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Sex

Despite the accessibility of erotica, audiences still seek out the more substantial approaches to sex that only narrative cinema can offer.

Here you’ll find the full array, from Sixties-era cautionary tales to incisive art films that scrutinise the theme of sexual obsession.

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VivaViva

Sex comedy2008116 minsDirector: Anna Biller

Anna Biller's outrageous sexploitation satire follows bored housewife Barbi as she searches for adventure in predatory 1970s Los Angeles.

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The BeastThe Beast

Comedy197598 minsDirector: Walerian Borowczyk

An outrageous classic of erotic cinema, Walerian Borowczyk’s playful and subversive fantasy finds a horny heiress courting the ravenous desires of a wild beast.

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The HousemaidThe Housemaid

Thriller2010107 minsDirector: Im Sang-soo

An enigmatic housemaid and her wealthy, totalitarian employer begin an affair that will have disastrous consequences for them both.

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The Lickerish QuartetThe Lickerish Quartet

Drama197088 minsDirector: Radley Metzger

A decadent couple and their son invite a circus stunt-woman back to their castle for an evening of erotic games, role-play and revelations.

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Betty BlueBetty Blue

Drama1986185 minsDirector: Jean-Jacques Beineix

Jean-Jacques Beineix’s story of a volatile, highly sexual relationship was one of the most successful French films of the 1980s.

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Caught LookingCaught Looking

Drama199135 minsDirector: Constantine Giannaris

Years before Grindr, a gay man turns to virtual reality to satisfy his sexual fantasies in this strangely prophetic short film.

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Successive Slidings of PleasureSuccessive Slidings of Pleasure

Drama1974106 minsDirector: Alain Robbe-Grillet

Alain Robbe-Grillet’s serpentine erotic mystery presented as a surreal investigation into a woman with feared sexual powers.

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Eden and AfterEden and After

Drama196998 minsDirector: Alain Robbe-Grillet

Alain Robbe-Grillet’s sensual fantasy follows a group of students who enter a bizarre sado-masochistic realm after taking a mysterious drug.

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FascinationFascination

Horror197982 minsDirector: Jean Rollin

Jean Rollin’s best-known film is the most full-blooded of his vampire tales, teeming with sex and lavishly filmed gore scenes

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Kelly + VictorKelly + Victor

Drama201290 minsDirector: Kieran Evans

In modern Liverpool, a couple meet and begin a transgressive, sexually charged affair set against a background of crime and encroaching danger.

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Bad TimingBad Timing

1980122 minsDirector: Nicolas Roeg

Nic Roeg's complex, elusive cult classic is a Vienna-set tale of all consuming passion, starring Art Garfunkel, Theresa Russell and Harvey Keitel.

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Immoral TalesImmoral Tales

Anthology1974103 minsDirector: Walerian Borowczyk

Walerian Borowczyk presents four stories of sexual taboos throughout the ages, in his highly controversial classic of 1970s erotic cinema.

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Belle de JourBelle de Jour

Drama1967100 minsDirector: Luis Buñuel

Luis Buñuel's provocative classic about a bored and neglected housewife (Catherine Deneuve) risks her reputation to take up a daring new hobby.

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King of EscapeKing of Escape

Comedy200990 minsDirector: Alain Guiraudie

A film about tractors, aphrodisiacs and forbidden love from Alain Guiraudie, the Cannes award-winning director of Stranger by the Lake.

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Goltzius and the Pelican CompanyGoltzius and the Pelican Company

Biopic2012117 minsDirector: Peter Greenaway

An artist stages a series of erotic dramatisations illustrating sexual taboos from the Old Testament, in this startling and shocking return from director Peter Greenaway.

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Interior. Leather Bar.Interior. Leather Bar.

201360 minsDirector: James Franco

James Franco and Travis Mathews recreate explicit footage cut, rumoured to be lost, from one of the most notorious gay features ever made.

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NighthawksNighthawks

Drama1978113 minsDirector: Ron Peck

A schoolteacher juggles everyday life with nights spent cruising for Mr Right in this fascinating landmark in British gay cinema.

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Nighthawks 2: Strip Jack NakedNighthawks 2: Strip Jack Naked

Documentary199191 minsDirector: Ron Peck

Ron Peck’s experimental follow up to the groundbreaking Nighthawks is both a making-of documentary and a deeply personal film memoir.

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MaitresseMaitresse

1976113 minsDirector: Barbet Schroeder

Gerard Depardieu plays the young innocent who falls for the mysterious maitresse Ariane (Bulle Ogier), a leather clad dominatrix, in Barbet Schroeder’s controversial film.

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MoreMore

Drama1969116 minsDirector: Barbet Schroeder

The first feature by Barbet Schroeder (Maîtresse, The Valley), More created a sensation when it was released in 1969, quickly becoming a cult classic and famed for its Pink Floyd soundtrack.

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ProstituteProstitute

Drama198198 minsDirector: Tony Garnett

Explicit and controversial drama. An ambitious working girl moves to London hoping to securing wealthier patrons, while her social worker friend fights to change antiquated prostitution laws.

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The Nude VampireThe Nude Vampire

Horror196985 minsDirector: Jean Rollin

Jean Rollin’s second vampire film is a mesmerisingly surreal art-horror, short on logic but steeped in gorgeously sensual imagery.

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Red RoadRed Road

Thriller2006110 minsDirector: Andrea Arnold

Andrea Arnold’s highly acclaimed film, winner of top prizes at Cannes and the BFI London Film Festival, is a haunting drama about a woman confronting past demons.

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StripStrip

Documentary196626 minsDirector: Don Defina

Documentary about the lives of the women who work at a striptease club called The Phoenix on Old Compton Street, in the heart of Soho in the swinging sixties.

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Crimes of PassionCrimes of Passion

Thriller1984107 minsDirector: Ken Russell

Ken Russell's second Hollywood films is a deliriously excessive erotic thriller with Kathleen Turner as an imperilled prostitute.

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TwinkyTwinky

Comedy197094 minsDirector: Richard Donner

Richard Donner directs this unlikely romance between a 38-year-old writer of erotic novels (Charles Bronson) and a 16-year-old schoolgirl played by Susan George. After marrying and absconding to Scotland, the pair finds it hard to adjust to life together.

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Visions of EcstasyVisions of Ecstasy

Drama198920 minsDirector: Nigel Wingrove

Nigel Wingrove's experimental depiction of the erotic imaginings of the 16th Century Carmelite nun remains the only film ever to banned under Britain's blasphemy laws.

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Trans-Europ-ExpressTrans-Europ-Express

Thriller196695 minsDirector: Alain Robbe-Grillet

This stylish, cult 1966 erotic thriller stars French New Wave icons Jean-Louis Trintigant and Marie-France Pisier.

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What Can I Do with a Male Nude?What Can I Do with a Male Nude?

198524 minsDirector: Ron Peck

Ron Peck tests the thin line between pornography and art with his amusing rumination on the difficulties of showing the naked male form.

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Anatomy of a Pin-upAnatomy of a Pin-up

Documentary197130 minsDirector: David Cohen

This documentary explores attitudes to nude modelling in Britain - models, photographers and members of the public express their opinions.

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Eisenstein in GuanajuatoEisenstein in Guanajuato

Biopic2015106 minsDirector: Peter Greenaway

One of Britain’s most inventive filmmakers, Peter Greenaway, tackles the story of arguably the most influential filmmaker in cinema history, Sergei Eisenstein.

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Central BazaarCentral Bazaar

Drama1975142 minsDirector: Stephen Dwoskin

Five strangers explore their fantasies over a period of five days in Stephen Dwoskin's remarkable experimental film.

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Woman of the DunesWoman of the Dunes

Animation & Artists Moving Image1964147 minsDirector: Hiroshi Teshigahara

Hiroshi Teshigahara's mystifying, serene and provocative fable about an entomologist who becomes trapped in a young widow’s desert shack.

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Salon KittySalon Kitty

Drama1976133 minsDirector: Tinto Brass

Before Caligula, Italian provocateur Tinto Brass directed this controversial and transgressive drama, inspired by the true story of a Nazi-run brothel in 30s Berlin.

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The Kreutzer SonataThe Kreutzer Sonata

Drama200896 minsDirector: Bernard Rose

Bernard Rose updates Tolstoy's tale about the corrupting power of sex and jealousy, with Danny Huston as the wealthy husband of a beautiful, famous pianist (Elisabeth Röhm).

More Sex films in our Rentals collection.

More related films in our Subscription collection, The Pleasure Principle.