View Full Version : Underaged actors in nude scenes


chevalier
Wed, 26th May '04, 10:20pm
This time, I'll be quite brief. I don't have any material to link to at hand, and searching google for given keywords isn't perhaps the best idea.

So, in brief: in most films that are made now there are nude scenes. I can't think of many celebrated films that don't contain a nude scene, and I can't think of any that wouldn't at least hint in this direction.

Some of the characters are underaged. It is debatable whether it's legal or not to have nude underaged characters in a film, but there's no such doubt when it comes to kid porn where the actors themselves are underaged, no matter the characters they play.

However, films that aren't shot by porn business but by renowned producers, or ones that actually have a storyline, those seem to be exempt from kid porn bans. Parents are entitled to sign papers that entitle the producer to take nude shots of their underaged children.

Next, some of those actors are above the legal age for sex (14 or 15 in most countries), but still not legally adult. From what I know, they need consent of their parents, so they don't decide on their own. It's still the parents who sign the papers.

The problems I have with this are three:

1. It is, after all, kid porn in disguise.

2. Parents make money on selling their kids' dignity to some perverted producer, no matter how great a celebrity he is and how celebrated the film is.

3. Parents can exert pressure on those kids and force them into disrobing for that film. In my view, this is sexual abuse, pimping and damaging the child's personality (imagine the trauma of a pretty little girl made pose to nude shots for a film that is recognisable by practically everyone by her greedy mother or father; imagine how she must feel later in her life - perhaps forever).

Thoughts, please?

joacqin
Wed, 26th May '04, 10:28pm
Can you name one move with any underage nudity? Boys and girls in swimming gear doesnt count. The only movie I can think of is "Leon" and there the nudity was edited out just about everywhere. I for one cannot recall any movie with any underage nudity. Not even "Lolita" which does pretty much everything except showing anything.

Death Rabbit
Wed, 26th May '04, 10:34pm
There are 2 that I can think of that blatantly do this. "Kids," a documentary-esque look at the crazy lives of latch-key Brooklyn teens, and "Bully," essentially the same movie but set in Florida and with the story more focused around a few specific characters. Both pretty moving, and disturbing, films.

I'm not sure how they get away with this stuff, either. These are actors who are clearly underaged. But both of these films were highly critically acclaimed, though neither were big national releases. This is something I've always wondered about, too. I'm all for "art" and "realism" in movies. Let's be honest - kids have sex. But I'm undecided as to how far a director should be allowed to go to portray it. Not sure.

The Great Snook
Wed, 26th May '04, 11:08pm
I saw Bully and after a quick check at IMDB it appears to me that all of the actresses that did nude scenes were over 18 (and some over 21) when the movie was made.

About the only actress that I can think of that was nude and underage was Brooke Shields when she did Pretty Baby (she was 13) and Blue Lagoon (she was 15). Those movies were made in 1978 and 1980.

I can't think of any recent movie that had an underage actress exposing private parts. Now true there are plenty of actresses that look underage (and Bully is a classic example).

Fabius Maximus
Thu, 27th May '04, 1:17am
I can't think of any recent movie that had an underage actress exposing private parts.Thora Birch in American Beauty. At that time, she was 17 years old.



1. It is, after all, kid porn in disguise.

2. Parents make money on selling their kids' dignity to some perverted producer, no matter how great a celebrity he is and how celebrated the film is.

3. Parents can exert pressure on those kids and force them into disrobing for that film. In my view, this is sexual abuse, pimping and damaging the child's personality (imagine the trauma of a pretty little girl made pose to nude shots for a film that is recognisable by practically everyone by her greedy mother or father; imagine how she must feel later in her life - perhaps forever).1. Pornography is the visualization of sexual acts, real or fake. IMHO, Nudity doesn't count, even if the actor/actress is a minor.

2. Possible, but depends on how old the minor is. Can he/she already make decisions of his/her own?
Who made the decision?

3. See 2.

Llandon
Thu, 27th May '04, 2:04am
There was a body double standing in for Brook during the nude scenes in "The Blue Lagoon". That was NOT her on film.

chevalier
Thu, 27th May '04, 3:05am
1. Pornography is the visualization of sexual acts, real or fake. IMHO, Nudity doesn't count, even if the actor/actress is a minor.

2. Possible, but depends on how old the minor is. Can he/she already make decisions of his/her own?
Who made the decision?Pornography doesn't need any activity taking place, it's enough if the material is intended to arouse the audience. The purpose of nude scenes in movies in to make them sell better through playing on human sexuality, unlike nudity in art (where underaged nudity is still wrong in most cases, anyway, if it's not technically porn). Hardly is nudity in movies justified in any of nude moments, and those nude moments are typically inconsequential to storyline, anyway.

Showing suggestive nude scenes and only hinting at the implicit act is IMHO still porn and just getting around the law.

2. Possible, but depends on how old the minor is. Can he/she already make decisions of his/her own?
Who made the decision?That's exactly the point. You never know who really made that decision and it's impossible to tell in most cases. One's sure: parents have means to block the kid from starring in nude scenes if it's only the kid that wants to disrobe and the parent's refuse to allow that.

Abomination
Thu, 27th May '04, 4:13am
I don't think number 3 is true. If the child doesn't want to get naked on camera the parents can't make them. Both parties have to agree (parents and child) otherwise it doesn't happen.

Frankly if both parties are okay with it I see no harm. However I'm not too sure if there is an age restriction even with parental consent. Is it 16 and 17 require parental consent? Anything younger than 16 years old is not allowed even with parental consent?

chevalier
Thu, 27th May '04, 1:17pm
Agreed, no one will force the kid right in the studio. What about home? There are other arguments than pure force. You know, strong suggestions and the like - and parental figures are quite convincing, especially for someone who isn't on his own yet.

Fabius Maximus
Thu, 27th May '04, 1:32pm
I think it also matters how old the child/teen looks. Take 'American Beauty' as example. I don't think anyone thought about child porn when seeing Thora Birch naked. Mena Suvari looked definatly younger than her and it's possible that she fitted more into that pattern.

Abomination
Thu, 27th May '04, 3:05pm
Posted by chevalier
What about home? There are other arguments than pure force. You know, strong suggestions and the like - and parental figures are quite convincing, especially for someone who isn't on his own yet.Well then it isn't exactly the studio's fault or the public's either. It's the parents and no matter what there are always going to be irresponsiable parents.

It depends on where the line is drawn. Is it legal for someone under the age of 16 to be placed in this situation? If so then overly convincing parents are a problem. However, I'm certain anyone over the age of 16 is able to think for themselves and not be convinced against their will, especially by their parents. At this age isn't the norm for children to rebel against their parents' wishes?

chevalier
Thu, 27th May '04, 3:40pm
If parents are both greedy and irresponsible at one time, they will influence the kid and convince him or her to disrobe in front of cameras and will get the cash. Moderately irresponsible and greedy parents will not try talking the kid out of posing nude.

The studio isn't the actor per se in such cases, but it still creates the whole opportunity and actually the only possibility that there is to make cash that way in that moment.

Well, but another important point has been raised: some of adult actors in nude scenes don't look adult at all. While they're barely adult, their photos look like something from the realm of child porn. As I said before, the purpose of nude scenes is to draw attention to the movie and get more cash from ticket and tape/DVD sales, so the art excuse doesn't apply.

While I realise that hardcore paedophiles have other sources and won't really keep rewinding a movie for "moments", they always have to start from scratch at some point.

Pac man
Thu, 27th May '04, 3:49pm
I think you have a very weird definition of porn. I don't know which movies you're refering to, since i don't remember seeing that much movies with naked people to begin with, but i don't understand the commotion. It's just a bit of flesh. Wheter the girl in question is 16, 36, or 86 for all i care, makes no difference to me, if nothing out of the order is happening.

And excuse me, but a bit of fondling and caressing is definitely not porn. Perhaps it is in the eyes of Catholic priests and the Pope, but who takes them serious anyway ?

I didn't know there was a legal age for having sex either. Does that mean that i've been a criminal for several years for making out with girlfriends in highschool ? :rolleyes:

[ May 27, 2004, 15:26: Message edited by: Pac man ]

Shazamdude
Thu, 27th May '04, 4:26pm
Chev, maybe you'd do a better job of proving your point if you could provide examples. Where are these naked minors? The only example I've seen posted is Thora Birch from American Beauty, and that was hardly exploitative.

So, in brief: in most films that are made now there are nude scenes. I can't think of many celebrated films that don't contain a nude scene, and I can't think of any that wouldn't at least hint in this direction. Maybe you aren't thinking hard enough. As I recall, the Lord of the Rings trilogy was celebrated some little bit, and I didn't detect any nudity there, unless you count all but naked Gollum. Mmm mmm, sexy beast! In fact, looking at the Oscar Best picture nominations past, Seabiscuit had no nudity that I recall, (I haven't seen Master and Commander, so I can't say), and Mystic River had a child rape portion, but it was hardly presented in such a way as to provide a "thrill" for the audience. I'm not sure if Lost in Translation had nudity (I think it did) but again, it was hardly sexual in nature. Maybe you're thinking of more independant films, such as those shown at Sundance and Cannes, and I can't speak for them, but studio produced prestiege films do not contain large amounts of nudity.

The purpose of nude scenes in movies in to make them sell better through playing on human sexuality, unlike nudity in art (where underaged nudity is still wrong in most cases, anyway, if it's not technically porn). Hardly is nudity in movies justified in any of nude moments, and those nude moments are typically inconsequential to storyline, anyway This is a grossly incorrect generalization. In many cases, you are correct; many movies use cheap nudity as a drawing point to attract viewers; they're called "B" movies. Most studios are moving away from displaying nude scenes onscreen in their pictures because it's difficult to maintain a 14 rating with nude scenes, and a 17+ movie wont' make NEARLY as much money by alienating so much of the moviegoing audience. This is why you've been seeing the decline of cheap nudity and graphic violence in films, especially big budget blockbusters, over the last decade or so. Secondly, studios use actors, directors and special effects as draws nowadays, as evidenced by many of the higher grossing films in the last few years. A film like Spiderman is reliant on a brand name to sell films, while the Matrix relies on special effects. Studios use many draws to attact viewers, and nudity is a minor one. I'll give you sexual explicitness, and some of it depicts minors (high school horror films, etc.) but the actors in those films are rarely, if ever, minors themselves. I understand that these films may still promote underage sex, but you're not talking about sex in the movies: you're talking about underage nudity, of which I can't think of many (any) examples of.

Lastly, your definition of pornography is a bit vague. Is all nudity pornography? Michelangelo's "David" should be given a loincloth so as not to offend viewers? Of course not. So having naked children is pornography? We should all lobby against diaper commercials, then; they have naked babies in them all the time. I mean, Jersey Girl had a naked baby in it... and it even showed the genitalia! Call concerned parent's groups, press those charges against Kevin Smith, and launch the lawsuits against the studios! That's underage nudity, but if that's what you call pornography, and if that's meant to elicit a "thrill" in the audience, then I guess I must be asexual or something, because it's not getting any rise out of me.

Aldeth the Foppish Idiot
Thu, 27th May '04, 9:29pm
I'm not sure if Lost in Translation had nudity (I think it did) but again, it was hardly sexual in nature. Actually, there was no nudity in Lost in Translation, but it was very sexual in nature. If you ever see the movie there is very much a level of sexual tension between the two main characters. Regardless though, you made your point. The most acclaimed movies this year did not include nudity.

I agree that if Chev provided some examples here it would be more helpful, however, it could be that there is a failure to communicate because all of the movies that come out in the U.S. are not the exact same movies that come out in Europe.

Sure, the block busters like LotR are released everywhere, and certainly films nominated for academy awards do as well, but I do not think there are many films made "on the other side of the pond" so to speak that make it to the U.S. Basically, I'm saying while the average European has access to a great many American movies, the flow seems to be unidirectional. Occassionally, a British comedy will show up in U.S. box offices (Four Weddings and a Funeral, The Full Monty), but largely those in the U.S. do not have access to many European movies, unless you make a concerted effort to find them.

For example, I have DirecTV. I can order a pay-per-view movie at just about any time, but all of my options are U.S. releases. I can go to BlockBuster and rent a movie, but the foreign films section is very limited, and certainly is not an accurate representation of the depth of European movies. So, to finally make my point, is there a possibility that sexuality and nudity in movies is more common in European theater than in U.S. theater? The next question then that would logically follow would be: If nudity is more common in European theater, then is child nudity also more common in European theater? In many ways, the U.S. is far more uptight and Puritanical than our European counterparts, so this isn't completely out of the question. (Violence of course is another story - it's perfectly OK to show blood, guts, and dismemberments, but an uncovered boob produces a media frenzy.)

chevalier
Thu, 27th May '04, 9:44pm
And excuse me, but a bit of fondling and caressing is definitely not porn. Perhaps it is in the eyes of Catholic priests and the Pope, but who takes them serious anyway?Thank you for sharing gratuitous in-depth feedback on Catholic Church to which you probably don't belong. Not many people take their priests and the Pope seriously, just some billion Catholics in the world scale. Anything to say in topic?

On an off-topic note, conservative protestant denominations are far stricter when it comes to nudity. In what other denomination do you see large wall paintings full of naked people? Vatican has quite a large collection of art, actually of world-wide renown (Vatican Museums) and I fail to recall seeing any loincloths or other censoring dating after renaissance there.

I didn't know there was a legal age for having sex either. Does that mean that i've been a criminal for several years for making out with girlfriends in highschool ?The age of consent is common knowledge. Doesn't take a lawyer to realise it.

This is a grossly incorrect generalization. In many cases, you are correct; many movies use cheap nudity as a drawing point to attract viewers; they're called "B" movies. Most studios are moving away from displaying nude scenes onscreen in their pictures because it's difficult to maintain a 14 rating with nude scenes, and a 17+ movie wont' make NEARLY as much money by alienating so much of the moviegoing audience.That's what hints are for and implied endings. Agreed, those endings aren't real porn, but it's getting around the law, anyway.

Lastly, your definition of pornography is a bit vague. Is all nudity pornography? Michelangelo's "David" should be given a loincloth so as not to offend viewers? Of course not. So having naked children is pornography? We should all lobby against diaper commercials, then; they have naked babies in them all the time. I mean, Jersey Girl had a naked baby in it... and it even showed the genitalia! Call concerned parent's groups, press those charges against Kevin Smith, and launch the lawsuits against the studios! That's underage nudity, but if that's what you call pornography, and if that's meant to elicit a "thrill" in the audience, then I guess I must be asexual or something, because it's not getting any rise out of me.If I recall correctly, I specifically stressed the "intended to arouse the audience" part. Therefore, if you claim that some nudity doesn't belong in the porn category because it is not meant to arouse the audience, you are only agreeing with what I said before. Therefore, the rest of your exclamation-heavy rant nihil ad rem attinet.

[ May 27, 2004, 20:57: Message edited by: chevalier ]

Aldeth the Foppish Idiot
Thu, 27th May '04, 10:40pm
@ Chev

So what is your take then on Lost in Translation? There is no actual nudity, but the sexual tension throughout the film is palpable. Is that also getting around the law? They don't actually ever get naked. In fact, they never do more than kiss. But the fact that you get the impression that they both WANT to - is that any better than inuendo and implied acts?

NOTE: I'm not arguing any of the points you raise incidently, I'm just trying to see the full scope of your arguement. And do you notice an increased propensity towards nudity in European films?

chevalier
Thu, 27th May '04, 10:46pm
The problem is mostly with European movies, granted. In Hollywood they depend too much on getting teen-friendly ratings. In almost all American movies you get some gratuitous copulation, but nothing all so really perverted. Yeah, it's mostly the problem of European movies.

Visualising the tension without putting in a single nude scene is a truly artful work. I haven't seen the movie, though, so I can't really say much.

In case someone (not anyone specific and surely not you, Aldeth) hasn't noticed yet, I'm talking about underaged actors and not gratuitous nudity in movies in general.

joacqin
Thu, 27th May '04, 11:35pm
Well, seeing as the age of consent in most if not all European countries is 15/16 I dont think I have ever seen a nude scene with an actor under that age. I think I have once or twice seen nudity (ie a stray nipple or somesuch) in teenage dramas but in all cases the actors were most definately over 16 and probably over 18 as well.

I am sure there exist movies which displays very young actors nude but to call it commonplace is a bit over the top. Heck, we have not even managed to scrounge up a single case as of yet in this thread and until we have I have a hard time taking this supposed problem seriously.

Shazamdude
Thu, 27th May '04, 11:59pm
I say this with the disclaimer that I am talking about North American films: if you tell me that underage nudity is more prevalent in European cinema, then I'll have to take your word for it, as I am not enough of a movie buff to follow overseas productions. As Aldeth pointed out, we don't get much in the way of European movies here in NA. I DO, however, know North American cinema:

So, in brief: in most films that are made now there are nude scenes. Incorrect, but I won't really harp on that (again), as it's not really relevant to the topic. I'll just say that if you're basing your argument on that statement, you're using a faulty premise. Not sure it's incredibly relevant, but just saying.

To address your point #2: That's sort of an offensive way to depict the movie making process. "Perverted producer"? "Selling their kid's dignity"? I sort of look at it differently: cinema is an art form, bringing a story to life visually. Sometimes that story involves either depicting underage characters in nude scenes, or as sexual objects, and in many cases it is handled in a manner meant to provoke thought and awareness of societal problems, not some cheap thrill in order to sell tickets. Some examples:

"Thirteen" starring Evan Rachel Wood. Sure, I hated it, but it made a few critics top lists, such as Entertainment Weekly. I'm not sure how old Ms. Wood is (17-18 range)but in the movie she plays a 13 year old character who begins as a nice upstanding, innocent young girl. Once she hits Jr. High in urban USA she gradually gets in with the "in" crowd through theft, drug use, and sexually provocative clothing that "everybody's wearing". In short, she's symbolic of how children are becoming more sexual objects at an early age, and the film was hailed as an intelligent piece of cinema which points to real life pressure on children to grow up too fast due to incredible peer pressure.

As previously mentioned, "Leon" or "The Professional"-- a hitman (Jean Reno) befriends a 12 year old girl (Natalie Portman) who attempts to enlist his aid in killing a corrupt police officer. Critics noted that there was noticeable sexual tension between the hitman and the young girl, with her seemingly the dominant initiator and him the recipient. This film also depicts a minor as a sexual being in an artistic manner, and turned from a cliched storyline into a fantastically interesting film because of it. Also worthy of note is that Natalie Portman doesn't seem to have suffered through any ill effects as a result, as her great success later in life will attest to.

Finally, I would be remiss if I did not mention Lolita itself, where a child is also depicted as a sexual being performing sexual acts. Controversial? Of course. Child pornography? No.

I understand that these examples do not actually contain naked underaged people (although it was mentioned that Leon did, and that it was cut). They DO, however, contain underage characters that are sexual people, which is the cause of your outrage. I use these examples to point out that your statement that such a thing is a cheap method to attract moviegoers is incorrect; these pictures are all artistic in nature, not diguised child porn as you succinctly put it in your problem #1.

I understand your point, of course, and exploiting child actors/actresses in order to generate cheap controversy is abhorrent. But you insist that it is never acceptable, and that there is no good reason to do so, and I disagree. While some films are probably little more then pornographic in nature, some are legitimate works of art produced by geniuses capable of handling such material in a sensitive and poignant manner. Things such as this should be monitored, of course, but restricting the stories producers and directors can tell because of conservatism is very close to censorship.

Pac man
Fri, 28th May '04, 12:39am
Thank you for sharing gratuitous in-depth feedback on Catholic Church to which you probably don't belong. Not many people take their priests and the Pope seriously, just some billion Catholics in the world scale. Anything to say in topic?Yeah, just that i AM catholic, but that doesn't mean i have to take anything the church says serious, does it ?

The age of consent is common knowledge. Doesn't take a lawyer to realise it.So what are you saying ? You waited until the law said you were allowed to fool around ? Gimme a break, i started fooling around when i felt i was ready for it, such decisions are not for anyone else to make.

Abomination
Fri, 28th May '04, 1:25am
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
The age of consent is common knowledge. Doesn't take a lawyer to realise it.
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So what are you saying ? You waited until the law said you were allowed to fool around ? Gimme a break, i started fooling around when i felt i was ready for it, such decisions are not for anyone else to make.Actually the decision is completely in the hands of the government to make. You agree to live in a country you agree to live by their rules, if you don't like it - leave.

---

People do seem to be straying from the question at hand here. It's about the double standards in the film industry and where the line is drawn. The law here seems pretty iffy considering toddlers and babies are able to be displayed nude during daily commercial breaks.

Pac man
Fri, 28th May '04, 3:17am
First of all, i didn't agree to live here, i happened to get born here, and i don't recall signing any terms of agreement on my first day. :D

And second, i wonder how many of you had the age of consent in mind on your first date with your girlfriend. Did anyone think of the law at that particular night, or did you just let things happen ? get real guys, we all know nobody even bothers thinking about that on such occasions. That's part of the beauty of love, it can't be restricted by any stupid rules or laws, it leads it's own life and is completely uncontrolable.

Those who have ever been in love know exactly what i mean. Age of consent my ass. Believe me, that was the last thing on my mind on my first date with a girl. And btw, i wouldn't even know what the age of consent would be here in the Netherlands.

Abomination
Fri, 28th May '04, 5:18am
First of all, you don't have to sign anything to show your agreement. It is assumed that your very presence in a country shows that you accept the laws that country upholds. I can't go on a rampant killing-spree, get arrested and expect a legal excuse to be "I didn't sign any papers stating that I wouldn't go on a killing-spree."

Second, it's not about dating or courting, it's about sexual intercourse. Of course they can't police underage people dating. Not to mention it doesn't apply if both parties are underage (I assume the age of consent is 16).

DrowLicious
Fri, 28th May '04, 5:58am
I thought Bully was hilarious!! That sex scene between that naked red-haired girl and Bully's best friend/killer was just plain silly..i mean that's some weird-ass humping! It's like they sat there talking to each other and every now and then decided to move their pelvis'. My buds and i geeked on that!

On the topic though, i never really saw much if any underage nudity in any movies. When i saw American Beauty the last thing i thought of was "is she over 18 to be showin her boobs?". Then again i was like 19 when it came out and thought they were damn nice boobs. I'm 23 now and i would still (whether proper or not) think the same. Guys are guys and we look at all girls(now im not talkin kids or anything gross like that.) All my friends are in the range of 20-23 and even though Salma Hayek get's our turbos spinnin', unfortunately so does Lindsay Lohan. We can't help it. It's natural. Unless youre into kiddie porn or something atrocious like that, i wouldn't feel too, too guilty when that Hilary Duff music video comes on and you don't change the channel right away. It's programmed in our brains like that.

Also I can't resist............(sorry Beren)
A quote from another-
"Yeah, just that i AM catholic, but that doesn't mean i have to take anything the church says serious, does it ?"

Dude, I believe in God and all, but if i were you i wouldn't take ANYTHING the Catholic church says seriously!

Hugo
Fri, 28th May '04, 12:41pm
Let's repeat what has been said -> Chevalier, I live in Europe, and like to see movies.
I haven't seen that many yet, but quite a few nonetheless.
Now can you state the titles of at least three movies that, according to you, include the problem you have.
Then, specifically indicate which scene(s) were offensive to you, and why.
Furthermore, I wish to add this: any underage ACTRESS should not be seen displaying any private parts, anything else like 'building sexual tension' is differently interpreted by everyone and thus cannot be judged on.
Also, an 18+ ACTRESS playing an underage CHARACTER shouldn't be a problem, I mean, the characters aren't real remember.
Lastly: if you really find this material offensive, don't go and see the movie; if 'offensive' material scares customers away, it cuts the profits, and NO ONE will produce it anymore because it doesn't make money

On a side note to ALL: leave religion out of this, it is :yot: and it so far has shown real potential for a flame war.

chevalier
Fri, 28th May '04, 4:33pm
First of all, one thing must be stated in order that the record can be set straight:

People don't start discussion of a subject to hear responses following the pattern of "If it offends you, ignore it". If ignoring were an option, it would have been done and the whole discussion would not have been started at all, in the first place.

Next, in this discussion I am not referring to any particular scenes that I would consider offensive to me, nor am I going to criticise any specific film. The problem is: should parents be entitled to decide for their children as to whether said children should pose naked or not. Anything else is background information or downright off-topic.

In this view, the argument:

Incorrect, but I won't really harp on that (again), as it's not really relevant to the topic. I'll just say that if you're basing your argument on that statement, you're using a faulty premise. Not sure it's incredibly relevant, but just saying.doesn't pertain to the subject. Moreover, if I state that "In most movies that are shot now there are nude scenes.", it isn't a faulty premise, as it can't be a logical claim in the formal sense. The reason is that it's unprovable - unless all movies were to be checked for nude scenes - and so it is a matter of more or less subjective observation, which in the strictest understanding of formal logic is evaluation, therefore not subject to true/false qualification. So much as it can't be proven, it can't be disproven, either.

To address your point #2: That's sort of an offensive way to depict the movie making process. "Perverted producer"? "Selling their kid's dignity"? I sort of look at it differently: cinema is an art form, bringing a story to life visually. Sometimes that story involves either depicting underage characters in nude scenes, or as sexual objects, and in many cases it is handled in a manner meant to provoke thought and awareness of societal problems, not some cheap thrill in order to sell tickets.Film producers would probably gladly support this one, but the reality is that film producers are so much selfless servants of art as politicians are selfless servants of the nation. Theory doesn't meet with practice here. The first and foremost reason why a movie is shot is money, with little exception. I'm not necessarily saying that it's bad, but movies are a business, like magazines and others. As we all know, sex sells. Sex is probably the most successful merchandise ever, followed by violence. Perversion, usually drawing from the source of widely understood violence, adds to the thrill and excitement.

The next point raised that I'm going to address is Natalie Portman. As it is suggested, she doesn't really seem to display symptoms of trauma after posing in nude scenes underaged. However, that can't be attested credibly, nor can this singular case warrant anything in general. It is still debatable if her parents should have the right to decide in this case. My position is that they shouldn't have had that right. It should be construed (!= is) as criminal offence much like with regular nude shots of kids that you can find on the internet and that are treated like criminal children pornography no matter if it's a sexual act or just a nude photo.

So what are you saying ? You waited until the law said you were allowed to fool around ? Gimme a break, i started fooling around when i felt i was ready for it, such decisions are not for anyone else to make.Sorry to disappoint you, but if you have a problem with the law, you should try asking your country's legislative body to give you a break and not me. I really don't have power over those things.

Regrettably, it seems that we won't avoid a lecture on the age of consent.

So, the age if consent is the age beginning with which a person can legally consent to have sexual intercourse or other sexual activity. There is no clear borderline and individual cases are researched by courts, taking into consideration the age of participants, the level of awareness and other circumstances. Laws don't typically refer to an adult having intercourse with a minor. Contrary, they look more like "Whoever engages in sexual activity with a minor below the age of 14/15/16/whatever, shall..." and so on.

The reason is that in most countries minors up to a specific age (not necessarily equal to legal age) can't commit a criminal offense. They can perform illegal acts like everyone else, but guilt can't be attributed and so they can't be held culpable. Therefore, criminal sanctions apply to adults having sex with minors and not to minors having sex with each other. However, sexual activity between minors is still technically illegal. This disctinction is very important and it allows courts to order measures to be taken to prevent minors from having sex with each other, especially if the parents were to request them.

The age fo consent extends to posing nude as well according to criminal laws of most countries, if not all.

Movies get away with it if they aren't intended to be pornographic as a whole. Imagine a porn movie with all actors over the age of consent except just one. I'm quite sure it would meet with all sanctions that non-pornographic movies are spared in similar cases.

On a final note (for this point), minors of the age of consent but below the legal age are still not on their own. Parents have constitutional (in most countries) right to bring them up according to their own (the parents') moral, ethical and otherwise beliefs. So, the parents still have something to say in the matter of their children's sexual conduct.

Dude, I believe in God and all, but if i were you i wouldn't take ANYTHING the Catholic church says seriously!Thank you, too, for gratuitous feedback on the Catholic Church, but I would really appreciate something more in-topic. If the Catholic Church bothers you so much, perhaps you should start a discussion.

joacqin
Fri, 28th May '04, 4:49pm
If we are to talk about whether it is right for parents decide if their children should pose nude in a movie I think we need an example when that has happened. Debating a phenomena like this without knowing whether it exists or not is kinda hard

Aldeth the Foppish Idiot
Fri, 28th May '04, 11:13pm
It is still debatable if her parents should have the right to decide in this case. My position is that they shouldn't have had that right. Then who should have had the right? The child? I see your point in this, that greedy parents would exploit their children to make money, but what if the situation was reversed? What if the parents DIDN'T want the child to pose nude, but the child did? In that case would you still say it's OK? Isn't one of the responsibilities of parenthood to use good judgement in your child's well-being?

I don't know if you can just say that parents shouldn't have the right to decide, because then the opposite arguement would come up. If parents can't allow their children to pose nude, then the parents also can't prevent them from doing so either.

chevalier
Sat, 29th May '04, 12:51am
I addressed the reverse situation a few posts up IIRC.

Then who should have had the right? The child?I see the logic behind this, but as I see, you're starting from the assumption that someone has to have this right. This assumption necessitates a prior assumption that the right has to be there. Which is not necessarily true.

If parents can't allow their children to pose nude, then the parents also can't prevent them from doing so either.Not necessarily true. If the child can't make decisions for himself, then either parental consent is needed or the decision is not to be made until the child grows up to the legal age for the decision in question.

For instance, children can't marry below a certain age no matter what the parents say. Granted, with parental consent they can typically marry earlier than legal age, but a certain barrier is in place.

The same way does the age of consent work. Younger than age of consent? So no nude shots and case closed.

Before you raise the problem of infants: depends if they are presented as sexual objects. Same to all minors anyway, actually. Nude bodies of teenagers just have to be in medical manuals, don't they?

Pac man
Sat, 29th May '04, 9:43am
Thank you, too, for gratuitous feedback on the Catholic Church, but I would really appreciate something more in-topic. If the Catholic Church bothers you so much, perhaps you should start a discussion.This IS in-topic feedback. I'm sorry mate, but you started a very touchy topic here, and if the discussion somewhere faded to the catholic church, and you have a problem with it, you'd better prepare for other diversions. This subject can go in a lot of different directions, simply because it's a complex subject. If some parts of the feedback you got so far are not what you'd like to hear, then maybe you should reconsider starting such discussions in the future.

Abomination
Sat, 29th May '04, 11:25am
Pac-Man! This has nothing to do with the Catholic Church! The Churches don't make laws, let alone the Catholic Church.

Back on topic...

Parents' are allowed to make their children pose nude unless the child objects. It's simply like marriage, both parties have to agree to get married and the state has to recognise it. In this case, both parties (the parents and the child) both have to agree and the child must be over the age of consent if they are to be portreyed in a sexual manner.

Shazamdude
Sat, 29th May '04, 2:51pm
Next, in this discussion I am not referring to any particular scenes that I would consider offensive to me, nor am I going to criticise any specific film. The problem is: . Anything else is background information or downright off-topic. So when people provide examples of underage nudity portrayed in a tasteful manner, it doesn't matter to you, as it is merely "background information" and "off topic?" Not only that, but you are not required to provide examples of underage nudity in films: keep in mind, nobody here seems to be able to think of an example of such an instance in a film. See, my problem here is that since you don't provide any examles, you're simply talking about a completely theoretical situation, since you haven't proven that such things DO take place. You aren't trying to prove your standpoint, and when I present examples to disprove your standpoint, you're dismissing it as irrelevant and off-topic, which really violates the spirit of the entire discussion.

To address your question of "should parents be entitled to decide for their children as to whether said children should pose naked or not": by "decide" do you mean "force", as in should parents be allowed to force children to do nude scenes against their will? Worded that way, of course not, but again this begs the question: does this actually occur in any medium other then illegal underground pornography? Again, you haven't managed to prove that it does, and don't seem interested in doing so, despite many people commenting on how difficult it is to debate a topic with no examples and no hard definitions.

The first and foremost reason why a movie is shot is money, with little exception Again, a blatantly incorrect statement. I'm sure that we all agree that cinema is an art form, and that those who create movies are artists. So by extending your logic, the main reason that any artist produces a work of art is for financial gain. Can anybody actually say that with a straight face? Off the top of my head, I can think of a few dozen movies where the main purpose was most certainly NOT to make money. Bowling for Columbine, Adaptation (too weird to be marketable), Lost In Translation (ditto, and with limited release as well), Thirteen (limited release) are just a few examples. These films are meant to be artistic, and/or to bring attention to a particular topic. These are prestiege films, not to be confused with hollywood blockbusters in the vein of Spiderman and The Matrix. Is money A reason to release them? Of course, but it isn't the MAIN reason, or even a major reason. Some, and I'll say a great many, films exist as an artistic vision of the director (somebody can correct me if I'm wrong, but the producers don't have nearly as much to do with the actual content of the film as the director) who is interested in telling a story.

How is this on topic? Well, as I've said, many movies exist to tell a story, and for some stories, underage nude scenes may be necessary for whatever reason. If such a thing is tastefully handled, then I have no problem with it.

Note that I'm not exactly answering your question of whether parents should be able to decide if children should act in these scenes or not. The reason for this is I feel that you've squirreled the question into a form that is easiest for you to answer without actually having to uphold your point of view. I am instead choosing to address the question of "Should underage nude scenes be allowed in films".

chevalier
Sat, 29th May '04, 3:36pm
So when people provide examples of underage nudity portrayed in a tasteful manner, it doesn't matter to you, as it is merely "background information" and "off topic?"Any example to anything ever is background information as, by definition, the purpose of example is to illustrate. You've also twisted the logical operator here, it was OR and not AND. I do trust you didn't do that deliberately so as to suit your needs in the discussion.

Not only that, but you are not required to provide examples of underage nudity in films: keep in mind, nobody here seems to be able to think of an example of such an instance in a film.Firstly, scroll up.

Secondly, you provide such examples yourself down there in your post. As you, obviously, are a part of everybody, then it's not true that everybody is unable to provide an example. Conversely, it's not true that nobody is able to think of such an example. You blatantly contradict yourself.

See, my problem here is that since you don't provide any examles, you're simply talking about a completely theoretical situation, since you haven't proven that such things DO take place.I don't need to prove common knowledge any more than I need to prove France is in Europe or grass is green (edit: green, damn it; the red thing was something else and I hurried too much).

You aren't trying to prove your standpoint, and when I present examples to disprove your standpoint, you're dismissing it as irrelevant and off-topic, which really violates the spirit of the entire discussion.You didn't suppose I would agree on this one, did you...

To address your question of "should parents be entitled to decide for their children as to whether said children should pose naked or not": by "decide" do you mean "force", as in should parents be allowed to force children to do nude scenes against their will?To decide for someone means to make the choice in that person's place.

Again, you haven't managed to prove that it does, and don't seem interested in doing soThe former was discussed to death up there (scroll up) and the latter is correct for obvious reasons.

Again, a blatantly incorrect statement. I'm sure that we all agree that cinema is an art form, and that those who create movies are artists.Idealistic, spirited, but wrong. First of all, opinion is not a statement. Next, opinion cannot be correct or not in the logical sense (that you use here). So it's quite empty what you say.

Next, so much as you are sure that "we all agree that [...] those who create movies are artists", you're also wrong. Why? Because I am a part of "we all" and I don't agree (not all people who make decisions in movie business are artists). ERGO: it's not true that we all agree...

I don't suppose I need to tell you that being sure is no proof, either.

So by extending your logic, the main reason that any artist produces a work of art is for financial gainNice try, but no logical backing. Since when are films all art and film business people are "any artist"?

Off the top of my head, I can think of a few dozen movies where the main purpose was most certainly NOT to make moneyPlease pay attention when you read the quotes you refer to. I said "with little exception", which is not equal to "without exception".

Of course, but it isn't the MAIN reason, or even a major reason.I don't suppose many people would agree that earning money isn't a major reason for making a movie.

Of course, but it isn't the MAIN reason, or even a major reason. Some, and I'll say a great many, films exist as an artistic vision of the director (somebody can correct me if I'm wrong, but the producers don't have nearly as much to do with the actual content of the film as the director) who is interested in telling a story.In some cases it's true, but again, spirited idealism is not compatible with business. While the producer has less contact with the actual content than the director, it's the producer who has more to say and who makes decisions: simply, he's the guy in charge. The producer has a media company to care about and that company has stockholder value to care about. If the company is to make millions, the movies are to bring those millions to stockholders. The movie has to sell.

If we, however, take an independent director or a producer who doesn't have to care about profitability, it doesn't get much better. Sure, it gets more artistic, but here attention and fame supplants financial gain.

So, ultimately, it's always showing underaged nudity for the movie maker's personal gain.

How is this on topic? Well, as I've said, many movies exist to tell a story, and for some stories, underage nude scenes may be necessary for whatever reason.However, the story's needs don't justify everything and they certainly don't place anyone above the law. The age of consent and the legal age are not to be taken freely and it's not a relic of some ancient morality that is out of touch with reality now. They are there for specific reasons. Simply: people below a certain age are not to be considered sex objects.

Plus, they can always get a double or make a plastic doll. They can always get a 18 or 19 year old that looks less. For static scenes they don't need a real person even, and a doll will do.

If such a thing is tastefully handled, then I have no problem with it.From the point of view of the audience, perhaps yes. But from the point of view of the audience and the needs of the story, anything that looks like a live teen body will do and there's no need for a live actor.

The reason for this is I feel that you've squirreled the question into a form that is easiest for you to answer without actually having to uphold your point of view.Thanks for feedback. Feel free to PM me if you have more.

I am instead choosing to address the question of "Should underage nude scenes be allowed in films".Will do as well if we consider the age of the actor and not the age of the character.

The age of nude characters is a separate problem and an even more controversial one. However, so long as it's only the problem of characters and not the actors, I agree with most of what you say, provided this reservation is made.

[ May 30, 2004, 16:18: Message edited by: chevalier ]

Vukodlak
Sun, 30th May '04, 5:04pm
I am a bit confused here. Surely this isn't a gray area?

If the age of consent is defined by the law and child pornography is again, defined as illegal, I assume there must also be a legal definition of the term itself? Onwards, the only example provided so far of this wide-spread and 'common knowledge' phenomenon is American Beauty. Since it was allowed, I am assumning that the scene in question does not fall under the legal definition of 'child pornography'.

Can someone please provide a workable definition before we continue?

Oh and BTW:
I don't need to prove common knowledge any more than I need to prove France is in Europe or grass is red.
Grass being red is presumably from the same school of common knowledge as the wide-spread child nudity in today's cinema?

chevalier
Sun, 30th May '04, 5:16pm
Errr... right, I was tired and thinking both about grass being green and something obviously red being obviously red. Somehow I managed to make up one thing of both. I'll edit that part. Sorry for all confusion. The error was quite obvious, though, and sarcastic comments weren't needed, nor do they look so witty as intended. Carry on the discussion, please.

Vukodlak
Sun, 30th May '04, 6:14pm
Well, no, actually I think that's a very good example. Sorry if the sarcasam sounded too harsh, let me explain what I mean:

If somebody came to me, and asked me to offer him a reasonable scientific explanation as to why grass was red, I could probably come up with a workable hypothesis. However, before I did this, it is not unreasonable to suppose that I might go over a few fields and verify the consistency of the starting statement. If I couldn't find any red grass I would ask the person in question to provide some so that I can examine it...

I have watched a fair amount of movies and cannot say that I have noticed an overall prevailing trend for nudity in films these days, and CERTAINLY not underage nudity. The reason I wished you cited a few examples is that I (and seemingly noboody else here) has noticed this worrying trend...

However, I do think you raise an interesting point about who gets to decide what the kid does (quite unrelated to any nudity/porn/ random moral outrage). There seems to be a large number of child actors, who, having known fame and riches since an early age essentially waste a large part of their lives. And it does seem that some of them were pushed into it all, without concern for their own well-being, by their parents. Apart from film (e.g. Macauly Culkin) this trend does seem to occur in other areas where the child can earn money and fame from an early age (Michael Jackson, Mary Pierce, Jelena Dokic were all pushed ruthlessly into their respective carreers by their parents). And, even though the acticvities they were driven to were in no way illegal or immoral the child still suffered... The moral outrage should really come from the fact that these kids were forced into things they didn't necesserily want to do.

Incidentally, as for our only working example so far, I remember reading an interview wih Thora Birch about American Beauty. Not only were her parents on set, but a social worker as well. It really seems that her interests were fairly well protected. Much more so than if she had been forced to play tennis since being a toddler by a mad father...

ejsmith
Sun, 30th May '04, 8:07pm
Underaged pr0n? Where!?

Seriously, though, I've not noticed anything. Our Mormons in Utah, along with reliable old Hatch, would raise all kinds of Cain.

Is it just a European thing? What's consent in Spain? Like, 12 or something? Isn't Australia trying to pass that "Grass on the Field" law?

chevalier
Sun, 30th May '04, 8:55pm
The age of consent in Spain is 14.

@Vukodlak: well, then, I suppose I owe you some explanation:

When I was speaking about a prevailing trend, I didn't have underaged nude scenes on my mind. Actually, what I said wasn't very important for the discussion, it was background information and I referred to the fact that most movies have at least one scene of sex or something close and a few gratuitous showings of private parts.

In no place did I say that underaged nudity was that trend. No, underaged nudity is just a part of that trend and I mentioned it to stress that nudity is there for the movie to sell better simply because the audience wants to see it. In this sense, nudity might still be some form of artistic expression, but the primary purpose would be making more profit from arousing the audience for a little while. Following that, excuses like "artistic" wouldn't apply to underaged nude scenes in movies, even if they work, to some extent, for more private forms of art - ie ones that don't involve crowds of people watching and associating the scene with a specific name as shown in the credits.

Rastor
Sun, 30th May '04, 10:14pm
I didn't know there was a legal age for having sex either. Does that mean that i've been a criminal for several years for making out with girlfriends in highschool ? I agree. Chevalier, you have argued about the age of consent and stated that technically having sex under that age is illegal. Furthermore, you have said that all countries have what you described. The United States does not. The law here states that it is legal to have sex at any age, but if you are under 16 then your partner must be within four years of you. That does not fall into your definition of "age of consent."

I referred to the fact that most movies have at least one scene of sex or something close and a few gratuitous showings of private parts.I would disagree with you there. Many times the actors or actresses will object to the scene or the scene will be cut because it makes absolutely no sense given the overall plot of the movie.

Do you still object to teen actresses being nude in a movie if only the people on the set (not the audience) see that nudity? You've changed your objections to the extent that I do not believe that people even know what you are attempting to debate.