Why It's All About Freaky Sex at Sundance This Year

Why It's All About Freaky Sex at Sundance This Year

Jan 17, 2013

As the film industry gears up for another year at the Sundance Film Festival, critics are always on the hunt for themes among the films chosen to premiere. This year the themes are pretty easy to spot, with history being made in terms of the female presence (both as filmmakers and talent), and, well, there's lots of sex.

Like, lots of sex.

From the kinky stuff (like the James Franco-presented documentary Kink, pictured above) to straight-up porn (like Amanda Seyfried's Lovelace) to female-on-female prostitution (Concussion) to gay S&M (like the James Franco-directed Interior. Leather Bar.) to sex as an addiction (like Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Don Jon's Addiction), there's a little something for everyone this year as the Sundance Film Festival unleashes its inner freak with a number of movies exploring the art of sex and the nature of what turns us on and why.

Here's the trailer for Kink, presented by James Franco and directed by Christina Varos. (Warning: NSFW)

So why now, right? Well, you can look at why sex is a prominent theme in this year's film slate from a number of different perspectives. You can connect it to a post-recession society that's finally ready to feel good about itself and have fun again, or you can point to the rapid growth of technology and social interaction, and how that's assisted people in taking charge of their own wants and needs instead of waiting to be told what to want and need.

I like to look at it as an extension of the film festival itself, which, at its core, is about discovery and experimentation. We support film festivals because we support new voices and emerging art. We want to feel something we've never felt before. We want to be uncomfortable. We want to be turned on. We want to learn and engage, and then insert that newfound knowledge into our own lives and the lives of our loved ones.

Sex is a good thing -- and quite often a bad thing, as some of this year's films will demonstrate -- but its large presence at the 2013 festival will only fuel our desires to learn more about ourselves, which is exactly why many of us make the pilgrimage to this tiny town in Utah each year. We want to know more. We want to feel more.

And, sure, some of us want to get our freak on, too.

MORE: 15 Movies People Will Be Talking About at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival

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Which one of these people is in the movie Free Birds?

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Owen Wilson