10 Most Controversial Sex Scenes Ever

7. Irreversible

Gaspar Noe's 2002 non-linear film starring Monica Bellucci, Vincent Cassel and Albert Dupontel is another that polarized critics, compelling some to call it an artistic triumph and others to be flat out disgusted by its content. It is certainly a brave film - a vengeance tale told in reverse that, according to Roger Ebert forces us to evaluate the vengeance more deeply because of the non-linear presentation. And it courted controversy in two extreme scenes - the first being the murder of the unnamed acquaintance of the real rapist le Tenia - and the second the rape of Bellucci's Alex. Why So Controversial? The rape scene that is central to the film's narrative is deeply affecting, and extremely graphic - and there seems to be some sort of disturbing glee in the way the film explores its content - and the subject matter alone would have been enough to qualify for this sort of list. But there is something deeper about the scene that angered some critics: the apparent homophobia directed towards le Tenia, who inexplicably rapes Alex despite being gay. That argument misses the point that rape is not inherently linked to sexuality - it is rather a matter of power and degradation - and NoƩ vehemently denied that his film was homophobic, but that didn't dilute any of the controversy attached to the infamous scene.
Posted On: 

WhatCulture's former COO, veteran writer and editor.