Nudity ands sex in movies can be controversial because some people are uptight about seeing it shown. The United States has a different view on nudity compared to Europe. On some European channels television commercials themselves have nudity, try pulling that off on American television. In many cultures, the nudity and sex factor in movies is governed by a tiered system of censorship. These systems are aimed at limiting children’s access to content that is deemed harmful by the public, the government, the movie industry itself including the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). This is a good thing because it properly limits racy content to adults.
Nudity and sex in American films are looked at by movie critics and viewers with a strong eye. Was the nudity or sex shown artistically to impact the story or was it completely gratuitous nudity and sex that added nothing to the movie? That is often the divide. A few movies that have been tagged as the later are “Showgirls” directed by Paul Verhoeven. The movie received an NC-17 rating because of the nudity and simulated sex scenes. It was a very controversial movie when it came out. Rape, lesbianism, and interracial relationships were some of the subjects covered in the movie. In a nutshell it’s about an attractive female drifter that climbs up from a stripper to a showgirl in Las Vegas. Whatever the movie was or was not I watched it an knew what to expect. It would have been strange to see a movie about a Las Vegas stripper that did not have nudity and sex. It would have had no realism in my opinion.
“Swordfish” directed by Dominic Sena and starring Hollywood stars John Travolta and Halle Berry is another movie that is tagged for gratuitous nudity. In brief the movie is about a bad guy who hires a computer hacker to help him electronically steal billions of dollars. The one scene that some people complained about was Halle Berry going topless for apparently no reason. Or as critics put it the scene was so out of context and did nothing to move the story or develop her character. The urban legend is she was paid an extra 2 million dollars for the topless scene. Regardless, I bet that scene helped sell a lot of movie tickets and DVD’s. While some say making movies is done for the art, the bottom line is always the money. Good call by the producers to add that scene.
“Hitman” directed by Xavier Gens has been viewed as offensive by some viewers because of the nudity and sex in the movie. The plot summary from IMDB.COM is this, A gun-for-hire known only as Agent 47 is ensnared in a political conspiracy, which finds him pursued by both Interpol and the Russian military as he treks across Eastern Europe. hired by a group known as “The Agency” to kill targets for cash. The main character Agent 47 finds himself in the company of Nika who is nude in a hotel room and shown straddling Agent 47 nude. I’m guessing this movie inspired by a video game was made as a total guy movie. I felt the nudity fit the plot because it was the art of seduction being played out by a woman who lived a dangerous life. She survived using her looks and cunning.
“Consignment” directed by Sid Kali is a killer urban action movie. It is gritty and realistic keeping to the beat of the rougher side of life dealing drugs. Based on true events, “Consignment” is about Tommy Jones, a reluctant East Coast drug dealer on the run with his wife, Yolanda, after a rival kingpin’s plan to have him ripped-off and murdered goes wrong. Double-crosses, a series of brutal murders, and an old secret from his wife’s past foils Tommy’s plans for a new start at life. This direct to video movie has taken some heat for a few scenes in it. First there is a very hot striptease scene where a curvy Latina seduces two drug dealers going topless down to a g-string. I have been in Las Vegas strip clubs and bachelor parties where that is the norm. Nothing offensive to me. I thought it fit the story because the stripper was a plant for a rival drug dealer learning what she could about his enemies. I thought Director Sid Kali showed the nudity in a tasteful and seductive light. The other is a rape scene where a female drug dealer is pulled from a shower and forced to give up the whereabouts of her former crime partner and lover. I myself do not know anyone that showers in their clothes except those two guys in the movie “Weird Science”. I thought the scene was powerful and added impact to the story because of the way it was shown. The focus was never the nudity but the pain on the face of the female drug dealer. Bravo to that actress! Bravo Sid Kali!
Other art house movies or movies that show nudity and sex are sometimes loved because the nudity and sex is deemed artistic. “Monster’s Ball” directed by Marc Foster landed star Halle Berry an Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Plot summary from IMDB.COM Set in the Southern United States, ‘Monster’s Ball’ is a tale of a racist white man, Hank (played by Billy Bob Thornton), who falls in love with a black woman named Leticia (Halle Berry). Ironically Hank is a prison guard working on Death Row who executed Leticia’s husband (Sean Combs). Hank and Leticia’s interracial affair leads to confusion and new ideas for the two unlikely lovers. It had one of the most intense graphic love scenes I’ve seen in a movie. Some came out against it claiming it portrays black women as ferocious and lewd, with an appetite for sexual encounters, portrayed by the animalistic and raw quality of the sex scene and its racial context. Others say the scene shows two people’s desperate need for affection and comfort in the face of human tragedy. Whatever the case Halle Berry won an Oscar. She is an amazing actress.
“The Brown Bunny” directed by Vincent Gallo, who also stars in it with Chole Sevingy is a fiery independent film that takes a chance pushing the creative envelope. Plot summary pulled from IMDB.COM Professional motorcycle racer Bud Clay heads from New Hampshire to California to race again. Along the way he meets various needy women who provide him with the cure to his own loneliness, but only a certain woman from his past will truly satisfy him. What sets this movie apart is the highly controversial scene of actual oral sex between Gallo and co-star Chloe Sevigny in a shabby motel room. What made this scene so gripping was the sex scene was shown in such a lonely and painful way. Director Vincent Gallo captured the desperate and shallow feelings of the characters. That scene was included in the movie for shock appeal, it was there to show human pain during what most people think is a pleasurable experience. Bravo for taking the chance on making a radical movie. This director is a rock star! Bravo Vincent Gallo!
Overall I think nudity and sex are part of life. To censor it out of movies is not the answer. I say let movie makers put out their work, including nudity and sex, and let the viewers decide if they want to watch it or not. There are a ton of movies out there with no nudity or sex. Leave the option and the choice to the masses.