Think 50 Shades Is Kinky? Try These

With the upcoming release of 50 Shades of Grey based on the best-selling novel garnering so much uh…excitement, let us remember that this is only one of many movies throughout the years that focused on fetishes. In fact, many of these past films have received critical recognition and accolades. Consider some of the following…

Last Tango in Paris (1972)

This erotic Franco-Italian drama by legendary director Bernardo Bertolucci about an American widower (one of Brando’s most memorable roles) who begins a tormented and violent sexual affair with a betrothed Parisian girl (Maria Schneider) became an instant classic – and a lightning rod for controversy.

Menage (1986)

In this French comedy/crime drama, a burglar Bob (Gerard Depardieu) seduces first the married Monique (Miou-Miou) then husband Antoine (Michel Blanc) before teaching them his trade so they can join him in his criminal exploits as a proper threesome. It was entered at the Cannes Film Festival where Michel Blanc was awarded the prize for Best Actor.

9½ Weeks

Directed by Adrian Lyne, this tale of a woman (Kim Basinger) caught up in a masochistic relationship with a brutal man (Mickey Rourke) was a box office dud in the U.S. but a surprise hit overseas and helped launch Basinger’s career into orbit.

The Cook, the Thief, His Wife, & Her Lover (1989)

This British-French romantic, black comedy, crime drama about a bored wife (Helen Mirren) to a thuggish restaurant owner (Michael Gambon), whose affair with a patron goes to some very strange places indeed; graphic sex, torture, and even cannibalism.

Sex, Lies, and Videotape (1989)

An instant runaway indie hit, in great part thanks to a title that hinted at all things naughty, this film about a man who can only find sexual release by filming women talking about their sexual experiences and his entanglement with an unhappily married couple and the wife’s younger sister won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, a Best Actor award for James Spader, AND garnered an Academy Award for best screenplay for its then unknown writer/director Steven Soderbergh.

Crash (1996)

Directed by David Cronenberg and starring James Spader (again!), Holly Hunter, and Elias Koteas, this highly divisive and controversial film tells the story of a group of people who have an erotic fascination with car crashes. While nominated for the Golden Palm Award at the Cannes Film Festival, it won a Special Jury Prize instead.

The Piano Teacher (2001)

A disturbing psycho sexual drama about a 17 year old boy (Benoit Magimel) who pursues his masochistic 40 something piano teacher (Isabelle Huppert). It won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival (anyone else starting to see a pattern in the kinds of movies Cannes likes to recognize?!?) and Best Actor and Best Actress for its two leads.

Secretary (2002)

Based on a short story by Mary Gaitskill (who, for the record, was not pleased with the movie adaption), this details the relationship between a sexually dominant man (James Spader-why is he always playing a deviant?!?) and his submissive secretary (Maggie Gyllenhaal). The latter was widely lauded for her performance earning numerous awards and nominations and screenwriter Erin Cressida Wilson won the Independent Spirit Award for Best First Screenplay. Secretary also won a Special Jury Prize at Sundance for originality.

About Winnefred Ann Frolik (399 Articles)
Winnefred Ann Frolik (Winnie for short) was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She completed the International Baccleareate program at Schenley High School and then attended the University of Pittsburgh where she completed a double major in English Literature and Creative Writing. After graduation she spent a number of years working in the non-profit sector and it was during that phase in her life she moved to D.C.  Winnie co-wrote a book on women in the U.S. Senate with Billy Herzig.  She enrolled in a baking program in culinary school and worked in food services for a while. She currently works in personal services while writing for Woman Around Town and doing other freelance writing projects including feeble personal attempts at fiction. Her brother is a reporter in Dayton, Ohio so clearly there are strong writing genes in the family.  She lives in Pittsburgh, PA, with two demanding cats.