Sex appeals to just about everyone, and it’s no secret that the internet has made it as readily available as the paper towels you order off Amazon. But sex is so much more than the physical act; the buildup, the tension, the obstacles, the emotion-in short, the story-make the difference between cheap erotic thrills and a movie worth two hours or so of your time.
Good news: Amazon has also made those movies as easy as ordering those paper towels, provided you’re a Prime subscriber. Give these movies a shot the next time you want a tantalizingly horny storyline.
This movie came out in 2013, and some of us felt a little too judged to hand our tickets to the theater attendants. Most critics agreed that Naomi Watts’ and Robin Wright’s characters having sex with each other’s sons was too eyebrow-raising to truly work (and raised a lot more questions we didn’t want to think about), but it’s still a fascinating idea. Watch these moms stare hungrily at the boys’ beach bodies: They resist at first, then surrender, then keep surrendering. Bonus points for the lush scenery and ample butt-shots. Watch it now on Amazon
Black Snake Moan (2006)
For much of Black Snake Moan, Christina Ricci doesn’t wear all that much, aside from a giant chain around her waist that keeps her locked inside Samuel L. Jackson’s house. Her character Rae ends up there after her military boyfriend leaves town, which causes her knack for sex and partying to spiral out of control, and let others take advantage of her, until Jackson’s blues musician Lazarus comes to her aid. It’s a pretty outrageous plot for a movie. Although, there’s more to Craig Brewer’s raunchy thriller than it initially leads on, taking cues from blaxploitation films and with messages about race and trauma. It’s as hot and heavy as a blues club in the deep South. Watch it now on Amazon
Brokeback Mountain (2005)
Ang Lee’s epic romance about two gay cowboys torn between society’s expectations and their love for each other was a game-changer when it came out, but it also stands the test of time. Packed with stunning visuals and career-best performances from the two leads (as well as supporting actresses Michelle Williams and Anne Hathaway), rewatching it will make you even angrier about Crash stealing Brokeback‘s deserved Best Picture slot back in 2006. But get ready to cry-if the movie’s subject matter isn’t sad enough, watching the late Heath Ledger at the peak of his gifts will be sure to get those tear ducts working. Dammit, Heath [said in best Jack Twist drawl]: Wish we knew how to quit you. Watch it now on Amazon
Director Gaspar Noé sure knows how to make divisive movies. On a surface level, Climax is about a large dance troupe whose big party goes terribly wrong when someone spikes the punch with hard drugs and everyone pretty much loses their mind. The movie starts out in fascinating fashion-a bunch of interviews with the dancers is followed by one of the wildest single-shot dance numbers you’ll ever see-then it slowly, gradually, eventually gets all sorts of mean, cruel, nihilistic, and nasty. Whether or not there’s an actual point to all this drug-induced madness, however, is up to you. Watch it now on Amazon
The sexiness of Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore’s romance from beyond the grave percolates through the entire picture from a single hot-as-hell source: the now-iconic clay scene. Just a few minutes into the movie, Sam (Swayze) and Molly (Moore) engage in some sensual sculpting, before leaping into each other’s passionate embrace. Then Sam dies. For most of Ghost, we follow Sam as he tries to reach his loved one from the spiritual plane. It’s heavy. While the couple only “touch” again an hour-plus later, the spark between them is as palpable as any gratuitous sex scene. Watch it now on Amazon
Gloria Bell (2019)
Hollywood may be somewhat immune to telling stories about middle-aged women-but contrary to popular belief, they do lead interesting lives, including some pretty hot romances. Gloria Bell is a rare gem that focuses on a woman over 50 and her pursuit to “get back out there” post-divorce. It’s actually the American remake of director Sebastian Lelio’s own Chilean original Gloria, and stars the inimitable Julianne Moore in the titular role as a woman who just wants to take herself out to nightclubs and find love on the dance floor. The romance that unfolds is a whirlwind and charming even in its awkwardness, until it turns to chaos. But it’s just as sexy seeing Gloria Bell come into her own. Watch it now on Amazon
The Handmaiden (2016)
Some movies splash across the screen, others turn scenes into bold brushstrokes. The Handmaiden, an erotic thriller with twists and turns and thrusts aplenty, is Park Chan-wook’s drip painting. Set in 1930s Korea, the movie follows Sook-hee, a pickpocket, who slips undercover into the staff of a sheltered heiress, with hopes of luring the deep-pocketed woman into the romantic grasp of her con-man partner in crime. The problem: Sook-hee falls madly, lustfully in love with her target. In The Handmaiden, single, sensual drops-a prolonged glance, the zipping up of a dress, whispered white lies-fan out through the entire two-and-a-half-hour narrative into the unexpected. Watch it now on Amazon
High Life (2019)
French filmmaker Claire Denis makes movies that claw at the brain and activate the senses, and with High Life, she crafted a story that’s equal parts heady prison thriller, psychosexual medical mystery, and bong-rip journey through the cosmos. Bouncing backwards and forwards in chronology, the story tracks quiet inmate Monte (Robert Pattinson) as he raises a baby in a cavernous, dorm-like shuttle in one timeline and attempts to thwart the secretive plans of an oddball scientist (Juliette Binoche) in another thread. Exactly how Monte ends up alone with the baby, playing the role of single parent in the stars, would be the central question of a more conventional sci-fi narrative, and there are surprising plot twists and shocking violent acts committed here. But Denis fills the movie with curious images and wild ideas that complicate the dystopian set-up. High Life resists the solutions of puzzle-box filmmaking, choosing instead to explore its own perilous terrain of desire. Watch it now on Amazon
The Love Witch (2016)
Director Anna Biller’s stylish film is both parody and incisive social commentary, telling the tale of a modern witch (Samantha Robinson) who uses her powers to seduce men. The Technicolor landscape, the cutting humor, and the pathetic men combine to make The Love Witch irresistibly attractive, much like its protagonist. You’ll cringe and laugh in equal measure, but mostly you’ll admire the confidence with which Biller creates her unique world. Watch it now on Amazon
The Neon Demon
While the movie’s bloody climax is a bit far from a turn-on, there’s a lot of sexual imagery to reckon with here. The Neon Demon idolizes youth to the point of sexually fetishizing it, features Keanu Reeves saying things like, “real Lolita shit,” and models discussing whether they are “fruit or sex” when it comes to lipstick shades. Drive director Nicolas Winding Refn’s vanity project plays on the kind of sexy that borders on ugly, which hinges on one unforgettably repulsive sex scene with Jena Malone, and, well… you’ll see. Watch it now on Amazon
Sally Potter’s Orlando is the original queer costume drama, with a uniquely sexual playfulness within its period-appropriate rigidity. The film, based on the novel of the same name by Virginia Woolf, tells the story of nobleman Orlando as he drifts through life in search of love and purpose. Eventually, Orlando finds themself changing gender rather abruptly, forcing them to live within a patriarchal social structure as a woman. Both versions of Orlando are played beautifully by actress Tilda Swinton, whose work emphasizes the social performance of gender. Orlando falls in love with both men and women, prioritizing their self-actualization and emotional expression above all other concerns. The film highlights the fluidity of gender without shying away from the way governments are built to marginalize masculine gender presentation above all else. Watch it now on Amazon
A Simple Favor (2018)
A Simple Favor is probably best marketed as “Blake Lively wears a lot of high fashion menswear and drinks martinis”-and while that would not be wrong, it’s important to note that it’s also a delicious twisty thriller, like Gone Girl though an Instagram filter. Director Paul Feig, known more for comedies like Bridesmaids and Spy, moves into more of a middle ground that remains funny despite its murderous themes. Lively plays the impossibly glamorous and filterless Emily Nelson who starts hanging out with Anna Kendrick’s overachieving YouTube mom Stephanie Smothers after their children demand a playdate. Both women have some significant skeletons in their respective closets, which start to emerge after Emily goes missing. Watch it now on Amazon
Step Up (2006)
The Dirty Dancing of the millennial generation, Step Up is the film that introduced us to Channing Tatum’s dance moves years before he did them while stripping in Magic Mike. Tatum plays a kid from the rougher side of Baltimore who finds himself paired with Nora (Jenna Dewan), a wealthy, classically trained ballet dancer, for her final showcase at her performing arts school. Not only does it feature one of the most underrated “wait, how do they all know the same dance?” club scenes in movie history, Channing and Jenna, married in 2009 after meeting during filming. (They divorced in 2019.) Even though Step Up has four (?!) sequels, the original film shines on its own due to the pair’s electric, authentic chemistry. Watch it now on Amazon
The Virgin Suicides (1999)
Sofia Coppola’s adaptation of Jeffrey Eugenides’ novel of the same name will put you in a daze; it’s a cinematic representation of feeling 16, with all the attendant desire and melodrama. The voyeuristic film tells the story of several young boys’ obsession with understanding the mythos behind the sheltered but painfully beautiful Lisbon sisters, who live under the domineering veil of their strict, devout parents. As the tantalizing Lux Lisbon, Kirsten Dunst seduces with a bite, and while the girls gasp for release, Coppola validates their youthful pain in the way that only her unapologetically feminine lens can. Watch it now on AmazonNeed help finding something to watch? Sign up here for our weekly Streamail newsletter to get streaming recommendations delivered straight to your inbox.
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Starting with the new moon on Sunday, January 22, this Lunar New Year ushers in the year of the Rabbit. We’ve put together a guide on celebrating the Lunar New Year in Australia.
What is special about the year of the Rabbit?
As you might know, each year has an animal sign in the Chinese Zodiac, which is based on the moon and has a 12-year cycle. This year, we celebrate the year of the rabbit, known to be the luckiest out of all twelve animals. It symbolises mercy, elegance, and beauty.
What celebrations are taking place and how can I get involved?
There are plenty of festivals happening all around the country which you can get involved with. Here they are per state.
New South Wales
Darling Harbour Fireworks When: Every year, Sydney puts on a fireworks show, and this year, you can catch it on January 28 and February 4 at 9 pm in Darling Harbour.
Dragon Boat Races When: Witness three days of dragon boat races and entertainment on Cockle Bay to usher in the Lunar New Year. The races will commence on January 27 and finish on January 29.
Lion Dances When: Catch a traditional Lion Dance moving to the beat of a vigorous drum bringing good luck and fortune for the Lunar New Year. The dance performances will happen across Darling Harbour on Saturday, January 21, Sunday, January 22, and Sunday, February 4 and 5, around 6 pm and 9 pm.
Lunar New Year at Cirrus Dining When: Barangaroo’s waterfront seafood restaurant, Cirrus, is celebrating the Year of the Rabbit with a special feast menu. Cirrus’ LNY menu is $128pp with optional wine pairing and is available from Saturday, January 21, to Sunday, February 5.
Auntie Philter When: Hello Auntie’s owner and executive chef, Cuong Nguyen will be dishing out some of the most classic Vietnamese street foods with his mum, Linda. All of Philter’s favourites will be on offer, as well as Raspberry Pash Beer Slushies and other cocktails being served at the Philter Brewing rooftop bar on Sunday, January 22 and Sunday, January 29.
Lunar New Year Festival When: Ring in the Lunar New Year with food, music, arts, and more on Sunday, January 22, from 10 am to 9 pm.
BriAsia Festival When: From February 1-19, Brisbane will come alive with performances, including lion dances and martial arts displays. There will be street food, workshops, comedy and more.
Chinatown Adelaide Street Party When: Adelaide is set to hose a fun-filled day celebrating the Chinese New Year on Saturday, January 28, from 12 pm to 9 pm.
Crown Perth When: Across January and February, Crown Perth hosts free live entertainment, including colourful lion dances, roving mascots, and drumming performances. The restaurants will also throw banquets and menus dedicated to the Lunar New Year.