A new documentary centered on the history of nudity in the movies, beginning with the silent film era all the way through present day, “Skin” examines the changes of morality over time that encouraged, or prohibited, the use of nudity in movies. The film, directed by Danny Wolf, also emphasizes the political, sociological, and artistic changes that allowed nudity to happen, or not, in the first place. Check out the first trailer below for the film, which hits VOD from Quiver Distribution on August 18.
According to the official synopsis, “‘Skin’ delves into the gender bias concerning nudity in motion pictures and will follow the revolution that has pushed for gender equality in feature films today. A deep discussion of pre-code Hollywood and its amoral roots, the censorship that ‘cleaned up’ Hollywood and how the MPAA was formed leads into a discussion of how nudity changed cinematic culture through the decades.”
The many famous talking heads include Malcolm McDowell, Pam Grier, Shannon Elizabeth, Kevin Smith, Sean Young, Amy Heckerling, Traci Lords, Mariel Hemingway, and Bruce Davison, all of whom in one way or another have confronted censorship, or disrobed or asked someone to disrobe, throughout their careers. Also featured in the documentary is filmmaker Peter Bogdanovich. The director of “Paper Moon” and “The Last Picture Show” (provocative in 1971 for its shattering of sexual taboos onscreen) is recently back in the spotlight thanks to two podcasts, “The Plot Thickens” from Turner Classic Movies, and the new season of “You Must Remember This,” that reconsider his legacy and relationships with women behind the scenes.
“Skin” takes a look at early censorship in Hollywood, including the Hays Code that ruled moviemaking from 1934 to 1968, and the filmmakers and actors who defied it or bent the rules, such as Marilyn Monroe, one of the first actresses to prove that nudity wouldn’t necessarily destroy your career. The film culminates in a discussion of what are nude scenes like in the age of the #METOO movement, which has been instrumental in increasing the hiring of intimacy coordinators for sex scenes on sets.
Here’s the trailer for “Skin: A History of Nudity in Movies.”