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Are the sex scenes in 'Blue Is the Warmest Color' artful? Or are they 'male gaze' porn?

There’s something almost reassuring about the fact that in 2013, a movie sex scene could still be controversial. This time, however, the controversy isn’t coming from the forces of conservatism — from a clampdown by the ratings board or from family newspapers that don’t want to advertise a film they deem indecent. This time, the clampdown comes from the forces of the liberal-left. (That’s very 2013.) When Blue Is the Warmest Color played last month at the Cannes Film Festival, the three-hour French lesbian drama, with its lengthy and explicit scenes of bedroom intimacy, received a mostly rapturous response. There were instant cries that the movie would win the Palme d’Or, and it did. But there were also murmurs of discontent. In The New York Times,¬†Manohla Dargis wrote a dissenting view,¬†arguing that the film raised troubling issues about the depiction of female sexuality on screen; she said that the film’s explicitness wasn’t so much artful as it was a case of pandering to the male gaze. READ FULL STORY

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