Art or animalism?
The Cannes Film Festival, which has in recent years become a parody of itself with its fascination with the pretentious and nihilistic, decided to double down on its emptiness this year, awarding the top prize of the festival to Blue is the Warmest Color, a French film featuring a twelve-minute sex scene between the two female leads. The film itself is reportedly about a 15-year-old high school student (Adele Exarchopoulos) who has a lesbian affair with an older woman (Lea Seydoux).
The affair apparently lasts as long as the film: three hours. Were it about a man and a woman, no doubt the crowd would have participated in a ritual self-slaughter (the same was true of the interminable Brokeback Mountain). But the film involves graphic sex, so the crowd sat through it, cheering.
The scene garnering all the buzz reportedly features every aspect of lesbian sex in pornographic detail. The sex was apparently non-simulated – Hollywood’s way of saying that the actresses involved, whether the stars or body doubles, are high-falutin’ porn stars (Melvin Van Peebles famously got a sexually transmitted disease after engaging in “non-simulated sex” in blaxploitation masterpiece Sweet Sweetback’s Baadasssss Song). And while the French congratulate themselves on their sophistication for enjoying the sight of two beautiful young women touching each other in special places, and while the critics justify their well-crafted raunch by citing the “bravery” involved in the production, the three-hour-long film will likely find small audience in the United States outside the perverse and the politically-motivated.
Of course, there is another name for what allegedly goes on in this movie, if indeed the young woman in the film is supposed to be 15 years old: statutory rape.
The sexualization of teenagers is the perverse byproduct of the left’s quest to destroy the sanctity of sexual behavior, reducing it to lowest common denominator in terms of age and meaning. The same left that wants to force the Boy Scouts to accept open homosexuality (after all, how do gay scouts express their gayness without reference to sexual orientation or preference?) wants to pretend that a 15-year-old girl involved in sexual activity for 12 minutes with an older woman is pure romance, not a violation of youth. Were this a 25-year-old man having sex with a 15-year-old girl, even the left might be forced to admit that this is a problem (although probably not). But because the relationship is gay, it’s merely an “awakening,” not a textbook case of lawbreaking.
And it’s celebrated. There’s a reason that those in Hollywood focus on hot young lesbians. As Sandy Grushow, former programming head of Fox, told me that Fox, along with other networks, routinely had lesbian storylines during sweeps week. Hot girls making out with each other gets ratings and attention. Plus, you get called a hero by the leftist press for featuring it. It’s a win-win-win!
Forget the issue of sexual orientation, though. Focus instead on the left’s sick focus on the sex act itself. Sex can be wonderful. It can be joyful and beautiful and meaningful, aside from being physically pleasurable. But the left seeks to reduce passion to the animal. Does it truly elevate relationships to focus the camera on physical pleasure that can be achieved from a myriad range of partners? Do we learn more about the love between two people because they have sex? Or do we actually learn less?
People like having sex. They do it all the time. But by elevating the sex act to the centerpiece of art, the left has reduced art to animalism, and reduced sensuality to flat pornography. There is a reason that pornography websites avidly cut the sex scenes from movies like this one and post them on their own: they require no context. Sex generally doesn’t. Relationships do, which is why they are important and good and worthwhile on film.
And by reducing the age of sexual awakening younger and younger, the left robs sex not only of its meaning, it robs childhood of its innocence. The “art” produced by the folks who think molestation of 15-year-olds is good film used to be criminal. At the very least, those who made it were relegated to the back rooms of dirty stores populated by men in trench coats. Now they’re celebrated with Palmes d’Or.
Presumably, that’s because these actresses are “heroes,” and so is their director. The left sees heroism as pursuit of the animal. They are still living in Rousseau’s dreamworld, where going animal makes you more human.
How far the film community has fallen. “Nature, Mr. Allnut,” says the prim and proper Rose Sayer (Katherine Hepburn) in a truly great romance, 1951’s The African Queen, “is what we are put in this world to rise above.” In today’s Hollywood, precisely the opposite is true. We are all supposed to descend to the level of the natural. Which should be easy enough. All we have to do is glorify the animalistic in us. Hollywood is leading that charge.
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