TV & Film Magazine
Update: July 17, 2007

Thanks for visiting this site, but it is no longer being updated. I've moved on over to http://www.mediapundit.net/ and I invite you to join me over there from now on. Thanks for your understanding.

Nudity in Cinema.


  -  Digg!Submit to NetscapeBookmark at del.icio.usreddit

I got to thinking about how unnecessary nudity in feature films is a few hours ago. I don't have any moral objections to it, I suppose I just don't think something ought to be there unless it has a real good reason to be.

Reindeer Games is a good example. Although the nudity was censored from the version that TNT aired, I've seen the scenes before, and I know what was missing. Charlize Theron is slithering about in a pool with Gary Sinise, supposedly her brother. We find out they aren't, she takes her bathing suit top off, and then they get real friendly with each other... Click the title to read the rest.

There were only a couple shots -- maybe even just one -- that were censored, and it takes nothing away from the story at all with them gone. So why have them at all? What was the point? It didn't make the scene more sexy, it was actually pretty awkward and juvenile. I just shrugged my shoulders and thought, hey, cool, Charlize Theron's boobs!

To the contrast, in a script I'm working on called Desperation, a female character is taking a shower in an unfinished part of a high-tech arctic outpost. It's night, and shes all alone in that particular building wing. The power goes out, but the water keeps running (possible if the power only fails in one wing of the building, but the pumps and whatnot are in another wing), hopefully creating a surreal atmosphere. She peaks out, and yells to see if anyone is around messing with her, but nobody answers. She steps out, cautiously, into a moonlit and foggy bathroom that looks more like a corporate executive washroom than something you'd expect to find inside a remote extreme climate outpost (again, this is a setup.) She creeps across the floor to a duffle bag and fishes out a radio to find out what is going on.

This could be written (and shot) any number of ways. You could have the moonlight in the foreground, showing her nude body from behind, but totally darkened, as you would get with lighting like that -- no detail at all, just a body outline. Or you could angle the camera and see some body detail. Or you could have her wrap herself with a towel before she even steps out of the shower stall and show nothing at all.

Either way, it doesn't add anything to the story, like in Reindeer Games, because it's really just eye candy. And at this point, I actually started thinking about how I would do that scene (I hadn't really decided because I didn't think it mattered), when I started to understand more fully how you can actually use something like simple nudity to play off other aspects of the scene, to enhance what's happening. If the woman creeps out into the moonlight nude, that's very symbolic to the situation, shes naked in the sense that shes all alone, and as I said you can do that without actually showing anything just with lighting tricks. But truthfully it's still unnecessary, so why not cut the crap?

To me, as a writer, it feels like a gimme. There are many different and better (thats key; better) ways to drive home that the relationship between Sinise and Theron in Reindeer Games is not what it had seemed to be, rather than having her flash her tits to the audience, and having Gary stare at them. In fact, that was already done with dialog right before the top came off. Weak.

Technorati tags: , ,
Like this post? Subscribe to RSS, or get daily emails:

Apr 9, 2006, 7:50:00 AM
Charlize Theron's boobs. Charlize Theron's boobs. Charlize Theron's boobs. Charlize Theron's boobs. Charlize Theron's boobs. Charlize Theron's boobs. Charlize Theron's boobs. Charlize Theron's boobs. Charlize Theron's boobs.

(I just did wonders for your google traffic.)

I know guys who will pay to see a movie according to who takes off what. To be more accurate, when I was younger I knew guys who openly admitted that they were going to see a movie because someone was getting naked (Swordfish). Now I'm somewhat older and I hang out with people who talk about more subtle, nuanced features of the films they like (like explosions, and cars (Swordfish)), but I gotta think that seeing a particular actress get her kit off is still a draw to some folks.


Apr 9, 2006, 12:06:00 PM
As an audience member I like to see the goodies, as a writer, it feels like a cop out. I can think of worse things to be conflicted about though.

Thanks for the comment!


Got something to say? Post a Comment. Got a question or a tip? Send it to me. If all else fails, you can return to the home page.


Recent Posts
Subscribe to RSS Feed Add to Google
Add to Technorati Favorites
Add to Bloglines
Archives
Links
Powered by Blogger
Entertainment Blogs - Blog Top Sites

The text of this article is Copyright © 2006,2007 Paul William Tenny. All rights reserved. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License. Attribution by: full name and original URL. Comments are copyrighted by their authors and are not subject to the Creative Commons license of the article itself.