Friday, December 09, 2005


Where's the Line?

I recently watched the in-name-only sequel to 8MM. Here's what was interesting. Although I rented it at Blockbuster, the film contained a great deal of full-frontal female nudity, and a scene of actual (not simulated) cunnilingus. Now, I have always believed that graphic violence is much more of a concern than graphic sexuality on film (although I'm not one of the crowd that believes violent films beget violent acts). But this film made me wonder...has the line moved on such content? A couple of years ago, Oscar-nominated actress Chloe Sevigny and respected independent actor/writer/director Vincent Gallo caused a stir in the U.S. when the two engaged in a scene of actual fellatio (in close-up detail) on screen for the otherwise non-pornographic film The Brown Bunny. But the release of that film was essential squashed domestically, and few have seen it (although it's fairly easy to view the controversial fellatio scene on the Internet). And that is part of the point. Can't people, at the touch of a button on Google, see more content within seconds on the Internet, than anything a film can provide? Of course. So has such saturation of content for the current generation led to a shift of the line? I think it has. I'll repeat this. Blockbuster now carries a film with explicit cunnilingus in it. And you don't have to go to a secret back room to rent it. That's a shift.

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