“Foreplay” (1975) Considering the drastic flux occurring in the American cinema commensurate with both the so-called Sexual Revolution (which with the concurrent rise of the radical Women’s Lib movement made for some interesting paralyzing debates between the assertion of sexual freedom and the cultural application of said freedom as being a tool of my misogynistic institutional objectification) and the rapid emergence of its filmic black sheep progeny, “Porno Chic”, Hollywood filmmakers predictably but frustratingly tread lightly in the artistic water where a meaningful (or truly erotic) expression of human sexuality might emerge within the context of a dramatic (or even comedic) presentation. Faced with an industry of filmmakers (inclusive of the so-called American New Wave writers and directors, who would presumably not be subject to to any knee jerk trepidation born of sanitized career creativity under the Production Code) studied in the mentality of the subject of sex as something forbidden and morally aberrant, sexuality in the modern America cinema found representation as either gratuitous peek-a-boo exposures, or in exercises of tittering vulgarity. Curiously, these same cheaply exploitative and sexually immature traits were the bread and butter of the sexploitation films of from the emergence of the nudie cutie to the presumed softcore precipice signaled by the rise of “Porno Chic”. These same depressing tendencies are prominently at work in the 1975 comedy “Foreplay”, a tripartite collection of sexually tinted humorous shorts intended to pronounce to the world that the dirty joke may no longer dead, but nevertheless is in desperate need of a mercy killing.
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