Sundance Goes Hardcore

Matt O'Conner
PARK CITY, Utah – “Inside Deep Throat,” the documentary about the most famous X-rated film of all time, isn’t the only adult-themed entry in this year’s Sundance Film Festival. In fact, it isn’t even the most explicit.

From “Pretty Persuasions,” a satire about a sexually aggressive teen, to “Elke's Visit,” a hardcore short that takes place on a train, indie filmmakers have discovered that sex sells, and latte-sipping Hollywood power brokers are buying.

Lions Gate Entertainment has already acquired the rights to “Hard Candy,” a story of a teenage girl who meets a 30-year-old man on the Internet, for $2 million plus profit participation for the filmmakers.

The film has been a hot ticket at the annual indie movie mecca, as has “How the Garcia Girls Spent Their Summer,” which focuses on the sexual longings of a teenage girl, her mother and her grandmother.

Another NC-17 film breaking down the barrier between hardcore and mainstream is “9 Songs.” Rumored to be the most sexually explicit film ever to hit “legitimate” theaters, the movie tells the tale of a couple's monogamous relationship and includes an explicit oral sex scene.

The filmmakers say the sex in their movies is there not to titillate, but because it is essential to their storytelling and the realism of their films.

“The sex in our movie is designed specifically to hit on one issue — underage sex and teen sex,” said Marcos Siega, director of “Pretty Persuasions.” “I don't think adults realize how rampant sex is in the culture today.”