"Sun...Sex...Sin", Part I

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"Sun...Sex...Sin", Part I

#1 Post by scienceguy » Mon 01 Jul 2019, 6:47 pm

FADE IN: (Conan O'Brien show recorded on December 20, 2001. He's talking about the September 11, 2001 attacks on the Twin Towers. But we open our post with Triumph, the Insult Comic Dog, also appearing on this broadcast. Enjoy!)


("Planes, Trains and Automobiles" (U.S. November 25, 1987), starring Steve Martin and John Candy. This is the "Those Aren't Pillows" scene.)


You'll recognize the title as words from the chorus of "The Sodom and Gomorrah Show." We know that Lowe and Tennant have penned numerous love and "love and lost" songs. But like it or not, the duo has also dabbled in writings that treat sex and sin, the twin subjects of this post. It follows that some content may be distasteful to members and guests. Previous posts have allowed readers to opt for different clips. Here, no options are provided. However, all should go well if you keep an open mind and remember that the song artists and filmmakers know what they're doing, and I like to think that I do as well. In addition, you should know that the post is pansexual or, if you prefer, omnisexual, in that equal and fair presentation is given to all persuasions and orientations. As in previous posts, this is too long for one sitting; therefore, this will be Part I of two parts, and each part has two segments that explore sex and sin in song and film.

1. Eros (Greek god of love) can involve sublimated impulses motivated by the need to gratify basic needs, in this case, sex. Obsession is the problematic manifestation of eros. To understand this in film, I turn to Luchino Visconti's avant-garde "Morte a Venezia." IMDb describes the film as follows: "While recovering in Venice, sickly composer Gustav von Aschenbach (Sir Dirk Bogarde) becomes dangerously fixated with [Polish] teenager Tadzio (Björn Andrésen)." The movie is true to Thomas Mann's 1912 eponymous novella. I will have more to say on the other side. Please bear in mind that it is common for boys to cheek kiss in Italy. Tadzio was a 14-year-old in the movie, but the Swedish actor was 16. I should also say that Luchino Visconti, known for his realistic treatment of individuals caught in the conflicts of modern society, was, of course, fully in control of this scene down to the last detail, including wardrobe decisions.


A common turn-of-the-century theme in literature is decadence, and we see decadent imagery throughout the film, but it exists alongside the growing menace of a cholera pandemic. In the beginning, Gustav is satisfied to appreciate Tadzio as a Platonic ideal of male beauty. Indeed, he neither speaks to nor touches the boy throughout the film. However, as time goes on, his passion gives way to a corrupting desire. The composer stoops to using rouge and makeup in the hopes of attracting Tadzio, but in this scene, Bogarde brings an amazing finesse to the task of just being right on the line. Don't think that Tadzio is so innocent. Boys this age are accomplished teasers, and Tadzio is no exception. He knows he's being watched, and he watches back, as you see in this clip, and, in particular, during the last scene, when Gustave slowly dies from cholera, a symbol of his own corrupting passion for the boy, or, as we said above, obsession is the problematic manifestation of eros.
( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_in_Venice )

In the Lowe and Tennant composition that follows, a good case can be made for the folly of obsession, the net reward of which seems to be "You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You're Drunk" (Nightlife (1999); Neil on guitar, Chris on keyboards, and both with full orchestral backup). The speaker is virtually stuck in the moment and done in by it at the same time. Wayne Studer says this: "It fairly drips with pathos, so much so that it skirts precipitously along the edge of descending into comedy. There can, after all, be a fine line between the comic and the tragic. Although it might have proven a very, very dark comedy indeed, the Boys avoid it with their guileless delivery, devoid of even a trace of irony." He dubs it a "tragicomedy".

( http://www.geowayne.com/newDesign/nightlife/drunk.htm )

"Somebody said: listen
don't you know what you're missing?
You should be kissing him
instead of dissing him like a punk
But you only tell me you love me when you're drunk
You only tell me you love me when you're drunk

All of my friends keep asking me
Why, oh, why
do you not say goodbye?
If you don't even try
you'll be sunk
'cause you only tell me you love me when you're drunk"


2. Desire is a cat creeping 'round corners, suddenly sitting straight back on its haunches, savoring the coming moment of conquest. Yeah, am I so different from Gustav? I think I'd be willing to shake hands with the devil to recapture the past, like this, but in my own private way:


("American Graffiti", A Snowball Dance (1973), Ron Howard (Steve), Cindy Williams (Laurie), directed by George Lucas)

An earlier, even more stark, reminder of how this works is illustrated in the film "Lolita". It begins in the garden when Professor Humbert Humbert (James Mason) first sees Lolita (Sue Lyon). In the 1955 Nabocov novel, Delores (Lolita) is 12 years old. In the movie (1962), the inevitable leads to this rare film clip in which we find HH painting Lolita's toenails:


I'll quote myself quoting Richard from "The Beach" in my post (this forum) called "Dancing in the Dark": "For example, in the "Photographing the Night Sky" scene in "The Beach" (U.S. release 2000) with Françoise (Virginie Ledoyen), Richard (Leo DiCaprio) is thinking to himself, 'When you develop an infatuation for someone...you always find a reason to believe that this is exactly the person for you. It doesn't need to be a good reason. Taking photographs of the night sky for example. Now, in the long run, that's just the kind of dumb, irritating habit that would cause you to split up. But in the haze of infatuation, it's just what you've been searching for all these years.'"

What better song to elucidate the electrification of the senses and sensibilities that accompanies desire than a song called "Desire" (Released 23 November 2014 and appearing on the debut album of Years and Years in 2015, Communion).

"'After getting hooked on the track, the boys sent a note through about the meaning of the song, a cyclical conflict of being a slave to desire and the blurring between the lines of lust and love,' Lee explained. 'This in mind, I wanted to create something sensual and surreal, and it felt right that we should visit a strange world set within an apartment block and fleetingly peer into the lives of characters as they voyeuristically and hungrily fantasize over watching each other,' he added, 'with Olly playing the enigmatic raconteur."'

"A steamy Fred Rowson-directed music clip was released for the Tove Lo remix. The gender-inclusive visual sees Olly Alexander kissing both men and women. 'I've been wanting to make a video with some of my queer family for a long time,' the vocalist said. 'Everyone has a different definition of what they find sexy… For me, whoever it is, two women, two men, a group of gender-queer people, it's all cute.'''

( https://www.songfacts.com/facts/years-years/desire )

Here, then, is the spectacular Tove Lo video directed by Fred Rowson:


This concludes Part I. Part II delves more deeply, more incisively, more personally, and more physically into the twin topics of this post: sex and sin. Heat's on; sunglasses required. And you're gonna hear straight up about it from Italian director Luca Guadagnino, Neil, Olly, Madonna, and me.

FADE OUT: ("Ring of Fire", songwriters June Carter Cash, Merle Kilgore © SHAPIRO BERNSTEIN & CO. INC., Johnny Cash, 1995 on the Ring of Fire: The Best of Johnny Cash album.) ["Love is a burning thing and it makes a fiery ring/Bringing me the wild desire I fell into a ring of fire"]

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Myself pictured in Silverlake, Los Angeles, June, 1986. Debut PSB album Please in March, 1986. Long live the 80s zeitgeist.

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Re: "Sun...Sex...Sin", Part I

#2 Post by tottenhammattspurs » Mon 01 Jul 2019, 6:54 pm

Oh no.

I clicked before I read who the author was.
is is and isnt isnt

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Re: "Sun...Sex...Sin", Part I

#3 Post by y3potential » Mon 01 Jul 2019, 7:04 pm

Oh God. Not again. Please STOP..!!
Do you know the difference between the two genders..?

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Re: "Sun...Sex...Sin", Part I

#4 Post by daveid » Mon 01 Jul 2019, 7:07 pm

Imagine what this guy's got scrawled on his walls at home. Or should that be at the home?

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Re: "Sun...Sex...Sin", Part I

#5 Post by Den » Mon 01 Jul 2019, 7:08 pm

"Part 1" is the warning that we'll be getting more...

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Re: "Sun...Sex...Sin", Part I

#6 Post by leesmapman » Mon 01 Jul 2019, 8:06 pm

I missed you.

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