Love (2015) – How Tender You Can Be – Scene Analysis
But there’s one thing we never did… We
never made a baby. In this scene from the 2015 film Love,
Murphy reminisces on the experiences he both had and failed to have with his ex Elektra. In the middle of his regret at their failure to create another life, he recalls the tenderness they were able to express together. [Elektra] “Can you show me how tender you can be?” Elektra’s request that Murphy
demonstrate his tender approach to sex is answered in his use of the spooning position. Intimacy is indeed expressed in his ability to embrace her, in the full contact of their bodies. Yet there remains a certain irony in the fact that tenderness can be so thoroughly expressed through a position in which they don’t even face each other. The position is useful, though, from a cinematic standpoint. It facilitates the audience’s simultaneous view of the emotion on both their faces as they engage in the sexual act. It also enables them to express their need for each other more clearly in the periodic attempts to turn and kiss each other during the act. To comment on the filmic presentation:
the scene is, first of all, not pornographic. It eschews excess and gratuity–and I would argue, in fact, that the entire film does this despite its explicit approach to sex. Censorship in film, particularly Hollywood films, usually involves removing the penis and testicles from the scenes. Throughout this film, the male organs are routinely pictured–and so in fact are the female organs… except that the retention of a
carpet of pubic hair underlines a sort of inherent censorship by nature
itself, especially for females and particularly when one further considers not just how well the labia hide the vaginal opening but also that the female’s actual gonads are hidden inside the body. In contrast, without clothing, men are far more exposed. So, in fact, this “explicit” scene in which the female’s body is uncovered and her pubic area uncensored yet remains under a natural veil of censorship. And it turns out to be one of the film’s least explicit scenes. Despite this, it does explicate quite a lot.