CinemaLit: sex, lies and videotape | Mechanics' Institute

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CinemaLit: sex, lies and videotape
Strange Bedfellows

sex, lies and videotape (1989) 100 min

Directed by Steven Soderbergh

James Spader, Andie MacDowell


All four of the main characters in this film are driven by sexual compulsion or dysfunction. Ann is trapped, frigid, and frustrated in a sexless marriage with John. John is so sexually obsessed with Ann’s extroverted sister, Cynthia, he leaves his law practice almost daily to conduct an affair with her. Cynthia seems driven by resentment towards her quieter sister. Enter John’s old friend, Graham, who can only achieve release by watching videotapes he has made of women describing their sexual experiences and fantasies. Impotence, infidelity, and the erotic power of words combine in this fascinating examination of how sex does and doesn’t work.

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