Director Sebastián Lelio: ‘The presence of porn is everywhere and making us numb’

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Sebastián Lelio's “Disobedience” will always be known for its erotically charged sex scene between female leads  Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams. In a new Guardian profile, Lelio mentions, “I knew this scene was at the heart of the film, but didn’t know how to face it. It made me think about how sex is represented today. The presence of porn is everywhere and making us numb — eroticism has been altered and damaged.
He's right and that's why eroticism has become a lost art at the movies, a medium where we would be able incredible, none-too-graphic, erotica. But while plenty of films like to show gratuitous sex, they’re not always very good. That numbness he mentions is to blame. There hasn't been a lot of masterful eroticism released in the 21st century:  Jane Campion's "In the Cut," Francois Ozon's "Swimming Pool," Abdellatif Kechiche's "Blue is the Warmest Color," Ang Lee's "Lust Caution," Adrian Lyne's "Unfaithful," David Lynch's "Mulholland Drive," and my personal favorite, Alfonso Cuaron's "Y Tu Mama Tambien.
Safe for "Blue is the Warmest Color," all of those were released pre-2007, which means that as the years went along, the numbness we've had to sex on-screen has increased. I guess I should add some post-2010 films that, ahem, nailed their eroticism: there's Luca Guadagnino's first three films ("I Am Love," "A Bigger Splash," "Call Me By Your Name") , Todd Haynes' "Carol," Park Chan-Wook's "The Handmaiden" and Lelio's film.
It is quite telling how Lars von Trier ("Nymphomaniac") and Gaspar Noe ("Love") tried to make a sexy movie this decade by filming graphic sex and yet their films were not even remotely erotic or sexy.
Lelio continues on in the Guardian article, “The question became: how might you make something erotic without nudity? It was important, too, to discover what was particular to these lovers, what they do, because each couple will find its own way of communicating."
And what communication! Anyone I've spoken to about this notorious sex scene in "Disobedience" mentions "the spit,"  where Ronit spits into Esti's mouth; NYLON described the moment as "a simple exchange of fluids feels akin to the sipping of wine at the Shabbat dinner table."
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He also mentions how there were no rehearsals for it, which is somewhat of an odd thing for the shooting of such a sexually-demanding scene; “It is about trust,” Lelio says. “I love working with actors, and need to know they trust me and can explore, get lost, be foolish or brave, and I’ll take care of them. I love working on set — it is where the sparkle is.
In the meantime, Lelio has “Gloria Bell” being released next year, which is a remake of his film "Gloria," but somehow manages to be the better version. Who'd a thunk it.  A24 will release it on March 8.