Back in the 1950s, it was unusual to see two married adults sleep in the same bed, let alone witness an orgy filled with bodies, lust and sexual exploration. Then the 1960s came, and the tumultuous peace and love decade ushered in a filmic revolution in which sexuality was brought to the silver screen like never before.
A film festival entitled "Free to Love: The Cinema of the Sexual Revolution" is revisiting the movies that shook up sex on screen in the 20th century. Developed and curated by International House Philadelphia curator Jesse Pires, the series spans mainstream erotic hits like "Deep Throat" to the experimental films of feminist filmmaker Barbara Hammer.
The eight essential films of the sexual revolution, according to Pires, are listed below. Be warned, there are, of course, some NSFW ones in there.
"About wife-swapping and swinger culture. This is one of the series' tamer films."
"The Woody Allen parody of pseudo-science. Along with Barbarella and Deep Throat, probably the most mainstream of the bunch."
"This film was widely banned. Screenings at the time of its release were raided by police."
"A popular Swedish erotica film about counterculture and socialism. It was seized by customs upon entry to the U.S."
"This is the first feature-length queer erotic film, shot from the filmmaker's New York apartment over the course of seven years."
"A porn-chic film about bisexuality by legendary sexploitation filmmaker Radley Metzger (who will be in attendance [at the screening]). The film is so rare, Metzger is delivering it to Philadelphia himself."
7. The Bed
"A short film by poet/filmmaker James Broughton which broke taboos about full-frontal nudity in film."
"This Serbian fiction/documentary hybrid was banned in its home country, and its director was exiled from Serbia for 17 years because of it."
Pires hopes his festival will showcase how commercial and experimental films reacted with and against each other to push the genre forward. "A lot of these films I was watching from a distance, chronologically anyway," he explained in an interview with the Huffington Post. "I wanted to look at commercial and mainstream cinema and also underground and experimental cinema and see how underground films were pushing the boundaries, and how commercial cinema responded to that. In this moment in the late '60s early '70s, Hollywood recognized counterculture, not just sexual liberation but drug culture and all that came with it, and cashing in on it."
Over 60 commercial and underground films will show in "Free to Love: The Cinema of the Sexual Revolution", running January 10 until February 15, 2014, at International House Philadelphia’s Ibrahim Theater.