Revolutionary Films: "How These Movies Redefined Our Understanding of Sex and Intimacy"

By: Dalia LaFontaine

Sex and romance have always been portrayed on the big screen, often in ways that are unrealistic and disconnected from real-life experiences. However, recent years have seen a shift in cinema, with more movies aiming to normalize different types of sex, body types, and sexual preferences. These films are breaking down barriers and helping to shift perceptions of what sex is and can be. Here are a few movies that have changed the way we think about sex:

1. The Handmaiden (2016)

This South Korean erotic thriller by Park Chan-wook explores female sexuality and the power dynamics of a lesbian relationship in a male-dominated society. The film challenges traditional gender roles and portrays sex as an act of liberation and power.

2. Her (2013)

Spike Jonze’s futuristic love story depicts a man who falls in love with his operating system, voiced by Scarlett Johansson. The film explores the complexity of intimacy and relationships in a world where technology is becoming increasingly intertwined with our lives. It challenges the notion that physical contact is the only way to experience intimacy and love.

3. Moonlight (2016)

Moonlight, directed by Barry Jenkins, is a coming-of-age drama that explores the intersectionality of race, sexuality, and masculinity. The film portrays the complexity of sexual identity and the societal pressures that come with it. It shows that sexuality is not a fixed identity but rather a process of self-discovery.

4. Blue Valentine (2010)

This film by Derek Cianfrance explores the disintegration of a relationship between a young couple, played by Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. The film portrays sex as a means of communication and connection but also as a source of pain and disconnection.

5. The Kids Are All Right (2010)

This movie by Lisa Cholodenko portrays a lesbian couple, played by Julianne Moore and Annette Bening, whose children seek out their biological father. The film explores the complexities of family, sexuality, and identity, challenging the traditional nuclear family and the roles of gender in parenting.

6. Brokeback Mountain (2005)

This film by Ang Lee depicts a secret love affair between two cowboys, played by Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal. The film portrays the difficulties of living in a society that condemns same-sex love and the internal conflict that arises from living a life that is not in alignment with one's desires.

7. Kinsey (2004)

This biographical drama, directed by Bill Condon, explores the life and work of sexologist Alfred Kinsey, played by Liam Neeson. The film challenges societal norms and portrays sex as a natural and normal aspect of human life, challenging the stigma and shame that is often associated with sexual expression.

8. Shortbus (2006)

This film by John Cameron Mitchell depicts a group of New Yorkers who seek sexual and emotional liberation in a sex salon. The film explores the diverse ways in which individuals seek sexual fulfillment and challenges societal norms around sex and relationships.

In conclusion, these films have pushed boundaries, expanded representation, and normalized different types of sexual experiences. They challenge conventional portrayals of sex and relationships and create space for diverse stories to be told. By shedding light on different aspects of sexuality, these films have helped change the way we think about sex and paved the way for more inclusive representation in cinema.