Sunday, 1 January 2012

Soft Porn Sunday: Crystal Dillan Atkins & Julian McMahon

This one made me shake. Physically shake. Not for any particular reason other than the fact that I never, ever, ever thought I'd find any scenes from this film, and particularly not the specific one I was looking for. It's not exactly a film that's vanished into the ether, either. A pretty comprehensive listing is available on IMDb, and although general reviewer consensus thinks it's pretty poor as a piece of cinema, it does have its lovers. I wouldn't count myself in the latter, but I will admit that some of the issues it raises and tries to tackle are brave, and although the resolution isn't great, it tries. It's not gone so far as to attain cult status, but that's probably because it's an erotic drama.

At least, that's what it's billed as. It's not particularly erotic. It's got sex in it - really rather dirty sex. I've seen it twice on UK TV, and despite the fact that I never thought I'd see these scenes again, I found them online, after what is - I am not ashamed to say - literally years of searching.

Appearance: Magenta (1997)
Characters: Magenta & Michael

This is a complicated film with a very simple love triangle in it - or, to put it more accurately, a square. Michael
Walsh (McMahon) is a married doctor whose wife Helen (Alison Storry) is cheating on him. In fact, the love scenes with Helen in are worth watching - the classic "cheating wife on the 'phone" scenario is done well enough here - as one of the themes is marital discord and the break-up of relationships. But the main focus of the film is its eponymous character, Magenta (Atkins).

Magenta is Helen's little sister. She's a teenage girl and, although she appears to be over the age of consent (in fact, by law she has to be, as she has sex in the film), she is presented as quite innocent to begin with, carrying a teddy bear with her and stuff. As it becomes more and more apparent that her sexual appetite is awakening, Michael becomes more and more attracted to her, and they begin a sexual relationship. This, of course, completes the square - Helen and some other guy, Michael and Magenta - but it also brings up the issue of desire. I think it's probably meant to be forbidden desire - as she's young. But not actually forbidden, since she's old enough. Just not very old.

Oh, and she's his wife's sister. I don't know. It's all very confusing.

Anyway, this scene is something like a reversal of the scene I linked to before, where Helen is having sex on the
sofa while on the phone to Michael. In this scene, Helen is talking to the man with whom she is having an affair. She's trying to end it, as he's teasing her about Michael's new secretary. However, we intercut at various points to Michael , who has succumbed to his urges, having sex with Magenta in the kitchen. So there's a sort of double lack of knowledge here. Or something.

Wow, this is deep.

Okay. This scene isn't so much of a turn-on as it is a particularly interesting bit of cinema. Unlike a lot of the soft porn I've reviewed, there isn't any music, soft focus, clever camera angles or ridiculous plot-line. The dialogue isn't cheesy or funny and there wasn't much of a lead-in. Magenta instigates the sex herself (Michael is trying to resist, but she forces herself onto him - something that hasn't been captured in the link, but I remember it) and, although Helen is clueless, she's not an innocent victim herself, so it's quite a clever play-off.

As for the sex, both Magenta and Michael are clothed. There's not a lot of nudity in this film, really. As I said, there's no music. Both participants are indulging in almost bestial noises, and there's no fluidity to the movements - it's random, and rough, but incredibly realistic. In fact, the thing it's most comparable to is this scene, which has a similar situation - it's realistic, hard, and quick. In a scene of just over a minute, the actors have conveyed the fact that they're really enjoying the sex, as well, which (I'd imagine) is hard to do, especially in a gritty, serious American drama.

All in all, this would be arousing, were it not set up against such a backdrop. But this is me talking at the age of 26. All I remember from my teenage years is being turned on by this individual scene, because it's a pretty young girl shagging someone she shouldn't. But I also remember being gripped as to how it may all turn out in the end. It doesn't exactly end well...

...unlike this scene, which perhaps captures more than it should.

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