The History of Sex in American Film

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Greenwood Publishing Group, 2007 - Performing Arts - 216 pages
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Although American films, especially Hollywood fare, are often belittled for their one-dimensional portrayal of sex, a close examination of the history of sex in American motion pictures reveals that American cinema has actually represented sex in myriad ways. A more complete understanding of the ways in which sex has been represented onscreen requires an approach that pays equal attention to cinematic techniques and to the diversity of sexual values and behaviors in American society. It is necessary to frame this discussion within the multiple contradictions of an industry that has both repressed and represented sex with equal fervor over the course of its history; of audiences that have both taken offense at and flocked to films with sexual themes; and a body politic that has regulated the sexual in popular culture even as its discourse has been saturated with sexual images and topics. The History of Sex in American Cinema moves seamlessly between general film and social history to clarify how exactly sex has been expressed cinematically, and how we have responded to those expressions as a culture.
  

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Contents

Codes and Laws
1
2 Shifting Boundaries
17
3 Inside Out
39
4 Everybodys Doing ItArent They?
63
5 To Have or Not to Have Sex
87
6 Puritanical Past in a Pornographic Light
109
7 From the Closet to the Screen
129
8 Mainstream Adultery
151
9 Children in the Dark
173
Conclusion
191
Notes
193
Bibliography
203
Index
211
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Jody W. Pennington is Associate Professor in Media and Culture Studies in the Department of English, University of Aarhus, Denmark.

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