By Kent Nostrand

Indie Sex is the says-it-all title of a multi-part documentary that originally aired on the Independent Film Channel (IFC).

No matter how many movie nude scenes and erotic scenarios you've seen, Indie Sex will take even the most knowledgeable skinema scholar to film-appreciation school with physical education.

Mr. Skin recommends this mind- and lap-expanding juggernaut mo(i)st skin-thusiastically!

Recently issued on DVD in an expanded, deluxe, two-disc edition, Indie Sex is hosted by burlesque siren and 21st-century erotic icon Dita Von Teese and features commentary from eminently worthy and insightful creative forces on the order of John Waters, Rosanna Arquette (Picture: 1), Piper Perabo (Picture: 1), Tatum O'Neal (Picture: 1), Peter Sarsgaard, Atom Egoyan (director of Exotica [1994] (Picture: 1) and Where the Truth Lies [2005]) (Picture: 1 - 2), and Martha Coolidge (director of Valley Girl [1983] (Picture: 1) and Rambling Rose [1990]) (Picture: 1).

In the course of Indie Sex's century-spanning sweep, we are treated to literally hundreds of hotties baring their best bits in the very inflammatory film segments that made them famous. So count on revisiting-or, better still, being exposed to-naked moments starring Jayne Mansfield (Picture: 1), Sharon Stone (Picture: 1 - 2), Eva Green (Picture: 1), Naomi Watts (Picture: 1), Gina Gershon (Picture: 1), Phoebe Cates (Picture: 1), Maria Schneider (Picture: 1), Kathleen Turner (Picture: 1), Maggie Gyllenhaal (Picture: 1), Shannon Elizabeth (Picture: 1), and too many others to count with your one free hand.

The up-to-the-minute Indie Sex is divided into four parts:


Tracing public outcry back to the earliest exhibitions of motion pictures, Censored is a no-holds-barred examination of bombastic cinema breakthroughs, be they artistic (such as Hedy Lamarr in 1932's Ecstasy (Picture: 1)) , exploitative (Mom and Dad and other traveling movie roadshows), or, most skin-triguingly, a combination of the two (e.g., Baby Doll [1956] and Barbarella [1968]).

Censored extends into the "porn chic" revolution of the 1970s when the X rating that had been granted to Oscar-caliber mainstream adult fare such as Blowup (1966) (Picture: 1), Midnight Cowboy (1969) (Picture: 1), and A Clockwork Orange (1971) (Picture: 1) was usurped by the lap-buster worldwide success of the hardcore porn smashes Deep Throat (1972) (Picture: 1), The Devil in Miss Jones (1973), and Behind the Green Door (1972).

More recent controversies discussed here include the NC-17 rating, which was initiated by Henry & June (1990) (Picture: 1) and reached its dizzying apex with le grande bouffe of over-the-top pop-art blowouts, Showgirls (1995) (Picture: 1).


Esteemed film critic Pauline Kael titled one of her essay collections I Lost It at the Movies, and Indie Sex's installment on Teens shines a fascinating light on adolescent-centric fare that is overwhelmingly concerned with just that concept.

Beginning with Annette Funicello's simultaneously smutty and wholesome Beach Party (1963) and its tidal wave of mid-1960s sequels and imitators, Teens leaps to more realistic films such as Last Summer (1969) and Summer of '42 (1971), as wells the Halloween-spawned teen slasher cycle and the glossy tropical romance of The Blue Lagoon (1980).

All this, of course, is en route to the '80s onslaught of horny high-schooler classics on the order of Porky's (1982) (Picture: 1), Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) (Picture: 1 - 2), The Last American Virgin (1982) (Picture: 1), Risky Business (1983) (Picture: 1), and Valley Girl (1983) (Picture: 1). Most skin-pressively, Teens even pays homage to the relatively obscure Getting It On (1983) (Picture: 1) and Going All the Way (1997) (Picture: 1).

Alas, there's no getting around the sexless John Hughes canon: Sixteen Candles (1984), The Breakfast Club (1985), Pretty in Pink (1986), and Some Kind of Wonderful (1987). Teens addresses these castrating hits admirably and engagingly.

As John Hughes, AIDS, and home video forever altered the moviegoing (g)landscape, teen movies of the 1990s frequently landed in art theaters. The titles examined here include: Kids (1995), The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love (1995) (Picture: 1), All Over Me (1997), But I'm a Cheerleader (1999), Boys Don't Cry (1999) (Picture: 1), Coming Soon (1999), and Tadpole (2002).


Arising from the new creative freedoms of the 1960s, Baltimore's "Pope of Bad Taste" John Waters forever corrupted and/or elevated the moving-picture art form with a series of aesthetic assaults beginning with Mondo Trasho (1969) and Multiple Maniacs (1970), peaking in terms of cultural impact with Pink Flamingos (1972) (Picture: 1), and then rocketing to repulsively brilliant artistic heights with Female Trouble (1974) and Desperate Living (1977) (Picture: 1).

Extremes features both Waters himself and his films as it examines movies that deeply, sometimes violently, divided audiences and critics and, in doing so, made indelible impacts on cinema history.

Among the brazen trailblazers discussed in Extremes are Last Tango in Paris (1972) (Picture: 1), In the Realm of the Senses (1976) (Picture: 1), David Lynch's Eraserhead (1977) and Blue Velvet (1986) (Picture: 1), Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989), David Cronenberg's Crash (1996) (Picture: 1), Fat Girl (2001) (Picture: 1), and Where the Truth Lies (2005).


The double-disc Indie Sex set concludes with a series of Bonus Features that prove to be as provocative as all that's come earlier.

In addition to even more funny, thoughtful, and thought-provoking interviews, there's an extended look at Taboos, even more amazingly explicit stag-movie footage from the early 20th century, and a timeline of crucial moments in the ongoing march of skinematic triumphs.

Indie Sex, from the first frame on to its final image, admirably earns its place in the pantheon of skin-sential movie viewing.

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