Richard speaks to “CTV News at 11:30” anchor Andria Case about movies on VOD to watch this weekend including the Disney+ talking animals movie “The One and Only Ivan,” the World War II drama starring Gemma Arterton “Summerland on VOD and the self explanatory documentary “Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies.”
Richard sits in on the CTV NewsChannel with host Jennifer Burke to have a look at the new movies coming to VOD, streaming services and theatres including the Disney+ talking animals movie “The One and Only Ivan,” the World War II drama starring Gemma Arterton “Summerland on VOD, the self explanatory documentary “Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies” and the dreary drama “Euphoria.”
Richard sits in on the CFRA Ottawa morning show with host Bill Carroll to talk the new movies coming to theatres, VOD and streaming services including the Disney+ talking animals movie “The One and Only Ivan,” the World War II drama starring Gemma Arterton “Summerland on VOD, the self explanatory documentary “Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies” and the dreary drama “Euphoria.”
“Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies” calls itself the “definitive documentary” on the subject and it is hard to argue the point. An exhaustive looks at naked folks (although to be fair, it is mostly women) on film from the early silent days to the present, from the Hays Code to #MeToo, it bares all in an attempt to contextualize how nudity changed cinematic culture. “Twenty minutes after they invented film someone started photographing naked people,” says one of the film’s experts
Not for the prudish, “Skin” is illustrated with graphic film clips, ranging from Hedy Lamarr’s “Ecstasy,” the first film to depict a woman having an orgasm, to Malcolm McDowell dropping trou at every opportunity beginning with “If….” in 1968 and culminating with Bob Guccione’s enhancements of “Caligula,” through to the werewolf three-way of “The Howling” to “Boogie Nights,” “American Pie,” Sharon Stone’s unwitting nude scene in “Basic Instinct” and beyond.
Using talking heads like Pam Grier, Shannon Elizabeth, Traci Lords, Mariel Hemingway, Sean Young, all of whom have disrobed for the camera, and directors like Kevin Smith, Amy Heckerling, Peter Bogdanovich who have directed others of them to do so, documentarian Danny Wolf assembles a revealing picture of a business that once thought appearing nude would ruin a career but is now an industry that expects and exploits nakedness.
“Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies,” isn’t exactly clinical in its approach, it veers between the academic, the personal and the leering, but never shies away from real discussions. It’s a history lesson on how political and artistic interests changed the societal landscape, sometimes to be welcoming of screen nudity, others times censorious. It examines gender bias, the creation of sex scene intimacy coordinators and the range of experience of those who have appeared nude for entertainment purposes.
“If I hadn’t done the nudity,” says “American Pie’s” Shannon Elizabeth, “I might not have a career today.” Contrasting Elizabeth’s experience is Chyler Leigh of “Not Another Teen Movie” who says, “I wasn’t prepared for the entire world picking my body apart.”
At two hours “Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies” is everything you always wanted to know about sex in the movies but were afraid to ask.
Pam Grier walks into a bar. Sounds like the beginning of a joke, but it’s actually the setup for one of the great fight scenes of the 1970s.
Grier played the title character in 1974’s Foxy Brown, a woman who poses as a high-end escort to get revenge on the gangsters who killed her G-Man boyfriend. When her undercover work brings her to a seedy bar, she confronts Bobbie, a tough-talking patron (played by Jeannie Epper who was also Lynda Carter’s stunt double on Wonder Woman).
“Listen, skinny,” says Bobbie, “before you start talking tough, I better warn you. I got a black belt in karate. So why don’t you get out of here quietly, while you still have some teeth left in that ugly face?”
Before you can say, “You go, girl,” Foxy clobbers Bobbie with a wooden stool, slamming her in the face then shattering it across her back.
“And I got my black belt in bar stools!” says Foxy.
Grier could deliver a line and a punch, attributes that allowed her to cut a swathe in the male-dominated action movie market of the 1970s.
This weekend Scarlett Johansson adds to Grier’s kick- butt legacy on the big screen with Lucy, an all-out actioner about a woman who becomes a superhuman when a drug allows her to use 100 per cent of her brain capacity. “I’m able to do things I’ve never done before,” she says. “I feel everything and can control the elements around me.”
Johansson joins a list of dangerous distaff action stars like Michelle Yeoh (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), Jenette Goldstein (Aliens), Angelina Jolie (Wanted, Salt, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider) and Uma Thurman (Kill Bill, Parts 1 & 2) who have given Schwarzenegger and Stallone a run for their money.
Perhaps the wildest female action movie of all time is 1965’s “ode to female violence,” Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! starring Tura Satana as the thrill-seeking go-go dancer Varla.
Experienced in martial arts, Satana did her own stunts and brought her unique style — black leather gloves, Germaine Monteil eyeliner and layers of Max Factor pancake makeup — to the film. She even supplied some of the movie’s most memorable lines.
When a gas station attendant ogles her cleavage while extolling the virtues of being on the open road and seeing America, Satana ad libbed, “You won’t find it down there, Columbus!”
Time critic Richard Corliss called Satana’s performance “the most honest, maybe the one honest portrayal in the [director Russ] Meyer canon and certainly the scariest.”
“I took a lot of my anger that had been stored inside of me for many years and let it loose,” Satana said of her most famous role.
“I helped to create the character Varla and helped to make her someone that many women would love to be like.”