06 June, 2008

Movie Nudity

Recently on the nudist forum I mentioned once before, a discussion emerged about the best nude performance in a movie. Unsurprisingly, a lot of foreign titles were considered. Since this is just the sort of thing I've been looking for, I kind of went on a binge and ordered a bunch of these movies...

The first of them is a film called Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus, starring Nicole Kidman. It seems that Diane (Dee, not Die) Arbus was a pretty influential photographer somewhere in the middle of the last century, and she was known for photographing strange and freaky people, and bringing to them a sort of humanity that people might be quick to deny them.

Fur is a fictional - but compelling - biography about "what might have been" the steps that led Diane to realize her artistic vision and step out of the traditional housewife role. It focuses around her fascination with a "circus freak" - the wolfman type who uncontrollably grows hair all over his body - who turns out to be quite an enchanting character (played by Robert Downey Jr.), after he moves in upstairs. It's a very touching drama, and beyond that, it's a great exploration of the kind of dedication an artist needs to step away from convention and not back down on their singular artistic vision. I recommend it.

And for the curious, the nudity-related scenes bookend the film, in which the character of Diane visits a nudist resort (nudists being part of that fringe element that fascinates her) - and they don't shy away from the scenery, though the scenes are pretty short. It's certainly not the kind of "hot" nudity you expect in a film - the kind that's always accompanied by sexuality - and for that alone it's refreshing. It's also simply interesting to get even a brief glimpse of what a populated nudist resort might look like.

The second film in my binge is an interesting French-directed film titled Quest For Fire. It really is remarkable. It's a story based 80,000 years ago, about a hominid clan's adventure to recapture the secret of fire, and the dangers they face - including animals (the sabre-tooth tigers and woolly mammoths have to be seen to be believed!), as well as other more and less advanced hominid tribes. The languages used are all invented primitive languages, and there are no subtitles - the point is that you can figure out what they're saying pretty much from the body language (it's not like their conversations are very complex, anyway).

Unlike some other novelty attempts at prehistoric drama that may or may not have been made, this film is really well-done, and a lot of work went into it. It doesn't shy away from adult themes, and the content ranges all the way from humour to drama - you can laugh at a scene here or there without it degrading the seriousness of the story. Considering the setting, it's probably not really like any other movies you've seen, but I very much recommend it. The only comparison I can make is to the first section of 2001: A Space Odyssey, but remove the Monolith, and add a TON of story. You get so into it that when the lead journeyman witnesses the secret to creating fire on his own, it brings a tear of wonder to your eye.

As for the nudity, this movie is also refreshing in that, though most of the hominids are mostly covered, either in thick hair or fur pelts, depending on the clan/species, in certain cases where they're jumping around fighting and whatnot, there's an obvious lack of an attempt to cover up anything and everything that might offend - not to say that there's anything there that should offend any reasonable person. But the real splendor comes in the form of the female lead, actress Rae Dawn Chong, who spends most of her on-screen time naked from head to toe, though covered in body paint (tribal patterns). Now there's a refreshing sight, if I ever saw one.

As for the rest of the titles in my binge, I have yet to watch them.

1 comment:

  1. Man Z your entries are faster than I can keep up, I am jealous. Also jealus of these naked people in movies, because they hold power over me. Be sure to post about the others when you watch them.