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Show Time For "Lolita"

Show Time For "Lolita"

by Mark Rabinowitz

Showtime has picked up all U.S. distribution rights to the Adrian
Lyne-directed “Lolita” from Paris-based Pathe. According to a Showtime
press release, the company is in talks with several distributors about a
post-TV theatrical release. The film will air on both Showtime and
Sundance Channel in August. The second cinematic adaptation of Vladimir
Nabokov’s classic 1954 novel, “Lolita” stars Dominique Swain
(“Face/Off“) in her first film role as the title character, and Jeremy
Irons as her much older lover, Humbert Humbert. The film underwent a
previous adaptation (by Nabokov) in a 1962 film by Stanley Kubrick,
which starred James Mason, Shelley Winters, Peter Sellers and Sue Lyon
as Lolita.

The film revolves around the relationship between a 45-year-old college
professor who begins a sexual relationship with the 14-year-old daughter
of a rooming house owner (Melanie Griffith) whom Humbert later marries.
The film also stars Frank Langella (“Dracula,” “Dave“) as Clare Quilty,
another man obsessed with Lolita. The 1996 federal law against child
pornography states that it is a crime to produce any visual depiction
that “is, or appears to be, of a minor engaged in sexually explicit
conduct,” according to The Associated Press. The AP also said that the
film contains scenes of graphic kissing and two scenes of the clothed
couple engaged in lovemaking. The film also has one brief nude scene
with a stand-in for Swain, who was 15 years old when she appeared in
the film.

Showtime is no stranger to controversy, airing Angelica Huston’s
“Bastard Out of Carolina” in 1996, when Turner Pictures decided not to
release the film theatrically. Showtime is owned by Showtime Networks
Inc. (SNI) and operates the SNI/Robert Redford/PolyGram Filmed
-owned Sundance Channel.

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