We desire, we fall in love. We are haunted by curves and scents. Since when do all these inexplicable processes begin to evolve in one’s body and soul? Even before we receive our mother’s milk for the first time, sexuality is already rooted somewhere in the tender soil of subconscious. A shapeless shadow of sexual nature patiently rests, until a bright sunbeam of carnal stimulation comes to enlighten all these instincts into their full appreciable body.
Those first moments of sexual apperception define one of the most significant stages of life. A child fights a man in the territory of one body. A woman displaces a delicate girl from an inner kingdom. Such procedures are never simple, never direct, and never clear. Let’s observe them through the artistic sphere of cinema. The following are some of the best films ever made about the subject.
10. Attenberg (2010)
Athina Rachel Tsangari’s distant observation on the humankind, as it emerges in her 2010 “Attenberg,” perhaps comprises the most existential piece of the “New Greek Weird Wave.” Bizarre, even deformed and colorless in a unique way, this story is the projection of an ingredient deeply rooted yet constantly obvious in a pitch-black miniature society.
The film is focused on Marina, a 23-year-old girl who stands numb toward the world, while trying to decode the functions of her own mind and body. During the film’s opening scene, Marina is taught how to kiss by her unique girlfriend. The two of them have defined a personal sphere of reality— a one-way permeable fishbowl of senses that allows constant recycling of juvenile manners mixed with an odd constituent of adulthood.
Placed in a contemporary small-scale urban environment of silent pain and loneliness, the story’s tragic heroine appears as a curio in flesh and bones. Still, if one reverses the direction of the lens, the curio of our own world appears huge and firm. In Marina’s ostensibly maladjusted mind lives a child that denies coming of age and adopting the typical behavioral trends of adults. Her long-lasting sexual sleep is now interrupted so as to induct her in the cursed sanctum she has always been ignoring.
9. A Swedish Love Story (1970)
Quite before the occurrence of the tragicomic cinematic absurdity that established Roy Andersson as a groundbreaking arthouse director, the tender-hearted foundation of his 1970 “A Swedish Love Story” signified a primal glimpse of an insightful intelligence. Simplistic and honest, this story is found on a raw, glaringly textured slice of life.
Annika and Pär are two teenagers seeking love and attention in a materialistic world of egocentricity and emotional corruption. In each other’s eyes, both of them discover an inner destination.
Their relationship describes the features of an adult relationship, as their mood for exploring the limits of their sexuality progressively increases and expands. We see two children digging out the deep-seated carnal instincts of two lovers. But this is something bigger than a physical need.
Andersson’s first feature film, if watched carefully and critically, delves into the psychological labyrinths of two true-to-life teenage minds suffering from a primal form of deprivation. Approached with sympathy, their sexuality is here reordered on the fundamental bedrock of their emotional and spiritual substance.
8. À Nos Amours (1983)
You’ve met girls like her many times: she’s a classmate, a cousin, or maybe a friend. She’s the one carrying a bad fame. Why does she need all these lovers? Meeting Sandrine Bonnaire’s character in “À Nos Amours,” you get the answer— an answer raw, painful and entirely true.
Her home is a sad place. Reflective fragments of her parents’ broken marriage pierce Suzanne’s heart every single day. Her nights are given to temporary lover and romancers. During this course, a child escapes from home and hides all the pain under the newly shaped allures of a woman. Suzanne is lost and found somewhere there…
Still juvenile in a refreshing manner and aptly complex, Suzanne’s character becomes almost tangible in the viewer’s hands, being both very well-crafted and embodies by the arguably intelligent Bonnaire. “À Nos Amours,” seen through this girl’s eyes, is definitely a cinematic experience that aches, deserving all that sentimental sweat and toil while caressing the hurt skin of adolescence’s delicate sexuality.
7. The Diary of a Teenage Girl (2015)
One can never be truly prepared to deal with the teenage mind set-up exposed in “The Diary of a Teenage Girl.” This is an absolutely audacious art piece by the emergent female director Marielle Heller. Referring to the 1970s decade, the film employs the old-fashioned extravaganza of a cult era as exploring timeless issues of adolescence.
The story’s young heroine is a thirsty for life yet sentimentally clumsy girl called Minnie. We meet her the day she triumphantly confesses to her diary that she just had sex for the first time. And then, a breathtaking apposition of happenings reveals how Minnie and her mother’s boyfriend became lovers. Still, Heller essentially shows how her heroine’s explosive occurrence of sexuality is used simultaneously used as a weapon and a shield.
Thorough, bold, and captivating in an absurd way, “The Diary of a Teenage Girl” is an amazing film exploring the both dark and bright nature of a teenage mind. You can discover laughter, tears, even a breath of deep fear in this film’s paths and corners. In the end, you know that Minnie, as placed in her environment and shaped by her thoughts and sentiments, is a true girl.
6. I Killed My Mother (2009)
Art is the greatest medium recreating aspects of life and channeling deep and untold thoughts. Art, above anything else, is a personal matter. Xavier Dolan’s work, in its sincerity and promptness, effortlessly prove this fact. Fresh as youth and mature as wisdom, his first feature film is a sweet lament about the blinding dawn of manhood.
Embodied by Dolan, Hubert is a middle-class teenage boy living with his eccentric mother. He is a quite mature young man, self-aware and sexually stable. However, there’s something he can’t understand: his mother. As a little boy, Hubert was very attached to Chantale. But what about that homosexual, stubborn man rising inside him? Why can’t he accept the beloved mother of his happy childhood?
“What would you do if I died today,” Hubert asks. “I’d die tomorrow,” Chantale answers while her son is already gone. At the age of 20, Dolan creates his first Freudian study of sexuality in cinematic form. The Canadian enfant terrible knew that love can tear us apart and even had the talent to make a film out of it. In this semi-autobiographical piece, he gives one of the greatest sex scenes of all-time.