Let’s face it boys, to be a white male in 2015 is, frankly, unfashionable. Yet here’s a film that makes Clarkson’s Top Gear look like a vicar’s tea party with extra doilies. La Grande Bouffe is about male physiology and psychology in all its full glory and horror.
Former president Clinton, a masturbating nun and the Boston strangler walk into a rehabilitation centre. While this may sound like the start of a vaguely offensive joke, these individuals are among the case studies featured in the ever-growing sex addiction literature.
I went with a guy so red-blooded he made Daniel Craig look quite girly. His only entertainment came not so much from Mr Tatum’s expert dance moves as the expression of glee plastered over my face throughout. Unfortunately this movie had the opposite effect of what I was hoping for. Instead of getting the message that I, as a woman, needed a man to exalt and pleasure me, this chap’s reaction was merely to ask whether he should spend more time pumping his pecs down at Virgin Active. No, you idiot - ask me what my fantasy is, listen and then throw me down onto a bed, tell me you love the taste of me and fuck me like I’m the sweetest peach you’ve ever had. That’s what Magic Mike would do.
A woman who made huge strides in a world dominated by men, became a leading light in the early days of psychoanalysis, and who fought her own psychiatric problems whilst diagnosing and helping others, Sabina Spielrein is a figure of great importance who has gone relatively unnoticed over the years.
50 Shades of Grey the movie? We’ve seen it all before. If you wanted to see lots of sex in a controlling relationship in the cinema you could have got your fill in 1990 when Almudena Grandes’s novel, The Ages of Lulu was released as a film directed by Bigas Luna; the film, like the book (published only the year before), was a huge commercial success. But The Ages of Lulu is not a better film in terms of eroticism or even coherence. Unlike Sam Taylor-Johnson, Luna failed to leave his audience wanting more.
We are all curious about how our sex lives compare with those around us. So curious, in fact, that what we’re getting up to in the bedroom is an enduring area of interest for scientists and statisticians, who put a lot of time and energy into quantifying our nocturnal behaviours. But while statistics can give us an idea, interpreting the results can be challenging. Not only is it unclear whether the answers given by study participants are reliable, but the results may not always be straightforward.
Thirty-five years ago on June 7 1980, Henry Miller died at his home in Pacific Palisades, California. His had been an extraordinary life, and he left behind a body of work of unique character and quality. Sadly, in the popular mind (if that term can be applied to the mainstream media commentariat) Miller is referenced too often as a notorious author of smutty ramblings. In reality he was in the first rank of radical 20th century writers, and many of his books would qualify as ‘the great American novel’, were they merely novels rather than semi-autobiographical works of polemic and social critique. Lawrence Durrell and Norman Mailer were both unreserved in their admiration of the meaning and power of his work.
"We're not junkies," says Michael, the newest member of a group for Internet addicts. His relationship may be in tatters, but his YouTube videos have become a sensation (almost 2,000 hits a day). This is Anonymous Anonymous, AA, if you will. But Michael's right in a way. The four people sitting in this circle haven't hit rock bottom through any of the more “traditional” addictions. They're here because they can't stop Tweeting, can't get off Facebook, they scour and contribute to forums as day turns into night.
“About beauty they were never wrong, the ancient masters” – so W.H. Auden might have professed upon seeing Defining Beauty: the body in ancient Greek art, the British Museum’s most significant exhibition of Greek art in decades. It is a truism, after all – or an ingrained assumption – that Greek sculpture epitomises beauty in art, especially the classical Greek sculpture that emerged from 'democratic' Athens in the fifth and fourth centuries BC. Since antiquity itself, this view has heavily shaped the way we think about art, and about beauty. And wandering through the low-lit chambers of the new Sainsbury exhibition wing at the British Museum, it is hard to deny the allure of the sculpted bodies on display. Lithe, torqued, tensed or rippling, they multiply into a pantheon of gods, athletes and heroes.
Addressing an event in such recent history, you would be forgiven for thinking you knew everything about the Iraq war. After numerous Hollywood blockbusters, public executions and a worldwide critique of the parts America and the UK played in the arguably unnecessary and absolutely mishandled invasion of Iraq, we understand the politics of the war so much more clearly in hindsight. It is interesting to discover a side of the story that has been largely overlooked, something that all too often happens when the subject matter is women. The Lonely Soldier Monologues is an entirely verbatim play written by Helen Benedict, recounting stories told to her by female American soldiers deployed to Iraq. Superbly directed by Prav MJ, seven women deliver fiercely striking and honest performances that would make their real-life counterparts proud.