Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Valentine's Day Edition

Browse through the blogosphere and online media today, and you'll see everyone's talking about the best kisses in the movies. So let's talk about the best sex scenes. Here are my top six:

1. Don't Look Now. Donald Sutherland & Julie Christie. It's graphic, both sexually and psychologically. It's intercut with mundance scenes of them getting dressed separately afterward, showing that even the greatest ecstasies are fleeting, and perhaps we're not truly present in them.

2. Unfaithful. Diane Lane & Olivier Martinez. The intercutting of Lane's quivering surrender during and remorseful ecstasy after is terrific, almost as terrific as the scene's set-up. After a lengthy but seemingly futile seduction, Martinez watches Lane leave his apartment. After a second, she sneaks back in the door, saying she forget her bag, and the camera swoops in and seems to push them together in a mad embrace. It has to be seen.

3. Body Heat. William Hurt & Kathleen Turner. It's gotta be the heat wave. There's no scene as urgent and lethal as the buildup and payoff of the first encounter of Ned Racine and Matty "don't...stop" Walker.

4. A Fish Called Wanda. Kevin Kline & Jamie Lee Curtis. Well, it may not be Curtis -- we only see the legs. Kline, as the ultimate blowhard Otto, can excite Curtis' character by merely speaking Italian (though he seems to only know catalogues of cheeses and painters). This may not be the best sex scene of all time, but it's certainly the best interpretation of an orgasm.

5. Bound. Jennifer Tilly & Gina Gershon. In such a meticulously crafted pulp thriller, their relationship is the important nucleus of heart and lust. Adding to the scene's eroticism is the thrill of getting caught by Tilly's trigger-happy boyfriend.

6. Enemy at the Gates. Jude Law & Rachel Weisz. Fully clothed, on the floor, in an army barracks in Russia, amid dozens of sleeping officers. It's quiet, powerful and completely unexpected. Not your typical film ficky-fick.

What are your favorites?


Anonymous said...

We really need to reintroduce the term "ficky-fick" back into the American lexicon.

Maria said...

I'm uncomfortable with the nudity and content of today's post.

J.J. said...

What's a guy gotta do to have a fun discussion about movies?

Middento said...

I would suggest the seduction scene from Out of Sight. And of course the best scene featuring penetration that doesn't exactly involve sex (and therefore good for this discussion) would be from The Girl on the Bridge. Hoo-boy.

Then again, there are the sex scenes I'm talking about on my blog, which are memorable for other reasons entirely.

is that so wrong? said...

Mulholland Drive. Beautiful, vulnerable, devastating. And then later you get something a little more hardcore on the couch.

J.J. said...

Ah yes, good one. But isn't the Watts-Harring sex scene and the hardcore couch-masturbation scene the same thing, if you think about it? One is the fantastic end, the other the distraught means. Which makes the sex scene even more devastating I guess.

Anonymous said...

I'm a sucker for the Shakespeare in Love scene. There's not much in the way of actual sex, but the prelude -- the "unwrapping" -- works nicely. Most realistic first-time sex: Cider House Rules. Otherwise, my top choices all seem to be Spanish: Sex and Lucia (geez, you'd hope so, with a title like that) for steaminess, Open Your Eyes for danger, and a gallery of Almodovars (Tie Me Up, High Heels, Live Flesh) for subversiveness and intelligence.

J.J. said...

Bravo. I'd second Shakespeare in Love, only because both characters have become so endearing and gleefully compatible by that point. And in terms of realistic first-time sex, let's not forget ...Say Anything ("You're shaking!") in addition to Cider House. And yes, Sex & Lucia, surely.

Anonymous said...

Definitely Unfaithful, but the scene in the hallway, rather than the first sex scene. That one is overwhelming.

Anonymous said...

First time sex: Matthew Broderick loses his virginity to pro Park Overall in BILOXI BLUES. Very funny, and she's great. Who wouldn't want a friendly guide for your first time? His following scene is also great as he exudes a great change in attitude.

Also for your consideration:
the long opening shot of BETTY BLUE.

Finally, I've never seen this film, but a sex scene in THE NAME OF THE ROSE made a big impression on my best friend Steve. Curiously, I've yet to check it out. Man, that's uncharacteristic...

Jeanette said...

Sorry I'm late. Just catching up on blogs now. But...


Does that make me gross?

Anonymous said...

does there have to be actual sex in the scene? because if not, my vote is for the "deflowering" of young william in Almost Famous. as a twenty-something female, i imagine that gaze on his face to be a fairly accurate representation of prepubescent exctasy.

along these lines, i think the part when william is watching penny get her stomach pumped is probably the most romantic love scene i can think of.

Ms☆Go said...

"intercut with mundance scenes of them getting dressed separately afterward, showing that even the greatest ecstasies are fleeting, and perhaps we're not truly present in them."

Can I be you, when I grow up? :D

Absolutely spot-on with the visual metaphor.

It's a cheesy choice, but for some reason, I really dig the sex scene in Innocent Blood.

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Adi said...

Thank you for sharing.
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