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The Unloved, Part 105: Deep Water

A moment of silence for the American erotic thriller. 

For years now the faithful have prayed for its return and when a good faith effort finally reared its head, it was laughed off screens. We may not get another shot. And it's not like it was some weirdly uncomfortable pretender to the throne, some "Fifty Shades of Grey" deliberately repressed to spare anyone who isn't aware that people might enjoy things you can't show on screen anymore. No, this was a sleazy little number by the man who practically redefined sex on screen in this country. 

Adrian Lyne has had ups and downs, and a lot of his movies, for all their undeniable fetishes and fixations, appear at times to suggest that a life of frank eroticism is probably a bad thing. But there's no denying they kept things sexy. He tried again to raise the collective temperature with his beautifully directed "Deep Water" and I was embarrassed for all of us that it wasn't a hit. It didn't even hit theaters, which seems to be more and more the case. Movies are becoming Sunday school, where you're not meant to let your mind wander to bad things while in the presence of other people. 

Fie upon this trend, I say. Let America daydream. Let America sweat. Let America forget to breathe because there's something on screen from which they couldn't possibly look away. A toast to Adrian Lyne, who only wanted what was best for us. 

To watch more of Scout Tafoya's video essays from his series The Unloved, click here.

Scout Tafoya

Scout Tafoya is a critic and filmmaker who writes for and edits the arts blog Apocalypse Now and directs both feature length and short films.

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