“Videodrome” is a science fiction body horror film written and directed by David Cronenberg. It follows the story of Max, the owner of a small “softcore” porn television station in Toronto.
Everything starts when his TV station’s signal is interrupted with images of a torture session in which people seemed to be tortured and killed. Later, Max discovers that this transmission, called Videodrome, is actually much more than a morbid video: it is a kind of experiment that uses regular television broadcasts to permanently alter the perception of its viewers, causing damage to the brain. He begins to experience strange effects and hallucinations because of these transfers.
Clearly, this film is about the dangers of technology and the manipulation of the masses through the media, but how does it relate to sexual obsession? Well, in “Videodrome,” sex is used as a weapon that causes both a harmful and pleasurable addiction. It is a combination of sex and violence and shows how it can affect us to see this content, how it changes our way of understanding and living reality.
In the film we can see how Max merges into the world of the video, being unable to escape from it, and even enters the TV screen (like having sex with the television and now being part of it).
4. In The Realm of the Senses
Based on a true story in 1936 Tokyo, Sada is a former prostitute who now works as a maid in a hotel. She begins an intense affair with the hotel’s owner, Kichizo. Their relationship consists of sexual experiments and various self-indulgences.
Kichizo leaves his wife to pursue his affair with the maid. Sada becomes increasingly possessive and jealous of Kichizo, and Kichizo more eager to please her. They start to grow a mutual obsession with having sex with each other and experience with sadomasochism. Explicit sex is precisely the central focus in this movie, which is why it was strictly censored in the US, Japan, Canada, Germany and other countries.
It’s one of the most controversial films in cinema history because some people think it is just pornography and other people think that it’s of high artistic and cultural value. “In The Realm of the Senses” is a film about the toxicity of being possessive and sex as a compulsion. It is also about to be given to someone for pleasure without awareness of the limits, because there are no limits in sexuality.
“Nymphomaniac” is a two-part film written and directed by Lars von Trier. It’s very controversial because of the same reasons as “The Realm of the Senses.” It contains a lot of explicit scenes that some people may consider unnecessary. It is the third and final installment in von Trier’s “Depression Trilogy,” having been preceded by “Antichrist” and “Melancholia.”
The film, from the beginning, emerges in a gloomy atmosphere: it begins with the wounded body of a woman lying in a desolate courtyard. A man named Seligman picks up the spoils in which this woman has become. Joe (the woman) starts talking to the man, telling him about events of her life. He only listens.
As she speaks, she reveals elements of her life related to her compulsive obsession with sex. Sex for her is a sedative to calm anxieties. Her body has become a material instrument devoid of love. Von Trier connects this mania with the relationship between Joe and her parents.
All her life she wanted to find a pleasure beyond pleasure. In a scene from the movie, she makes a clear metaphor for her sexual life: she says that she always expects more of the sunset, more intensity, more color, more beauty. The director also complements the film with dark symbolism, including Bach’s music and works by Edgar Allan Poe.
Nymphomaniac is, clearly, a work of art with high emotional and psychological value.
“Naked” is a British film directed by Mike Leigh. After raping a woman in an alley in Manchester, Johnny steals a car and escapes from his hometown to London to seek refuge in the home of his ex-girlfriend, Louise. Johnny is an intelligent, eloquent man with pretty sadistic behavior. In London, he tries to seduce Louise’s roommate, Sophie.
The film focuses on the odysseys of this man, who wanders the streets all day, talking to homeless people or characters from the underworld of the capital of the United Kingdom.
Johnny dedicates himself to exposing his pessimistic view of the world. For him, existence has no meaning and everything is indifferent, which is why he does what he wants without measuring the consequences. He does not try very hard to hide his sadistic and bitter personality; he doesn’t repress himself and has no restrictions.
His life is based on his sexual impulses and simply existing. Due to this nihilistic vision of the marginalized character, the only thing that makes him feel excitement and pleasure is sex. In fact, the lives of all the characters in this film revolve around sex, since they all have affective and emotional lacks.
1. The Piano Teacher
Erika Kohut is a piano professor at a Vienna music conservatory. She lives in an apartment with her domineering mother. Her father was a long-standing resident in a psychiatric asylum before he died.
Erika is a very sexually repressed woman and this repression is manifested in her paraphilia, which includes voyeurism, sadomasochistic fetishes and self-mutilation. Her life has a big contrast: her psycho-emotional life is chaotic and unbalanced, but her vocation (playing piano) is stable and flawless. She is reduced to command and obey: obey her mother and make her students obey her.
Along the film remains the dissatisfaction of the main character. She never smiles, laughs, or has something pleasant. The sexual scenes do not reach an erotic level; they even become disgusting.
“The Piano Teacher” is a truly masterpiece about a self-destructive and impulsive woman who suffers from borderline personality disorder. This film shows what masochism really is. Masochism is not “to feel pleasure when feeling pain” – it is about achieving stability, as those who feel emotional pain will seek physical pain. It is about staying in the “status quo” of constant suffering. The search of physical pain to distract psychic pain.