Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

No sex please

I quite enjoyed Andrew Motion’s comments about the lack of sex in novels submitted for The Booker Prize. The former UK Poet Laureate, chairman of the Booker panel this year, suspects that writers are so afraid of winning the Bad …

Mon, Aug 2, 2010, 18:44

   
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I quite enjoyed Andrew Motion’s comments about the lack of sex in novels submitted for The Booker Prize. The former UK Poet Laureate, chairman of the Booker panel this year, suspects that writers are so afraid of winning the Bad Sex Prize — awarded for particularly embarrassing outbreaks of literary humping — that they stay away from the subject all together. If only film-makers felt the same reserve. The odd Don’t Look Now noted, sex scenes invariably seem unconvincing and clumsy in motion pictures. Of course, if the sex is meant to be awkward and embarrassing then that’s perfectly okay. But too often you feel a bit sorry for the poor actors: all that huffing, puffing and clenching of sheets.

It’s customary for forward thinking pontificators to argue that there should be less violence and more sex in movies. Sex is so “natural” and so on. I don’t agree. I think there should be much more violence and as little sex — or, rather, as few sex scenes as possible in the cinema. It is also, I think, time for the institution of a Bad Sex Prize for Movies. We should, in honour of the daddy of all ghastly sex scenes, call it the Cruise-McGillis Award.