Normal People: the TV series based on the book by Sally Rooney. Sex scenes are generally considered a sort of rite of passage in Hollywood, but they are almost never explicit. “It’s an absolutely strange thing to do,” Kate Winslet revealed in 2011, confessing that she detests that kind of experience. “As actors, you talk about that all the time. Do you happen to find yourself twisted in the sheets and turn to your colleague and tell him ‘What the fuck are we doing?’ ”
The revolutionary way in which directors Lenny Abrahamson and Hettie Macdonald managed the adaptation of the novel Ordinary People by Sally Rooney brought a kind of wind of news on the subject: first for the representation of sex-based on consent, but then also for bringing the role of the public to the attention of the public intimacy coordinator Ita O’Brien, who made sure that actors Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal were always comfortable when filming the Hulu / BBC Three series.
Other love scenes on the screens have not gone so smoothly. The embarrassment of undressing (or being almost naked) with another actor in front of the crew will not be seen in the final editing, but many stars have candidly admitted to feeling degraded or very nervous behind the scenes.
“I knew there would be awkward sex scenes, but they were so wonderfully embarrassing,” said actress, director and screenwriter Greta Gerwing about the 2010 film in which she worked with Ben Stiller, The extravagant world of Greenberg, directed by his partner Noah Baumbach.
In modern cinema, total nudity is also an important opportunity to put aside old-fashioned Hollywood tropes, as Viola Davis said to Variety, talking about his character ‘s sex scenes in The rules of the perfect crime. “I considered it an opportunity that went beyond acting – I saw it as an opportunity for a fifty-year-old black actress to play a sexy role, or rather something more.”
But what are the eight most beautiful sex scenes in the history of cinema?
1. I am the love (2009)
The Italian director Luca Guadagnino appears twice on our list, the first for the sumptuous one I am the love of 2009 with Tilda Swinton as the icy and elegant Emma Recchi. Set in Milan and the surrounding countryside, Guadagnino delivers one of the greatest love letters of modern cinema to Italian style (Jil Sander and Fendi dealt with costumes for the film), food and sex.
2. Secretary (2002)
At the time of its release to the cinema, almost twenty years ago, the ode of director Steven Shainberg to atypical love challenged the very idea of Hollywood love story. Today, his story of sadomasochistic encounters, with Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Spader, remains a disarming avant-garde visual excursion.
3. International intrigue (1959)
The aphrodisiac bickering between Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint in the thriller masterpiece by Alfred Hitchcock International intrigue today they would be praised for their ability to arouse that particular tingling typical of the ASMR. This is if you are not already hypnotized by the film’s sensual color palette.
4. Y tu Mamá También – Your mother too (2001)
In the early 2000s, Alfonso Cuarón’s interpretation of the new century road movie genre, with Mexican actors Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal alongside Spanish actress Maribel Verdú, quickly conquered a global audience of fans. The film stands the test of time as a dream of human freedom and impulsiveness and for sexual emancipation ..
5. I play for two (1968)
Faye Dunaway and Steve McQueen’s oft-parodied, sexually charged chess game in Norman Jewison’s 1960s blockbuster, The Thomas Crown Affair, is cinematic erotica at its most veiled. “Do you play?” McQueen asks, to which Dunaway answers: “Try me.” With minimal dialogue and zero nudity, the chess scene itself has become an emblem of carnal storytelling that doesn’t demand the shedding of any clothes.
6. Call me by your name (2017)
Speaking of sex on the screens, no list would be complete without Elio and Oliver (played by Timothée Chalamet and Armie Hammer). Luca Guadagnino’s aesthetically seductive adaptation of André Aciman’s 2007 novel is proof of the very essence of sensuality. The setting of the film in Lombardy is almost as exciting as the intoxicating memory of what it feels like to fall in love for the first time.
7. Love (2015)
Gaspar Noé’s scandalous drama does not go lightly in his explicit representation of sex, the concepts of falsehood and hedonism, and the monotony of everyday life. Author of the controversial Irreversible of 2003, Noé rarely releases a film without sparking heated debate – in this case, the revelation that most of the sex scenes of Love they are real.
8. Adele ‘s life (2013)
To many viewers, the central six minutes of the film, that is, the sex scene between her French actresses Léa Seydoux and Adèle Exarchopoulos will seem like a raw and revolutionary portrait of youthful desire, but behind the scenes the controversy was lurking.
Both actresses spoke of the humiliations experienced on the set during the shooting with the director Abdellatif Kechiche. “I felt like a prostitute,” said Seydoux. “He used three cameras and when you have to fake an orgasm for six hours … I can’t say it was a walk.” Adele ‘s life, awarded with the prestigious Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 2013, marks a great turning point in the history of cinema as it constitutes an alarm bell for the condition of the actors who need to be protected and a reminder to counter the widespread trend Hollywood to heteronormative sex scenes.