India long famed as the land of the Kamasutra, an ancient Hindu text with detailed intricate sex positions is also the place where the topic of sex and sexuality is often considered taboo. Even when we do end up seeing depictions of it in popular culture, it operates from a largely male voyeuristic gaze where women are either temptresses and seductresses, hungry for sexual intimacy or we see them as too prudish, coy, and unwilling to give in to the sexual advances of men. The erotic and adult film industry also mostly operates in the purview of this limited scope of sex and sexuality, even when they do end up breaking free from these tropes, the relentless restrictions of the censorship board, as well as collective imaginings of a patriarchal heteronormative regressive society, make it hard for closer to reality films to get a chance as was the case with Deepa Mehta’s 1996 erotic romantic drama film Fire.
While the Indian erotic and adult film industry is problematic, to say the least, the movie posters for these films are marvels in themselves. With suggestive poses to implicit sexual messaging, they try to lure audiences while escaping the rather long banning hands of the censorship and advertising boards. Here are some interesting erotic film posters you should check out.
I. Garam Bazaar (2000)
Starring Miss Bharthi in the lead role, the movie poster for Garam Bazaar is a rather example of the suggestive poses and titillating messaging that was a part of old adult or erotic film posters. Since the censorship board of India had many guidelines and restrictions in place, the advertising for the films had to take place in a manner that would lure the audience but not get the advertising for the film banned. The actual surviving Bollywood adult film poster that was initially printed and circulated for the film ended up going unused and is available for sale at the Bollywood Movie Posters website.
II. Jawani Ke Sapne (1992)
Directed in 1992 by Vinayaan, the Indian erotica movie had a rather suggestive poster with a photographic still from the film where the hero, a naked man is laying on his back atop a naked woman as he plays the flute. While the poster never ended up being used for the publicity of the film, the actual surviving Bollywood adult film poster is also available for sale at Bollywood movie posters site. What is rather strange and interesting about this particular poster is how it is missing the accredited ‘A’ adult rating for the film which is otherwise prominent on most adult film posters.
III. Kama Sutra- A Tale Of Love (1996)
A seductive tale of forbidden love, the Indian historical erotic romance film was co-written, co-produced, and directed by the critically acclaimed Mira Nair. Much like the film’s handling of sex and sexuality, the poster of the film with its dominant red hues also exhibits the overwhelming sense of sensuality and passion that drives the film’s plot.
IV. Utsav (1984)
Produced by Shashi Kapoor, the movie is an adaptation of the Sanskrit drama Mrichchhakatika and has Rekha playing the part of a temptress. At the time of its release, it garnered a lot of praise for its depiction of sensuality, sexuality, and seduction. Since the film came out in the 80s and is based on a Sanskrit drama, the movie poster while not explicitly provocative relies on the sensuality that its leading lady oozes as well as on the implicit sexual tension between the two leading actors of the film.
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