Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Vintage Sex Appeal--from Rear Window to Mad Men

A blogger caught this eerie similarity between a moment in 
Rear Window and another in an episode of AMC's Mad Men  

Many think of the 1960s as the era that brought about the sexual revolution, but it was really the 1950s that started the ride.  Just think about the transition from the 1940s to the 1950s in the movies...there was truly a newfound appreciation for sex and a greater expression of sex appeal. Sometimes sexuality was very direct, as embodied quite literally by someone like Marilyn Monroe or Ava Gardner.  But there was also another kind of sexuality, one that Alfred Hitchcock described as "indirect."  He explained his preference for this type of woman and actress during his interviews with French New Wave director, Francois Truffaut.

Hitchcock:  "You know why I favor sophisticated blondes in my films? We're after the drawing-room type, the real ladies, who become whores once they're in the bedroom."

Triffaut:  "What intrigues you is the paradox between the inner fire and the cool surface."

Hitchcock:  "Definitely. . . . Do you know why?  Because sex should not be advertised.  Because without the element of surprise, the scenes become meaningless.  There's no possibility to discover sex."

I would argue that it's this very discovery that makes classic movies--whether filled with direct or indirect sexuality--still so titillating to this day.

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