In the 1990's, a trend began to emerge in
Hollywood, that of male full-frontal nudity in feature films.
Ewan Macgregor and Harvey Keitel showed their
dingles in several movies apiece, and it caught on quickly. Oliver Stone's
football flick Any Given Sunday featured more johnsons than a Philadelphia phone
book, Kevin Costner recently lobbied to display his little postman in the film
For Love of the Game, and Kevin Bacon served up his sausage in 1998's Wild
Some say this is a good thing; after all, it
may point to approaching equality between the sexes in Hollywood, a breaking
down of barriers, the end of a silly taboo. Yet, as with all good things, there
comes a price.
I speak of the 1997 Showtime film, Lolita,
starring Jeremy Irons, Melanie Griffith, and Frank Langella.
A whole lot of Frank Langella.
See, there's a scene in Lolita where Frank
Langella (yes, the chubby old guy) runs (yes, runs) toward camera with his robe
open, treating us to a well-framed shot of his bouncing testicles.
You know, when I sat down to view the film,
there was no indication that at some point during the feature, I would have to
look at Frank Langella's jiggling scrotum. There were warnings, of course, for
nudity, explicit language, and adult situations, but the words "Giant
Flailing Nutsack" were notably absent. And, as the scene approached, at no
point did Jeremy Irons say to Frank: "Say, why don't you run over there
with your apple-bag jumping around like the oversized purse of a woman trying to
catch a train?"
Now, I am not one to question a director's
artistic vision, but I wondered, shortly after vomiting, why there was a need to
present the Tony Award Winner's hairy, pendulous balls smacking and jouncing
against one another in a tight close-up.
Was the director afraid we wouldn't fully
comprehend the idea that Mr. Langella was running without this visual clue? Did
focus groups, after screening the film, repeatedly mention that the scene would
have made more sense if only they could have witnessed Langella's wrinkly,
grizzled nuts swinging around while he ran?
My real concern, naturally, is that while I
have this image forever burned into my brain, there is little or no chance that
Mr. Langella will never have the image of my testicles, bouncing and rebounding
like lottery balls burned into his brain.
And this seems unfair, if you really think