"Blue is the Warmest Color," the winner of the Palme D'or at the Cannes Film Festival, features a lengthy sex scene that has sparked debate. It's been called "show-stopping." It's been dismissed as porn. It also inspired a series of op-eds in the New York Times about the line between eroticism and exploitation in cinema.
For Screen Time this week, Stephanie and Kerri talk about what's sexy in a film and why it's rare for a scene to have some sizzle.
FILMS MENTIONED ON THE AIR:
• "Don't Look Now":
Donald Sutherland and Julie Christie's scene in Venice as they reconnect after losing a child.
• "The Horse Whisperer":
The dance scene between Robert Redford and Kristen Scott Thomas.
Diane Lane leaves her lover, Olivier Martinez, and gets on a train and the camera focuses on her face as she thinks about their encounter.
• "Out of Sight":
George Clooney and Jennifer Lopez get stuck in a trunk.
• "The Electric Horseman":
Robert Redford gets up in the middle of the night to help Jane Fonda with her headache.
LEARN MORE ABOUT THE LINE BETWEEN PORN AND ART:
• The Eroticism of the Waltz
There is a self-congratulatory tendency in American films to separate sex from everyday life, which usually reduces sex scenes to nude "money shots." A bad sex scene divorces eroticism from its characters' emotions while a good sex scene brings emotion into the physical act. For that reason one of the best sex scenes ever filmed occurs in Max Ophuls's "Earrings of Madame De...," in which the fully clothed waltz by Vittorio DeSica and Danielle Darrieux comes complete with their mutual erotic attraction and its palpable emotional risks. Few other sex scenes match that one sequence; it should be a case study for every filmmaker. (Armond White, in the New York Times)
• "The Earrings of Madame De..." scene where Danielle Darrieux and Vittorio De Sica waltz; unfortunately, not subtitiled in English.
• William Hurt and Kathleen Turner meet in "Body Heat":
• John Wayne and Maureen O'Hara in "The Quiet Man":
• Jean Arthur and Joel McCrea in "The More the Merrier":