DAILY NEWS: Artisan Backs Unrated "Requiem"; San Sebastian Lineup Shaping Up
by Eugene Hernandez and Anthony Kaufman/indieWIRE
>> MPAA Upholds NC-17 Rating for Aronofsky's "Requiem for a Dream"; Artisan Stands Behind Film and Will Release Film Unrated
(indieWIRE/ 8.25.00) -- Yesterday afternoon in a prepared
statement, Artisan Entertainment confirmed that it will release
Darren Aronofsky's second film, "Requiem for a Dream," unrated
following the Motion Picture Association of America's (MPAA)
decision to uphold its NC-17 rating of the film. Earlier this
week, Aronofsky and Artisan appealed the rating, but the MPAA
stood firm, complaining of the film's sexual content.
Discussing a "wave of conservativism," in a conversation with
indieWIRE, filmmaker Aronofsky explained, "The MPAA has a place
in the world, but definitely has to be re-thought. It is being
run by people who really dont know what the pulse is and where
people's minds are right now."
"Despite the MPAA's denial of the studio's appeal to the NC-17
rating for 'Requiem for a Dream', Artisan Entertainment continues
to stand behind Darren, his work and the final cut of the film,"
commented Artisan Entertainment CEO Amir Malin in a
The MPAA apparently objected to the film's climax which
includes a fast-paced montage of images, including sexually
suggestive subject matter. The film depicts the downward spiral
for a group of drug-addicted characters portrayed by Jared Leto,
Jennifer Connelly, Ellen Burstyn, and Marlon Wayans.
"The film was always designed to culminate in a two minute
avalance of sounds images and ideas," Aronofsky told indieWIRE,
"I wanted to create a punk movie and I wanted to bombard the
audience with an intense roller coaster ride."
"Artisan maintains that the ruling is not appropriate, especially
when one considers the sexual images that appear in other R, and
even PG-13 rated movies as well as the context in which the sexual
scenes in question are portrayed within 'Requiem for a Dream' --
the scenes are not gratuitous, appear very briefly and are key to
the character's physical and more importantly, psychological
"Artisan Entertainment will release 'Requiem for a Dream' unrated
in order to protect Darren's creative vision and to allow audiences
to view the film as it was originally intended," stated Malin in the
prepared statement yesterday.
The decision to release the movie unrated will certainly challenge
the film's theatrical release, however it is less of a curse than
the dreaded 'NC-17' rating. Some movie theaters will not screen
NC-17 rated films and some traditional media outlets, including
local newspapers, will not run advertisements for movies with
the rating. Unrated films have more flexibility, but are still
challenged in the marketplace, forcing the distributor to rely on
alternative means of advertising and an extra publicity push
(clearly matters that Artisan and the team behind "Requiem" are
quite familiar with).
"I have always wanted to make films that work for teenagers and
young adults, as well as older adults," explained Aronofsky, who
says he was inspired by friends who were junkies when he was a
teenager. "A lot of people don't know that scenes like this are
happening every day in America."
RELATED ARTICLES @ indieWIRE.com:
+ (Jun 29, 1999) SET VISIT: Last Exit to Success, Aronofsky
Returns with "Requiem"
+ (Aug 16, 1999) EDITORIAL: Is the 'A' Rating Only a Thing of
>> 48th San Sebastian Film Festival Lineup Shaping Up
(indieWIRE/ 8.24.00) -- (indieWIRE/ 8.25.00) -- Basque filmmaking up-and-comer Alex de la Iglesia ("Day of the Beast") will open the 48th edition of the Donostia-San Sebastian International Film Festival (Sept 21-30) with his new feature "La Comunidad" ("Commenwealth"), described by the director as "a crazy drama of black humor and neighbourhood terror." It is the first time a local film has opened the Spanish fest since 1992.
Along with Iglesia, the festival will showcase a batch of young
turks vying for attention in its New Directors competition, whose
winner will walk away with 20 million pesetas (approximately
$145,000). On Thursday, the festival announced the new directors
line-up, with several Spanish, German, and French entries competing
in both the Official and Zabaltegi-New Directors (for first and
second time filmmakers) sections.
Actor-turned-director Jean Marc-Barr ("Zentropa"), together with
co-director Pascal Arnold, brings "Too Much Flesh," their second
feature after "Lovers," starring Rosanna Arquette and Elodie
Bouchez, about a married man who discovers his sexuality with a
foreigner. German director Esther Gronenbom will screen her
"Alaska.de" in the Official Selection, about two teenagers
caught up in a story of love and death, after premiering in Toronto.
The single U.S. entry in the race is Mia Trachinger's LAIFF and
Toronto selection, "Bunny."
Spanish films include Antonio Aloy's Spanish-U.S. co-production
"El Celo" ("Presence of Mind"), starring Sadie Frost, Lauren Bacall,
Harvey Keitel and Jude Law; Salvador Garcia Ruiz's Official
Competition selection "El Otro Barrio" ("The Other Side"); and
Juan Vicente Cordoba's "Aunque Tu No Lo Sepas ("What You Never
Knew"), starring Spanish notable Silvia Munt ("Secrets of the Heart"),
among several others.
From Italy, "Pizzicata" director Edoardo Winspeare returns with
"Sangue Vivo" to tell the tragic tale of two brothers and the
rhythms of the tarantella. Other films from Korea, Brazil, and
Switzerland will also screen.
Last year, action in San Sebastian consisted of the acquisition of
Christine Andreef's "Soft Fruit" by Fox Searchlight, the premiere
of Fernando Trueba's "The Girl of Your Dreams," buzz on films
like John-Luke Montias' Amer-indie "Bobby G. Can't Swim," and
Norwegian director Karin Julsurd's "Bloody Angels" (now gaining
dust in USA Films' vaults) and prizes to Zhang Yang's "Shower"
and Laurent Cantet's "Human Resources."
Films previously announced as part of San Sebastian's program
include the premiere of Goya Award-winning director Imanol
Uribe's "Plenilunio" (screening out of competition), and a
series of highly-regarded films handpicked from other festivals,
such as program opener "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," from Ang
Lee, and the closer, "The Road Home," from Zhang Yimou. Others include Georgian director Nana Djordjadze's "Summer or 27 Missing Kisses," Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's "Amores Perros," Tran Anh Hung's "A La Verticale De L'Ete," Agnes Jaoui's "Le Gout des Autres,"
Neil LaBute's "Nurse Betty," Julian Schnabel's "Before Night Falls," and Liv Ullman's "Faithless," among others.
This year, San Sebastian also celebrates the 15th anniversary
of the Velodrome, a 3000-seat theater with special screenings
including Bernardo Bertolucci's "1900," John Waters' "Cecil B.
Demented," and Bryan Singer's "X-Men." The Festival's complete
line-up will be announced during the first week of September.
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