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30 Dec 2014

MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL - Analysis

Film genres have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  What about the Manic Pixie Dream Girl character, does she have rules?



23 Dec 2014

CHRISTMAS MOVIES - Elf (2003)

Film genres have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  Let's look at the Christmas film...

"The best way to spread Christmas Cheer, is singing loud for all to hear." ~ Buddy.

Elf is a film about a foundling, raised by one of Santa's elves who returns to the modern world in a fish-out-of-water Christmas comedy.

16 Dec 2014

MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL - Elf (2003)

Looking at the Rules that film genres follow or don't... like films a Manic Pixie Dream Girl.

"It's just nice to meet another human that shares my affinity for elf culture." ~ Buddy.

Elf is a film about a foundling, raised by one of Santa's elves who returns to the modern world in a fish-out-of-water Christmas comedy.


9 Dec 2014

CHRISTMAS MOVIES - The Rules

Film genres have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  Let's look at the Christmas film...


It's that time of year, and I thought as a bit of fun I'd do rules for Christmas films.  This isn't just films set at Christmas or Christmas horror films (like Silent Night, Deadly Night or Die Hard or Gremlins) but rather films about Christmas.

2 Dec 2014

MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL - Happy-Go-Lucky (2008)

Looking at the Rules that film genres follow or don't... like films a Manic Pixie Dream Girl.

"You keep on rowin', and I'll keep on smilin'" ~ Poppy.


Happy-Go-Lucky (2008) - Is a character study of a MPDG and not the story of a man who needs one to change his life.


26 Nov 2014

DUGGY'S BLOGS - 10 Rules to Doctor Who

Looking at the Rules that film genres follow or don't... 
A post from this blog has been cleaned up and reformatted and now appears on "Duggy's Blogs."  You can check it out if you want.
~ DUG.

18 Nov 2014

MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL - (500) Days of Summer (2009)

Looking at the Rules that film genres follow or don't... like films a Manic Pixie Dream Girl.


"You never wanted to be anybody's girlfriend, now you're somebody's wife." ~ Tom Hansen.


500 Days of Summer (2009) - is a film that declares it isn't a love story.  But is it an MPDG film?


11 Nov 2014

MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL - Garden State

Looking at the Rules that film genres follow or don't... like films a Manic Pixie Dream Girl.


"You changed my life.  You changed my life, and I've known you four days." ~ Andrew Largeman.

Garden State (2001) - It a the story of a man medicated since he was a child finally accepting his life.

The following may contain spoilers for

Garden State (2004)




4 Nov 2014

MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL - Sweet November (2001)

Looking at the Rules that film genres follow or don't... like films a Manic Pixie Dream Girl.


"What'd I do today?  I got fired, they took the company car and my girlfriend left me." ~ Nelson Moss

Sweet November (2001) - Sara Deever (Charlize Theron) offers to let a Nelson Moss (Keanu Reeves) live with her for a month to change his life.

The following may contain spoilers for

Sweet November (2001)




THE FILM RULES - Year Two

Looking at the Rules that film genres follow or don't...





31 Oct 2014

SLASHER FILM RULES - Halloween II (1981)

Films have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  The slasher film (sometime generically called horror film rules)... are they true?



Halloween II (1981) starts immediately after... actually a couple of minutes before... the end of the first Halloween movie.  Does it follow the rules?

27 Oct 2014

THE FILM RULES - Intermission

Film genres have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  


With 5 of the 10 Manic Pixie Dream Girl films done, a special Halloween post on Friday and Year Two about to start, I thought we'd take a little break... and look at how things work here:

20 Oct 2014

MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL - Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind (2004)

Film genres have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  What about the Manic Pixie Dream Girl character, does she have rules?


Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) - includes a possible MPDG claiming to be more than just a concept, but is she a MPDG or not?

13 Oct 2014

MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL - Something Wild (1986)

Film genres have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  What about the Manic Pixie Dream Girl character, does she have rules?



Something Wild (1986) - is a film where a girl who doesn't fit societal norms changes a conservative guy's life.  But is she a MPDG or not?

6 Oct 2014

MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL - Breakfast At Tiffany's (1961)

Film genres have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  What about the Manic Pixie Dream Girl character, does she have rules?



Breakfast at Tiffany's (1961) - Is the character study of a self-sabotaging party girl who hides her mess of insecurities behind an extrovert outer personae.

29 Sep 2014

MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL - Bringing Up Baby (1938)

Film genres have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  What about the Manic Pixie Dream Girl character, does she have rules?


Bringing Up Baby (1938) – a screwball comedy that has been said to include an early example of a MPDG.


22 Sep 2014

MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRL - Elizabethtown

Film genres have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  What about the Manic Pixie Dream Girl character, does she have rules?




Elizabethtown (2005) – the film that caused the term Manic Pixie Dream Girl to be created.

15 Sep 2014

MANIC PIXIE DREAM GIRLS - The Rules

Film genres have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  What about the Manic Pixie Dream Girl character, does she have rules?


8 Sep 2014

RANDOM RULES - Film Comparisons

Films have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  And can we turn those rules into silly memes comparing films & characters?

Next week:  The Manic Pixie Dream Girl Rules, but first some fun...

1 Sep 2014

LESBIAN ROMANCE RULES - Analysis

Films have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas? What about Lesbian Romance films, do they follows a strict formula and a set of rules?


These are the rules for Lesbian Romance Films.  Not the rules for romancing a lesbian.  I'm not qualified to do that.

25 Aug 2014

LESBIAN ROMANCE RULES - Jack & Diane (2012)

Films have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  What about Lesbian Romance films, do they follows a strict formula and a set of rules?



Jack & Diane (2012) is a supposed horror film about two girls who meet and fall in love.


18 Aug 2014

LESBIAN ROMANCE RULES - Lost & Delirious

Films have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  What about Lesbian Romance films, do they follows a strict formula and a set of rules?



Lost & Delirious is about a girl new to a boarding school and the lesbian relationship of her room mates.

11 Aug 2014

LESBIAN ROMANCE RULES - Bound

Films have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  What about Lesbian Romance films, do they follows a strict formula and a set of rules?

Bound is an erotic thriller with a lesbian hero.

25 Jul 2014

LESBIAN ROMANCE RULES - Better Than Chocolate

Films have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  What about Lesbian Romance films, do they follows a strict formula and a set of rules?


Better than Chocolate is about young lesbians Maggie & Kim and Maggie's friends and family.

24 Jul 2014

RULE ROAD TEST - The Bechdel tests (Rom Coms)

Films have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  The Bechdel Test, highlights gender-bias in film, how do Slashers fare against it?

The Bechdel test is a rule devised to demonstrate the gender-bias of the film industry as a whole.  A person following the rule will refuse to watch a film that does not past the test:
  • That two or more named females talk about something other than a man.
The rule points out that film is dominated by male characters, to the point where some films can fail even the first part (by not having two named female characters) and that even when there are female character, they exist only to support (and thus only talk about) the male character(s).

23 Jul 2014

LESBIAN ROMANCE RULES - My Summer of Love

Films have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  What about Lesbian Romance films, do they follows a strict formula and a set of rules?



My Summer of Love is the story of a poor town girl and her relationship with a rich girl sent home from boarding school as a bad influence.

22 Jul 2014

ROM COM RULES - Analysis

Films have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  More than just being romantic and having comedy, a Rom Com follows a strict formula and a set of rules.


So do the films I looked at follow the rules or not?


20 Jul 2014

LESBIAN ROMANCE RULES - The Children's Hour

Films have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  What about Lesbian Romance films, do they follows a strict formula and a set of rules?


The Children's Hour is the story of two women who are just starting to establish a successful boarding school for girls when it all falls apart over rumours that they are lesbians stared by a spoilt child.

7 Jul 2014

LESBIAN ROMANCE RULES - DEBS

Films have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  What about Lesbian Romance films, do they follows a strict formula and a set of rules?


DEBS is a light comedy about a squad of trainee girl-spies and a female super villain.  Based on the short film of the same name.

30 Jun 2014

VIEWING SCHEDULE - July.


This is a provisional schedule of the upcoming films tested for the current rules sets.  Dates may be subject to change.  All dates are Australian and are posted Mondays around 10am Australian Eastern Standard Time (GMT+10).

Rom Com Rules
All films reviewed.  The Bechdel Test and the analysis is coming soon.


Lesbian Romance Rules
July
7th - DEBS (2004)
21st - My Summer of Love (2004)
23rd - Better Than Chocolate (1999)
25th - The Children's Hour (1961)


Rule Set #4
Now probably starting in late August.  I've decided to finish up the Lesbian Romance Rules and do one set at a time, see if that runs better.

Current voting is favouring Manic Pixie Dream Girl films.  Remember to vote here.

For other blogs concerning film and television, check out:  Unmade SF and Screen Screener.

The Current Schedule can be found here at any time.



23 Jun 2014

THE FILM RULES - Bottom Ten #2

Films have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  Let's look at how the posts are going...



My ten posts on this blog that get have the lowest average weekly traffic.

Why a bottom 10 and not a top ten?  Surely showcasing the better, more popular blogs would be smarter?  Well, I've never been one to equate popularity with quality.  Sure, some may be popular because they are quality, but some may be popular because they contain the words "Doctor Who" or "Nudity" and so get more hits.  But the popular ones are already getting traffic, the unpopular ones are the ones that need the boost.


16 Jun 2014

LESBIAN ROMANCE RULES - But I'm A Cheerleader

Films have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  What about Lesbian Romance films, do they follows a strict formula and a set of rules?

But I'm A Cheerleader is a farce about a girl who doesn't realise she's a lesbian who family hold an intervention and being taken to a special camp to be cured.  As such it parodies the hegemony's treatment of homosexuals, 12 step programs and many of this film genre's conventions.

2 Jun 2014

LESBIAN ROMANCE RULES - The Incredibly True Adventure of Two Girls in Love

Films have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  What about Lesbian Romance films, do they follows a strict formula and a set of rules?

The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love is everything it says on the tin.


26 May 2014

ROM COM RULES - Educating Rita

Films have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  More than just being romantic and having comedy, a Rom Com follows a strict formula and a set of rules.

Educating Rita, the story of an alcoholic academic and his an open university student he tutors.


25 May 2014

MY OTHER BLOGS - Poll

 Films have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?

The following is a list of my blogs and your chance to rank them best to worst.

TOP X TOPICS

Looking at online lists.

THE FILM RULES

A look at the rules and formulas certain genres follow.

TRUTH IS JUST AS STRANGE AS FICTION

A look at truth and fiction.

THE TV & DVD COMPLETIST

Dealing with my need to own complete sets of DVDs.

UNMADE SF

Proposed, unproduced or incomplete Science Fiction films and series.

STEPPING ON POINT

Helping find places to start comics and some of the codes that comic companies and fans use.

THE BOOKS ON...

Book reviews.

SUPER VILLAIN ADVICE

Advice for Super Villains or Super Advice for Villains.  Not sure which.

SCREEN SCREENER

About films and television.

INTERNET TRUTH DEBUNKED

Debunking falsehoods.


~ DUG.

19 May 2014

LESBIAN ROMANCE RULES - Imagine Me & You

Films have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  What about Lesbian Romance films, do they follows a strict formula and a set of rules?

"Who knows why - past life, physiometry - but for some reason you just kind of click." ~ Rachel.
Imagine Me & You is a Rom Com about a woman who falls in love with someone else on her wedding day.  Can a Lesbian Romance follow the Rom Com rules?


12 May 2014

ROM COM RULES - Imagine Me & You

Films have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  More than just being romantic and having comedy, a Rom Com follows a strict formula and a set of rules.  

"Sure is for people who don't love enough." ~ Rachel.
Imagine Me & You is a Rom Com about a woman who falls in love with someone else on her wedding day.  Can a Lesbian Romance follow the Rom Com rules?


8 May 2014

VIEWING SCHEDULE

Film genres have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  But which films, when?


This is a provisional schedule of the upcoming films tested for the current rules sets.  Dates may be subject to change.  All dates are Australian and are posted Mondays around 10am Australian Eastern Standard Time (GMT+10).

5 May 2014

LESBIAN ROMANCE RULES - The Film Rules

Film genres have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  What about Lesbian Romance films, do they follows a strict formula and a set of rules?

Does a niche genre like Lesbian Romance films follow a genre.  They're often low-budget independent films, more likely to be seen in arthouse cinemas and at festivals.  Those sort of films don't have a formula, right?

28 Apr 2014

SLASHER FILM RULES - Analysis


Although I'm calling these Slasher Film Rules, the can apply to a range of horror sub-genres.


Ten films were tested:
Of course, these films say nothing about the genre as a whole.  Certainly things can be said about the films, though.  They are usually bigger name films, smaller low-budget or less successful films may rely on the rules more.  They are mostly early films, and may have helped develop the rules rather than following them.  One is a post modern film in which the characters know the rules.  About half may not be purely "slasher" films and may not need to follow the rules.  Most are first films in a series and thus may follow the rules less.

Victims not killed in the narrative (previous victims in Psycho or Wolf Creek for example) are not being counted.  An extreme example of this is Paul Holt in Friday the 13th Part 2 who "disappeared" during a fight with Jason and who will be counted as alive since his death or body was never shown on-screen.  I'm not calling that a definitive answer for what happened to him, but rather, I need to make a call one way of the other.

21 Apr 2014

ROM COM RULES - Friends With Benefits

Films have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  More than just being romantic and having comedy, a Rom Com follows a strict formula and a set of rules.  


Friends With Benefits references Rom Coms but does that be it is more than just one?


14 Apr 2014

RULE ROAD TEST - The Bechdel test (Slasher Films)

Films have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  The Bechdel Test, highlights gender-bias in film, how do Slashers fare against it?

The Bechdel test is a rule devised to demonstrate the gender-bias of the film industry as a whole.  A person following the rule will refuse to watch a film that does not past the test:

  • That two or more named females talk about something other than a man.
The rule points out that film is dominated by male characters, to the point where some films can fail even the first part (by not having two named female characters) and that even when there are female character, they exist only to support (and thus only talk about) the male character(s).

9 Apr 2014

ROM COM RULES - My Best Friend's Wedding

Films have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  More than just being romantic and having comedy, a Rom Com follows a strict formula and a set of rules.
"You know, getting what you deserve isn't fair." ~ Julianne Potter.
My Best Friend's Wedding tries to break the rules.  Does it?



7 Apr 2014

THE FILM RULES - Bottom 10

Films have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  Let's look at how the posts are going...




My ten posts on this blog that get have the lowest average weekly traffic.

Why a bottom 10 and not a top ten?  Surely showcasing the better, more popular blogs would be smarter?  Well, I've never been one to equate popularity with quality.  Sure, some may be popular because they are quality, but some may be popular because they contain the words "Doctor Who" or "Nudity" and so get more hits.  But the popular ones are already getting traffic, the unpopular ones are the ones that need the boost.


31 Mar 2014

SLASHER FILM RULES - Scream

Films have formulas and rules, but how well do films follow those formulas?  The most commonly known (and mocked) film rules are those of the slasher film (sometime generically called horror film rules) but are they true?

Scream, a post-modern look at the genre.  The makers no the rules.  The people in the film know the rules, but does that mean it follows them or not?

"What's the point? They're all the same. Some stupid killer stalking some big-breasted girl who can't act who is always running up the stairs when she should be running out the front door. It's insulting." ~ Sidney Prescott.


26 Mar 2014

ROM COM RULES - Knocked Up


More than just being romantic and having comedy, a Rom Com follows a strict formula and a set of rules.  Can a film be a Slacker Comedy and a Rom Com?  Let's look at Knocked Up.



24 Mar 2014

SLASHER FILM RULES - Alien

"Don't worry Parker, you'll get whatever's coming to you" ~ Lt Ripley.



The xenomorph from Alien (1979) isn't a guy with a knife/machette/power tool chasing scantily clad teens, but it is a single killer taking out a small number of victims in a very remote, confided space.  So, given that it vaguely fits the genre, does it follow the rules?



20 Mar 2014

17 Mar 2014

SLASHER FILM RULES - Psycho


"We all go a little mad sometimes." ~ Norman Bates.




Psycho, Hitchcock's 1960 classic, with cinema's most famous shower scene, and referenced time and again by the makers of slasher films.  But does it, itself, follow the rules?


10 Mar 2014

THE FILM RULES - Overview #2

The Films Rules blog is about looking at the rules that films follow Overview #1.



THE ROM COM FILM RULES

The  10 RomCom Rules are explored in the following film posts:


THE SLASHER FILM RULES
The 10 Slasher Film Rules explored in the following film posts:

3 Mar 2014

SLASHER FILM RULES - Friday the 13th Part 2



"Jason's a legend, Ginny.  A legend." ~ Paul Holt.

As the name suggests, Friday the 13th Part 2 is a sequel to the original Friday the 13th.  But does that make the 1981 film more or less likely to follow the slasher film rules?


24 Feb 2014

RANDOM RULES - 10 Ways Film Nudity can be more than Gratuitous Titillation


There is an impression that nudity in film is gratutitous there just to titilate, to get more viewers.  This can be true, but nudity can be important to a film for a number of other reasons...

1.  Realism
The Following

People do actually get naked.  Coy or clothed sex scenes and shower/bath scenes may be OK once in a while but too regularly they become obvious and self-parody.


2.  Passion & Intimacy

You Only Live Twice

Passion can be portrayed in clothed sex scene, but as with realism, too regularly and it loses its power, full nudity in a sex scene, however, remains a great symbol for passion.

Nudity during passionate sex is also a symbol for intimacy.  Post-coital nudity or lack thereof also talks of intimacy.  A night of passion, followed by coy nudity or overuse of bed sheets can effectively show that next-day regrets.  However, if that is not the intent, then covering the nudity can send the wrong message.

For longer term relationships, nudity can show the intimacy of a long term couple.  On the rare occasion it is shown as them being comfortable with each other, more often the lack of it shows the breakdown of a relationship. A film showing the life of a relationship will show them passionate and nude at the beginning, but lessen the nudity as time goes on (and the relationship becomes less passionate), or a film about an affair will show the married couple respectably dressed - even in bed - but the adulterous couple naked or scantly dressed together.

3.  Naivety & Freedom

Sheena: Queen of the Jungle

Uncivilised, native, etc, characters, foundlings, those raised in the wilderness, the Tarzan-type characters.  Although, they often end up in loin cloths/furs (which make little sense) there are moments (usually bathing in streams or as children) of nudity to portray the innocence of the character.  Aliens (especially shape changing aliens) or supernatural creatures can often initially appear nude to show their different cultural attitudes.  The extreme example is Lifeforce where a energy-drain alien spends much of the film naked.

There are, of course, nudists or naturalists who believe that not wearing clothes makes them feel free. In A Shot in the Dark a nudist camp is shown but with strategic scenery.  Being a slap-stick film that works, in more serious films it can seem camp.  Other films, like Act Naturally, are less coy, showing copious amounts of nudity, but still remain coy about some nudity, meaning the characters didn't live up to the film title.  Maslin Beach isn't shy or coy about the nudity on the beach of the same name, but the nudity becomes distracting and does nothing to hide the shallowness of the film.


4.  Safety/Vulnerability
Psycho

A lot is made of the horror film cliche is the frequent deaths of young females in showers.  Yes, it happens, probably too often and mostly to cater to the audience.  There is, however, thematic reasons for this.  The shower scene usually when a character feels most safe, as shown by the fact that they feel safe to be nude.  But it is because of this feeling safe which makes them the most vulnerable.  A cliche becomes a cliche because it works.

5.  Homage/Parody
The Adventures of Baron Munchausen

There are a lot of homage/parody films out there, increasingly for the Slasher genre.  Two such films are Scream (1996) and Cabin in the Woods (2012).  Scream was noted for its subversion of Slasher rules but having Sidney flash, and later have sex with her boyfriend.  However, since it was done coyly or off-screen, it followed the slasher trope of having the final girl covered and nude/having sex off-screen.  Cabin in the Woods meanwhile commented on-screen about the nudity equals death trope, but did receive criticism backing it up with actual nudity.

6.  Humiliation/Dehumanisation
Salo

Nudity can be used to portray the humiliation of a character.  St Trinians, for example, included a scene where "the new girl" was tricked into running naked through the school.  In Blue Velvet, a beaten and bloody character stumbles naked into a group of people looking for help.  The level of nudity can change the mood of the scene: St Trinians scene was played for laugh and nothing was shown; the Blue Velvet scene included full frontal nudity and felt truly humiliating.  If trying to show the humilation is the point of the scene, coy nudity can undermine it, whilst more complete nudity can make the viewer feel a party to the humiliation and undermine the laughs.  There are always exceptions and Jason Segeal's full frontal nudity in Forgetting Sarah Marshall is comedic and portrays humiliation.

More extreme than humiliation is dehumanisation.  The nudity of corpse (both found and in the morgue) is, of course, the most dehumanised a person can be.  However, there are other situations, such as portrayal of mass nudity in concentration camps in films like Schindler's List.

7.  Voyeurism
National Lampoon's Animal House

Not the audience, the character's voyeurism.  Whether it's the "fun" voyeurism of young men violating the object of his desire's privacy (such as the shower scene in Porky's or the hidden cameras in Revenge of the Nerds) or the creepy voyeurism of a stalker or killer (Psycho, for example) if the audience doesn't see what the voyeur sees it becomes ambiguous.  Of course, as with humiliation, the more you see with creepy voyeurism, the creepier it can feel for the viewer.  And the more you see with "fun" voyeurism, the more it's about titillation and makes the misogynistic act seem legitimate behaviour.  Female voyeurism on males is less likey to be see as misandry.


8.  Misogyny/Misandry
Action

While female nudity is often described as misogynistic, and is often is, it can also be used show a charactger (usually a villains) misogyny.  Strip clubs, nude or semi-nude woman in a criminal's mansion, or a serial killer's victims being naked.  Male nudity can even be used to show misgynistic behaviour if the character uses their nudity as a form of intimidation.

9.  Intimidation
Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows

A character can be naked to intimidate another character, for example the nudity of Irene Adler in both recent Sherlock Holmes film and the Sherlock TV series, to sexually intimidate the title character, or in the TV series Action where Bobby G used it to intimidate Peter Dragon.

10.  Decadence/Self-Indulgence
Caligula

Nudity, especially large amounts of nudity of both sexes can show decadence or a society/groups self-indulgence, especially in orgy or swinger scenes.  The more nudity, the stronger the symbolism.  A bunch of people in their underwear or a nude girl in a group of people doesn't have send the same message as a large group of unclothed people in a similar situation.  Whether the scene is for or against such decadence depends, of course, on the film.

Gratuitous Titillation

No matter what the underlying message, almost all nudity will be seen by someone as gratuitous titillation and some is nothing but.  And just many of the above categories have crossover, titillation can crossover with "legitimate" reasons for nudity: even the most justified nudity can also be in there for titillation.  And even there will be people titillated by anything.