'Skin: A History of Nudity': Release date, plot, trailer and all you need to know about the documentary on Hollywood nudity

It wasn't until the late '60s that mainstream media actually openly depicted nudity and erotic scenes on screen


                            'Skin:  A History of Nudity': Release date, plot, trailer and all you need to know about the documentary on Hollywood nudity
Marilyn Monroe (Quiver Distribution)

Nudity in films has been a controversial talking point for decades, even though it has been around since the advent of cinema. Films and nudity have always been closely associated with each other. The first documented mainstream nude scene is widely considered to be from the 1916 film 'A Daughter of Gods', where actress Annette Kellerman appeared naked under a waterfall. As the silent-film era came to an end in 1929, the Motion Picture Association of America drafted the Motion Picture Production or the 'Hays Code', to raise the moral standards of film. The code limited the material which film studios could include in their films, and authorized nude content in only some films.

It wasn't until the late '60s that mainstream media actually openly depicted nudity and erotic scenes on screen. Since then many actors and actresses have appeared nude or dressed in provocative clothing defying contemporary standards at some point in their career. It is also important to note that most of these landmark scenes feature women in the nude, whose bodies have been used on-screen to titillate audiences and sell tickets for almost a century. However, in order to determine the future of nudity in cinema, it is essential to understand where it came from. A new documentary that you can consider adding to your growing list of quarantine infotainment, 'Skin: A History of Nudity', is now chronicling the evolution of nudity in cinema.

Release date

'Skin: A History of Nudity' will be available on-demand from Quiver Distribution on August 18.

Plot

Janet Leigh in 'Psycho' (Quiver Distribution)

Charting the origins of disrobing and nudity, 'Skin: A History of Nudity' centers around the Hollywood aspect of 'sex-sells' and the unclothed from the silent era to the present day. It delves into the political, sociological, and artistic changes that enabled nudity to be depicted in mainstream cinema despite being barred and censored by the Hays Code.

Moreover, it examines the evolution of morality over time, and how it encouraged or prohibited nudity in cinema as well as the gender bias that surrounds it. The documentary also takes note of early censorship in Hollywood, in the pre-code era as well as the reign of the Hays Code from 1934 to 1968. It draws focus to filmmakers and actors who radicalized the film industry by defying or bending these rules and culminates with a discussion on the nature of nudity in films in the #MeToo era, which has been influential in the incorporation of intimacy coordinators in sex scene on movie sets.

The film features well-known names in the industry including Malcolm McDowell ('A Clockwork Orange'), Amy Heckerling (director, 'Clueless'), Pam Grier ('Jackie Brown', 'Foxy Brown'), Shannon Elizabeth ('American Pie'), Kevin Smith ('Clerks'), Sean Young ('Blade Runner'), Traci Lords ('Cry Baby') and Bruce Davison ('Willard'). Each of these personalities has confronted censorship in one way or another, disrobed or asked someone to shoot a scene in the nude throughout their careers. Also appearing in the documentary is Peter Bogdanovich, the director of the provocative 1971 film 'The Last Picture Show' known for shattering sexual taboos on screen. In addition, they talk about how nudity has been used for empowerment, as well as for shaming and exploiting actors through the course of Hollywood history. 

Creator

'Skin: A History of Nudity' is directed by Danny Wolf, best know for his work 'Time Warp: The Greatest Cult Films of All-Time series'.

Trailer



 

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