Last year I declared that Gareth Edwards cinematic debut Monsters contained the sexiest scene of 2010 I had seen. Multiple viewings later and after much heated discussion amongst my peers, I still agree with my first impressions. Monsters contains one of the steamiest, most tension filled sex scenes I have seen so far in cinema – and it doesn’t even involve two people. Needless to say, the film absolutely stumped me in trying to find my sexiest scene of last year. 2011 had some great moments but a majority of the images I was remembering came from films I had watched that had been released in the 1960s and 70s. And then, out of nowhere, came two contenders.
Narrowly missing out on the top spot is a scene from series one of my current favourite television shows, The Walking Dead. Out in the woods and away from the rest of their camp, survivors of the zombie apocalypse Lori and Shane end up getting down and dirty in one of the most sexually charged romps I have seen in television. It’s not explicit, nor is there a copious amount of nudity, but the short clip is full of eroticism and a passion fuelled by haste that comes from the natural urges to reproduce and survive. This coupled with the potential danger that they are in, the feeling of being ‘alive’ and ‘in the moment’ and the animalistic position that they are in (on all fours and from behind) all add up to visuals that arouse the primal instinct in the audience. Short, sweet and to the point. If this had been in a film, it would have been a clear winner for me.
Instead, the successful contestant is Nicholas Winding Refn’s Drive. Now, I know a lot of you will be asking why but to me, it’s really obvious. The film has an undercurrent of sex and desire running throughout it’s entirety; a good-looking cast, an arousing soundtrack and camera and editing work that fetishises and beautifies everything on-screen. It’s ability to capture the feelings and moments that occur when you first meet someone and are attracted to them are more pronounced and honest than other cinematic examples. It’s distillation of dreamlike desire a pure one.
Unlike Monsters, there isn’t a single scene in Drive that epitomizes all of the feelings it produces. It’s more that the film itself is a collection of memories, ones that resonate with the audience, ones that we have all been through, that we all understand. The first time you set your eyes on that special someone, the first time you get to hang out with them, knowing that you are the reason behind the smile of their face, spending time in their company without having to say any words, the first time you touch, escaping the world in the hope you’ll see them, being so close to each other and yet so far, the constant occupation of your mind… And then there’s the kiss between the two leads, Irene and the Driver, in the lift. Forceful, passionate, tender, lingering. The one time when the existence of the rest of the world no longer matters. My sexiest scene of the year.
A romanticized outlook of the film? Of course, but valid none the less. The film is a perfect example of eroticism and emotion in film without exploitative or gratuitous sex scenes. Sometimes the desire for each other in those early moments outweighs any rush to the bedroom. It’s hard for me to put it exactly into words but for those who have seen the film, I hope you understand why I chose this film. For those that haven’t, I’ve included two videos that perfectly encompass what I’m trying to say. The perfect marriage of feeling, visuals and music.