In 1896, when cinema was emerging as a new medium and people still do not quite know what to expect, one of the first films to be projected to the public was The Kiss , a silent tape (obviously) in black and white under a minute, showing a man and woman kissing, but even too passionately. The film sparked outrage among the public and was considered by many an obscenity unprecedented.Several newspapers published editorials to protest the film, while others requested police action to prevent the display of the tape.
More than a century later it is clear that the limits of what is tolerable and acceptable in film have spread considerably, but also, in essence, the scandal continues to be caused by the same reasons, at least thematically. Where there is no controversy sex. And where there is violence.
Today it takes much more to impress and offend the public, but there are directors who have succeeded too well with films that managed to win the qualifier transgressive or controversial in the XXI century and several decades after the release of Saló or 120 days of Sodom , of Pier Paolo Pasolini .
These are 10 controversial films of recent years :
No. 10 Baise-moi (2000)
This French film, which mixes graphic violence and explicit sex, is considered one of the earliest examples of what later became known as the “New French Extremity”, a term coined by a critic of the magazine Artforum to encompass several productions transgressive character that emerged in the country since the early 2000s (some of which we will see later).
The film was banned in Malaysia and Singapore, while in Australia was allowed in theaters only on condition that exhibit R18 + rating (adults only). However,Baise-moi does not have much more to offer outside their deliberately explicit and graphic scenes.
No. 9 Requiem for a Dream (2000)
Any film that is focused on drug also tends to be controversial, especially as regards the debate on the glorification of certain behaviors through his picture on the screen. Requiem for a dream far is to glorify drug use, given the darkness and the collapse showing in the lives of the protagonists, but still caused some commotion, and director Darren Aronofski had to fight the regulator Hollywood not receive a rating of NC17, which detracted commercial potential.
In addition to the central issue, Requiem for a Dream it has a particular scene that sparked controversy and how could it be otherwise, includes sex. Anyone who has seen the movie undoubtedly will remember this uncomfortable scene starring Jennifer Connelly .
# 8 Inside (2007)
Within the aforementioned “New French Extremity” the subgenre of the “new wave of terror”, which represents a new approach to the classic elements of horror is located. Inside is one of the leading exponents and valued of this new wave.
Brutally violent and genuinely terrifying, the film was hailed by fans and critics horror film. Inside focuses its premise in a subgenre also with some cinematic tradition, that of the home invasion, but starring a pregnant woman, which It makes violence and gore even more shocking, and annoyance caused much of the audience.
No. 7 Shortbus (2006)
This film directed by John Cameron Mitchell ( Hedwig and the Angry Inch ) includes several explicit sex scenes real, not acted or simulated, among a group of people in New York who congregate in an underground room.
According to Mitchell, the film tries to “explore the sex of new cinematic forms that are too interesting to be left to porn” but this did not prevent many have catologado to Shortbus simply as a pornographic film .
The director defended himself against the accusation saying that porn is by definition something created for the sole purpose of sexual arousal, whereas in her film sex is often stripped of all eroticism, to set aside the excitement and reveal ideas and emotions who remained hidden. “Sex, like music, is a universal language. We seek to use it to present a character, to evoke emotion, to drive the plot, “Mitchell argued, something that seems to fit most of the criticism that received very favorably the film.
No. 6 Hostel (2005)
The critic David Edelstein coined the term ” torture porn ” to see Hostel , which would then go to designate those horror movies where torture and mutilation, that is, the vulnerability of the human body, steal the limelight.
Obviously Hostel, directed by Eli Roth , includes a lot of gore and corpses, but the main problem was that the film was set in Slovakia. The main complaints and conflicts came from that country, as many there understood that the film left a bad image of the place, and it showed as a country underdeveloped, poor and without culture in which abounded crime, prostitution and psychopaths . Roth’s response to these criticisms was a bit strange and ridiculous: he argued that despite the many films in the series The Texas Chain Saw Massacre , people arestill going to Texas.
No. 5 Nymphomaniac (2013)
Lars Von Trier is a director who knows a lot of controversy. He has built his entire career on provocative and more or less transgressive, and occasionally also valuable films as works of art (since the transgressive is not necessarily an artistic value, although it can be).
Nymphomaniac already stands as controversial from its title and premise, which follows a sex addict wife ( Charlotte Gainsbourg ) who a man is after being beaten and takes her home, where she tells all her sexual stories with a impeccable (and occasionally sleazy) level of detail. The debate also focused on the qualification of the film by the MPAA, which designated it as NC-17 (only for adults), after which the studio decided to release it without any qualification at all.
No. 4 Martyrs (2008)
Another member of the “new extremism” French film that is usually placed next to Inside for its subject, style and level of violence it contains. Martyrs , which tells the story of a girl who seek revenge on those who kidnapped and tortured when I was a child, she was premiered at the Cannes film Festival 2008, where as the audience was informed retired injured, while others experienced fainting, crying or vomiting, due to the graphic and shocking nature of the horrors of the film.
As often happens with this kind of movie, reactions were divided, as many the other hand categorized as one of the best horror films of recent times. Is underway American remake that will (care) from the producers of Twilight .That already sounds pretty scary, yes.
No. 3 Antichrist (2009)
Another Lars Von Trier, of course, also starring Charlotte Gainsbourg (withWillem Dafoe ), which is framed as part of an unofficial trilogy director, known as the “trilogy of depression”, formed by it and two following films, Melancholiaand Nymphomaniac .
The title perhaps suggesting that the controversy arose from the religious side, and there were certainly some of this, but some of the graphic and violent film scenes also caused, as reported, fainting at least 4 viewers during its projection the Cannes Film Festival. In this, the ecumenical jury (one unofficial) distinguished the film with an “anti-prize” and declared “the most misogynist self-proclaimed best film director in the world”.
# 2 Irreversible (2002)
One of the earliest, notorious and acclaimed films of the “New French Extremity” is this directed by Gaspar Noé , whose narrative and technical skills not only obviating cruelty and violence present in the film, but the boost.
Two memorable scenes stand when speaking of controversy: the murder beating and rape. The first is a result of the violation, but we do not know until the end of the film, which is told in reverse chronological order so that when we see the stark violence of the blows, at first, do not yet have the hue to know what was what caused it. He heard about this on the end of the film, however, will be even bleaker, through one of the hardest scenes to watch and most discussed film.
# 1 A Serbian Film (2010)
No one can be surprised that A Serbian Film has been one of the most controversial movies of recent years, if we have to contain graphic scenes related to rape, necrophilia and sexual abuse. Nor that has been banned in a dozen countries.
While in principle this film could be seen as attempt to sow the free shock at the hearing (in the manner of The Human Centipede ), and in a way it is, it is also a very intelligent film that underneath all the wickedness and horror contains powerful metaphors and allows a more serious and complex reading.
It is not at all recommended, it is a disturbing experience and potentially nightmarish, but if you feel brave as a spectator, this is the movie that will present a real challenge.