SageHealth Network is dedicated to promoting the sexual health, socialization and positive aging of older adults and seniors. We offer unique health promotion workshops and social events focusing on older adults and seniors' needs and overall wellbeing.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Sex and the 75-year-old woman

As we are all aware, whenever a news item hits the media about sexuality and seniors, the buzz goes off the scale. It still is newsworthy that seniors can be sexual and enjoy intimacy. As I've noted before, thankfully times are changing with the increasing number of Baby Boomers revamping the horizon on many fronts. We are now beginning to see more older actresses on the silver screen reflecting the life changes of real life women. Casting actresses in romantic leading roles with contemporary actors who are the same age really brings to life the reality of our society and indeed population statistics. Just as Dove's Real Beauty campaign is breaking new ground with its Real Women advertising, Hollywood has finally gotten on board and is showing how ordinary women in their 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s are a visible force affecting the societal landscape. Noteworthy names like Helen Mirren, Diane Lane, Meryl Streep, Diane Keaton and Glenn Close portray women who are sexy, romantic and comedic...Ordinary women are beginning to recognize themselves in cinema in movies that are believable and real--they are more inclusive of age and gender differences rather than fantastical and unobtainable story lines.
Thanks to Linda Barnard for her piece on the 2008 film, Lovely, Still, about seniors finding love. The film was released during the Toronto International Film Fest.

SageHealth Network

TheStar.com - Film Fest - Sex and the 75-year-old woman

September 14, 2008
Linda Barnard, Movie Editor

Maybe it's because thinking about our parents having sex still creeps us out no matter how old we are, actor Ellen Burstyn mused over a cup of tea in Yorkville last week.

"I heard Jay Leno make a joke that latest studies show that people are having sex into their seventies, eighties," she said with a wry smile. "He made a joke with a punch line, but it's true. People continue having sex and I don't think young people know that."

Looking at least a decade younger than her 75 years, her skin glowing against a hot pink silk scarf, the star of The Exorcist, Same Time Next Year and last year's fest film The Stone Angel brought her new movie Lovely, Still to TIFF.

It's what they call a "small movie" and has yet to pick up a distributor, but it's a worthy effort thanks to outstanding work by Burstyn and fellow screen vet, Martin Landau, 77. They play Mary and Robert, two lonely people in their seventies who find love, romance and, yes, intimacy during the Christmas holidays. But the story takes a dramatic twist that takes the movie to an extraordinary place.

The fact Lovely, Still is written and directed by first-timer Nik Fackler, 24, makes the project all the more remarkable.

Sex always has a starring role at TIFF, some of it energetic, some disturbing, some thrilling and sensual, and some just plain weird.

But as willing as filmmakers are to push sexual boundaries onscreen, there remains one taboo: sex and seniors. In fact, it seems Hollywood would have us believe 40 sounds the death knell for sex.

And then there was this year's Cloud 9, Andreas Dresen's frankly sexual movie that explores the affair between Inge, a married retired seamstress and her 70-something client, Karl. Dubbed Old People F---ing by some, the surprise with this German flick was just how steamy the sex scenes were.

The film opens with a breathless coupling, something we're not used to seeing on the big screen between a pair with fleshy folds of skin, grey hair and wrinkles around eyes closed in ecstasy. It also explores the attendant hurt and betrayal experienced by Inge's cuckolded husband, wounds as sharp as if they were teenage lovers.

Landau, a veteran stage actor perhaps best known for his work on TV's Mission: Impossible as master of disguise Rollin Hand, refers to director Fackler as "the kid" with great fondness. He's passionate about his role in Lovely, Still in a way he hasn't been for a part in a long time.

"I love this movie," he said, tall and still handsome in a dark suit. "I absolutely love it. It's hard for me to say I love something that I'm in; I don't love it usually. It's a very good movie and I think of it with joy, and I love this movie. Everything I wanted it to be. I trusted this kid, and Ellen, well, she's Ellen."

Landau sees the movie as "a picture about two teenagers, it's basically a teenaged romance."

Adds Burstyn, "there are a lot of people who are single who find love later in life."

She ought to know, having been in a relationship for the past four years with a theatre professor she met through her work at The Actors Studio in Los Angeles.

So life – and a love life – gets better with age?

"I think so, yeah," she says with a smile.

Are you listening, Hollywood?

Original link: http://www.thestar.com/article/498918

No comments: