As Hollywood films continue to push the envelope of the erotic into the pornographic, the line between the two is thinning.
Imagine being at the AMC Tallahassee Mall 20 on a Friday night and the theater is packed.
After five minutes of commercials and 15 minutes of trailers, the lights dim, the opening credits roll and suddenly some cheesy porn music starts. Then two bodies engaging in full-fledged sexual intercourse appear on the giant screen.
Impossible? Maybe not.
I am not being naive or prudish in thinking that a few scenes of good ole’ nudity is the equivalent of an adult film, but on-screen intercourse is.
In 2004 the film “The Brown Bunny” was released theatrically. In the closing scene of the film, actress Chloe Sevigny, who can currently be seen portraying “Nicki” in the HBO series “Big Love,” performs a lewd sex act on-screen for over five minutes on co-star Vincent Gallo.
The scene in “The Brown Bunny” is an extreme example, and the film was not even rated for containing a graphic sex act.
Very few films that are not rated make it into theaters, but the NC-17 rating, which bars anyone aged 16 or under from viewing, is regaining popularity.
Major film studios tend to stay away from films that carry an NC-17 rating, or encourage the director to cut scenes that are risquÃ©.
Only a limited audience can purchase tickets for NC-17 rated films, major production companies are not usually willing to take that big of a risk.
However, the production company Universal broke this trend by releasing “Inside Deep Throat” in 2005, which is a documentary about the making of the 1972 adult film “Deep Throat.”
The documentary contained footage from the original film including a sexually explicit scene. The documentary was produced by Imagine, which is co-owned by Hollywood “good guy” Ron Howard.
Another well-known figure in Hollywood will also soon be exploring the realms of the NC-17 world.
Ang Lee, who won the Academy Award for Best Director in 2006 for his controversial “Brokeback Mountain” is releasing “Lust, Caution” later this year. The film has been classified NC-17 for containing numerous depictions of sexual positions.
R-rated films are also becoming more edgy. Most R-rated movies portray ‘love scenes’ as very sensual with the actors in no more than two sexual positions.
The 2005 film “A History of Violence” contained a sex scene that definitely did not fit that norm. In the film the two co-stars, Viggo Mortensen and Maria Bello engaged in a unnecessary sex acts. This was the first such depiction in an R-rated film.
Although X-rated films may not be playing soon at a theater near you, the films that are already there may contain more than you think.
So the next time you sit in that polypropylene-cushioned theater seat with your date, popcorn and cold drink, remember the tagline from “Showgirls”: Leave Your Inhibitions at the Door.
Chris Osborne is an alumnus who graduated in 2005 from Irvington, NJ. He can be reached at Cosborne29@earthlink.net.