Kinky sex can be funny, dis­turb­ing or lov­ing

Movies that ex­plore the world of al­ter­na­tive sex­u­al­ity of­ten tell deeper tales of hu­man con­nec­tion

Metro Canada (Winnipeg) - - MOVIES - CHRIS ALEXANDER scene@metronews.ca

While neg­a­tively re­view­ing Ken Rus­sell’s wildly kinky 1984 thriller Crimes of Pas­sion, the late, great Roger Ebert said, “sex is an ac­tiv­ity of great and se­ri­ous im­por­tance to its par­tic­i­pants but, as a spec­ta­tor sport, it has a strange way of turn­ing into com­edy.”

Cer­tainly, Rus­sell, en­fant ter­ri­ble that he was, took great de­light in or­ches­trat­ing scenes of graphic, un­nat­u­ral S&M sex­u­al­ity in that bizarre film. But Crimes of Pas­sion was not camp.

It was re­ally just one of many con­tro­ver­sial mo­tion pic­tures that use ex­treme kink as a tool to tell deeper tales of ex­treme hu­man con­nec­tion.

With the re­lease of Peter Strick­land’s deeply kinky ro­mance The Duke of Bur­gundy, open­ing soon across Canada, and the filmed adap­ta­tion of E.L James’ Fifty Shades of Grey open­ing on Valen­tine’s Day week­end, we take a look at some of the big screen’s most ex­ces­sive for­ays into al­ter­na­tive car­nal knowl­edge. The Night Porter (1974) Lil­iana Ca­vani’s dark, con­tro­ver­sial sado-masochis­tic drama is as de­mented as they come, de­tail­ing an on­go­ing re­la­tion­ship be­tween a con­cen­tra­tion camp sur­vivor played by Char­lotte Ram­pling and her for­mer Nazi cap­tor. Love sto­ries don’t get stranger than this. And yes, Ebert hated it. Blue Vel­vet (1986) David Lynch’s master­piece of small-town mys­tery and mur­der is, at its core, an S&M love tri­an­gle. But while Den­nis Hop­per’s wheez­ing vil­lain Frank Booth treats Isabella Ros­sellini as an out­let for his vi­o­lent insanity, her masochis­tic love­mak­ing with Kyle McLachlan is ten­der and af­fec­tion­ate. A work of great beauty — and per­ver­sity. Exit to Eden (1994) Sit­com king Gary Mar­shall takes Anne Rice’s mov­ing and hy­per-erotic sado-masochis­tic ro­mance novel and, seem­ingly agree­ing with Ebert’s sen­ti­ments, flips it into a sex-soaked slap­stick com­edy, in­vent­ing goof­ball roles for Rosie O’Don­nell and Dan Akroyd as leather-clad cops snoop­ing around an S&M re­sort, and dec­i­mat­ing the dirty dig­nity of the book. Rice was none too pleased. Nym­pho­ma­niac (2014) Lars von Trier’s mag­num porno­graphic opus is in essence an inspiring study in fe­male em­pow­er­ment, although one ex­plod­ing with jaw-drop­ping se­quences of mind-bend­ing kinky sex and vi­o­lence. Char­lotte Gains­bourg de­liv­ers the per­for­mance of a life­time, even when us­ing her body as a re­cep­ta­cle for some of the most ex­treme de­bauch­ery ever seen on screen.

CON­TRIB­UTED

The Duke of Bur­gundy is a mas­ter- slave les­bian ro­mance, and a must- see film, says critic Chris Alexander.

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