Brian and I both said Lolita- weird.
Oh and I liked Closer but I'm convinced that Mike Nichols is remaking his own movie...Carnal Knowledge which is way better. It's got Art Garfunkel and Jack Nicholson in it...good combo
i was thinking about other kubrick movies and totally forgot about clockwork orange.
i second decklin's pillow book.
an excellent calligraphic movie too!
I don't really think of Clockwork Orange as "sex-themed", at least not in the way something like Eyes Wide Shut is. Sex, sexual fantasies, and sexual violence are a big part of Alex's character, but I believe it's only a piece of the theme, which at its core is about freedom, consequences, society.
Something "sex-themed" I think would focus more on how people use sex, how sexual relationships work or don't work, the conflicts of sexual desire and societal pressures, that sort of thing. It's also got to be somewhat exclusive from a general story about relationships; it should really focus on the sexual aspects and their implications.
I've gotta agree that A Clockwork Orange is not about sex, but power.
I actually wrote my senior thesis on how the book shies from sexual imagery in an anti-Dworkinian pornography argument. The text is very graphic with all of its physical violence except with that of its sexual violence.
Granted, the film is an entirely different text, but from what I recall it has little to do with sex. (I haven't seen it in years and years, I didn't use it for my research.)
I've been trying to think of my favorite sex themed anything, and the only text that jumps out at me is Aimee Bender's collection of surreal short stories, The Girl in the Flammable Skirt. I guess some aspects of Diane Di Prima's memoir were noteworthy too.
I'm realizing I have a shortage of good sex-themed films or books in my library. I have a lot of bad ones, though!
Lolita was very well written and it's not something easy to write about, especially when he did. (Incidentally, bringing Kubrick back into things: he made the first movie adaptation of Lolita, but I think the book was superior.)
Off hand, I can only think of a few other novels about sex or physical desire that fit my perhaps overly narrow requirements: Fear Of Flying, which I didn't like, and Crash, which I haven't read.
Other movies, good and bad: Kieslowski's White (I enjoyed), Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris and The Dreamers (haven't seen either), Larry Clark's Kids (hated it).
It's interesting how many of these films/books/etc. come from foreign (non-US) origins.
I want to give honorable mention to Cronenberg's adaptation of Crash.
Oh, and I really enjoyed Kinsey.
So Kids and Requiem for a Dream don't fit either, huh?
But Cruel Intentions, Basic Instinct, Emmanuelle would?
I guess I'm trying to understand where something is sex-themed, erotic, pornographic, &c.
Oh, and Lost Highway and Bad Education.
And My Private Idaho.
okay, time for bed.
i get to fly out of humboldt in a few hours!
okay, I lied.
Midnight Cowboy, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Baise Moi, Caligola, Ai no corrida, American Pie, Bound, Rou pu tuan zhi tou qing bao jian, Les Avaleuses, Irréversible.
Intimacy, 13 Genders, Threesome, Chasing Amy, Une liaison pornographique
and François Ozon's stuff, as fusako mentioned.
'k, time to call it a night.
I think there's something of a gray area for qualification becasue a lot of works look at sex as part of the drama of relationships. However, I think if it's focusing on the physical attraction rather than the emotional aspects, it should count as sex-themed.
Crash - I've only seen bits of the film and read selections from the novel (J.G. Ballard is British, so I think it still has a non-US origin.)
Kids - Certainly about sex, particularly the importance of sex in teen social dynamics, though the film pretends to be about more than that. I really didn't like it.
Requiem for a Dream - I don't think this counts as sex-themed. Superfically it's about drugs, but I think more generally about wasted lives, broken dreams, the feeling of being trapped. Sex part of the story because sex is part of life, but the film isn't concerned with that exclusively -- consider the whole plot the mother, which didn't have a sexual angle.
Cruel Intentions/Dangerous Liasons - These are sex-themed, I had forgotten about them. I really enjoyed Cruel Intentions, but liked the Dangerous Liasons ending better. I think what's key is that it's examining social dynamics through the prism of sexual escapades, not through say, drugs or race. Even though those issues are components of the Cruel Intentions storyline, they aren't the focus.
Y Tu Mama Tambien, American Pie - these could be argued either way. The subject of both is the transition to adulthood, or at least, the trasition out of naieve youth. My feeling is Y Tu Mama Tambien counts as sex themed because the journey the boys take is a sexual exploration, and along the way they grow up. In American Pie the boys erroneously believe they'll grow up if they have sex, but realize along the way that maturity can't be bought with carnal relations.
Irreversible - I kinda don't want this to be about sex (what would that say?) but I can see the argument. Though I'd argue the film is primarily about choices that are "irreversible", thus the title and the reversed time sequencing. I think the director is trying to say something about how every decision we make has a consequence we may not forsee. It's also about revenge and violence, though those themes are inexorably tied up with the sexual themes.
When Harry Met Sally - this is another example of a film that could be seen as about relationships and sex, or about sex and relationships. My feeling is that it's more about relationships than sex, one piece of evidence is the periodic cut-aways to old couples talking about how they got together, not about how they first had sex.
sex, lies, and videotape - about sex, definitely, but with a strong commentary on relationships, lies we tell and the emptiness of yuppiedom as well. I remember liking it, but it's been a while since I saw it.
The other ones you mention I can't remember well enough to comment, or I've never seen.