Do sex/naked scenes really add anything to film?

Discussion in 'Movies' started by JediFonger, Jul 17, 2006.

  1. JediFonger

    JediFonger Producer

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    i see we have a thread about best sex scenes and that reminds me of somn i've been meaning to post but always forget.

    not to sound like a prude, but do you guys think sex or nude scenes add anything to the film's narrative? i mean, let's subtract the factor of conservative/liberal viewpoints out of this thread. that's a discussion topic for ANOTHER new thread.

    what i wanna' know is, in terms of the story/narrative, does having naked bodies shown really add to the quality of the film? or is it always going to be relative to subjectivity?

    i mean, will basic instinct still work w/o showing the sex/nakedness? will wild things still work w/o the menage scene? will most of ewan's films work without showing his penis? etc.
     
  2. BrianTwig

    BrianTwig Second Unit

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    Wait a minute. There are films without nudity and sex?
     
  3. JonZ

    JonZ Lead Actor

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    "Do sex/naked scenes really add anything to film?"

    yes
     
  4. Ricardo C

    Ricardo C Producer

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    Depending on the film, they can add realism, emotion, or mere titilation. If it belongs in the story and isn't gratuitous, why not?

    Hell, there's no harm in gretuitous nudity if that's the kind of film you're going for [​IMG]
     
  5. Adam_S

    Adam_S Producer

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    depends on what the nudity is accomplishing. are you simply showing it because its a part of the characters and their world and hiding it would be false to the film? (ie Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) or are your showing it because it will inspire controversy and titalating headlines, perhaps inflating the overall gross because of those two? (ie Caligula)

    There's nothing wrong with overall nudity, there is something wrong with the perception of 'wrongness' and horror/fascination our culture imposes on the human body. When that's exploited it only feeds the problem, when it's used appropriately it can be very powerful means of expression, but its still feeding the problem. Or it can just be used carelessly, just as a fact, neither exploitative or expressionistic, that's actually probably the most healthy, and I think you see that more in European films.

    there are times its appropriate and times its not. But I'd say we're in an enormous dearth of nudity as a part of sex today, most American films shy away totally from nudity, especially anything from the studio. I think a big part of that is that porn is more accessible and attainable to anyone from a nine year old to a ninety year old today. So its less escapable and the comparison to the exploitation of porn is easier to make, no actress or actor wants to get caught in that potential nightmare (Natalie Portman in Closer). That means that you need really good reasons to show nudity today, reasons films such as "Last Tango in Paris" might legitimately have. But these have always been the exception.
     
  6. Scott Simonian

    Scott Simonian Screenwriter

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    I dont care much for sex in most movies. Most of the time it isn't pulled off very well...for various reasons. It just isn't sexy or needed then.

    Nudity is something else....
     
  7. Rich Malloy

    Rich Malloy Producer

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    Sex/naked scenes often add both sex and nakedness to films.

    But I take it you're not asking whether sex and nakedness add the obvious sexy and nude elements, or even whether these encourage merely prurient responses or something more high-minded like emotional, psychological depth? Or even just the obvious verisimilitude of things people do on a daily basis? Because I think the response here is obvious, and I'm talking about serious films by serious filmmakers.

    But I suspect your query mostly directed at whether any elements of sex and nakedness somehow relate to "plot"? In other words, is your's primarily a plot-centric concern? Truly, most of the shit that trundles off the Hollywood conveyer belt are simple three-acts, the only purpose of which is to get from plot-point A to plot-point B and so on before the inevitable groan-inducing pat conclusions of the third act. Assuming for a moment that these are the movies you're concerned with, let me try to address the question.

    It's hard to say that sex and/or nakedness adds anything but an occasionally welcome distraction from the inanities at hand, but unfortunately most crappy movies these days have been stripped of the prurient elements that kept me watching crappy movies as a teenager. I don't mean to wax nostalgic for the good ol' days and betray my old-fartiness before the world, but kids today don't even get a nice bit of titty with their crappy movies. They just get crappy movies.
     
  8. TravisR

    TravisR Studio Mogul

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    As others have said, it all depends on the movie. The same thing could be asked about violent or comedic or dramatic content.
     
  9. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    Some movie factories employ "directors" who consult on the industrial design of upcoming motion pictures. Many of directorial decisions, when not justified by common sense cost benefit analysis, appear to be based solely on aesthetic grounds. A well constructed contract is invaluable for reigning in the delusional aspirations of such auteurs.
     
  10. Greg_S_H

    Greg_S_H Executive Producer

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    I can honestly say I have not seen a whole lot of nudity on the big screen. The only thing that comes to mind is Titanic. Even movies like Revenge of the Nerds, I only saw at home. I saw the sequel at the theater, but no nudity there. I don't get out to the theater much, and I guess the movies I do see just don't lend themselves to nudity.
     
  11. Joe D

    Joe D Supporting Actor

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    Fight Club had a great sex scene that added to the atmosphere of the film.

    I think I enjoyed most sex scenes more when I was younger [​IMG]
     
  12. Randall Z

    Randall Z Stunt Coordinator

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    As I get older, I find myself less intrigued by sex scenes. I think in most cases (99%) they don't really add anything to the film. Exceptions are when the films main selling point is the sex (ie Basic Instinct).

    Most of my favorite films don't have sex scenes in them, so maybe that's why I don't feel like they add a lot. If I can enjoy so many films that don't have sex, then what do they add?

    I guess its all in the eye of the beholder
     
  13. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    Ok, perhaps I was a little flippant there, but if any scene-- any scene, not just a "sex" scene, or a "violent" scene-- is gratuitous, then the director isn't doing his job.

    I'm reminded of the Marriage of Figaro sequence from Amadeus. For those who haven't seen it, I'll summarize. Opera had traditionally included a ballet-- in the middle of the production, the drama was interrupted by a dance sequence which often had no relation to the rest of the libretto. The emperor thought that these sequences were gratuitous, and banned them.

    Mozart, however, believed that the music he had written for the the ballet was good music, and did not deserve to be censored. Furthermore, he had constructed the piece as a wedding dance at the "Marriage," imparting some sense to what could well have been a gratuitous portion of the opera. It could not simply be cut out because someone object to the very institution of the ballet.

    A sex scene can be cutting room floor material. It can also be an important part of the film. It's just any other scene, to be judged on its own merits, and not just because it offends the prudes.

    Who makes this judgement? You guessed it. The Director.
     
  14. RickER

    RickER Producer

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    Remember when you could see breasts in a PG movie!
    But yes it depends on the movie, or type of movie. A horror movie must have skin, i am sorry, no 2 ways about it.
    Think Humanoids From the Deep.
     
  15. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    I'd rather think about The Wicker Man.
     
  16. JediFonger

    JediFonger Producer

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    how about illustrations of films where it does add some value (in any sense of the word) to the film in any way?
     
  17. Rudi

    Rudi Stunt Coordinator

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    History of Violence, stairway scene.
     
  18. Juan C

    Juan C Second Unit

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    I don't even think you have to justify it. It's a profoundly human act. People don't ask why there are so many movies featuring people having breakfast. Or for that matter, so many scenes where people shoot other people dead. I can relate to sexual intercourse, but homicide? That's a stretch.

    I think it was Jack Nicholson who said, "in American movies today, you can stab a tit, but you can't kiss it."
     
  19. JeremyErwin

    JeremyErwin Producer

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    Justifiable scenes of sex and nudity? Oh I don't know...

    Dangerous Liasons
    Young Adam
    Secretary

    Deliverance...
     
  20. Mikah Cerucco

    Mikah Cerucco Cinematographer

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    In general, I don't like them and think they're almost completely unnecessary. However, if the movie is 9-1/2 weeks, the sex belongs since that's what the movie is about. Other than that, I'm partial to scenes like the original Terminator that shows they were intimate without being explicit.

    I'm constantly amazed at how often people turn their noses up at porn, but focus so much on the sex in movies. If you want to see people naked and/or engaging in sex, get that type of movie. You don't need it "legitimized" to make you feel better about yourself. However, we've forever gone down the path of "sex sells" and if you can give people what they want without them having to stand up as "pervs," so be it. Money talks.
     

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