The sex sceneIn the ultimate show of commitment to their characters, the Idiots retreat to their house in the suburbs of Denmark and launch into a haphazard orgy, all while still pretending to be handicapped (they refer to the performance as “spazzing”). So they go to a construction site and do the deed in a giant metal pipe, doggy style. Michael Winterbottom’s indie romance has been called both for its portrayal of a twentysomething couple in London having sex (real-life rather than simulated) and then going out to gigs. Top 50 Best Films of 2020. Why is it so groundbreaking?Already a sensation in the short time since its Sundance debut, Guadagnino’s emotional adaptation of André Aciman’s revered gay novel does right by its most notorious scene, vaulting the movie into the naughty, adult realm of Bernardo Bertolucci.—Joshua Rothkopf, Director: Hal AshbyBedfellows: Ruth Gordon, Bud Cort. Others, like Nagisa Oshima with his notoriously explicit In the Realm of the Senses, take it even further. The filmAccording to veteran Disney animator Ward Kimball, this no-holds-barred silent-era porn cartoon was made by a trio of studios working separately, though evidently dirty minds think alike. The filmMore than a decade before he made Gravity (which could have used a sex scene), Alfonso Cuarón broke out with this hit—one that also marked the arrival of actors Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal as two friends on a delirious, sensual road trip. It’s also a time capsule of gay life in a major European city in 1980, just before the AIDS epidemic. Basic Instinct was championed by feminist critic Camille Paglia, who argued that it features “one of the great performances by a woman in screen history.” Others called it misogynist.—Cath Clarke, Director: Martin ScorseseBedfellows: Willem Dafoe, Barbara Hershey. This being the 1890s, there are layers of frills, corsets and bloomers to get through, so it takes a couple of minutes. The sex sceneThere are many to choose from but perhaps the most controversial is a central hookup involving a hustler with a prosthetic leg and a john with an amputee fetish. Following a string of TV roles in shows like “Mozart in the Jungle” and “Homeland,” Vack distinguished himself as a filmmaker with the highly controversial “Assholes,” which premiered at SXSW in 2017, prompting IndieWire’s David Ehrlich to call it “one of the most disgusting movies ever made.” While “Deep Tissue” is more provocative than disgusting, the final reveal is in line with Vack’s own filmmaking philosophy. The filmBased on Annie Proulx’s story about the love affair between two cowboys, Ang Lee’s beautiful, swooning film starred Jake Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger as range hands who fall in love. The filmA Bedford-Stuyvesant block explodes on the most sweltering day of the summer, as a local pizzeria becomes a magnet for racial tensions. That’s not exactly what he’s known for.—David Ehrlich, Buy, rent or watch The Last Temptation of Christ, Director: Frank CapraNot-quite-bedfellows: Claudette Colbert, Clark Gable. The sex scenePaul (Stewart) may be disabled but he’s still able to get it up, as proven in the explicit scene in which he lures sex kitten Karma (Szlasa) into his bed, before wrapping his hands around her throat. Eva Marie Saint is the platinum blond he meets on the run. Beyond that, however, this scene is important because of how director Zhang Yuan structures desire: His camera is obsessed with the lead actor’s face reacting to pleasure and pain, inviting the audience to identify with desire.—Daniel Walber, Buy, rent or watch East Palace, West Palace, Director: Bruce La Bruce, Rick CastroBedfellows: Tony Ward, Bruce La Bruce. The filmThis mid-1980s London-set British comedy tackles issues of race, sexuality and politics with a pleasingly light touch as it tells the story of Omar (Warnecke), a young British-Pakistani man seduced by the capitalist dream—David Ehrlichspite his father being a left-wing radical. As the two women sit watching one of the old movies, Diana bluntly puts it like this: “Now that we know that we’re attracted to each other, what do we do? The sex sceneThere isn’t any actual sex in Goodbye to Language, but one nudity-filled sequence invites so much audience interaction that people might remember things differently. The sex sceneIt gets mighty cold up there in the hills of Wyoming. The sex sceneThey meet at work. The filmGregg Araki’s first hit is a major watermark in New Queer Cinema, a gay riff on Thelma & Louise with an AIDS-era fire in its belly. Some filmmakers chose to cut tastefully around the deed itself; some have thrown caution (and clothes) to the wind to show it in all its glory. Slap and tickle. Meanwhile, the film's crew grapples with the subject matter in behind-the-scenes footage. 8/10 The filmWilliam Friedkin’s tawdry detective thriller stars Al Pacino as an undercover cop on a mission to uncover a killer in New York City’s gay leather scene. The sex, which comes early in the piece, is not male gaze-y or gratuitous, but sensual and characterful, which may have something to do with the presence of sex educator Susie Bright on set. The filmCzech director Machaty’s overheated melodrama about an impotent husband, a frisky young wife and the beau who spots her skinny-dipping made an international icon of 19-year-old Hedy Kiesler. Geddit? Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! But for two actors to be in a single bed together was, in its own way, a quiet revolution in post–Hays Code Hollywood. 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