Feb 26th, 2021
In this episode, we take on the thorny issue of sex and cinema but thankfully we had the extremely insightful film critic Beatrice Loayza to help is navigate the many strands of this subject. Beatrice has bylines in Sight & Sound, LA review of Book, Reverse Shot and Mubi notebook, but it was her recent piece in the Guardian - Some sex scenes are gratuitous, but a good one can electrify a film - that was the trigger for this conversation. Dario and Beatrice discuss the polarised debate around how sex scenes should be deployed, i.e. in the service of the plot, or for their aesthetic value in their own right. The conversation examines how the implied notion of the male gaze defines so much conversation about sex on screen, the lack of actual sexual representation in mainstream cinema, how blockbusters are particularly sex-less, the influence of the internet and the accessibility of pornography, the changing attitudes to hetero and queer sexual representation, and of course, what makes a 'good' sex scene. All of this framed through a context of continuing scrutiny of the film industry and its practices when in comes to shooting sex scenes, and the history of abuse that has been brought much more to the forefront in recent years. Dario and Neil go on to discuss the tricky subject of male power dynamics acknowledging and unpacking their own roles as straight white male viewers.
The episode also features a review A Nightmare Wakes released by horror distributors du jour Shudder, directed by Nora Unkel and starring the excellent Alix Wilton Regan. It's a fabulist, hallucinatory imagining of Mary Shelley's life, as her traumatic pregnancy and birth becoming fuel for the iconic literary monster she would give to the world.
RS Benedict - Everyone is Beautiful and No One is Horny
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