1989: sex, lies and videotape: Rob Lowe and James Spader (Erotic 80s Part 12)
You Must Remember This
by Karina Longworth
8M ago
American independent film is launched into the mainstream by Steven Soderbergh’s sex, lies and videotape, starring James Spader as an impotent man who gets off on filming women talking about sex. Videotape also plays a role in a Spader film released almost simultaneously, Bad Influence, in which he plays a meek yuppie at the mercy of alpha male Rob Lowe – who was trying to rehabilitate his career after a tape leaked shot by the actor and documenting his real-life threesomes — one with a 16 year-old girl. We close the first half of this season talking about Lowe, Spader and how camcorder mediat ..read more
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1988: Kevin Costner, Sean Young, No Way Out & Bull Durham (Erotic 80s Part 11)
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by Karina Longworth
8M ago
The 1988 baseball blockbuster Bull Durham confirms Kevin Costner as the ultimate squeaky-clean, all-American heartthrob, building on a sexual persona sparked the year before with the neonoir No Way Out. Today we’ll talk about why Costner was the quintessential safe hunk for the 80s, his alchemic chemistry with co-star Sean Young in No Way Out, and her subsequent rocky road through Hollywood misogyny. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices ..read more
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1987: Fatal Attraction and Dirty Dancing (Erotic 80s Part 10)
You Must Remember This
by Karina Longworth
8M ago
The erotic thriller goes commercially mainstream with Fatal Attraction, a film which starts a national conversation about whether or not women can “have it all” – “it all” meaning both careers and marriage. Is Fatal Attraction an indictment of working women as “witches” and a call to roll back women’s rights, or a snapshot of extreme toxic masculinity? Plus: Dirty Dancing. Is it evil? Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices ..read more
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1986: 9 ½ Weeks, Mickey Rourke & Zalman King (Erotic 80s Part 9)
You Must Remember This
by Karina Longworth
9M ago
Billed as the hottest Hollywood film since Last Tango, 9 ½ Weeks was considered to have missed the mark by everyone who made it – including director Adrian Lyne, stars Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger, producer/writer Zalman King and his wife, writer Patricia Knop. Today we’ll talk about why this intoxicating and troubling film is worth a second look, how to square away the arguably feminist finished product from a production process that robbed Basinger of agency, and we’ll explore the film Rourke and King re-teamed on as a re-do, Wild Orchid. We’ll also talk about Rourke’s “bad boy” persona, a ..read more
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1985: Fear Sex. Jagged Edge & AIDS (Erotic 80s Part 8)
You Must Remember This
by Karina Longworth
9M ago
Just as the AIDS-related death of Rock Hudson was finally forcing straight people – and Hollywood – to acknowledge that epidemic, a film was released that transposed the new climate of sexual fear into a murder mystery. The sleeper hit of 1985, Jagged Edge turned Glenn Close from a respected actress into a star, and established the brand of screenwriter Joe Eszterhas, who would later write Basic Instinct and Showgirls. Almost a decade after radical feminists began to call for a crackdown on violent sexual imagery, Jagged Edge tried to have its cake and eat it, too: infusing its sex and violenc ..read more
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1984: "Vioporn," Body Double and Crimes of Passion (Erotic 80s Part 7)
You Must Remember This
by Karina Longworth
9M ago
In a time of bombastic blockbusters (and Reagan’s re-election), two auteurs defy the norms by releases violent films about sexual obsession, sparking a controversial mini-trend which one critic dubs “Vioporn.” Kathleen Turner, then also starring in a family-friendly blockbuster, plays a sex worker with a double life in Ken Russell’s Crimes of Passion. Brian DePalma, the most talked-about director of the moment, takes his tribute/critique of Hitchcock to the next level by casting Melanie Griffith – daughter of Hitchcock blonde Tippi Hedren – as a porn star in Body Double. Learn more about your ..read more
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1983: MTV Aesthetics, Flashdance and Risky Business (Erotic 80s Part 6)
You Must Remember This
by Karina Longworth
9M ago
While the music video was still in its infancy as a cultural phenomenon, two films were released that were accused of aping the “MTV aesthetic”: Adrian Lyne’s Flashdance, and Risky Business, which turned Tom Cruise into a major star. Today we’ll talk about what the “MTV aesthetic” was and why it was considered a big deal for movies to be influenced about it, and we’ll examine how both of these movies treated sex work and race within the context of 80s social mores and Reagan capitalism. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices ..read more
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1982: Teen Sexploitation, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Porky's and The Blue Lagoon (Erotic 80s Part 5)
You Must Remember This
by Karina Longworth
10M ago
1982 saw the release of three hit high school-set comedies about sex: Porky’s, The Last American Virgin and Fast Times at Ridgemont High. The only one to survive as a classic, Fast Times turned Phoebe Cates – who also appeared in the Blue Lagoon rip-off Paradise the same year – into a frozen-in-time icon of adolescent sexuality. Today we’ll talk about this sudden explosion of teen sex on movie screens, and compare Cates’s public persona and attitude to on-screen sexuality to that of Blue Lagoon star Brooke Shields. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices ..read more
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1981: Neonoir, Body Heat and Postman Always Rings Twice (Erotic 80s Part 4)
You Must Remember This
by Karina Longworth
10M ago
The New Hollywood directors of the late 1960s and 70s were the first generation of Hollywood filmmakers to grow up studying Hollywood movies as art. In 1981-1982, a number of those directors made actual or virtual remakes of classic Hollywood noir films, including Lawrence Kasdan’s Body Heat, and Bob Rafelson’s The Postman Always Rings Twice; and Paul Schrader’s Cat People. What was the value of revisiting the tropes and narratives of 1940s noirs in the 80s, beyond the fact that the sexual relationships implied in the original movies could now be depicted graphically? Today we’ll talk about ho ..read more
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1980: Richard Gere and American Gigolo (Erotic 80s Part 3)
You Must Remember This
by Karina Longworth
10M ago
One of the most aesthetically influential movies of the ‘80s, Paul Schrader’s American Gigolo sets a template for much of what we’re going to discuss this season: it’s about sex as a conduit for wealth, masks and double lives, and the role of danger in desire. Today we’ll talk about the sexual persona of Gigolo star Richard Gere in the early 1980s; the ways in which Gigolo and other films from 1980 (Dressed to Kill, Cruising) grapple with straight male anxiety over gay male visibility; and the tension between the promotion of sex-positivity for women and the anti-feminist backlash. Learn more ..read more
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