a model for more than one day, explaining that he felt "paralyzed" and as awkward as she did the first day. She was reluctant ("I'm not made for it"), but then acquiesed.

On the second day, he made many more preliminary sketches of her in various naked poses, as he attempted to capture her essence. Elizabeth assured Nicolas: "Don't worry. Frenho's a gentleman. You don't have to be afraid." She further explained her own posing for him years earlier before they married: "I hadn't known him at all. I did it to pay for my studies..."

During the long session on the second day, Marianne complained of having to pose in painful, demanding, contorted, cramping and unmoving positions, but then took the artist's challenge seriously. Frenhofer remembered: "In the past, they tied up the models. They hanged them by their wrists or ankles to keep the pose." He also described his painting of Liz: "Anyway, at first I wanted her, before wanting to paint her. For the first time, I was scared. The fear became the driving force behind what I did." Toward the end of the second day of posing, he told Marianne his goal - to possess her from the inside out:

"I'll break you to pieces... I'll get you out of your body...get you out of your carcass....I want to know and see the inside of your body." As he touched her to set her postures, he told her: "I don't care about your breasts, legs, your lips... I want more. I want everything. The blood, the fire, the ice... All that's inside your body. I'll take it all. I'll get it out of you and put it into this frame...I'll get to know what's inside under your thin surface. I want the invisible. No, it's not that! I want - It's not me who wants. It's the line, the stroke. Nobody knows what a stroke is. And I'm after it. Where am I going? To the sky? Why not? Why wouldn't a stroke burst the sky?...It's only just begun. No more breasts, no more stomach, no more thighs, no more buttocks! Whirlwinds! Galaxies, the ebb and the flow...Black holes! The original hubbub, have you never heard of it? That's what I always wanted from you. I'm going to crumble you, you're going to break up. We'll see what's left of you when you forget everything. Don't worry, you'll get it back if you still want it."

After his long tirade, she responded: "You're rotten." He replied: "I want nothing, I told you. It's the painting. You and I, we're just involved. It's going to be a whirlwind, a cataract, a maelstrom. Faster faster, until you see nothing, feel nothing." She broke down crying as the day's work temporarily paused. When they began again, he thought about quitting, but she was by now deeply engaged and determined to prevent him from despairing ("We can go on further"). At the end of the day, she resolutely told him: "You're scared. I'm not scared anymore" and she was determined to proceed.

Before the third day's session, Elizabeth warned Marianne: "Be careful...It (his work) can cause a lot of damage to people....If he wants to paint your face, refuse." During their next encounter in the studio (when she defiantly chose her own positions for the first time), Marianne stated that it was over between her and her boyfriend Nicolas, calling him a bastard and a fool ("my life's coming to a stop"). Feeling unloved, Elizabeth (who was becoming more and more disconsolate, tormented and jealous because of her husband's rapt attention to his model), compared her painting of 10 years earlier with the current one. She told him: "What you've done is diminishing us. You've made us sick of each other." She sensed her husband's sadness about his new project: "But now it's not a new beginning. It's the end."

On the fourth day of painting, Frenhofer again took charge of his model for the last session. He took out a long-abandoned painting of Liz and began to reimagine it by painting over it with the new images of Marianne. After Nicolas' pretty sister Julienne (Marianne Denicourt) arrived, she was concerned about her brother, but Elizabeth assured her: "He thinks they're going to have, how do you call it, an affair or something. I think he's wrong, but he's right to worry....It's not the flesh that's shameless, it's not the nudity, it's something else." She described her own experience as a model: "First he wanted to paint me because he loved me, and then...Then because he loved me, he didn't want to paint me. It was me or painting, that's what he said."

When the painting was finished after the marathon battle of wills, Marianne described its stunning image to Julienne: "A thing which was cold and dry -- it was me." Frenhofer secretly sealed the painting - unseen - behind a newly-laid brick wall ("It doesn't exist"), and then presented another faceless painting as the finished product, claiming: "It's my first posthumous work." In voice-over, Marianne narrated: "Marianne put on her old mask again or maybe she took a new one...It used to be me," but then confided in Elizabeth: "I'm not unaware any more."


Marianne's (Emmanuelle Beart) Initial Clothed Posing










Marianne Posing Naked


Artist-Painter Edouard With Replacement Painting

Boyz 'N the Hood (1991)

Writer/director John Singleton's coming-of-age dramatic tale was set in South Central Los Angeles. Singleton became the first African-American and the youngest filmmaker to be nominated as Best Director for this film. Its themes were about life among African-Americans male youths involving temptations (and peer pressures) of crime, sex, drugs, gang violence, and the cultural pressures of racial inequality.

It told about hoods growing up in South Central LA beginning in the year 1984, and spanning the years through to 1991, when the trio of African-American male youths attended Crenshaw HS:

  • Tre Styles (Cuba Gooding, Jr.), an intelligent yet underachieving and hot-tempered son, with a strict and stern disciplinarian father Furious (Larry Fishburne) who was in a separated marriage with Tre's mother Reva Devereaux (Angela Bassett); Tre was Ricky's best friend
  • Darrin 'Doughboy' Baker (rap star Ice Cube), at first a petty thief, then an aspiring gang-banger, Crips gang member and crack-dope dealer; he was Ricky's half-brother
  • Ricky Baker (Morris Chestnut), a promising, All-American football star running back at Crenshaw HS; he was 'Doughboy's' half-brother - and was mothered by Brenda Baker (Tyra Ferrell); by his senior year, he already had an out-of-wedlock son with his girlfriend Shanice (Alysia Rogers), and was being recruited by USC for a sports scholarship

One of the subplots involved a black teen couple - Tre and his girlfriend Brandi (Nia Long) who both were planning to attend college. The couple eventually lost their virginity together after she initially resisted his advances due to her Catholic faith beliefs. Tre had previously been cautioned by his stern father:

"Any fool with a dick can make a baby, but only a real man can raise his children."

While kissing Brandi as she felt empathy for his exasperation over more gang violence, he asked two questions hinting at marriage and commitment with her: "What do you think about people getting married while they're still in college?" and "Are you sure you're down for this?" She agreed to proceed, but was worried: "I don't want to get pregnant," while he was touching her gold-cross necklace and assuring her: "You won't."

In the film's climactic conclusion, Ricky was gunned down by the Bloods rival gang in an alleyway - (shot in the leg and lower abdomen with a shotgun) viewed by Tre in horror.


Tre Contemplating Revenge
The Lethal Gunning Down of Ricky Baker

Tre and Doughboy took Ricky's lifeless body home to his hysterical and distraught single mother Brenda, who afterwards learned that Ricky had scored high enough on his SATs (a score of 710) to qualify for his USC scholarship.

Tre seriously contemplated seeking revenge on Ricky's murder by getting a .357 Magnum and loading it - and thereby jeopardizing his entire future, before being confronted by his father: ("Tre, what are you doing? Huh? Oh, oh, you bad, now, huh? You bad. You gotta shoot somebody now, huh? Well, here I am. Come on, shoot me. You bad, right? Look, I'm sorry about your friend. My heart goes out to his mother and his family, but that's their problem, Tre. You my son. You my problem. Now I want you to give me the gun. Oh, I see, you wanna end up like little Chris in a wheelchair. Right? No, no, you want to end up like Doughboy, huh? No? GIVE ME THE MOTHERF--KIN' GUN, TRE. You're my only son, and I'm not gonna lose you to no bulls--t, you hear? I love you, man").

On the way with Doughboy to gun down the perpetrators, Tre decided to have the car pull over so he could return home. Doughboy and two other friends 'Dookie' (Dedrick D. Gobert) and 'Monster' (Baldwin C. Sykes) went on to cold-bloodedly and vengefully kill the three Bloods gang members responsible for Ricky's death. Doughboy shot and killed Ferris (Raymond Turner) and his Triggerman (Lloyd Avery II), while 'Monster' killed a third gang member.

In the last scene set the following morning, Doughboy (who had sought deadly revenge for Ricky's killing) told Tre that he truly understood why he didn't get involved in avenging Ricky's death, and his personal denouncement of TV news and its lack of care for the cycle of violence in the ghetto:

"I know why you got out of the car last night. You shouldn't have been there in the first place. You don't want that s--t to come back to haunt you. I ain't been up this early in a long time. Turned on the TV this morning. Had this s--t on about how we're living in a violent, a violent world. Showed all these foreign places. How foreigners live and all. I started thinkin', man. Either they don't know, don't show or don't care about what's goin' on in the 'hood. They had all this foreign s--t. They didn't have s--t on my brother, man. I ain't got no brother. Got no mother, neither. She loved that fool more than she love me."

Doughboy's prediction about the continuation of violence was accurate (he was gunned down two weeks later).


Tre Styles with Strict Father Jason (Laurence Fishburne)




Tre and Brandi (Nia Long)


Single Mother Brenda Baker with Corpse of Her Son Ricky


Tre with Doughboy After Revenge was Sought

Carnal Crimes (1991)

Director Gregory Dark's (aka Alexander Hippolyte) film was the first fully soft-core erotic exploitation thriller. Its mostly unbelievable tale involved sex (bondage, S&M, threesomes, voyeurism), murder and blackmail. Its tagline was:

  • Nothing is Forbidden

The sophisticated noir-romance hybrid film, a direct-to-video release, was set in the early 1990s. It told about a woman caught in a four-year loveless marriage in Beverly Hills, CA:

  • Elise (Linda Carol), a formerly-pampered, beautiful blonde fashion model living in Beverly Hills; she was forced to beg for sex from her uninterested, workaholic husband Stanley; she admitted to him that she felt trapped and was unable to make decisions
  • Stanley Goldberg (Rich Crater), Elise's unattractively fat, older, balding businessman-attorney husband, who would rather peruse porno magazines or read the Wall Street Journal

The film, told in flashback, opened with Elise's dreamlike voice-over:

The irony of my life was that the more I longed for someone to change my life, the less I knew the first thing I became. All my foolish acts and all the good things I have done have had the same cause - an aspiration for a perfect and ideal love.


Elise (Linda Carol)

Stanley Goldenberg (Rich Crater)

Renny (Martin Hewitt)

Mia (Yvette Stefens)

Unsatisfied, neglected and feeling alone, she sought out sexual satisfaction from another handsome male:

  • Renny (Martin Hewitt), a seductively-handsome photographer, also creepy, manipulative and kinky and ultimately psychopathic

She was sexually and passionately energized after meeting him and then after spying on a photo (and seduction) session in his warehouse studio that he was having with Mia (Yvette Nelson, aka Yvette Stefens), his sexy dark-haired model. She engaged in a threesome with them after photographs were taken of her with Mia.

After Detective Ronas (Alex Kubik) informed Elise that Renny was suspected of being a sadistic serial killer, she was called upon to set up a sting operation against him by being wired. When she visited with the mysterious photographer in his photo loft, he revealed that her sexploits (photos and videos) (her "carnal crimes") had been filmed to be used for blackmail purposes against her with her husband. The material would be publicized as typical of her life - "10 days in the life of a Beverly Hills socialite turned whore." Renny added how he now had power over her: "Knowledge equals control equals power." To come clean, Elise admitted to her husband that she was having an affair with Renny. Acting self-righteous and spurned, Stanley grabbed his gun and vowed revenge against her lover.

An additional twist came when it was revealed that all along, Elise's sick and perverted husband Stanley had paid for Renny to meet and entrap her. He congratulated Renny for a job well done: "You really did a number on her." And then greedily asked: "Where are the videotapes?" He congratulated Renny for his talent on the job and for his convincing ability to coax or lure Elise back to him: "She came roaring into my conference room like a whore out of hell." It was unknown to them that Elise was eavesdropping on their conversation, and would seek compensatory revenge.

She was able to lure Renny to her Beverly Hills home bedroom where she promised a threesome with her friend Jasmine (Paula Trickey). She had also alerted the detectives and police to be present. To Renny's surprise, she had set up her red-lit bedroom as an S&M torture chamber, with cuffs, whips, chains and other implements of pain and pleasure, and costumed herself as a dominatrix. Elise had also promised Stanley that he could enjoy her and Jasmine for S&M sex that same evening. During her dominatrix games with the two men, she was able to handcuff Stanley, but Renny violently reversed roles and threatened Elise with stabbing. During their surveillance, the authorities burst into the room, and apprehended and arrested Renny.

Elise claimed to Detective Ronas that now she wouldn't "run away," but was able to set herself free and take back her own life.

[Note: Cult B-movie siren Julie Strain was featured in a short cameo role as Ingrid, who had sex with Renny in a Japanese sushi restaurant bathroom.]


Elise Trying to Tempt Her Husband Stanley to Have Sex


Elise with Mia, Renny's Model

Threesome with Mia and Renny in Photo Studio

Another of Elise's Sex Partners


Elise as a Dominatrix

Stanley and Renny Both Tricked by Elise


Ingrid (Julie Strain)

Close My Eyes (1991, UK)

Writer/director Stephen Poliakoff's R-rated British drama (his second feature film) was about forbidden incestual love during the mid-late 1980s and early 1990s (at a time of AIDS fears, the Thatcher era of government, and apocalyptic concerns). Its tagline was:

  • There are some relationships so taboo, they're irresistible.

The controversial lyrical arthouse drama told about two estranged adult siblings, recently-reunited with each other:

  • Richard (Clive Owen), a successful architect and town planner, a playboy; Richard's boss Colin (Karl Johnson) was suffering from AIDS
  • Natalie Gillespie (Saskia Reeves), Richard's older sister, often feeling intellectually and socially insecure, and initially working in unfulfilling jobs


Richard (Clive Owen)


Natalie Gillespie (Saskia Reeves)

Sinclair Bryant (Alan Rickman)

Each grew up with a different parent after their parents divorced. Although the film opened with Natalie as a single working woman and Richard as an unattached hedonist, she soon married older, affluent entrepreneur and stock analyst Sinclair Bryant (Alan Rickman) and they lived in an extravagant riverside mansion. Although Natalie was now in a marital arrangement, she willfully engaged in an ill-fated love affair ("strange bond") with her younger brother.

Moment of Natalie's Sexual Surrender to Richard - First Instance

The duo were overwhelmingly attracted to each other and engaged in a passionately physical, clandestine sexual encounter in his apartment. She kept begging him, "Stop me, please," but continued to kiss him as they were embracing naked on the floor. Richard was amazed that they were so close to each other: "And to think, we never even really liked each other as kids." Natalie responded: "OK, that's the last bit....It just happened...It's never gonna happen again....I tried to stop it happening, and it's finished."

However, their incestual pairing did happen again in London during a sultry summer sexual encounter, although Natalie was thoroughly guilt-ridden and self-castigating. She also confided in Richard about her inferior relationship with her husband Sinclair, and tried to rationalize her unnatural feelings for her brother: "Sometimes I feel this big with Sinclair. No, this big. Even this big. It's nice to be able to tell someone at last. That's all that's going on here. Understand?...This isn't cheating. Absolutely not."

Natalie kissed her brother and then as they strolled along, both spoke about how their incestuous relationship was illegal, and that they had worries:

Natalie: "I'd hate to have a real affair. Lies, deceit, all that."
Richard: "You're so calm! We're doing something illegal. A major taboo. Could go to jail, and you just seem to find it mildly relaxing."
Natalie: "We're not doing anybody any harm. We're not sticking needles into our arms, killing ourselves with drink. Just enjoy it, the last moments."

Richard contemplated the thought of them running away as fugitives to Mexico, but she rejected the idea: "We can't go anywhere. Don't think it, not even as a joke." He also mentioned his fear of growing older: "Being single....It's not as simple as it used to be." Eventually, Natalie insisted that her brother find a more appropriate partner, since she regarded him as "addicted" to her:

Natalie: "Get yourself a girlfriend....I'm not seeing you until that happens because you're getting addicted to this."
Richard: "It only happened twice - that's not addiction."
Natalie: "You see, I fancy you, and I love you as a brother, that's all, and you fancy me and you're beginning to love me as a lover, and that's going to end badly, messily, unless we're careful...."
Richard: "So I find myself a girlfriend and then what happens? Can I see you?"
Natalie: "You won't want to then."
Richard: "But if I do?"
Natalie: "We'll see."
Richard: "Strange bargain, but simple."

However, he was reluctant to break off their affair for the remainder of the summer, and forced her to continue their incestuous relationship after initially trying to fulfill her demand that he find a girlfriend for himself ("I did what you said. Your task"). She suspected that he was making his love for her sound overly dramatic: "You want to pretend this is all going to end tragically, something enormously final, because you find that idea exciting."

And then she asked to only be 'friends' with him: "I need you, Richard, I really need you, as a friend." They parted with one very passionate kiss, although she had specified: "You can have one kiss, just one. I shouldn't, but one kiss can do no harm. Keep away from me till the end of next month, then you will have proved something to me."

Ultimately, the unbelievable truth began to come out when Sinclair privately confided to Richard that he was suspicious of Natalie's indiscretions: "She's having an affair, isn't she?...She's lying to me all the time. When people lie to you, you suddenly can't think of anything else....She's been carrying around a giant placard saying, 'I'm f--king somebody else.'" Richard lied and replied that he didn't know the identity of Natalie's cheating partner ("So who is it?").

In the meantime, Sinclair announced that he and Natalie were leaving for America to live there for a few years, due to an "irresistible" job offer. Richard resisted the idea and begged Natalie: "Please, don't go yet." She responded about their disastrous, self-indulgent and irresponsible affair that he had become obsessed over: "I should never have let this happen. It was a terrible mistake. Couldn't handle it, could you?...I don't believe you're this hooked! It's not that serious, Richard." He threatened: "I'm not gonna let you go away" and desperately begged: "I cannot answer for what will happen if you try and leave." He made a half-hearted effort to kill himself (and frighten her) with an overdose of vitamins and sleeping pills, but Natalie was undeterred:

"I don't want you to hurt yourself, but I'm not going to let you destroy us both."

The film's awkward ending was set at Natalie's and Sinclair's going-away party at the end of the summer, where Richard physically assaulted Natalie and chased after her: "I want to kill you." She fought him off and tried to escape from him. He forced her to the ground as he hatefully and angrily spoke out - feeling discarded after being used: "You used me....To get a little excitement into your marriage, make it take fire again, make you feel strong, help you find yourself." They narrowly missed being run down on the country lane by a truck. She apologized:

"I didn't mean to use you. Maybe I did use you...I love you. I knew you'd want this to end with one of us dying. Trust you to get both of us nearly killed."

And then she admitted that their party was a sham - they weren't moving after all. When they returned to the gathering, completely disheveled and bruised, Sinclair calmly confessed that he already knew everything about their affair - and that their relationship seemed to have been purged: "I know a few things. I know that there was something extraordinary between you two, something that had to be purged. I don't want to know any more....It's enough that the worst is over." When Sinclair was asked by Richard what would now happen, he answered: "I haven't a clue." They took a walk together as the sun was setting, and Natalie commented:

"I certainly wouldn't call this summer typical."



Playboy Richard With His Secretary (credited as Scottish Girl (Helen Fitzgerald))


During Incestuous Affair, Natalie in Bed With Her Husband Sinclair





Hot Summer Pairing - Second Instance



Confessing Worries to Each Other While Still in a Sexual Relationship

Natalie: "Get yourself a girlfriend"


Natalie to Richard: "One kiss can do no harm"



After Richard's Botched Suicide Attempt



Richard's Physical Assault of Natalie


Film's Conclusion

Delicatessen (1991, Fr.)

Jean- Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro's French black comedy was set in a post-apocalyptic 1950s France (of the future). Outrageous and zany scenes among apartment building tenants were common-place.

Its tagline was:

  • A futuristic comic feast

This film became well-known for its montage set-piece called the "Squeaky Bedsprings" scene. It was a clever and non-explicit sex scene that took place in a tenement apartment building above a ground floor butcher's shop/delicatessen.

Above him as newly-hired handyman and circus clown Louison (Dominique Pinon) painted the ceiling with a roller, the cannibalistic butcher/landlord Clapet (Jean-Claude Dreyfus) made love to his mistress Mme. Plusse (Karin Viard) on a squeaky bed ("squeak squeak").

Love-Making, Squeaky Bedsprings, Climaxing

Other tenants kept synchronized in symphonic rhythm to the squeaking with an increasingly sped-up tempo:

  • Louison rolling on paint to the ceiling ("roll roll")
  • the butcher's bespectacled near-sighted daughter Julie (Marie-Laure Dougnac) playing a cello with a metronome ("tick tock, tick tock")
  • a woman beating a dusty rug ("pound pound")
  • a boy pumping a bike tire ("whoosh whoosh")
  • an old woman knitting ("click click")
  • the toy-making Kube brothers testing out a noise-making novelty toy that mooed ("moo moo")

Eventually, the fat-faced butcher climaxed - and:

  • the bike tire exploded
  • a cello string broke
  • the painter fell to the floor
  • etc.

Rolling Paint

Cello-Playing

Rug Beating

Bike Tire Pumping

Knitting

Mooing Toy

Jungle Fever (1991)

Writer/director Spike Lee's urban romance, his fifth feature-length film, was considered controversial in the early 1990s. The film was featured as the cover story, titled "TACKLING A TABOO: Spike Lee's Take on Interracial Romance," in the June 10, 1991 issue of Newsweek Magazine.

The cautionary film's advertising poster displayed two hands clapsed together - a white female's nail-polished left hand, and a black man's right hand. It told of a brief, inter-racial, adulterous romance in New York City between:

  • Flipper Purify (Wesley Snipes), a successful middle-class black architect, married to Drew (Lonette McKee) who was a high-fashion buyer for Bloomingdale's; they had an elementary school-aged daughter Ming (Veronica Timbers); Flipper also had a violent, crackhead-addicted brother Gator (Samuel L. Jackson)
  • Angela "Angie" Tucci (Annabella Sciorra), an Italian-American office temp worker-secretary; her boyfriend was shy Italian-American grocery store co-manager Paulie Carbone (John Turturro) who worked for his elderly widowed father Lou (Anthony Quinn)

Angie lived with her brutish and racist father Mike (Frank Vincent) and her two brothers Charlie (David Dundara) and Jimmy (Michael Imperioli) in Bensonhurst.

The tumultuous flashpoint of the film was the fact that Angie and Flipper, both curious about the opposite race (with black-white attraction known as "jungle fever"), injudiciously had sex during a late-night, after-dinner work session at the Manhattan office - on one of the drafting tables. Afterwards, when Flipper confided in his best friend - high-school teacher/neighbor Cyrus (Spike Lee) about his affair with a white woman named Angie, his reaction was two-fold:

"H-bomb. H-bomb...Nuclear holocaust!"

Angie also told her two girlfriends about her relationship with Flipper, an African-American. There were numerous repercussions:

  • Cyrus told his wife Vera (Veronica Webb) about Flipper, who then told Drew
  • Angie's girlfriends gossiped, and the news reached Angie's father
  • Flipper's wronged-wife Drew broke up with him for his infidelity: ("There will be no penis between us!") and threw his belongings out the second floor window, forcing Flipper to move back to Brooklyn and live with his sweet and forgiving mother Lucinda (Ruby Dee) and his retired preacher-father - the pious Good Reverend Doctor (Ossie Davis)
  • Angie broke up with her boyfriend Paulie, who then attempted another inter-racial relationship with a friendly African-American customer named Orin Goode (Tyra Ferrell)
  • Angie's father violently beat her for dating a black man, and threw her out of the house

Angie and Flipper briefly moved in together in an apartment in Greenwich Village where they suffered further racial discrimination. Due to their scandalous and problematic liaison, they were eventually broken apart by their relatives and friends residing in their two neighborhoods:

  • Sugar Hill (Flipper's home) in Harlem
  • Bensonhurst (Angie's home) in Brooklyn

By the film's conclusion, Flipper and Angie broke up and she returned to her father's house after apologizing and being forgiven. Flipper reconciled with his wife Drew although their marriage was possibly irreparably damaged.


Newsweek: June 10, 1991


Cover Art/Poster For Jungle Fever



Flipper and Angie (Annabella Sciorra) Making Love on a Drafting Table

Mississippi Masala (1991)

Director Mira Nair's R-rated romantic family drama (a Romeo and Juliet, or West Side Story tale) was set in the 1990s in the Mississippi bayous of the American South. This was Nair's follow-up film to her widely-successful Salaam Bombay! (1988). It was budgeted at $5 million, and made $7.3 million (worldwide), after its premiere showing in early 1992 at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, UT. The arthouse film performed well mostly in racially-diverse metropolitan areas (such as NYC, Chicago, and San Francisco).

Its tagline was:

  • Passion. Tradition. Mix It Up.

The film opened with the devastating expulsion of a specific Indian family (and all other Asians) by the dictatorial and militaristic government of General Idi Amin in Uganda. In 1972 as part of the leader's effort to eliminate Asians and make his country more "black" - an order that required all of his country's Asian minority to leave the country within 90 days. One of the main characters, young Mina (Sahira Nair) who was the daughter of Indian expatriates who had been living in affluence in Kampala, Uganda, was expelled with her parents:

  • Jay (Roshan Seth), a lawyer, preoccupied afterwards with battling against and suing the Ugandan government following the "illegal" expulsion, and wishing to return to Uganda to live there and reacquire his estate
  • Kinnu (Sharmila Tagore)

Mina's family was first relocated in England, but had now spent the previous three years in their new provincial American home of Greenwood, Mississippi. In that area, their extended family members dominated the motel industry, and Mina's family lived in the roadside Monte Cristo Motel. For employment, Kinnu operated a liquor store in a poor section of town, and Mina was employed as a motel cleaning maid-housekeeper.

The film's title "Mississippi Masala" - meaning the mixing of different races and the spicy nature of a relationship, told of the forbidden romance between an inter-racial couple in the southern state of Mississippi:

  • Mina (or Meena) (Sarita Choudhury in her debut film), now a grown-up 24 year-old Uganda-born Indian-American immigrant; she described herself: "I'm a mix masala...It's a bunch of hot spices" - meaning "hot and spicy"
  • Demetrius Williams (Denzel Washington), an affable African-American, a self-employed, one van-owning, small carpet-cleaner business owner who specialized in cleaning carpets in motel rooms, businesses, and homes

Mina (or Meena) (Sarita Choudhury)

Demetrius Williams (Denzel Washington)

Demetrius and Mina happened to meet due to her causing a minor car accident by ramming into the back of his van (symbolic of the clash of cultures), but they soon fell in color-blind love. The two attempted to keep their secret and erotic affair private due to racial tensions and extreme color-consciousness from her racially-prejudiced father who wanted her to solely socialize with exiled Indian nationals.

In one sensuous scene in which both lovers were near naked in their respective beds, Demetrius phoned Mina to speak of their mutual desire for each other - and his invitation to take her for the weekend to Biloxi:

Demetrius: "Kind of wishin' you were here with me."
Mina: "I was thinking the same. Wanting to be with you."
Demetrius: "What you got on? You in your pajamas?"
Mina: "T-shirt."
Demetrius: "Yeah. Me too. Guess we got a lot in common, huh?"

She agreed to spend a romantic clandestine weekend together in a Biloxi beachside hotel with him. They kissed while strolling along the seashore, and in the evening attended a carnival. The two were seen there by relatives and members of their Indian community, including Mina's cousin Anil (Ranjit Chowdhry) and his friends. In their hotel room, they became entwined for hot love-making before spending the night there. [Note: The film's R-rating was an over-reaction, since the main sexual sequence was very non-graphic.] But then when Demetrius' parked van was also spotted the next morning, the couple were reported to authorities that burst into the hotel room. Soon, word got back to Mina's controlling father Jay who was forced to come to Biloxi to pick her up.

Her father regarded Demetrius as "kaalu" (a black man), and even Demetrius' brother and business partner Tyrone Williams (Charles S. Dutton) warned: "You better leave them f--kin' foreigners alone, boy. They ain't nothin' but trouble." Their dating and relationship as an inter-racial couple was greeted with shock and indignation on both sides. Mina was shamed and berated for associating with Demetrius, although she defended herself to her parents:

I've never asked you for anything, never expected anything. I'm 24 years old and I'm still here! Stuck here! Think I'm happy? I love him. That's not a crime, is it?...I am sorry about this mess. But I'm not sorry I'm in Iove with him."

Demetrius had the opportunity to speak to Mina's father, and asked him: "So you think I ain't good enough for your daughter, is that it?" Jay accused Demetrius of being insensitive to the problems of Indian immigrants, and how he was attempting to protect his daughter: ("Mina is my only child. I don't want her to go through the same struggle as I did"). Demetrius reminded him of the oppression he and other blacks faced in the Deep South: ("Look, I'm a black man born and raised in Mississippi. Ain't a damn thing you can tell me about struggle"), and also noted that both of them were 'people of color' as viewed by the white majority - and that they shouldn't treat each other with disrespect: "I know that you and your daughter ain't but a few shades from this here. That I know!" Afterwards, Jay demanded that his daughter stick with her own ethnic race: "People stick to their own kind. You are forced to accept that when you grow older. I'm only trying to spare you the pain."

The resulting gossip ruined Demetrius' reputation and business in Greenwood when his contracts were voided (he told Mina: "All those years of building up my business are gone"), and he felt she was partly to blame for his problems: "You never told me your family had trouble with black folks." He was forced to move his business enterprise out of Greenwood to Indianola. Mina decided to trail after Demetrius (while her family was planning to move back to Uganda in Africa), and move on together in his van to find a new area to help establish his clientele: ("Can I come with you?...Wherever you're going...I could be your partner. I know how to clean rooms").

She phoned her shocked parents and announced: "Demetrius and I are gonna work together. We're leaving Mississippi to see what we can do....If l don't leave now, I'll never leave. You know that." By this time, only her father Jay had decided to return to Uganda. Upon his arrival, he realized the country had changed so drastically that he couldn't move back permanently - so he would return to Mississippi.

The film concluded - during the end credits - with the happy couple kissing, twirling, and dancing through a Delta cotton field together.



The Couple - Falling in Love



Sensual Phone Call


At the Biloxi Seashore



In Biloxi - Sexual Sequence: Between Demetrius (Denzel Washington) and Mina (Sarita Choudhury)


Conversation Between Demetrius and Mina's Father


Mina to Demetrius: "Can I come with you?"


End Credits - Mina and Demetrius Together

My Own Private Idaho (1991)

Writer/director Gus Van Sant's off-beat, buddy/road independent film (his third feature film), part of the New Queer cinematic movement, was a modern reworking of William Shakespeare's Henry IV (two parts) and Henry V. Some of the conversational dialogue was dubbed 'bardspeak' as it drew directly from Shakespeare's plays. On a budget of $2.5 million, it grossed $6.4 million.

Its main taglines were:

  • Wherever, whatever, have a nice day.
  • The angels are in the sky on a sunny day in Idaho
  • It's not where you go, it's how you get there.

There were two main mismatched male characters in this enigmatic and intense character study (of unrequited homosexual love) - both were street hustlers in the Pacific Northwest:

  • Michael 'Mikey' Waters (River Phoenix), suffered chronically from stress-induced narcolepsy ("brief attacks of deep sleep"); reminders of his missing biological mother Sharon (or "Shari") (Vana O'Brien) after being abandoned as a child would trigger the severe psychosomatic reaction; he was engaged in an obsessive search for her whereabouts; he identified more as a homosexual, and confessed during a campfire sequence that he loved his friend Scott
  • Scott (Keanu Reeves), an older best friend of Mike's, with a rebellious nature, who identified more as 'straight'; he was raised in an affluent, high-ranking and privileged family (his powerful father was mayor of Portland) and he was about to inherit a fortune [Shakespearean Note: Prince Hal]

In a scene during the film's opening title credits, Mike was apparently having a narcoleptic episode - finding himself alone on a deserted rural stretch of two-lane road in Idaho. He counted down from 5 with his pocket watch, then muttered (in voice-over):

I always know where I am by the way that the road looks. Like I just know that I've been here before. I just know that I've been stuck here, like this one f--kin' time before, you know that? Yeah. There's not another road anywhere that looks like this road - I mean, exactly like this road. It's one kind of place. One of a kind, like someone's face, like a f--ked up face.

Then, almost lifeless as he twitched, he fell down and began to sleep. Clouds moved across the sky with snow-capped mountains in the background. In Mike's idealized view in a farmlike setting (in his own "private Idaho"), his mother held his head in her lap and was lovingly assuring him: ("Don't worry. Everything's gonna be alright. I know. It's okay. I know you're sorry. I know."). Various surreal images (including home videos) were displayed from his mind. More shadows of clouds moved across the road and landscape as the golden rays of the setting sun burnished the sky.

On the soundtrack, Tex Owens' Cattle Call cowboy song sung by Eddie Arnold was playing in the background. Mike was reclined backwards in a chair as he received fellatio from a male client. As he strained - with the camera only showing his face - salmon lept upstream (in slow-motion) to get back to their place of birth (spawning grounds).


Mike's Mother: "Don't worry...

Lying in Mother's Lap

Shadows of Clouds Moving Across Road

Mike Reclined in Chair

Salmon Jumping Upstream

Barn Crashing

$10 Payment Thrown Onto Bare Chest

Mike Begging For $10 More Dollars

The dreamy sequence ended when a wooden barn crashed onto the two-lane road from the sky, signifying that he had orgasmed during fellatio. Mike was actually in a cheap Seattle hotel room with a balding and fat client-john named Walt (Robert Lee Pitchlynn). As the camera panned down Mike's naked body, two $10s were thrown as payment onto his bare chest. The bills slid down into his crotch area as he fastened his blue jeans. He was forced to beg for another $10 bill as he crouched outside the customer's bathroom door.

In an early scene, Mike and his friend Scott and others were displayed on the covers of porn magazines in an adult book store. They came to life and talked to each other. Scott was the first to speak from the cover of MALE CALL: "I never thought I could make it as a real model. You know, fashion-oriented modeling. 'Cause I'm better at full-body poses. It's all right so long as the photographer doesn't come on to you and expect something for nothin'. I'm trying to make a living. I like to have a professional attitude. Of course, if the guy can pay me, hell yeah. Here I am for him. I'll sell my ass. Do it on the street occasionally for cash. Or I'll be on the cover of a book. It's when you start doing things for free that you start to grow wings." From another porn cover titled G-STRING, Mike responded: "What do you care about money? S--t, you got plenty. Why don't you just go ahead and do whatever it is that you do - I can only imagine what that is - for free?" Scott replied by gloating about his inheritance, due from his soon-to-die father.

Both the homeless Mike and Scott were mentored (as part of a larger street family of low-lifes and druggies) by middle-aged, stringy-haired, overweight, and cocaine-addicted guru Bob Pigeon (William Richert) [Shakespearean Note: Falstaff] in an abandoned downtown hotel building in Portland, Oregon. Scott admitted his closeness to Bob when compared to his family: "I'd say I love Bob more than my mother and my father."

In the film's arc-story, the two quested to locate Mike's elusive mother, traveling from Portland to Idaho ("the potato state") where Mike's older alcoholic brother Richard (James Russo) lived. They found themselves traveling on Scott's motorcycle in the middle-of-nowhere - on the two-lane road from the film's opening. In the celebrated campfire scene in Idaho while camping overnight, Mike nervously and painfully professed his true love for Scott:

Mike: "I don't feel like I can be close to you. I mean, we're close. Right now we're close, but, I mean, you know, uh, how close? I mean, I don't know. Whatever....What do I mean to you?..."
Scott: "Mike, you're my best friend."
Mike: "I know, man. And I - I know - I know I'm your friend. We're good friends. And it's good to be, you know, good friends. That's a good thing...So I just. That's OK. We can be friends."
Scott: "I only have sex with a guy for money."
Mike: "Yeah, I know."
Scott: "And two guys can't love each other."
Mike: "Yeah. Well, I - I don't know. I mean - I mean, for me, I could love someone even if I, you know, wasn't paid for it. I love you and you don't pay me....I really want to kiss you, man. Well, good night, man. I love you though. You know that. I do love you."
Scott: "All right. Come here, Mike." (The two briefly embraced and hugged in the darkness)

Once in Idaho, Mike's brutish brother Richard explained "the real truth" about how their mother was promiscuous and had fallen in love with an irresponsible "cowboy f--k" - Mike's father ("That guy is your real father"). One night at a drive-in movie showing John Wayne's film Rio Bravo (1959), she allegedly stuck her gun in his mouth and blew his brains out. However, Mike knew the real truth - it was his own brother Richard who had incestuously 'fathered' him, and then raised him: (Mike: "Richard, you're my dad, I know that").

Then, they continued to trace Mike's mother to farmland area near Rome, Italy where she had moved to as a maid and English tutor, but learned that she had already returned to the US a long time earlier. Suddenly becoming homophobic, Scott fell in love with beautiful local Italian woman Carmela (Chiara Caselli) and they made love (in a series of freeze-framed images), upsetting Mike with their incessant noisy love-making. Scott announced to Mike that he was leaving: "I fell in love, Mike. I'm sorry," and returned separately to Portland.

Freeze-Framed Images: Scott and Carmella

Mike soon followed and returned to the US where he continued his role as a down-and-out Portland street hustler under Bob's tutelage. Meanwhile, Scott inherited his father's fortune upon his death and had decided to disavow his disreputable past by rejecting Bob's continued acquaintance as his "former and psychedelic teacher": ("I don't know you, old man. Please leave me alone...And although I love you more dearly than my dead father, I have to turn away. Now that I have, and until I change back, don't come near me"). That night, Bob suddenly died of a heart attack - possibly of a broken heart.

A double funeral was held for Scott’s two 'father' figures - Mayor Favor and Bob Pigeon - who both died almost simultaneously. Contrasting funeral services and burials (formal and staid, vs. chaotic and raucous) were held near each other in the same cemetery. Bob's noisy revelers danced and chanted his name while a religious figure read Bible verses at the respectable Favor gravesite.

The film concluded with a bookended ambiguous ending (with a repeat of images from the opening) back in Idaho. Just before another narcoleptic episode on a deserted highway in Idaho, Mike spoke the last line of the film (in voice-over): "I'm a connoisseur of roads. I've been tasting roads my whole life. This road will never end. It probably goes all around the world." Mike was seen unconscious on the road when two unidentified males in a truck drove up and stole his backpack and shoes.

Viewed from a distance, another anonymous figure drove up, dragged Mike into the car, and took Mike away in his 4-door sedan - to the tune of "America the Beautiful." The film ended with a simple title-card: "have a nice day."


Film's Opening: On Deserted Stretch of Idaho Highway

The Two-Lane Road: "Like a F--ked Up Face"


Live-Action Porn Magazine Covers: Scott

Porn Cover: Mike

Other Cover Models Joined in the Conversation




Narcoleptic Mike With His Friend Scott in Portland



Guru Bob Pigeon (William Richert)





Campfire Scene - Unrequited Love Between Mike and Scott


Mike's Older Brother Richard (James Russo) in Idaho


Scott and Carmella (Chiara Caselli) in Italy


Back in the US - a Now-Respectable Scott with Carmella


Scott's Rejection of Bob


Ending: Mike By the Side of the Road - Again

Poison (1991)

Director Todd Haynes' first full-length feature was this provocative NC-17 rated film - part of the Queer Cinema movement, with the title referring to the 'poisonous' effects of sex. This low-budget film (with a budget of $250,000) was attacked by right-wing, reactionary Christian fundamentalist groups as part of their family-values campaign against "government-funded pornography" (the film was funded, in part, by the National Endowment of the Arts, for $25,000).

"Poison" began with the provocative statement:

"The entire world is dying of panicky fright."

The most controversial of its three, non-linear interwoven stories (adapting French Jean Genet's homoerotic writings and only film Un Chant d'Amour) was titled "Homo." The story set in the year 1944 was told with flashbacks and vignettes. Its most memorable segment was in Fontenal prison where two inmates developed a thwarted homosexual romance:

  • John Broom (Scott Renderer), an imprisoned thief (again incarcerated), an orphan
  • Jack Bolton (James Lyons), a handsome fellow inmate

Broom experienced obsessed homosexual feelings for Bolton, someone he knew years earlier in reform school as a bullied, often-taunted weakling teen, but had now become tough and domineering. One of the most disturbing segments was a notorious spitting scene that Broom recalled watching in the past, as an unseen and silent voyeur. A group of teenaged guys forced young Bolton to hold his mouth open as they tried to spit into it from a distance.

In the present in a nighttime prison scene (shot in blue light) in which the inmates were sleeping side by side, Broom tentatively and erotically touched Bolton on his bare chest and then lower over his genitals. Suddenly, Bolton woke up and discovered that he was being transgressed, stroked and touched through his pants (and then directly on his penis in a brief close-up). [Note: In particular, there were complaints about this homosexual scene including a short explicit view of an erection (removed in the unrated and R-rated versions), and an anal rape scene.]

Controversial Sequence of Groping and Anal Sex

The sequence was interrupted by an intertitle card:

"My heart is in my hand, and my hand is pierced, and my hand is in the bag, and the bag is shut, and my heart is caught."

Then, Broom was surprised to have his touch reciprocated. A scene of harsh, simulated forbidden anal sex (from behind) followed (with a lot of grunting), while the two stood up against a wall.

A male love triangle ultimately developed between Broom, Bolton, and prison gang leader Rass (John R. Lombardi).




Flashback of Spitting Scene Involving Jack Bolton as a Bullied Teen

Prospero's Books (1991, UK/Fr.)

Eccentric arthouse director Peter Greenaway deconstructed and radically retold Shakespeare's final play The Tempest in this lurid, lavish, imaginative, confounding, and visually stunning R-rated film production and fantasy drama. The visual orgy also featured a pop-minimalist score by Michael Nyman. In the multi-layered film, there were numerous super-imposed images, frames, voice-overs, swirling choreographed dancers, processions, pans, and tableaux.

The bacchanalian pretentious spectacle was advertised as containing copious full-frontal nudity at various times (provided by hundreds of unclad extras of both sexes) as nude dancing nymphs and resident sprites on the island. The island was portrayed as a Roman bathhouse.

Its tagline described the visionary film's content:

  • A Magician's Spell. The Innocence of Young Love and a Dream of Revenge Unite to Create a Tempest

The protagonist was:

  • Prospero (John Gielgud), a magician, the banished Duke of Milan (due to Alonso, the King of Naples)

He had fled in exile twelve years earlier to a small Mediterranean island with:

  • Miranda (Isabelle Pasco), his 15 year-old daughter
  • twenty-four beloved Shakespeare books; his many arcane books also included "A Book of Water," "A Book of Mirrors," "A Book of Utopias," and "A Book of Mythologies"
  • crew members

During the elaborately-choreographed opening credits with a lengthy traveling shot moving from left to right, the books were placed on tables and passed from one naked spirit/character to the next, and then opened and read.

The multi-media film began with nude young boy-sprite Ariel urinating into the Roman bath-pool where Prospero (with a toy ship in his hands) bathed and wrote, followed by an underwater nude ballet sequence.

Prospero with Daughter Miranda (Isabelle Pasco)

Most of the dialogue (including the lines of other characters) was spoken or narrated by the God-like Prospero, as he wrote out (or read) the calligraphic letters (with his voice-over) while flipping through the pages/contents of the many books. He manipulated, with magical control, the characters of his drama as well as all the resident fairies, sprites, nymphs and monsters.

Striking Images

A Pregnant Woman Exposed

Death

Nudity

Castaway Prospero imagined that he had created the play The Tempest, and the products of his vivid imagination became the action of the film. A tempest brought his usurping brother Antonio (Tom Bell), as well as Alonso (Michel Blanc), the King of Naples and his son Ferdinand (Mark Rylance) to the shores of the island, where Prospero planned to seek revenge against his turncoat compatriot-enemies. He was also dealing with a deadly plot conceived by lonely, primitive, deformed and beast-like Caliban (Michael Clark), the son of witch Sycorax.

With the help of sorcerer's sprite Ariel (in another form) and Prospero's own efforts to bring them together, Prospero's daughter Miranda fell in love with Ferdinand, the son of his chief enemy, and they planned to marry.

Prospero was moved by his brother Antonio's remorse (thinking Ferdinand was dead), forgave him, and decided to forego or abandon his vengeance against his cohorts.


Opening Credits

Magician Prospero (John Gielgud) in Pool, While Young Boy Peed


Abundant Nudity

Underwater Nude Ballet



Prospero's (John Gielgud) Writing of Calligraphic Letters


Naked Sprites, Nymphs, Etc.

Rambling Rose (1991)

Director Martha Coolidge's coming-of-age dramatic tale was set in the South (Glennville, Georgia) during the mid-30s Depression era, with a tale adapted from Calder Willingham's 1972 novel. Its tagline was:

  • Innocence has never been so seductive.

It told about a scandalous, sexually-precocious, uneducated, troubled, love-seeking young woman:

  • Rose (Oscar-nominated Laura Dern), 19 years-old, orphaned, free-spirited, curly-haired, sexually-uninhibited and overtly sexual

The film was told as a flashback from the year 1971, by Southerner Willcox 'Buddy' Hillyer (John Heard) who had returned to his childhood home where "Rose" had made such an impact on his early life: ("She was the first person I ever loved outside members of my own family. But as my father said, she caused one hell of a damnable commotion").


The Return Trip to Georgia

'Rose' (Laura Dern)

'Daddy' (Robert Duvall)
Willcox 'Buddy' Hillyer (John Heard)
13 year-old 'Buddy' Hillyer (Lukas Haas)
Rose's Arrival

She was employed as a maid-domestic servant in the household of a Southern family, run by:

  • Mr. 'Daddy' Hillyer (Robert Duvall), the proper head of household
  • "Mother" (Diane Ladd, Dern's real-life mother), Mr. Hillyer's intelligent, sensitive and feminist wife

'Rose' was graciously greeted: "Rosebud, I swear to God. You are graceful as a capital letter S. You will adorn our house. You will give a glow and a shine to these old walls. Yes indeed."

In a scene of inevitable sexual temptation (when 'Mother' was away for the evening at a garden club meeting), 'Rose' tempted or bewitched 'Daddy' by throwing herself at him and sitting on his lap - she declared her love and begged for a kiss ("Oh, God, Mr. Hillyer! I love you! I tried! But I can't help it. Please kiss me. Will you kiss me!"). Although he protested ("I can't kiss you. I only kiss Mrs. Hillyer"), he kissed her once, and then as she laid down, he continued the kisses while fondling her right breast with one hand (while 'Buddy' (Lukas Haas) and his younger sister Doll (Lisa Jakub) spied on them through a door crack, and 'Buddy' provided commentary: "Rose's tittie's out! He's got his hand on it!").

Rose Tempting 'Daddy' With Her Love

But then, 'Daddy' became unnerved, composed himself and self-righteously resisted and ordered her to calm her ardent love as he backed away:

"Enough of this damn nonsense. And I mean enough. Get up, Rose. Put your damn tit back in your dress....Replace that tit. Damn you, girl! You made me make a fool out of myself...Now, a man is supposed to be a fool like this. But a woman should have some control and sense. Are you a nitwit? What's the matter with you?"

He claimed: "Now let me warn you. I am standing here at Thermopylae...And the Persians shall not pass."

That same night, Rose came to 'Buddy' to seek consolation ("Buddy, I have been wandering in the wilderness, lost. I just feel awful. Do you mind if I get in bed with you for a little while?"). She complained of a broken heart and her mad "lost love" for 'Daddy': ("Men, I don't understand 'em. I can't see through 'em. I can't figure 'em out. And they break my heart, that's all. But this is the worst ever. 'Cause it wasn't his fault, it was my fault. I was bad"), but 'Buddy' had only become more sexually-inquisitive about the facts of life and female anatomy.

She allowed him to sexually touch her breast over her thin nightgown: ("It's awful soft. I thought it would feel like a cantaloupe"). At first, she told him: "You're just a child. You're not supposed to be interested in such things...A child like you asking such things!"), but he was persistently curious and kept asking: "Come on, Rose, just for a second...Can't I just see what the nipple looks like?" and he was allowed to place his hand directly on her breast: ("It's got a nipple on it...it's like a little acorn...it was softer than I thought"). She tried to explain again: "You're just a child, and wouldn't understand, but that type of thing can stir a girl up."

And then he went further and asked with a whisper for a more "nasty thing" ("Can't I touch it just a little bit?") - he boldly moved his hand down to her privates under her gown. When he touched her and asked with curiosity: "Am I hurtin' you?", she breathed deeply and responded: "No. No, you're not hurtin' me. You'd just better quit it, Buddy, that's all...". Before she was brought to a shuddering orgasm, Buddy admitted: "Without a doubt, this is the most fascinating experience of my life." Afterwards, he asked: "What's the matter, Rose? Are you sick or somethin'?" She replied guilt-ridden with regret: "I've robbed the cradle and fell into Hell. I must be crazy! I got to get out of here! Buddy, you wouldn't tell nobody, now would you?"

Later, she returned to his room and piteously begged for Buddy not to squeal: "I'd never hurt you, ever, but they'd think I did....They'd blame me, not you. They'd think I was awful. A disgusting girl, which I am."

Rose was determined the next day to go out and find a husband: ("Mr. Right is out there somewheres, and I'm gonna find him") - disembarking from 'Daddy's' car, she pronounced: "I'm going out amongst 'em, boys." She sashayed into town in a tight, slinky, handmade cotton dress and raised-heels, posturing for attention that only brought catcalls and male gawking; as 'Buddy' and 'Daddy' watched, she swiftly was able to attract gazes: "Incredible, the swiftness of it. The girl strikes like a cobra."

"Daddy" also found himself fending off her many eager male suitors. Early one morning, he found a pair of shoes on the back porch, and burst into Rose's room - he found that a male suitor, a poor and unemployed would-be fireman named Billy (Matt Sutherland) had spent the night with Rose. She pleaded: ("Mr. Hillyer, I know I was bad. And I hadn't ought to have done it. But I am only a human girl person. And I ain't always perfect. Don't fire me. I love you all so much"), but he responded: "Rosebud, you break my heart. But I am only a human man person myself of the father variety. Pack your bag, baby. As of this moment you're hired, mired, and fired" - however, he relented.

In the film's most pivotal scene, when 'Rose' was suspected to be 3 months pregnant (possibly by someone who had left town with "no forwarding address"); she was seen by Dr. Martinson (Kevin Conway). He diagnosed that she wasn't pregnant, but had an ovarian cyst; and due to rampant "promiscuity" in her past, she had also suffered from gonorrhea (untreated when she was 15) and had been rendered infertile. He prescribed a radical but therapeutical surgical operation (a hysterectomy, the removal of the womb), along with removal of both ovaries, to cure Rose's over-sexed, "near-nymphomania" sexual appetite - "She is an extreme psychoneurotic with uncontrolled sexual impulses" - and 'Daddy' agreed ("Spay her!").

'Mother' stood up to the surgeon and her own husband for their savage cruelty: "Over my dead body! Are you human beings or are you some kind of male monsters? Is there no limit to which you will not go to keep your illusions about yourselves?...You'd go so far as to mutilate a helpless girl, who has no means of defending herself?...Could you really take Rose's womanhood away from her, when it's all she's got?" After 'Daddy' came around to her pleas and admitted he was wrong by agreeing with the doctor, 'Mother' threatened the doctor's practice: "And if you hurt that girl, I'll hire lawyers, and I'll sue you from here to kingdom come. I'll ruin you"; subsequently, only one cystic ovary was removed from Rose.

In the last, inevitable farewell scene between 'Buddy' and 'Rose', she admitted: "I'm gonna have to leave here. I gotta go...I got to, Buddy." She shared details of her unhappy and abusive childhood, and then revealed: "Sex don't mean nothin' to me, Buddy. It ain't nothin' but a mosquito bite....Buddy, I'm gonna tell you a secret. Girls don't want sex. Girls want love."

As the film concluded, 'Rose' was married to "Mr. Right" - Dave Wilkie (Robert Burke) - the policeman whose thumb she bit earlier when she was arrested and jailed. 'Daddy' joked as they drove away from the wedding's BBQ: "Thank God we're rid of her at last. And she's happy, that's the main thing, she's happy"; 'Buddy' cried as she receded in the distance.

The film's final lines - a return to the opening scene - were between widower 'Daddy' and 'Buddy' who recalled details about 'Rose's' life and both grieved over news of Rose's recent death a week earlier and their mutual love for her; 'Daddy' described 'Rose's' lasting influence: "Rose was so alive. It's hard to believe. Nobody lives forever, and who'd want to?...Now boy, get a grip on yourself. She had a good life. She met Mr. Right. Then what are you blubbering about?...Rose isn't dead, son, not really. Some of us die, some of us don't. Rose lives! (a long pause before they walked back to the house) Don't worry about it, boy. She's at rest with Mother in the creative universe. She's at rest with Mother."






Rose's Sexual Experience with 'Buddy'


Begging 'Buddy' Not to Tell




Rose Out on the Town



Confronting Rose About Early-Morning Suitor Billy in Her Room

"I ain't always perfect. Don't fire me"


Dr. Martinson's Diagnosis and Drastic Remedy - a Hysterectomy

'Mother's' Objection to Radical Surgery


Last Scene Between 'Buddy' and 'Rose'

Rose's Marriage


Epilogue: Sharing Sad News of Rose's Death

Return to the Blue Lagoon (1991)

Producer/director William A. Graham's romantic adventure film was a sequel to the more highly-tauted The Blue Lagoon (1980), which starred Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins. The original film's director Randal Kleiser served as the film's executive producer.

The film was a major box-office bomb - on a budget of $11 million, the film only grossed $2.8 million. It was nominated for five Razzie Awards, including Worst Picture, Worst New Star (Krause and Jovivich), Worst Director, and Worst Screenplay.

Its taglines promised:

  • "Return to the Romance, Return to the Adventure..."
  • Alone... Wild...Untamed
  • The Story of Natural Love Continues
  • In a secluded paradise... surrounded by a coral sea, a boy and a girl grew up alone. Now they are experiencing the first awakenings of love. A love that can only be threatened... by discovery.

The film opened with scrolling text to explain the historical context:

1897 - Fifteen years before our story begins, two children were shipwrecked on an uncharted island. The little boy and girl grew up alone in this lost paradise. As man and woman, they discovered a pure and natural love. In time, a child was born. But in a tragic accident, they were driven out to sea away from their island. Drifting for days, they believed that their lives and the life of their baby were at an end. Then a passing vessel drew near...

It told the same sanitized 'coming of age' story of two young children in the next generation (the boy was the offspring of one of the original castaways) who were again shipwrecked on the same South Pacific tropical island in the year 1897. The film repetitively explored the same themes with the two young children:

  • Young Lilli (Courtney Phillips), the daughter of widowed Sarah Hargrave (Lisa Pelikan)
  • Young Richard (Garette Ratliff Henson), orphaned, the son of Richard (Christopher Atkins) and Emmeline (Brooke Shields) from the earlier film

The two children were shipwrecked on the island and raised by Sarah Hargrave until her death eight years later in 1905. By this time, Richard was 10 years old and Lilli was 8. As the two children grew into young teens over the next six years, they experienced the onset of puberty and changing bodies (with Lilli's first menstrual period and Richard's erections). Soon after, the two became passionate lovers and exchanged wedding vows.

  • Lilli Hargrave (15-16 year old Milla Jovovich)
  • Richard Lestrange (Brian Krause)

The film concluded with the two having a baby child together and remaining on the island, although they had an opportunity to return to civilization. The last lines of the film confirmed their choice:

Lilli: "There's a baby growing inside me."
Richard: "How do you know?"
Lilli: "A woman knows these kinds of things, that's how....I won't let it be born in civilization. I want it to be born right here. Where there's no evil, and no lies, and no guns."
Richard: "You're right. We'll stay here. Just the three of us. I love you, Lilli."

There was only discreet and minor nudity in the film, allowing the film to appeal to a wider PG-13 audience.

DVD version
VHS version
Young Lilli (Courtney Phillips)
Teenaged Lilli (Milla Jovovich)


Lilli with Richard




Lilli (Milla Jovovich)

La Riffa (1991, It.) (aka The Raffle)

Writer/director Francesco Laudidio was responsible for bringing the voluptuous actress Monica Bellucci first to the screen in this 85 minute-long Italian drama - the 27 year old actress' first starring or major film role.

Before entering films in the 1990s, Monica Bellucci had started out as a very curvy Italian model - unusual in the high-fashion world due to her Mediterranean features and her full breasts. Interestingly, her role in this film was about the commercialization of her beauty through a high-stakes raffle.

[Note: Admitting that she had never shied away from posing naked, Bellucci went on to display more of her curves in such films as Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula (1992), and she took the lead role in director Giuseppe Tornatore's Miramax-financed Malena (2000, It.) - which featured numerous nude scenes when she became the object of erotic fantasies of a young 13 year-old boy in a 1940s Sicilian village. She also appeared in The Matrix Reloaded (2003) and The Matrix Revolutions (2003) sequels, in Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ as Mary Magdalene, and in Gaspar Noe's controversial Irreversible (2002) - in which she was a rape victim in an uninterrupted nine-minute rape scene.]

The film was inspired by the last episode (filmed by Vittorio de Sica) of the Italian film Boccaccio '70 (1962), in which her role was played by Sophia Loren (as Zoe).

The main female role was:

  • Francesca (Monica Bellucci), a very beautiful, high-society female living in Bari, Italy who became a widow and penniless after her indebted, supposedly-rich husband Maurizio (discovered later to be unfaithful and poor) died in an auto accident in the film's opening

She was forced to support herself (and her young daughter Giulia), and advised to sell all of her possessions (house, jewels, furs, yacht) to survive for awhile. Afterwards, without a job or secure future, she decided to become the prize in a raffle bid upon by twenty wealthy men (each bidding 100 million lire), in which the winner was entitled to live with her for 4 years and demand whatever he wanted.

Francesca (young Monica Bellucci)

Many lecherous friends of her husband, and her own lawyer Cesare (Massimo Ghini), all vied to win her at the same time that she fell in love with a new boyfriend Antonio (Giulio Scarpati).

As the film concluded, she decided to run away with her daughter and escape becoming victimized by a lottery winner.







Various Views of the Beautiful Francesca (Monica Bellucci)

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

The taut, suspenseful, Best Picture-winning psychological thriller The Silence of the Lambs (1991) was directed by Jonathan Demme and written by Ted Tally. The tense film was a major commercial and critical success, although gay groups complained about its stereotypical and negative depiction of the killer in the finale, and the film's implicit homophobia. They believed that the film equated homosexuality and transgenderism with insanity, monstrous individuals, dangerous sexuality and serial murder.

Demme defended his film, claiming that the suspected killer was not specifically portrayed as gay or trans-sexual, but just psychologically and pathologically damaged - and was seeking some kind of transformation.

In the film's basic plotline, ambitious FBI agent trainee Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) was sent by her superior Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn) to the Baltimore Hospital for the Criminally Insane. There, she was to interrogate serial killer Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), a former psychologist and a cannibalistic psychopath, in his subterranean cell, about another trans-sexual killer:

  • Jame Gumb ("Buffalo Bill") (Ted Levine)

Lecter had insisted to Clarice that the self-loathing Buffalo Bill, who had suffered a life of abuse, was not a real trans-sexual but only believed that he was, or showed symptoms of gender dysphoria:

"Our Billy wasn't born a criminal, Clarice. He was made one through years of systematic abuse. Billy hates his own identity, you see, and he thinks that makes him a trans-sexual. But his pathology is a thousand times more savage and more terrifying."

Gumb abducted overweight women as his victims, to be skinned after they were kidnapped and forced to lose weight. He would then peel (or flay) off their loose skin and make a female 'suit' for himself. As Clarice described: "He's making himself a 'woman's suit,' Mr. Crawford, out of real women. And he, he can sew, this guy. He's, he's very skilled. He's a tailor or a dressmaker. That's why they're all so big. He has to keep them alive, so he can starve them awhile, so he can loosen their skin."


Mannequins and Dress Forms

Nipple Piercing and Makeup

Lipstick Application

Gumb with Deaths-Head Moth

Quilt With Orange Swastikas (Hiding Place for Large Gun)

Record of Kills: "Bill Skins Fifth"

'Buffalo Bill' was very much depicted as trying to feminize himself throughout the film, in order to accept himself. His dark abode and basement lair held a collection of sewing forms and mannequins, and a record of his victims on Polarioid photos. The transvestite serial killer was seen primping before his mirror, applying makeup to his eyebrows, adjusting a nipple ring, adorning himself with jewelry, and putting on lipstick. He would play dress-up, and he was also fond of petting his pet white poodle Precious. He hid his large gun under a quilt with a pattern of orange swastikas.

With frizzed-out hair, a naked and hairless Gumb danced, spread his arms out and opened his colorful robe like wings, and tucked his genitals out of sight between his thighs - ready to emerge ('from his cocoon' like the Death's-head Hawkmoth) and metamorphically change into a completely-transformed person.


'Buffalo Bill' or Jame Gumb (Ted Levine)


Gumb With White Poodle Precious



Opening His Wings, With Genitals Tucked Away - For a Self-Photo

Thelma & Louise (1991)

Director Ridley Scott's feminist road trip and crime tale was a tremendous success and milestone film for its time. On a budget of $16.5 million, it grossed $45.5 million, and was the recipient of six Academy Award nominations (with two Best Actress nominations, Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, and one win for Best Original Screenplay for Callie Khouri).

Its tagline was:

  • Somebody said get a life... so they did.

It showcased the title characters, two on-the-road fugitives:

  • Thelma Dickinson (Geena Davis), an unfulfilled Arkansas housewife married to a controlling husband; also the victim of rapist Harlan Puckett (Timothy Carhart)
  • Louise Sawyer (Susan Sarandon), a diner waitress, the one who pulled the trigger on Thelma's rapist when she took the law into her own hands

They fled after an ugly threatened rape incident in the Silver Bullet roadhouse parking lot that led to a retaliatory killing. Along the way driving a 1966 Ford ThunderBird convertible, they picked up hitchhiker J.D. (Brad Pitt in a star-making role), a good-looking hunk and redneck cowboy. J.D. was first viewed in the rear-view mirror.

During a motel fling in Room 133 with Thelma when he came in from a rainstorm, he told her he'd broken parole and had robbed a number of small businesses - he flaunted a hair dryer as a gun when he demonstrated his "gentlemanly" technique. The "outlaw" sweet-talked Thelma with:

"I may be an outlaw, darlin', but, uh, you're the one stealin' my heart."

The camera panned up J.D.'s chiseled abs (shot from the female point of view) as he stood at the foot of the bed, pulled Thelma's bare legs toward him, kissed the sensitive area above her pantied crotch, and then proceeded to make passionate and energetic love to her on top of the room's dresser - to the sound of Chris Whitley's singing of Kick the Stones.

Thelma (Geena Davis) with J.D. (Brad Pitt)

The next morning in the motel's coffee shop, Thelma showed Louise her hickie and admitted to Louise that she had her first orgasm:

Thelma: "I finally understand what all the fuss is about now. It's just like a whole 'nother ballgame."
Louise (happily): "I'm so happy for you. That's great. I really am. You finally got laid properly. That's sweet."

But on departing, they were shocked to discover that J.D. had stolen their "future" money that they had left on the nightstand next to the bed, forcing them into a life of crime.

In the film's conclusion, before the two fugitives drove their convertible into the Grand Canyon (and oblivion), Thelma had urged them to keep going:

Louise: I'm not giving up.
Thelma (urging): Okay then, listen, let's not get caught.
Louise: What're you talkin' about?
Thelma: Let's keep goin'.
Louise: What d'you mean?
Thelma: Go.
Louise: You sure?
Thelma (nodding): Yeah.

They kissed each other, and then grasped hands as they met their fate, taking off in a swirl of dust. It was a soaring, freeze-frame, white-out finale ending as they roared forward and sailed into the air. [Note: The scene was reminiscent of the Bolivian army massacre at the freeze-framed conclusion of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969).]


Louise Threatening Thelma's Rapist


On the Road as Fugitives






Thelma & Louise Sailing To Their Deaths at the
Grand Canyon

Whore (1991, UK/US) (aka If You're Afraid to Say It, Just See It)

Director Ken Russell's third American film was this pseudo-documentary drama - an uncompromising, realistically bleak look at the dehumanizing, promiscuous occupation of prostitution - advertised as the "flipside to Pretty Woman."

Its tagline was:

  • This is no bedtime story

The film was available in three versions (82-minute R and NC-17 version, and longer 92-minute European version). A film with cheap production values and sloppy editing, it included latent lesbianism and violent gang-rape in a van.

It examined the life of:

  • Liz (Theresa Russell), a jaded LA streetwalker

She often talked directly to the camera through flashbacks. While having a drink at a strip club, among other things, she spoke about her experiences, including her bad marriage, lewd sexual encounters, dirty talk and abuse from:

  • Charlie (Frank Smith), her no-good drunk husband
  • Blake (Benjamin Mouton), her rough, cruel and controlling LA pimp
  • cops, other prostitutes and her clients-customers

In one scene, she unzipped the back of her skirt for sex in the rear of a car with an elderly client (Charles Macaulay) - while mocking his sexual excitement, and in another, she complained to her pimp about a tough workout (sit-ups on an incline bench) while wearing lingerie, but then had hot-tub sex with him afterwards.




Streetwalker Liz (Theresa Russell)

Zandalee (1991)

This erotic, steamy bayou thriller by director Sam Pillsbury was basically a direct-to-video sexploitation flick (originally rated NC-17) about a tragic romantic love triangle.

Its taglines were:

  • One woman...Two men...one driven by desire. The other driven to the edge.
  • Zandalee - She's irresistible

[Note: Most actors would have liked to disown the film, including minor actors Marisa Tomei, Steve Buscemi as a garbage collector/thief, Joe Pantoliano (as Gerri, a cross-dressing gay man), musician Aaron Neville (as bartender Jack), and Viveca Lindfors (as a grandmother).]

The main title character was:

  • Zandalee ("Zan") Martin (former model Erika Anderson, often naked), a sexually-starved, free-spirited wife; she owned a boutique store in New Orleans; she was obviously bored by her life and impotent marriage to:
  • Thierry Martin (co-producer/actor Judge Reinhold), Zandalee's southern-drawling, emotionally-distant, burnt-out poet-husband who had turned corporate media executive at Southern Comm after the death of his father a year earlier

Zandalee's main male partner thus became Johnny, who appeared in town for a visit:

  • Johnny Collins (Nicolas Cage), Thierry's long-haired, hipster artist-painter and childhood friend (with a goatee and mustache); also involved in transport of cocaine for a local drug dealer

Johnny's first scene at a bachelor party found him licking whipped cream off a stripper's chest: ("He always had a sweet tooth"). The spirited and egotistical Johnny was crude and pretentious at the same time: "Without creativity, without life, then you are truly unable to go straight up the devil's ass, look him right in the face, smile, and survive," and

"When that big red snatch is coming right up against your face like a freight train, it's hard to paint, I tell you what. You always felt you had to tell them the story of your life in order to f--k them, didn't you?"

After attending a "Bourbon Street" sex show, horny Zandalee asked her husband to experiment sexually: ("I want you like we used to want"). She coaxed him to try to make love anally, but he was unfulfilling to her - without the power both to make love or write (he admitted: "I'm just paralyzed. A paraplegic of the soul"). The frustrated, vixenish wife began to pleasure herself in front of him to humiliate him, not understanding his lack of desire.

Soon, she reluctantly turned to the selfishly-hedonistic, predatory Johnny for uninhibited and passionate sexual encounters. He approached her:

"We're inevitable. I wanna shake you naked and eat you alive, Zandalee... Nobody will be hurt from it because it is what it is...Just as simple as that. You want it, and I want to give it. A perfect relationship."

When she disagreed: "That's not a relationship," he kept advancing: "You know what I like? I like it when you don't wear anything under." She removed her panties and he kissed her as he stood her up against a wrought-iron gate in an alleyway. He then made forceful, thrusting and grinding love to her in his art studio.

Afterwards in a colorful body-painting scene, when she denied being a "sad woman" or sexually dissatisfied - he dipped his index finger in blue paint and sensually drew a line down between her bare breasts (in close-up), through her belly button and to the top of her pubic hair.

Later, in a dinner scene with the Thierrys which he attended with ditzy date Remy (Marisa Tomei) - while Johnny and Zandalee were in the kitchen getting dessert, she called him a "dumb coon-ass prick." He suggested: "Take my dumb coon-ass prick inside of you with your husband in the next room" -- and they risked coupling together on the washer-dryer in the laundry room.

Eventually, Zandalee was feeling guilty about their surreptitious, destructive relationship and feeling like she had become white trash: ("I can't do this anymore! I can't be what you want me to be...It's not me!"), but he insisted (as he massaged her breasts): "Yes, you can...You can be what I want you to be. You just have to relax. When I'm inside you, I feel us at the edge of the universe, traveling, exploring." He applied a powdery drug substance to Zandalee's nether regions from behind ("Where else can you express this need to free our bodies. We're gonna f--k like animals in the altar of the primal").

More memorable scenes included sex in a church cathedral confessional booth where he angrily took the clothed Zandalee from behind: ("Are we in the real church? Isn't this the way he really shows Himself to us?"). Afterwards, he looked upward: "Thank you, Father."

Their self-destructive affair led to Johnny's request that she leave her husband and live with him, although she refused and recommitted herself to her marriage. Obsessed by Zandalee, drugged-up Johnny pursued the married couple to the bayou where they went to patch up their relationship, "start clean," wear flowers in their hair, and make love after many months ("See, all our parts work").

A tragic end came to them - the cuckolded husband committed suicide in the bayou when he plunged into the water from the speeding boat driven by Johnny - he drowned when he wouldn't allow himself to be saved by either Zandalee or Johnny: ("He wanted to be let go"). Back in New Orleans after her husband's burial, Johnny expressed his desperation and growing rage by slashing his art canvasses (screaming: "Die!") and coating himself in black paint ("Black it out!").

He confessed to Zandalee his longing for her: "I can't get you out of me" - but she slapped him: "You don't know anything about love." And then Zandalee sacrificially jumped in front of a bullet intended for the indebted Johnny, in a drive-by shooting by his drug lord who yelled out: "You gotta make accounts payable, man." She died in his arms on the street, after which he carried her limp body to the nearby cathedral.





Zandalee (Erika Anderson)





Zandalee with Johnny (Nicolas Cage)

Sex in Cinematic History
History Overview | Reference Intro | Pre-1920s | 1920-26 | 1927-29 | 1930-1931 | 1932 | 1933 | 1934-37 | 1938-39
1940-44 | 1945-49 | 1950-54 | 1955-56 | 1957-59 | 1960-61 | 1962-63 | 1964 | 1965-66 | 1967 | 1968 | 1969

1970 | 1971 | 1972 | 1973 | 1974 | 1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 | 1980 | 1981 | 1982 | 1983 | 1984 | 1985-1 | 1985-2 | 1986-1 | 1986-2 | 1987 | 1988 | 1989
1990 | 1991 | 1992-1 | 1992-2 | 1993 | 1994-1 | 1994-2 | 1995-1 | 1995-2 | 1996-1 | 1996-2 | 1997-1 | 1997-2 | 1998-1 | 1998-2 | 1999-1 | 1999-2
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2007-1 | 2007-2 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011 | 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 | 2016 | 2017 | 2018 | 2019 | 2020

Index to All Decades, Years and Features


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