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Culture

Berlinale Shows Off Sexy Side

Forget the chilly temperatures -- this year's Berlinale is sizzling with sex appeal, both on and off screen.

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A steamy moment from Taiwan's contribution "The Wayward Cloud"

At last year's Berlin film festival, the star of the winning film "Head On" -- Sibel Kekilli -- created a furore when it emerged that she'd previously acted in porn films. This year, the festival got straight to the point, making sex -- and porn -- one of its main themes. "Sex sells," said festival director, Dieter Kosslick. And this year, there's so much of it on offer that one local tabloid dubbed the festival the "Sexinale." A round-up of the sexiest moments at the Berlinale:

The Films

Berlinale Film Inside Deep Throat

"Deep Throat" made porn mainstream

Much of what's getting everyone hot and bothered at the Berlinale is happening on the big screen. One of the most anticipated films was "Inside Deep Throat," a documentary about the making of one of the most commercially successful films ever, the 1972 US film "Deep Throat." The film's late-night screening was completely sold out, and was accompanied by more than the usual amount of pushing and shoving when the doors opened.

The porn theme continues with German director Jochen Hick's "Cycles of Porn - Sex/Life in LA Part 2," which tracks a group of young gay actors hoping for stardom in the porn industry, and also examines how the Internet has taken over the sex business.

Berlinale Film That Man Peter Berlin

"That Man: Peter Berlin"

Another film in a special Panorama section entitled "Sex and Gender" is "That Man: Peter Berlin," which looks at the self-made success of the eponymous 1970s gay porn icon.

Competing for the Golden Bear is "Tian bian yi duo yun (The Wayward Cloud)" a Taiwanese film about a romance between a woman and a man who is pursuing a career as porn actor. Its many explicit sex scenes caused nervous tittering during the screening, which most will remember for the moment in which a watermelon loses its innocence.

Also in competition is "Kinsey," in which Liam Neeson plays the pioneering and controversial American sex researcher, Alfred C. Kinsey.

The Events

Off-screen, French director Catherine Breillat -- notorious for sex scenes that critics say border on pornography -- gave a seminar on "ways of directing intimacy for the screen" for the young filmmakers attending the festival's Talent Campus. The title of Breillat's seminar, "Directing Sex," was provocative enough to ensure a packed-out venue.

The Pop Star

Sexy singer George Michael, who's often raised the ire of conservative groups with suggestive songs such as "Freeek!" and "I Want Your Sex" stopped by the Berlinale to introduce a new documentary about his life. "A Different Story" is a candid look at the singer's career, his sexuality, and the various ups and downs that accompanied record releases as well as long periods of silence. "I thought I should explain myself before I disappear," Michael said.

The Jury

Berlinale Eröffnung Bai Ling Jury

Jury member Bai Ling

When it comes to sex appeal, one jury member has definitely stolen the show. Although Chinese actress Bai Ling claims to have brought a pant suit with her to Berlin, it has yet to emerge on the red carpet. Instead, Ling has been braving the below-zero temperatures in one revealing ensemble after another, proving she's just as skilled at headline-grabbing as she is in the many uses of double-sided tape.

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