WUWM: 'Lewd Looks' Frames Salacious 1960s Films As Meaningful History

By Audrey Nowakowski
WUWM

Gorfinkel_Lewd coverIt was in 1957 when the New York Board of Appeals ruled that nudity was no longer equal to obscenity in movies.  From those decisions, a genre of film known as “sexploitation” emerged. It became a cottage industry, while other parts of the classic Hollywood film industry world were declining.

Many of these films flew under the radar. Films we might term as “soft core” today spanned many different genres over the year – most commonly the sex melodrama.

Until very recently, the sexploitation films of the 1960s were largely overlooked or dismissed by film scholars. Elena Gorfinkel, former UW-Milwaukee professor who now teaches film studies at King’s College London, is working to change the perception and worth of this decade in film.

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