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9 out of 15 people found the following review useful:

Too big a topic for one hour

Author: Brian Ellis from Chantilly, VA
15 August 2002

Here we have the example of trying to do too much in too little time. Giving examples of films exposing sexual taboos should take longer than one hour. I think the film should have concentrated on directors with a larger body of work. Don Roos and Miguel Arteta each have one movie discussed and I wouldn't consider either one very shocking. At least John Waters and David Cronenberg got segments, but again "Blue Velvet" didn't really deserve a segment; I think the same could be said for Atom Egoyan's films. I guess my real problem was with who was omitted. When I think of perversion in the cinema, Peter Greenaway, Nicholas Roeg, Ken Russell and Russ Meyer immediately come to mind. With the exception of Meyer, maybe the others are considered too mainstream but some of those directors' movies make these so-called indie taboo films seem pretty tame (excluding Waters, Cronenberg and "Blue Velvet"). A so-so documentary. OK for the novice viewer.

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1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Good Documentary

Author: Michael_Elliott from Louisville, KY
2 December 2008

Indie Sex: Taboos (2007)

*** (out of 4)

Documentary taking a look at Hollywood and various sexual taboos. The director would go onto make three more of these documentaries and she certainly handled and researched the material a lot better then. This film here has a lot of good information but at the same time there's a lot of films overlooked. The other documentaries in this series did a great job at covering Hollywood, foreign films and underground films but this one here pretty much just looks at Hollywood. There's mention of Luis Bunuel in terms of sexuality influences America but that's about it. There are countless foreign movies that tried real sex in films yet this documentary basically covers later day films that did it and called them ground breaking. Naturally Last Tango in Paris gets some discussion as well as the recent Shortbus. If you're new to this type of thing then I'm sure you'll learn a lot here but there's a lot more out there to learn and not all the information here is too accurate.

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1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Four Hours About Not Very Much

Author: groggo from Toronto, Ontario, Canada
2 March 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is yet another of those 'sex' documentaries that pretends, through its marketing, to offer a no-holds-barred, steamy expose of sexual proclivities in movies. Not surprisingly, the film is far less about sexual imagery and much more about countless talking heads yakking endlessly, sharing their film erudition with us.

I believe this is the continuation (or completion) of a 60-minute original, and consists of two discs covering more than four hours of allegedly titillating stuff. It could easily have been cut in half and nothing of value would have been lost.

If you're looking for hot and explicit sex, look elsewhere. If you look fast, you might see 30 seconds of actual explicit sex, although the film frequently warns viewers that they will be exposed to explicit sexual content'. Unless the meaning of 'explicit' has been changed, this is not only unnecessary sensationalism, but an outright lie.

The best part of this flick showed pieces of 100-year-old 'blue' movies. The rest showed snippets of 'naughty' little sexy bits and pieces of films from the past 80 years, interspersed with observations from those inescapable talking heads -- legions of critics and film historians, bolstered by actors and directors, all offering opinions that can be either interesting or positively banal, depending on your tolerance level.

The film really isn't about sex as such, but more of an examination of sexual mores inspired and influenced by movies. If this had been the expressed central purpose of the flick, it still wouldn't have been great, but at least it would have been honest. To be sure, this movie aims at a market consisting of dirty little minds (like mine, for example).

'Indie Sex' explores censorship, teen-age sex, rough sex, gay and lesbian sex, pedophilia, sado-masochism, group sex, what constitutes eroticism and what doesn't, and if 'sexy' films are, or are not, instructive and/or useful. But after even an hour of this, you start to ask the screen: so what?

There ARE some interesting observations by the talking heads, but, all things considered, it shouldn't take four hours to do it. As a whole, it's pretty boring. There isn't really very much these relentless yakkers (they consume about 70 per cent of the total film time) tell us about sex in movies that we really didn't already know. Why are they making a big deal out of it?

There's a general rule of thumb that I've found useful: if a DVD suggests really sexy and sensational stuff, you'll end up more or less with the opposite. 'Indie Sex' carries on this exploitative tradition. We're all suckers, it seems. Put the word 'sex' in a title, and we come running.

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3 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

woefully incomplete

Author: indy-39 from United States
19 August 2007

I was so enthused when I first heard that IFC was doing a four part series on the history of sex in the cinema that I couldn't wait to see it. What a monumental disappointment! The series fails on so many levels that I only ended up screening two of the episodes ( the last two)...they were enough to send me screaming into the night. If this subject is truly of interest to you and you have a fairly large frame of reference, you too will be maddened by the wrongheadedness and general lack of knowledge put forth by the so-called critics on Indie Sex. Imagine HBO's Real Sex combined with the intellectual complexities of one VH1"s "100 Best..." series... the shows are an hour long and I found myself constantly checking the clock. Landmark films and landmark scenes either are completely missing or go begging for coherent analysis. Perhaps this is best viewed as an essay on the state of film criticism in the new century (deader than the 8 track tape). I think Jami Bernard of the times ( a legit critic) had the shows highpoint when she said that she had a problem with the oral sex scene in "Brown Bunny" because she "really didn't like Vincent Gallo's character" and she didn't want him to be getting that act performed on him. Very professional indeed! Yeah, he was yucky!

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