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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 TimesManohla 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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