Singapore & Asian Film News Portal since 2006

The Torch: In the crux Sex sells5 min read

25 September 2007 4 min read


The Torch: In the crux Sex sells5 min read

Reading Time: 4 minutes

If that simple formula were unequivocally true…

…I figure we’d have more meaningful and enjoyable representations of that to watch or refer to. Come to think of it there isn’t much to call forth (in terms of memorable scenes) when addressing the theme of sex in our contemporary film landscape, is there? Maybe I’m wrong, and this certainly is a question of preferences, as is so much else. But in my view this territory is too often left uncovered, a striking bareness that lies in the act of withholding, *ahem!*

How odd then, that whenever it comes down to sex, there is more often than not only this one big boring blank, on screen The Torchand apparently in the creative mind as well? No, I don’t believe! There are inhibitions, there is shyness in the market sense, and there are very real problems in producing a convincing sex scene on set. All this is true, and I would certainly not go around pointing a finger at anyone who for the sake of quality would rather leave that out ‐ if resources and cast do not allow for it. I respect this kind of honesty which clearly ranks as professionalism and nothing else. Nor would I advocate an amateur’s take on sex. Would you?

What I think we need in all earnestness is a little bit of raunchy stuff also, we need a good portion of salaciousness from time to time to spice things up. I understand that there are differing sets of sensitivity being touched upon when it comes to bare skin factuality in our movies, and what is passable in one community may do nothing but provoke, or even offend, in another. That’s why I’m not talking of voyeurism here but of honesty instead; and that to me comes first.

Luckily, there is no mainstream sex (or so I hope) and as I said before, we all have our preferences in the matter. Then, why do we watch porn? It is precisely not for the originality but the partaking impulse that watches out to identify a well-known pattern. It is about repetition. That however doesn’t mean that all has been said (or shown) on what’s being done, unfortunately. Looking back on my own cinema history, I can no longer ignore how in film sex hardly ever appears fully integrated into life’s on-screen representations. When it happens, it seems like it was almost always something out of the order of normalcy ‐ a depiction of some perverse aberration in the act, or the lack of it, a syndrome of uneasiness, a chilling pathology of curbed longing never to be fully reconciled.

True, all these can make perfect sense and even good movies at that. In Tsukamoto Shinya’s “Snake of June”, the momentous obsession in the picture fascinates us as such, and is fully justified for this. So while we want more films of that caliber to make it to the silver screens in town, I for one want to insist on a more casual dealing with sex as a natural and easy story component to our filmmaking in general.

I long for a convincingly well-acted movie to show actual passion when things get physical, because in real life, they do. And they are quite telling, these moments of bodily intensity; quite revealing at times, and we know for a fact there is story potential to be coined into credibility value. When I ask all of our creative community in a hopefully not too far future to give us a single sex scene that is not defamatory, would you join?

What I mean is this: I truly expect an adult film to be quite patently sexual where there is an inner need for it to be. I expect a good film to show how sex is not peripheral, but central to understanding what it is to be human. To be explicit about it: I want a movie to affect me by displaying what we do, all of us, one way or another. Sex is people enjoying themselves, bodily, physically and this is just as real as anything else, maybe even more so when it comes to dialogue, to forms of intimate communication, don’t you agree?

For once, free yourselves from being in anyway educational. Sex is so basic, so thoroughly fundamental that it is free from any moral value whatsoever and therefore, it shouldn’t be subject to our judgment (I think). In its self-assuring allure, its honest simplicity, the straightforwardness of the act itself, why, there’s a profound, primeval beauty one cannot help but be fascinated by, right?

Filmmakers who call themselves independent should have and take the liberty to give us their views on gay love, old peoples’ love, obsession and yes, sadly, abuse as well. For all these are facts of life, too. Which is why I had been so keen on seeing “Solos” at this year’s SIFF (aside: I want to laude the festival directors’ policy of not screening films in any other form than their undamaged original version; that to me is true courage).

We’ve seen some daring French films such as “Romance X” or “Baise-moi”, there are pink movies and of course that four letter genre which does not fit exactly into the art of filmmaking; but these can be helped and bettered, can it not? Sex sells ‐ well, what is odd is not the formula as such, but the undeniable fact that there still remains pioneering work to do. So, don’t leave the bedroom melee to amateurs. Bring it onto the screen with taste, style and frankness! All you daring people, get up and to the fore: your cinema needs you!

Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: