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Score: Not Just Another Dirty Movie

Travis Mathews’ I Want Your Love earned praise at Outfest 2012 for skillfully mixing engaging drama with moments of explicit sexuality, but there was a moment in American cinema in which it seemed natural that sex scenes would enhance and advance a story in the same way that a musical number could. During that early-1970s era of “porno chic,” perhaps no film featured carnality as skillfully and as passionately as Radley Metzger’s Score. And certainly no other movie of the period was as sexually eclectic — straight sex and lesbian sex, then as now, were frequently featured on the big screen, but SCORE dared to include a sequence of gay lovemaking as well, featuring future queer erotica stars Casey Donovan (billed here under his real name, Calvin Culver) and Gerald Grant.

But Score isn’t just about sex; it’s a funny, naughty tale (written by Jerry Douglas, based on his off-Broadway hit play) about two married couples exploring the outer reaches of their relationships and discovering that both repression and hedonism have their limits. It’s that rare film in which people talk about sex with the same enthusiasm with which they participate in it, and one that assumes audiences can handle two men getting together as part of a full buffet of sensuality. (Of course, the man-on-man scene was cut from many early prints and went unseen for decades — we are thrilled to be able to present director Metzger’s original, uncut version.)

In an era when sexuality becomes ever more rare in the movies — it’s easier to get an R rating for violence than for sex, after all — Score takes us back to a time when just about everything between consenting adults seemed both exciting and possible.

Screening on April 3 at 7:00 p.m. at the Downtown Independent. Get your tickets here

By Alonso Duralde, Outfest Senior Programmer