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Desmond Morris' The Human Sexes.

Desmond Morris' The Human Sexes

BMG Video / six casettes / 300 minutes / $89.98

Woody Allen once directed and starred in a movie provocatively titled "Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex (but Were Afraid to Ask)." He was only kidding, but zoologist Desmond Morris, in this five-hour video exploration of sexual mores and behavior, is serious--mostly.

Morris careens around the world with his camera crew, peering into the sex lives of various cultures, imparting much scientific and sociological information, but, at the same time, displaying almost a prurient, lip-smacking satisfaction with his task. With abundant flesh filling the screen to keep viewers' interest, he delves into the differences between the sexes and how they evolved; courtship and body language; mating rituals and marriage; monogamy and polygamy; the maternal instinct; and the long-running battle between the sexes, historically and in today's contentious, politically correct world.

The indefatigable Morris leads viewers in a dizzying sprint from country to country, focusing inordinately on the bizarre, as he strives to get his message across--basically, that sex makes the world go `round. The video is best savored one or two casettes at a time to avoid sensory overload. Watching it in a concentrated burst and dwelling on how many thousands of feet of film he shot en route, one can't help but wonder why the same scenes keep cropping up from casette to casette. After a while, the Turkish wrestlers covering their bodies with cooking oil and the topless bathers emerging from the sea begin to become overly familiar. Nevertheless, Morris' peripatetic journey through the mating habits of Earth's denizens more often is fascinating and informative than not. Far from a ponderous documentary, this is pop sociology at its finest.
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Copyright 1999 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Review
Publication:USA Today (Magazine)
Article Type:Video Recording Review
Date:Jan 1, 1999
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