european cinema erotic

Europe & Me picks for best erotic films produced in the old continent. New projects and classics. The best erotic scenes that will make your beginning of 2014 an authentic ‘pleasure’.

“Sex without love is a meaningless experience, but as far as meaningless experiences go it’s pretty damn good.”

Woody Allen

Save those wise words of Woody Allen because, more than anything else in the world, cinema has been able to translate into images and audio what many of us like to enjoy in between the sheets: sex.

In the last century, the Danes were the ones setting the pace for the world erotic film industry with the film ‘Afgrunden’, a Danish erotic melodrama, filmed in 1910 and immediately banned in the United States of America. Lars von Trier, you’re not the first Dane to cause controversy!

Although during the last decade the global film industry has become more conservative with less explicit sex scenes or nudity, especially in a more commercial landscape, there are nevertheless still some great euro erotic cinema coming from the old continent. Europe & Me spent the entire month of November watching films just to bring you this 11 points list. We’ll start with a classic, and then take a look at the most recent erotic films. Are you ready?

1. Last Tango in Paris (1972)

One of the biggest world classics of erotic cinema, Last Tango in Paris caused roar and excitement back in the 70s. Starring the great Marlon Brandon and the French actress Maria Schneider, this film tells the story of an American middle-aged man who starts a torrid affair with a young Parisian woman. A very strong erotic piece with a great soundtrack, it is still considered by most to be one of the greatest erotic films of all time and can be appreciated by people of every generation – including your parents. You can watch the trailer here.

2. Nymphomaniac – Volume I (2013)

The new Lars von Trier film hasn’t yet premiered in Europe; only on its country of origin, Denmark. But it has been causing uproar on the other side of the ocean with critics calling it one of the most sexually graphic films ever made. The film tells the story of a sex addict (Charlotte Gainsbourg) who is taken by an older man after being sexually assaulted, and insists on telling him (and us) her (complicated) sex life. You’ll see S&M, lots of threesomes, explicit oral sex, loads of nudity and even a scene with a vagina a set of spoons. You can watch the trailer here. Lars von Trier is definitely passionate about porn and has directed other erotic movies like ‘Breaking the Waves’ and ‘Antichrist’. The famous quote “I understand Hitler” has also brought him fame outside the film industry.

3. La vie d’Adèle (2013)

One of the most acclaimed films in 2013 and even nominated for one Golden Globe, La vie d’Adèle tells the story of Adèle, a young woman whose life suffers a dramatic change when she meets Emma, a girl with blue hair. They then start out on an amazing trip to discover desire, beauty, and love. A beautiful film. You can watch the trailer here.

4. Vanishing Waves (2012)

Can Sci-Fi be sexy? Of course it can, and ‘Vanishing Waves’ is the ultimate proof. This Erotic Sci-Fi romance by the Lithuanian director Kristina Buozyte tells the story of Lukas, a neuron-informatics scientist who takes part in an experiment to enter the mind of a girl in a coma. Of course, she is beautiful and he becomes obsessed with her. Critics have called it “a fascinating, hypnotic science fiction film”, with the added value of being sexy. You can watch the trailer here.

5. El sexo de los ángeles (2012)

Spain has for a long time spoiled us with great erotic films (who doesn’t remember ‘Jamón, jamón’, one of the hottest Spanish films ever, with Javier Bardem and Penélope Cruz) . This one is no exception! ‘El sexo de los ángeles’ (The Sex of Angels) depicts the perfect hot love triangle. Bruno loves Carla, but then meets the gorgeous hip-hop dancer Rai and starts a steamy (and gay) parallel relationship. A tale of love, affections and open relationships. A lot of sex – both hetero and gay.  Watch it here.

6. 9 Songs (2004)

If you like Indie rock and sex, this erotic film is definitely a good choice! 9 Songs tells the story of Lisa and Matt, an American and a Brit who meet in London and spend their time attending rock concerts and having sex. Some film reviewers have said that the film is just porn “dressed up in indie film credentials”. But the film is okay if you want to spend 71 minutes listening to good music and watching people having sex. Watch the trailer here.

7. Was nützt die Liebe in Gedanken (2004)

Selected for both Berlin and Sundance festival and starring the glorious German actor Daniel Brühl, ‘Was nützt die Liebe in Gedanken’ (Love in Thoughts) takes place in 1927 in Weimar Germany and tells the story of best friends Paul and Günther who are part of the wild party scene in Berlin. A sad story of love, lust, drugs, sex, murder and loads of alcohol. Exciting! Watch the trailer here.

8. Elles (2011)

Juliette Binoche is a journalist working for Elle who has to research a prostitution ring run by university students. It then grows from a small assignment to deep psychological drama. A well executed movie, especially when Binoche interviews Anaïs Demoustier and Joanna Kulig.  There is obviously …sex. Synopsis here.

9. Room in Rome (2010)

A controversial film that tells the story of two women who spend one memorable night together in a hotel in Rome. Alba and Natasha are two hot women and have sexy Eastern European accents: the perfect formula for success. Despite the cliché, the film is touching. Directed by the Spanish director Julie Medem. Watch the trailer here.

10. Les adieux à la reine (2012)

Lesbian sex is definitely on a trail of success in the European film industry! In ‘Les adieux a la reine’ (Farewell, my Queen) queen Marie Antoinette is a voracious female with an appetite for cute French women. Diane Kruger plays the monarch and we admire her for her courage of performing hard-core kissing scenes and at the same time acting in French – not her native language. It’s a good movie, with great historical production. Watch the trailer here.

11. The dreamers (2003)

We started with Bernardo Bertolucci’s ‘Last Tango in Paris’ and we end with his ‘The dreamers’. Set again in romantic and sexual Paris, this time in 1968, the film tells the story of a young American who meets a French brother and sister during the ’68 Paris student riots, and who afterwards start a torrid romance … the three of them. The Guardian reviewed the film as “a swooning love letter to Paris, to cinema and to love”. We agree! Watch the trailer here.

Do you have more recommendations? Leave us a comment or send us an email! We’ll happily include it on this list.

Cover photo: Du RM – (Du R. Maciel)CC BY-NC 2.0 (Flickr)

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