Good, sexy movies are hard to come by. Even a single sex scene that radiates heat is pretty rare (for a Just Out of Frame reference: British Dramedy Misfits had some of the hottest sex scenes). I had the pleasure of not watching 50 Shades of Grey when it hit theaters. From my understanding, it’s not good. With Sam Taylor Johnson leaving the director’s seat open for 50 Shades Darker, why not find a director who can bring the heat where the source material could not? I’m a fan of franchises that bounce from genre to genre with each entry, so let’s do the same with 50 Shades! Here are my picks for 5 Shades of Directors. Thanks to Sean Fallon, Whit Denton, and Ryan MacLean for the contributions!
1. Michael Mann films have an effortless cool about themselves. They’re also sexy as hell. His framing and scenery composition radiates an aura of sensuality prevalent in his entire filmography. His use of digital filmmaking is unmatched (i.e he’d also be a perfect director for a Tron movie). Using the surrounding environment to paint the mood of his protagonists, Mann could create something substantial from the fetishistic abuse tale of the 50 Shades franchise. But we need to call it 50 Blackhats.
2. Master of all things satirical and camp, the world of 50 Shades could use a little lightening up with a touch of Verhoeven – Paul Verhoeven that is. Turn it into a full fledged comedy with a vigorously mean spirit. The masses can fall in line with some campy sex scenes and acting that would make Steven Seagal cringe. The rest of us can begin cherishing Verhoeven’s assault on capitalist Christian Grey and sit in awe as a potential successor to his true masterpiece, Starship Troopers.
3. Lars Von Trier recently graced the world with his look at sexual addiction with Nymphomaniac, which received polarizing reviews. Personally? I loved it but will never watch it again). Maybe not every movie about sex needs to be sexy. Sometimes we need to approach things from new angles. Let’s depress the shit out of our audience. Amplify the unintentionally abusive text from the book and create what is essentially Nyhmphomaniac: Volume 3. Just when you think you’re going in to watch smut, you’re actually trapped within the confines of Lars Von Trier’s breakdown of raw emotional weight.
4. Sofia Coppola is responsible for one of the most personal movies of the 2000’s Lost in Translation. It’s not a movie oozing with sexuality per se but it is overwhelmingly romantic. It’s one of the few movies dealing in romance that is more than just superficial at its core, breathing an environment to help support its ideas. Maybe this wouldn’t mesh well with the faulty romantic ideals in 50 Shades source material, but wouldn’t it be interesting to see her try?
5. Nicholas Winding Refn fetishizes his imagery. From the bombastic assault on our eyes with cinematography, to his absurd focus on amplified violence, Refn can perform a marriage of abuse, beauty, and sexuality. 50 Shades of Grey was a total slog to read through, but Refn has always been able to make the most ridiculous aspects of a script work. His works always contain violence so maybe try to re-establish the franchise as a slightly horror film specializing in psychological fears. Lord knows it’s already embedded in the series. Might as well bring it to the forefront.