Tatsuya Fuji and Eiko Matsuda spend a rare moment out of bed in Nagisa Oshima's "I|Criterion Collection1/2
Tatsuya Fuji and Eiko Matsuda spend a rare moment out of bed in Nagisa Oshima's "I|Criterion Collection
Anastasia Steele has nothing on the fantasies of Catherine Deneuve in "Belle de Jo|Criterion Collection2/2
Anastasia Steele has nothing on the fantasies of Catherine Deneuve in "Belle de Jo|Criterion Collection
Two years ago, we did you a solid: We scoured the big streaming services to bring you movies far more salacious than "Fifty Shades of Grey." It wasn't hard; "Fifty Shades of Grey" is about as sexy as a perfume commercial, and horribly retrograde to boot. And now here's "Fifty Shades Darker," yet another S&M movie you can watch with your grandma.
Remarkably, given the fickle nature of streaming copyright issues, all of those films still live online, ready at a click. Half of them have just moved over to FilmStruck. So here's an updated list, plus a few newbs:
‘Basic Instinct’ (Netflix Instant)
Two decades ago, director Paul Verhoen and writer Joe Eszter seemed to rip open the fabric of society, gifting us with a neo-noir where the badassest person was a frequently naked bisexual Sharon Stone. Even now, the sex is still pretty shocking. The unrated cut on Netflix makes the big bonking centerpiece even longer, with Michael Douglas spending more time downtown — the kind of thing that, when performed on a woman, still gets movies threatened with an NC-17.
‘Nymphomaniac’ (Netflix Instant)
Lars Von Trier has never shied from sex; “Breaking the Waves” follows one woman who thinks God wants her to sleep with strangers, while “The Idiots” sported real bonking. Even the five-hour director’s cut of his “porn epic” is at least partly fake, with hardcore shots either spliced-in or digitally faked as Charlotte Gainsbourg relates her history of bonk addiction. It may be the only sex movie where the talking parts — featuring Stellan Skarsgard — are more engaging than the shtupping.
‘Stranger by the Lake’ (Netflix Instant)
There’s a whole mess of penises, as far as the eye can see, in Alain Guiraudie’s cryptic art film, set at a gay cruising site that doubles as a nudist spot. Eventually there’s a spate of murders, but that only puts a slight damper on the wang.
‘Wetlands’ (Netflix Instant)
In which a German teen (a truly game Carla Juri) freely, recklessly, giddily experiments with her body, from exposing it to germs to all manner of sexual hijinks. After she accidentally slices up her butthole while shaving it, she winds up in the hospital, recounting misadventures that would make even “Nymphomaniac”’s lead sick.
'Boogie Nights' (Netflix Instant)
The sex in Paul Thomas Anderson's porn saga isn't exactly played straight; when people are porking, there's usually cameras on them, Burt Reynolds off-screen whispering stage direction. It's still technically sexier than "Fifty Shades," and also, you know, it's "Boogie Nights." Who doesn't enjoy "Boogie Nights"?
‘In the Realm of the Senses’ (FilmStruck)
Even in the book, Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey come nowhere near the couple in Nagisa Oshima’s scandalous Japanese art film from 1976, which features real, endless sex — with one hell of a capper. Indeed, the spoilerable deed our female lead enacts is so disturbing that actress Eiko Matsuda barely worked again, forever identified with one of cinema's most indelible moments.
‘The Night Porter’ (FilmStruck)
Charlotte Rampling and Dirk Bogarde aren’t just into BDSM in this 1973 shocker: She’s a former concentration camp prisoner and he’s her former Nazi lover, who run into each other years later and pick things up again. Whee!
‘I am Curious (Yellow)’ (FilmStruck)
This Swedish import, which explores the country’s youth culture and politics in the 1960s, was a big, big hit in America in 1967. Why? Because it was super-frank about sex. In fact, it was the first mainstream film to include male frontal nudity.
'Secret Things' (Hulu)
Every few years, professional French perv Jean-Claude Brisseau drops another sex-tastic art film upon the festival circuit. They're fun, they're weirdly philosophical and they feature lots of transgressive bonking. The one he made in 2002 follows two women as they use their bodies to climb the corporate ladder, but what they find at the top is so weird and crazy it might re-program your mind.
‘Belle de Jour’ (FilmStruck)
Catherine Deneuve likes it rough in Luis Bunuel’s dreamy classic, playing a trophy wife who spends her days at a brothel, entertaining men’s sickest fantasies. Or most of them: the film’s most famous scene is technically G-rated, with a customer asking her to employ in their gameplay a mysterious object in a box. We never see it, but whatever it is, even she admits it’s too much.
‘W.R.: Mysteries of the Organism’ (FilmStruck)
The fight for freedom has rarely felt more free than in Dusan Makavajev's hepped-up, sex-drenched essay comedy from the former Yugoslavia, which mixes documentary and fiction while tying the anxieties of life under Communist rule to the sex drive. Its sense of humor overpowers its anger, and this is one angry film.
‘Fat Girl’ (FilmStruck)
No serious roundup of sex cinema is complete without a film by Catherine Breillat, France’s most sex-fascinated filmmaker. Though far from her most extreme work — she’s repeatedly cast real-life porn star Rocco Siffredi, including in her notorious “Romance” — this drama does feature one of the all-time great sex scenes: a slow-burn seduction that takes place just a handful of feet from the titular sibling.
BONUS: 'Love' (Amazon Prime, $3.99-$12.99)
You'll have to pay for it, but maybe you should. After all, Gaspar Noe's last provocation was the biggest sex movie of the last few years. Sifting through the memories of a not terribly bright man (whose inane thoughts regularly puncture the narration track), "Love" finds mostly hardcore stumping, with very real Ps going into actual Vs. Watch it with someone you love.
Follow Matt Prigge on Twitter @mattprigge