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FALL SNEAKS | THEMES: NUDITY

They come to the set ready to take it all off

September 10, 2006|Susan King | Times Staff Writer

THE script called for actor Jason Statham to bare all in a bustling Chinatown mall for a scene in the L.A.-centric thriller "Crank," which opened this month. "It was a little unnerving," the British actor admitted, "because there were 200 people looking at your pasty white bum. I said, 'Oh my God, what am I doing?' "

He wore only a bit more -- a flapping hospital gown -- during another sequence in which he is being chased on a motorcycle. (He plays a poisoned hit man who must keep his adrenaline pumping to stay alive long enough to take his revenge.)

Statham is just one of many performers taking it off for the cameras this fall. While PG-13 movies ruled the summer ("Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest" and "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby"), more adult R-rated films are permeating the multiplex over the next few months:

"Sherrybaby": Maggie Gyllenhaal, who was free and easy with her clothes in 2002's "Secretary," bares her breasts and more in the gritty drama about a former drug addict recently released from prison as she tries to reconcile with her young daughter. Opened Friday.

"The Last Kiss": The comedy-drama penned by Oscar-winner Paul Haggis ("Crash") showcases several of the cast members as they shed their clothing in often-explicit love scenes involving, among others, "Scrubs" star Zach Braff and "The O.C." vixen Rachel Bilson. Opens Friday.

"Confetti": In this British mockumentary, three couples compete in a wedding-magazine contest in which they must throw the most original nuptials of the year. One of the couples are naturalists, which is to say they spend most of the film naked. (Other members of their nudist camp include several surprisingly spry senior citizens.) In the finale, an unexpected couple throws caution to the wind -- along with their clothing -- and joins in the naturalists' ceremony. Opens Friday.

"Last King of Scotland": The drama about infamous Ugandan dictator Idi Amin (played by Forest Whitaker) includes a graphic love scene between Amin's Scottish doctor (James McAvoy) and one of Amin's wives (Kerry Washington). Opens Sept. 27.

"Little Children": Kate Winslet -- no stranger to nudity ("Titanic," "Holy Smoke") -- appears in the buff yet again in this disturbing drama. Winslet plays an unhappily married wife and mother who enters into a hot and heavy affair -- their first encounter is on a washing machine -- with an equally discontented husband and father (Patrick Wilson) she meets at the playground. Opens Oct. 6.

"Shortbus": Writer-director-actor John Cameron Mitchell follows up his indie hit "Hedwig and the Angry Inch" with this dramedy about a group of New Yorkers who gather at an underground performance art/sex salon where anything goes. Sex -- of many explicit varieties -- is at the center of the characters' search for connection, and though the film's sensibility is more art house than porn house, some critics have declared the movie pornographic. Opens Oct. 6.

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susan.king@latimes.com

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