Latest Issue


Take the sex out of cinema's history and you'd lose a few stars, but little of real quality. Perhaps filmmakers should consider a vow of chastity

By Mark Cousins   October 2007

What with Ang Lee’s sexually explicit Lust, Caution winning this year’s top prize at the Venice film festival and the cautionary sexual tale Atonement doing rather well in the cinema, questions of eros are in the air. Lee’s previous film, Brokeback Mountain, was praised for its discretion with cowboy-on-cowboy action (though rumours persisted that a more explicit version of the sex scene in the tent was shot), yet here he is, one of cinema’s masters of the visual equivalent of the mot juste, deciding that uncoy sex scenes would not disrupt the aesthetic decorum of his period film. Meanwhile, Atonement’s…

Register today to continue reading

You’ve hit your limit of three articles in the last 30 days. To get seven more, simply enter your email address below.

You’ll also receive our free e-book Prospect’s Top Thinkers 2020 and our newsletter with the best new writing on politics, economics, literature and the arts.

Prospect may process your personal information for our legitimate business purposes, to provide you with newsletters, subscription offers and other relevant information.

Click here to learn more about these purposes and how we use your data. You will be able to opt-out of further contact on the next page and in all our communications.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to

More From Prospect