What do you think about this issue: should we, as Orthodox Christians, absolutely avoid graphic, sexually explicit scenes even if they are in good, interesting, worthy motion pictures?
I am thinking about this because just yesterday night, Lesya and I saw Bernardo Bertolucci's "Last Tango in Paris." We both liked this 1972 film tremendously: it has a very unusual, deeply tragic plot; it is masterfully made, and the acting of the actors who played the three main characters, Marlon Brando, Maria Schneider, and Jean-Pierre Léaud, is superb. But there are some rather graphic episodes where raw, violent, brutal sex is shown rather explicitly, "naturalistically." (We saw an American R-rated version, which is shorter than the original European version, rated X in the USA and therefore impossible to get via Netflix; but even in the "softened" American version there was still a lot of that stuff.)
I know for sure that if I deliberately look at pornographic images (for example, buy a porno magazine, view pornographic Web sites, etc.), then I am committing a sin. But what about looking at images that can hardly be, technically, called anything but "pornographic," if these images are "woven" into the texture of an interesting, complex, thoughtful piece of art such as Bertolucci's "Last Tango?"
Thank you for your thoughts!