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Ghost Canyon

'Indie Sex'
(Various / DVD / NR / 2008 / IFC Films)

Overview: 'Indie Sex' by award-winning filmmakers Lisa Ades and Lesli Klainberg explores how films have provided a forum to discover society’s deepest and darkest sexual fantasies played out on the big screen. Divided into three parts – Indie Sex: Censored, Indie Sex: Teens and Indie Sex: Extremes – the series delves into sex in movies through innovative verite footage, provocative film clips and compelling on-camera interviews with some of the industry’s leading actors, writers and directors.

DVD Verdict: 'Indie Sex' is a good documentary series about the history of sex in cinema that has been running on the Independent Film Channel. It's pretty graphic, and not for everyone. My only problem is that they tend to lump all types of sex scenes together, from erotic and comic scenes, to rape and incest. There are definitely some unnecessarily explicit scenes in some films referred to in the documentary that might have been more effective if done differently, yet the film defends them.

Multiple actors and filmmakers lend their thoughts to the discussion, though critics ultimately seem to garner the lion's share of screen time, with Jami Bernard chiming in so often she practically merits her own credit alongside directors Lisa Ades and Lesli Klainberg.

Strictly for cinephiles, the overall exercise does provide an opportunity to appreciate the work of various directors -- from John Waters to David Lynch, David Cronenberg to France's Catherine Breillart -- but after night two, much of what's shown feels like a recap of what has gone before.

The principal exception would be the portion of part four devoted to what's described as "the final frontier" -- actors having sex on screen, in non-porn settings. Unfortunately, the various pundits don't really lift the issue to the next level by articulating whether this is truly necessary or merely a stunt. Nonetheless, it's worth viewing for students of film. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:

Director's Cut of Taboos
Extended Stag Film
Sex In Cinema Milestones