Anthology Film Archives


July 8 – July 31

Sex and the cinema. To say that the two are intertwined would be a vast understatement. Whether through direct representation or veiled innuendo, honest exploration or commercial exploitation, few are the films throughout history that have not to some degree explored or reflected the centrality of sex to human existence. This series, however, zeroes in on films that have taken a very specific – and idiosyncratic – approach to exploring the topic of sex and erotic experience. Ignoring the thousands upon thousands of movies in which sex is depicted (more or less explicitly) or visually suggested (more or less frankly), “Let’s Talk About Sex” showcases those films in which sexual experience is conjured purely through the spoken word, by individuals verbally sharing their thoughts, feelings, and memories. Their testimonies demonstrate not only the emotional weight and psychological provocation that sex retains in most cultures, but also the (erotic) power of language – even, or perhaps especially, in a visually saturated society – to stimulate the imagination in ways that are sometimes more vivid and emotionally charged than imagery can attain.

The films included in “Let’s Talk About Sex” encompass many different viewpoints, but most are concerned with sharing marginalized perspectives and experiences: female, queer, non-white, the elderly, the disabled, and others. As such, many of these works not only counteract the atmosphere of taboo that so often attaches to discussions of sex in general, but explicitly bear witness to sexual experiences or attitudes that are generally suppressed or silenced in the culture at large.

Co-programmed by Jed Rapfogel (Anthology) & Róisín Tapponi (Founder and Director of Habibi Collective).

Special thanks to Danielle Arbid; Brian Belovarac (Janus Films); Rodrigo Carneiro; Cinenova; Cathy Cook; Cassandra Einstein; Jill Godmilow; Jeanne Graff; Bob Hunter & Livia Bloom Ingram (Icarus Films); Tim Lanza (Cohen Film Group); Edda Manriquez (Academy Film Archive); Seth Mitter (Canyon Cinema); Sandrine Neveux (Villa Albertine); Mireia Sallarès; Nina Verneret; Gustavo Vinagre; Todd Wiener & Steven Hill (UCLA Film & Television Archive); and Lana Wilson.

Please note: Jean Eustache’s UNE SALE HISTOIRE (1977) was central to the conception of the series, but is currently unavailable due to an impending U.S. re-release.

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