Concussion—-Lesbian sex, it’s so HOT right now!!

Concussion headlined many Queer film festivals this year.  With it’s high-production values, pretty star and fantasy plot of a lesbian who decides to become a high-priced call girl after a knock on the head; it’s easy to see why it is a popular film.  The sets are all beautifully-furnished suburban homes or artfully-decorated city apartments that our star spends all her time and money upgrading.  It’s a sex-film for upper-middle class lesbians who may be finding marriage, kids and a house in the suburbs more bland and less-fulfilling then they anticipated.

If it’s seems a tad unrealistic to think that there might be a market for Abby’s (Robin Weigert) services, or that leading a double-life would be so easy to keep from the kids and the wife…well, at least it’s an interesting film.  And don’t we all need a little wish fulfillment now a days? The fact that Abby’s escapades involve parading around in expensive lingerie, mentoring a young college student with feminist literature as well as sexual gratification and rough sex with another suburban housewife is about as reasonable as the assumption that getting hit by a baseball would lead to this new lifestyle.

Having won a Teddy Jury award at the Berlin Film Festival for writer/director Stacie Passon and a Best First Feature award at Frameline Film Festival in San Francisco, I wish this director and this film continued success.  The many soft-core porn sex scenes are pretty and not exploitative, and if they feel unrealistic; at least they were directed by a woman from a screenplay written by the same woman.  Thus dodging the controversy surrounding the OTHER lesbian film currently playing in LA and New York….

Concussion

Blue is the Warmest Color is generating controversy and discussion of female sexuality and male gaze.   A three-hour film about a young girl’s coming-of-age journey, “La vie d’Adèle” was directed by Abdellatif Kechiche and stars the two young actresses, Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos.  In an unusual and remarkable move, the Cannes jury awarded the Palm d’Or to not just the director, but also, for the first time ever, the actors as well!  Having not seen the film myself, I can easily predict that the length of the film will be more of an issue for me personally, than the six and a half minute-long sex scene.  Rarely do I find that the bloated Hollywood films need their 2-hour running time and though I tend to be more forgiving of non-traditional films from independent filmmakers, three hours speaks to a director who is too precious with his or her work.

I do enjoy reading all the press that this film is inspiring.  Any film that can incite writers to discuss female sexuality and representation is a winner in my book!   Here’s a quote from Matthew Hammett Knott that I rather liked:

“It all comes back to Robert Bresson’s inspiring maxim – “make visible that which, without you, might never be seen”.  In this respect, Manohla Dargis’s criticism that Kechiche “seems so unaware or maybe just uninterested in the tough questions about the representation of the female body that feminists have engaged for decades” seems less pertinent to “Blue is the Warmest Color” than with regard to the wider picture. All perspectives are limited, including Dargis’, including Kechiche’s, including mine. It doesn’t mean we have to reject any in particular. That is our prerogative. What is essential is to recognize the limitations of each, and most importantly, recognize those that are missing entirely from our cultural landscape, and seek them out. ”

Blue is the Warmest Color

http://whttp://www.indiewire.com/article/heroines-of-cinema-blue-is-the-warmest-color-and-the-real-problem-with-male-filmmakers-and-female-sexuality

So seek out queer cinema if you can!  Support all films that support women-driven narratives because they are few and far between!

http://www.indiewire.com/article/what-do-we-expect-from-lesbian-films

Rating: 3 soy lattes in an arty cafe while scheduling play dates, a Pilates session and waiting for your paid date to arrive…

Let’s Talk about Sex~”Don Jon” and pornography

The song, Let’s Talk About Sex, keeps playing through my mind.  This is post number one on my Sex in Cinema series.

 

 

Jon and Barbara like to watch

 

Don Jon  was originally titled Don Jon’s Addiction. Joseph Gordon-Levitt choose to eliminate the addiction reference from the title because the film is addressing more than one man’s addiction to pornography.  “Wrestling with good old fashioned expectations of the opposite sex, Jon and Barbara struggle against a media culture full of false fantasies to try and find true intimacy“.  In this brilliant directoral debut,  Gordon-Levitt, who also wrote the script and stars, compares Jon’s addiction to online pornography to Barbara (Scarlett Johansson)’s love of romantic films.  They both like to watch and both live in a fantasy world.

There is an abundance of porn clips, though nothing graphic, as Jon is looking at pornography on his laptop.  But the more objectional clips are actually in the opening montage presenting women in tv shows and movies as objects: descending stairs in tiny gold skirts carrying briefcases, wearing skimpy outfits to sell products and one graphic misstep: a woman with an arrow through her breast from a horror film.  The men in Don Jon rate the women in the bar on a scale of 1 to 10 but in an interesting twist, one of the Jon’s friends actually prefers women that aren’t perfect in their rating system. Barbara, on the other hand, prefers her men to be like the ones in the romantic films (hilariously spoofed within the film) — ready to give up their lives for her.

The reason this film is such a revelation?  It takes the conventions of a raunchy, romantic comedy and turns those conventions into a mirror to reflect back what’s wrong with men and women’s expectations and fantasies.  Julianne Moore’s character acts as a lightning rod for Jon and suddenly a film that seems to be about sex and the glorification and objectification of the female body is revealed to be a sweet story of intimacy and healing.   But please, don’t tell anyone. Let’s let everyone think Don Jon is all about how hot Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Scarlett Johansson are…

If anyone learns that this film is actually a lesson about true intimacy, there might be less young couples in the theater and they’re the ones that really need this lesson!

Rating: 4 cocktails from that happening club down the street

Sex at the Cinema–but first, a little philosophy….

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Nyphomaniac--Charlotte Gainsbourgh

Nyphomaniac–Charlotte Gainsbourgh

There are some wonderful, sexy movies playing at your local cineplex and some provocative ones on the way.  For those of you new to the Drinks With Films blog; A little preface before I jump in and make you blush….

Here are a few philosophies about film consumption to which I aspire:  Cinema should be celebrated and enjoyed with like-minded friends, preferably with time set aside afterward for drinks, dinner, and discussion!  No one can tell you which film is best for you — film is like wine, you may not enjoy a full-bodied burgundy,  you may be looking forward to a light, crisp sauvignon blanc — or even a beer!  Film appreciation all depends on your frame of mind, what you’ve eaten, who you’re with, and your own personal expectations and desires.

Many people have heard me say this, however, it bears repeating, especially in light of the blog posts headed your way:  in my opinion there should be more SEX and less VIOLENCE in film.  Yes, that’s right — more nudity, more erotic content, and a more realistic depiction of human sexuality featuring men and women equally!  More passion; less dismemberment! This does not mean that I am looking for X-rated content in every movie — just a little more realism and less puritanical attitudes about sex in the cinema.  If there were fewer gunshots and stabbings and more scenes of casual hand-holding, neck-nuzzling, and ordinary expressions of affection (but not loud smacking close-ups of tongue wrestling), it would make going to the movies a lot more relaxing and enjoyable. As to my Drinks with Films moniker:  it does not mean that i am drinking with every film or that every film requires alcohol (or some beverage) to be enjoyed. This is my Rating System: one drink indicates that I didn’t much like the film.   Five drinks–this is a film that really deserves to be celebrated!  Five drinks does not mean that’s how many I needed to get through the film, although there are some movies that I would highly recommend an inebriated state for more enjoyment…

Now that the basics are out of the way — let’s talk about SEX!