Not a bad list, though I find a couple of their choices kinda "meh." What did they leave out?
Filmmakers of all stripes and skills have immortalized girl-on-girl action, but when the Wachowskis (then the Wachowski Brothers) made their feature debut with this 1996 caper, they didn’t want to just present the same old heavy-breathing male fantasy. So they hired lesbian erotica writer Susie Bright as “technical advisor,” to make sure that the love scenes between gangster’s moll Violet (Jennifer Tilly) and partner in crime Corky (Gina Gershon) felt like the real thing — and a steamy classic was born.
A friend called Bernardo Bertolucci’s 2003 effort “Viagra on film,” and he may have summed it up better than I can: a pre-Casino Royale Eva Green, a pre-Boardwalk Empire Michael Pitt, and Louis Garrel enact a love triangle in Paris circa 1968, and their encounters were heated enough to land the film an NC-17 rating upon its initial release.
Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN
Speaking of NC-17 love triangles, we’d be remiss to not give proper due to Alfonso Cuarón’s remarkable 2001 coming-of-age drama, in which horny teenagers Diego Luna and Gael Garcia Bernal take a road trip with an older woman (Maribel Verdu) with whom they’re both infatuated. The attraction culminates in a three-way sex scene that’s as erotic as it is bold and uninhibited.
Lawrence Kasdan (making his directorial debut after co-writing hits like Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Empire Strikes Back) wrote this 1981 thriller as an homage to film noir of the Double Indemnity variety — but was able to make his take far more explicit than the films that inspired it. Set in the midst of a Florida heat wave, he puts William Hurt’s skuzzy lawyer against rich man’s wife Matty Walker (Kathleen Turner, in her film debut) and lets the sparks fly.
Adrian Lyne’s 2002 exploration on infidelity was (and is) noteworthy for its refusal to provide easy answers; unlike most films, and books, and television shows about adultery, married couple Connie (Diane Lane) and Edward (Richard Gere) are not unhappy, or sexually stagnant. Yet Connie still finds herself drawn to a sexy stranger (beautifully played by Olivier Martinez); an early scene, in which she rides the train home, flashing back to her encounter, overwhelmed by both the intensity of the memory and the inevitable guilt, is both scorching and heartbreaking. (Lane received a well-deserved Oscar nomination for her work.)
Rourke and Basinger’s S&M experiments in 9 ½ Weeks were child’s play compared to the events of Steven Shainberg’s off-beat, funny, and decidedly sexy look at the relationship between a dom boss (James Spader) and his sub secretary (Maggie Gyllenhaal). Shainberg took pains to approach their encounters straight-faced, without marginalizing or jeering at their behavior, and succeeded; their scenes are sexy even for those not drawn to BDSM.
(List continues at Flavorwire.)