06 January 2008

Erections and what to do with them

The Weinstein Company released the 2-disc Indie Sex collection this past Tuesday which features three hour-or-so long specials from IFC with filmmakers, critics and actors discussing the history of sexuality on the screen. I can save you the trouble of watching it by informing you that it's precisely nothing new or eye-opening and perhaps better addressed in films like This Film Is Not Yet Rated or Inside Deep Throat, to name a few. Jami Bernard manages to make a few interesting points, and of course, Shortbus and Hedwig director John Cameron Mitchell is always on board to take any opportunity to let you know how groundbreaking of a filmmaker he is in the realms of sexuality. Curiously, IFC decided to interview a bunch of other folk whose contributions to cinema or even sexuality in cinema are slight at best. Shadowboxer director Lee Daniels and The Quiet and But I'm a Cheerleader director Jamie Babbit are on hand for no apparent reason, not to mention actress Piper Perabo, who seems uncomfortable during the whole interview process. In fact, burlesque dancer Dita Von Tresse, who has no physical relationship to cinema, makes for a much more game interviewee than most. And Peter Sarsgaard is also on board to assure you that all the gay sex he's had onscreen has never slipped into his personal life. Hm.

If you really must indulge your curiosity, the best part of the collection comes on the second disc, which includes a half-hour segment on Sex Taboos, which features wonderful commentary from The Sweet Hereafter director Atom Egoyan, one of the few people with a direct relationship to cinema who appears to have something to actually say about it. The segment is really only worth watching for the much improved crop of talking heads which also includes Allison Anders and the always-reliable John Waters, though the segment itself places most of its importance on Blue Velvet and Crash and not many others. There's also some deleted footage which asks the interviewees a series of questions in which you'll find out that the first sex Ally Sheedy ever saw onscreen came from the film Cabaret and that Rosanna Arquette is finished taking her top off unless Bernardo Bertolucci comes knocking at her door.

No comments: