The Best of Sundance Sex

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By Andrea Meyer

IFC News

Does anyone else find it funny that the most talked-about sex at Sundance was the kind that didn’t make it to screen? First off there’s the case of the missing sex scene in “Thank You for Smoking.” Apparently footage of Katie “mother of Tom Cruise’s child” Holmes cavorting with Aaron Eckhart vanished. Poof. The director of the painfully funny satire, Jason Reitman, was the most shocked of all at the scene’s omission, taking a wild guess that it had mistakenly wound up on the editing room floor.

I attended an added, end-of-fest screening that had the two sex scenes, both fairly tame: one of the handsome pair doing it all over Eckhart’s apartment, almost fully clothed, in quick, cartoonishly kinky snippets, and another with Mrs. Cruise-to-be straddling Eckhart while wearing an oversized men’s shirt. Whether or not either scene was the restored 12-seconds in question, it is clear that Katie’s “Smoking” sex is nothing for Tom to bully a director into removing — or to jump up and down on the furniture like an outraged baboon about.

The other scandalous sex at Sundance also went unseen: the notorious dog blowjob in Bobcat Goldthwait’s “Stay.” It’s no longer a spoiler to give away the nature of the notorious act, which occurs within the first 30 seconds of the film, and which we only experience via voiceover — and a quick flashback to the splayed pup, the race to the sink. The adorable comedy’s dirtiest scene is actually our heroine (Melinda Page Hamilton) trying to sleep while her friend and her husband howl with pleasure in the bedroom next door — i.e., we don’t see a thing there, either.

While not all the sex at Sundance was so chaste, rarely was it inspired by love or even lust. Just as Katie the sexy reporter jumped Aaron the tobacco lobbyist to nab a hot scoop, so much of the other Sundance sex was about exchanging goods for, well, services. In the world of Laurie Collyer’s “Sherrybaby,” nothing comes for free. Whether Maggie Gyllenhaal’s eponymous ex-con is bent over in the basement while her halfway house manager pumps away or performing a blowjob for a job swap, Sherry understands the value of her skinny ass. While the 14-year-old heroine of Claudia Llosa’s twisted fairy tale “Madeinusa” seems naïve when she lets an attractive city stranger hike up her skirt in an alley during the town’s holy days, when God recognizes no sin, she may in fact be using her moral free pass to try to earn a ticket out of town.

Marcos, the middle-aged chauffeur in Carlos Reygadas’ powerfully disturbing “Battle in Heaven,” may not realize that sex comes with a price tag, but what he seeks when he lets his boss’ daughter blow him is redemption, the kind he won’t find screwing his obese wife-cum-partner in a hideous crime. In the explicit film, graphic sex and actors’ raw, imperfect skin represents what is tactile and earthly, as opposed to the realm of the spirit, in which God — or at least conscience — punishes for sins committed by one’s physical body.

Most films at Sundance 2006 declared that crawling between someone else’s thighs is a good way to avoid the hell that life dishes out. Ashley Judd beds man after man while boozed up to near-unconsciousness in Joey Lauren Adams’ “Come Early Morning.” Matt Dillon and Lily Taylor do likewise in “Factotum” as Charles Bukowski’s alter-ego Henry Chinaski and his most beloved floozy. Other booze-induced fumblings include Ryan Gosling’s coked-up grappling with a cute fellow teacher in Ryan Fleck’s soulful “Half Nelson,” and small-town tae kwon do instructor Mr. Simmons’ big-boobed wife’s cheating on him with first her boss, then her hubby’s sleazy martial-arts star idol in the hilarious midnight movie “The Foot Fist Way.” And then there is Carter Smith’s impressive short “Bugcrush,” in which angel-faced Ben falls for the high school tough guy who has a slimy secret that makes their first touch a lethal one.

Glowy, rose-colored, between-the-sheets moments were few and far between in Park city. “Flannel Pajamas”‘ Stuart (Justin Kirk) and Nicole (Julianne Nicholson) meet cute in a New York coffee shop and proceed to copulate in beds, bathtubs and on the bare living room floor. Ambisexual Allegra (Elizabeth Reaser) rolls raucously around with boys (Kirk) and girls (Nicholson, Gretchen Mol) in Maria Maggenti’s rom-com romp “Puccini for Beginners,” and Carlos Bolado’s “Sólo Dios Sabe”‘s Damián (Diego Luna) and Dolores (Alice Braga) fall inevitably gaga following a series of enthusiastic and embarrassingly noisy couplings. The award for funniest sex scene, however, goes to Jennifer Aniston for sinking to new levels of humiliation in Nicole Holofcener’s “Friends with Money,” in which she plays a broke, love-deprived housekeeper whose personal trainer/would-be boyfriend demands sex — and payment — for his company. No one has ever looked more bored than Jen, clad in a French maid’s outfit, while Muscle Man does his best to get his own rocks off.


New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…


IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. 

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number! 

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time. 

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by. 


IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo. 

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim. 

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t? 

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?” 

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud. 

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.


The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”


Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).



Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.


And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.


Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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GIFs via Giffy

In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.


Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.


Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!



Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.


Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.


If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.