After a steamy winter featuring Emerald Fennell’s Saltburn, the internet was sent into a frenzy over – a fairly mediocre – erotic murder drama, that featured copious amounts of sex. Naturally, Laura Gommans, friend of the podcast, was left questioning what happened to all the sex scenes in cinema today.

The 90s marked an era of iconic scenes of intimacy in films like Wild Things, Cruel Intentions, Eyes Wide Shut, Indecent Proposal, Risky Business, Basic Instinct, it was a horny time. In contrast studios like A24 are currently showcasing some truly jarring sex scenes. How did we get here? And why are blockbuster movies like Avatar deleting their sex scenes?

Intrigued by these cinematic shifts, seasoned entertainment editor Laura joins the discussion to unpack the significance of sex in film while getting to the bottom of just exactly why desire on screen has become so contentious.

Show notes

Films mentioned

(click on the links for tickets to screenings at LAB111)

  • Saltburn (Emerald Fennell, 2023)
  • Stop Making Sense (Jonathan Demme, 1984)
  • Dirty Dancing (Emile Ardolino, 1987)
  • Orlando (Sally Potter, 1992)
  • Highlander (Russell Mulcahy, 1986)
  • The Boy and the Heron (Hayao Miyazaki, 2023)
  • Mean Girls (Samantha Jayne & Arturo Perez Jr., 2024)
  • American Fiction (Cord Jefferson, 2023)
  • Shiva Baby (Emma Seligman, 2020)
  • Bottoms (Emma Seligman, 2023)
  • Wild Things (John McNaughton, 1998)
  • Eyes Wide Shut (Stanley Kubrick, 1999)
  • Indecent Proposal (Adrian Lyne, 1993)
  • Basic Instinct (Paul Verhoeven, 1992)
  • Risky Business (Paul Brickman, 1983)
  • Sexcetera (Michael Guttsen, 1998-2005)
  • Oppenheimer (Christopher Nolan, 2023)
  • Beau Is Afraid (Ari Aster, 2023)
  • Midsommar (Ari Aster, 2019)
  • Dream Scenario (Kristoffer Borgli, 2023)
  • The Lighthouse (Robert Eggers, 2019)
  • Lucía y el sexo (Julio Medem, 2001)
  • Fifty Shades of Grey (Sam Taylor-Johnson, 2015)
  • 365 Days (Barbara Białowąs & Tomasz Mandes, 2020)
  • Normal People (Lenny Abrahamson & Hettie Macdonald, 2020)
  • Don’t Look Now (Nicolas Roeg, 1973)
  • Titanic (James Cameron, 1997)
  • Avatar (James Cameron, 2009)
  • Persona (Ingmar Bergman, 1966)
  • How To Have Sex (Molly Manning Walker, 2023)
  • The Idol (Sam Levinson, 2023)
  • Lost Highway (David Lynch, 1997)
  • Disobedience (Sebastián Lelio, 2017)
  • Una Mujer Fantástica (Sebastián Lelio, 2017)
  • Portrait of a Lady on Fire (Céline Sciamma, 2019)
  • Broke Back Mountain (Ang Lee, 2005)
  • Blue Is The Warmest Colour (Abdellatif Kechiche, 2013)
  • Sex Education (Laurie Nunn, 2019-2023)
  • Miami Vice (Michael Mann, 2006)

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