There are very few serious films that portray raw passion in a direct way. The films listed below are very explicit in depicting sexual acts. In most cases, they are “Hard-Core”, in that they show the male erection, or penetration. They are not classified as pornography, at least not by the censor, because they have a plot (a serious story to tell) and the characters have some depth.
Some other movies are very sexual in nature, but show little or no nudity. For example, Nosferatu, The Postman Always Rings Twice, and Dangerous Liaisons are in this category. The films listed below are some of the few that are both serious and which also contain very strong sexual scenes.
Erotic Films: Ai No Corrida (In the Realm of the Senses)
In the Realm of the Senses (USA DVD, UK DVD) caused a sensation on its release in 1976. It was directed by Nagisa Oshima, and is the fictional account of a true story. Sada, a former prostitute, meets Kichizo and they begin an affair. Her obsession with him turns murderous due to his promiscuity, and she ultimately kills him accidentally by strangulation during their love-making. This film contains some of the strongest sexual imagery ever approved for general release, even though the movie demonstrates the ultimate futility of sexual desire.
Erotic Films: Nine Songs
Nine Songs (USA DVD, UK DVD) was made in the United Kingdom in 2004, and directed by Michael Winterbottom. The title refers to the songs played live at the Brixton Academy,where the couple met. It concerns the affair between Matt, a climatologist, and Lisa, an American exchange student. The film was very controversial at the time because it contains scenes of unsimulated sex, female masturbation, and male ejaculation. Like Ai No Corrida, the film shows the limitations of sex in a relationship.
Erotic Films: Crash
Crash (USA DVD, UK DVD) was directed by David Cronenberg, and stars David Spader and Holly Hunter. Spader is involved in a car crash with Holly Hunter and her companion. Hunter’s companion dies as a result of the accident, and Spader and Hunter are drawn to the wreck of his car after he recovers from his injuries. Their interest mutates into physical attraction, and there is an inference in the movie that their near-death experience has heightened their sexual awareness. Another character in the film, a photographer named Vaughn, is obsessed with car wrecks and car crash deaths, and re-stages the crashes of James Dean, Jane Mansfield etc.
Erotic Films: Summary
Ai No Corrida, Nine Songs, and Crash are in a rare breed of film that is both sexually explicit and serious. They are not everyone’s taste, but they are still as popular today as they were when they caused so much controversy on their release.