Sunday, December 14, 2008

YPF (2007)- UR

YPF stands for Young People Fucking. This very very funny film follows one evening with 5 different couples as they make love. The five stories are divided into Prelude; Foreplay; Sex; Interlude; Orgasm; and Afterglow. There are five separate stories. There is a lot of sex and nudity, but YPF is not so much an erotic film. It is more focused on the relationships of the couples and the awkwardness of trying to get laid. Each couple has there own issue as to why this task is not simple. This is a true laugh out loud movie.

Bliss (1997)- R

Bliss is an important film that deals with three rarely discussed issues. The issues are childhood sexual abuse from a parent, the resulting marital sexual problems and finally the complexity of sexual healing. The film has had a small audience perhaps in part because of discomfort with these topics.

Joseph (Craig Sheffer) and Maria (Sheryl Lee) know from the start of their marriage that they have problems. Maria is unable to have an orgasm but that problem is the least of their troubles. Traditional mental health services prescribed long-term intensive psychotherapy yet this seems to offer little benefit for Maria. She then seeks an alternative therapy that includes Tantra sexual techniques and sexual surrogate treatment. That’s right, having sex with your therapist. Not surprisingly, Marie does not tell Joseph of her new treatment. Joseph accidentally finds out and is not pleased! The therapy turns from Maria to Joseph as he first threatens the therapist (Terence Stamp), then engages in treatment himself and finally facilitates Maria’s healing. The film’s sexuality is graphic and at times erotic.

Bliss presents a story of people taking very risky actions to heal themselves and their marriage. It presents the accurate dilemma of how only talking in traditional psychotherapy without experimenting with new actions rarely improves sexual health problems or for that matter, any problem. This is an important healing truth for the estimated 30% of people that have experienced some sort of childhood sexual abuse. Many adult sexual health problems are linked to these experiences. Bliss is a film that should be seen by all sexual abuse survivors. Moreover, it demonstrates strategies that could be helpful to all of us who want to improve our sexual health and sexual enjoyment. Most importantly the film demonstrates a couple deeply in love and willing to take significant risk to save their relationship.

I have not been a big fan of Tantra sexuality, mainly because of the near religious enthusiasm of its proponents. However, Bliss successfully peels away the healing Tantra techniques from the zealous eastern philosophy. Joseph experiences the healing qualities of Tantra in Bliss. This leads Maria to talk through the details of sexual intercourse with her father which began at age five. This scene is reason alone to see this movie.

Bliss is not a perfect film, yet it succeeds in both adult entertainment and adult education. This is a film for mature audiences, those mature, not just in age but also in capacity to address uncomfortable topics.