The following letter was sent out to about a dozen large movie studios in the hopes of getting a response. The letter was intended to be both serious and tongue-in-cheek. I am more interested in knowing how they would respond to these issues than actually encouraging the presence of “butt sex” in movies.
The Original Letter
May 23, 2006
To Whom It May Concern:
I am an avid film watcher. I have seen thousands of movies, own hundreds of them, and have scores upon scores of movie reviews posted on the Internet Movie Database. I consider myself an aspiring movie snob and some day hope to know more about films than any one person really ought to.
And so I wanted to ask a favor of the studios, production companies, writers and directors of the motion pictures we Americans have come to love. Could we please have more scenes of gay love? More kissing, more anal sex. Maybe even something a little more exotic like fisting or watersports. I don’t mean to be disgusting and for the record I am not homosexual: I just feel the time has come for Hollywood to explore these options rather than recycle the same old crap time and again. Do I need another Mighty Ducks sequel or a remake of some classic horror film? No, I don’t – these things rank just below cold sores, Pauly Shore and diaper rash on my list of things I so desperately need.
Now hear me out. In 2005, “Brokeback Mountain” was a huge success and probably deserved to win the Best Picture Oscar. What would have shocked mainstream audiences ten years ago is now considered a normal expression of love. Grab on to this and run with it!
Now like I said, I’m an avid film watcher. So I’m not naive enough to think “Brokeback Mountain” was breaking new ground in the world of sex on celluloid. The history of gay love goes back a long time.
Already by 1970 we had such bizarre films as “Beyond the Valley of the Dolls” with two men in bed acting out role playing. And ten years earlier (1960) we had “Spartacus” (directed by the master himself, Stanley Kubrick). Kubrick continued to push the sex envelope with “Lolita” and “A Clockwork Orange”, which despite showing pedophilia and rape have both gone on to be considered classics.
“Fast Times at Ridgmont High” (1982) pushed the limits again, featuring an abortion. This scene takes the fun attitude of the movie and destroys it. But it shocked the audience while making them face reality, which is something a filmmaker should strive for. The real worls is everywhere and most people never open their eyes to see it. This is one of Cameron Crowe’s best films (alongside “Say Anything”) and it’s a shame he went on to make horse manure like “Vanilla Sky” and possibly “Elizabethtown” (which I freely admit I never bothered to finish watching).
Homosexual encounters are a specialty for director Gregg Araki, who really worked on this theme in the mid 1990s. 1993’s “Totally F***ed Up” was a collage of anal sex and broken hearts. “The Doom Generation” (1995) made us wonder if genders and orientations could change at will (thanks to the beautiful Rose McGowan). And “Nowhere” (1997) just kept this going. Not to mention “Mysterious Skin” (2004). Gregg Araki is a gem and it is a shame that he has not received the attention he deserves by people outside the world of cult cinema.
In 2000 we saw “Vulgar”. By “we” I should say many Kevin Smith fans, who happen to be a powerful force. In this film a man is tricked into coming to an apartment and is tortured and violated by a family of men. I was a bit disturbed by it, but at the same time I felt it had to be done at some point. Not something I’d like to see all the time (we don’t need to be desensitized to kidnapping) but we could ask for more in the future.
Also in 2000 was “Requiem For a Dream” which went on to become the Internet Movie Database’s 56th highest rated film of all time. Not to mention the Oscar and Golden Globe nominations. But what was in the movie? Rampant drug use, sexuality, and an Oscar-winning actress (the overly talented Jennifer Connelly) engaged in a variety of odd sexual acts, incluing lesbian sex with another woman while using a sex toy. She didn’t need this role in her catalog, but I don’t think anyone could have done it better.
No other film has blurred the lines between pornography and art like “The Brown Bunny” (2003), which shows an entirely real oral sex scene between Vincent Gallo and Chloe Sevigny, two wonderful underground stars (from “Buffalo 66” and “Kids”, respectively). The movie itself was truly awful and I can’t find anything redeeming about it (although Roger Ebert did in his second viewing). But it did go the extra step.
2005 brought “Derailed” which I expected to be a cute little film with that has-been Jennifer Aniston. But instead in one part a rape scene gets stretched out far too long and both myself and my friend were a bit nauseated. The rape later turned out to be false, but this does very little to erase the damage done by watching it. Perhaps this even makes it more disturbing. But we needed this, someone had to go this far. The same movie without this scene would have had very little impact and would have been soon forgotten.
Which brings us back to “Brokeback Mountain”. So, tell me, can I count on you to put more movies with gay themes on the big screen? America can not hide in its blanket of traditional values forever. What cinema needs today is more “butt sex” and you are the people who are going to have to step up and give it to them. Please tell me you have what it takes to give America the “butt sex” I know it needs whether it wants it or not. The future of movies is making the edgy more mainstream.
I am completely serious. And I do truly hope that someone from your public relations department has the time to answer me fully. I eagerly await that response and I wish everyone the very best this summer. Good luck in the post-Memorial Day blockbuster season.
Gavin C. Schmitt
209 E. 17th St.
Kaukauna, WI 54130