This documentary explores the history of nudity in film

“Everybody’s naked, and they’re TOUCHING each other!”

by Jenna Mahale
09 July 2020, 10:22am

Still from American Pie

How does it feel to have the whole world discussing what’s wrong with your body in excruciating detail? Not great, one would imagine. But for the actors on the forefront of baring it all, the answer is more complicated than you might think.

In an upcoming documentary called Skin: A History of Nudity, the evolving standards and consequences around on-screen nudity are taken apart through a series of talking heads with American Pie’s Shannon Elizabeth, Foxy Brown’s Pam Grier, and Clueless director Amy Heckerling, as well as other Hollywood alums.

The film calls itself the “definitive documentary” on the history of Hollywood nudity, from the silent movie era through to the present day “examining the changes in morality that led to the use of nudity in films while emphasising the political, sociological and artistic changes that shaped this rich history.” The documentary aims to shed light on the cultural climate around nude scenes, looking into how actors have been empowered by, but also exploited for, their bodies.

The official synopsis goes on to explain how the film will address the gender bias around nudity in cinema, and “follow the revolution that has pushed for gender equality in feature films today”, culminating in a discussion of nude scenes in the #MeToo era. Come for the spice, stay for the social analysis!

Skin: A History of Nudity, in all its naked glory, will be available on digital and VOD on 18 August.