Tag Archives: pornography

Fifty Shades of Grey (2015)

These desires come out in the sort of private moments that movies hesitate to show but that are the essential province of art.

-Richard Brody, “The Accurate Erotics of Fifty Shades of Grey” 

Fifty Shades of Grey is, for everything else it represents, a film. As a film, I was surprised to find it compelling and coherent; certainly the plot isn’t too intricate but the characters are—indeed they are far from the one-dimensional physiques one would expect of erotic fare. Further, while attractive, our leads are no porn-stars. Against it’s critics, Fifty Shades of Grey is not a pornography, a visualization of fantasy. It is, instead, a film about two people exploring their fantasies. This makes a world of difference. Continue reading

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Her (2013)


If you could get rid of your body, would you? After all, bodies can be at their best annoying: bathroom breaks, drive-thru stops, wardrobe malfunctions. At their worst, bodies can cause immeasurable suffering. Bodies force us to pay rent, to work out, to sleep no matter the circumstances.

Yet obviously there are many good things about life as well, and life for us cannot be anything but bodily. Every experience we have is stitched into time and space. In Her, the characters have an acute sense of time: a past that colors a present, a present reaching (with futility) for independence from the past, an unsure future. At the same time, however,  characters have no sense of space. Not only is this unrealistic, I find the romanticization of bodyless existence in Her to be unsettling. In philosophy, a common criticism of modernism is that it views people as “talking heads,” intellects that observe the wider, physical world without being part of it. Well, Her is a “talking heads” film. Continue reading

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