Perhaps in tribute to the late Michaelangelo Antoinioni and the immortal
Purple Paper Scene in “Blow-Up,” IFC has recently released a list of the 50
sexiest scenes in cinema. Oddly, the
Purple Paper Scene is not among them. Maybe they felt it was such an obvious
choice it didn’t need to be mentioned. On the other hand, the list also omits
other films that I feel deserve consideration. So at the risk of further
exposing my own personal crotchets of taste and inclination, here’s a quick
supplement of five more of film’s sexiest scenes.
1. Ingrid Bergman as Sister Mary Benedict in the sporting goods store in
“The Bells of Saint Mary’s” (1945)
It doesn’t take a Freud to figure out what’s going in this scene as
Bergman’s saucy nun wraps her black-silk gloved hands around the white ash
shaft of a Louisville Slugger, her wimpled angelic beauty intent on her swing,
as she teaches her pre-pubescent charge how to knock it out of the park
2. The Rubber Stamp Scene in Closely Watched Trains (1967)
Not to take the fetishism too far, but Jiri Menzel really summarized the
connection between bureaucratic repression and kinky sex in this scene in which
the foxy train dispatcher chases a nubile secretary around the office, gently
coaxes her to lie on a desk, removes her bloomers and, with exquisite care,
repeatedly authorizes her bottom with the station’s official rubber stamp.
3. The four way Sex Machine in Jean-Luc Godard’s “Sauve qui peut (la vie)”
Though it embodies in one brilliant sequence everything that’s gone wrong
with sex, power and money over the past two thousand years, it’s impossible not
to laugh hysterically and maybe even get turned on as hardboiled prostitute
Isabelle Huppert and a rookie whore she’s
breaking in visit a client, a respectable businessman named M. Person.
Much like a movie director, he assigns the two prostitutes, his assistant and
himself various positions, sex acts and vocalizations (“Hey!” “Ho!” “Ha!”) in a
rumba line of depravity.
4. Bloody Bonet in “Angel Heart” (1987)
A sexiest scene should have an edge of transgression, and this tryst in Alan
Parker’s unnerving thriller has more
than its share. Cosby kid Lisa Bonet scandalized her TV dad by taking on a rain
of blood, Mickey Rourke and a rooster in one of the most morbidly erotic love
scenes in cinema. And it’s all just setting up an outrageous, perverse and
satisfying twist ending.
5. Take tea and see in “Zoolander” (2001)
As orgies go, only the magic tea sequence in Ben Stiller’s underrated and
indefatigueable comedy come close to that in Godard’s “Sauve qui peut (la vie).” The screen wobbles in “Performance”-like
psychedelic jump cuts, and if the ululating of Hansel’s Sherpa guide doesn’t
crack you up, then the Maori spirit guide or the Finnish dwarf will. I wish I
could have seen it before it was edited for a PG-13 rating.