Reel Blog

No shame in NC-17: Ang Lee

Ang Lee spoke up on the NC-17 rating attached to his new erotic thriller Lust, Caution (AP via L.A. Times) :

 “In the past, NC-17 movies were equated with pornographic movies. Most movie theaters don’t show them,” Lee said after arriving to attend the Venice Film Festival, where “Lust, Caution” is competing for the top Golden Lion prize.

“We hope to send the message in the U.S. that NC-17 is a respectable category and that it’s not pornography. It’s just unsuitable for children,” Lee said. The NC-17 rating bans viewers under 17.

A neat summing up of NATO’s goal for NC-17. An effective and credible rating system needs to make use of all the ratings. For that to work, serious film-makers need to take  NC-17 seriously. Let’s hope Lee’s forthright description of the rating will lead others to do the same. Then, perhaps, we won’t have to read about movies being “slapped,” ‘hit,” or “branded” with a particular rating. Nor will we have to read about “censors” who have deemed a movie “too hot” or “too sexy” or too anything for U.S. audiences.

It’s just unsuitable for children.