July 713, 1999
Hey, They Should Make a Movie About This
A Welsh scholar claimed this week that new translations of fourteenth-century ballads about Robin Hood (the earliest accounts of the man in tights’ good deeds) show that Maid Marian never existed, and that Robin Hood was actually exiled from society for his homosexuality. Professor Stephen Knight explained that the ballads could not say outright that Robin Hood was gay because of the “prevailing moral climate,” but pointed to the erotic imagery of the arrows, quivers and swords as evidence. England’s Robin Hood Society is up in arms, but the news has barely raised an eyebrow over here. Wasn’t Mel Brooks on to this six years ago?
Eyes Wide Shut (And No Peeking)
It’s not just merry men who are benefiting from recent sexual enlightenment across the pond: British cinema-goers will see Stanley Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut in all its glory, while American and Canadian viewers will have to make do with what Roger Ebert is calling “the Austin Powers version.” Ebert was referring to the props digitally added to the film’s orgiastic party scene in order to cover the naughty bits (à la Elizabeth Hurley’s tea cup and breakfast sausage in the original Austin Powers).
Shiny Happy Swingers
Saving America from a remarkably prudish week is Reno, Nevada: the city of sin is host to the “Lifestyles ’99 Reno Rendezvous.” Workshops include “Sex Without Guilt: The Morality of Sexual Pluralism,” “Growing Up With Kinky Parents” and “500 Unusual Sex Practices.” Local conservative Janine Hansen expressed concern that the conference “promotes the image that this isn’t a stable community,” but convention speaker Steve Mason described the scene as nothing short of neighborly love. He said he was particularly amazed by “the smiles on people’s faces.”
The “Reno Rendezvous” organizers should try taking the conference on the road to Canada. A study published this week in the Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality found that 90 percent of test subjects (heterosexual Canadians aged seventeen to forty-five) had sexual fantasies, and more than 20 percent of both sexes had fantasies about partner-swapping, whipping, spanking or forcing another adult to engage in sex. Next thing you know, they’ll be tongue-kissing.
Quotes of the Week
“There will be no loss, socially speaking.” Malaysia’s Information Minister Khalil Yaakob, after the country banned Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me.
“There’s a scene where Stream gives her boyfriend a blow job off camera her head leaves frame and then comes back up into frame, and then she rubs her jaw. The [MPAA] board said she could leave frame or reenter frame, but not both, because it implies duration.” Director Colette Burson in a Salon.com interview, describing her struggle to get an R rating for her film Coming Soon. (It was initially given an NC-17 rating.) The blow job scene remains intact.