THE SCORNED DIRECTOR

Atom Egoyan, Canada’s premiere film director, is incensed that his latest film “Where The Truth Lies” may be given an NC-17 rating in the United States which will severely limit the screening potential of the film. This rating dictates that no one under 17 years of age in the United States can legally view the film and some feel that the film will attract the rating due to the menage-et-trios scene that appears in the film. NC-17 rated films don’t gross as much as a restricted film in the United States because some newspapers decline the advertisements and some theatre operators will not play them.

Egoyan is quoted as saying “I guess I’m naive; I really had no idea it would be a problem.” He must not carry the same values as most of us.

The films producer, Robert Lantos, went a step further. “It is a sad testament of the absurdity of the ratings code and the completely illogical moral criteria that provide the underpinning for it, where any form of violence is perfectly acceptable for kids but sexuality continues to be the ultimate taboo,” Lantos said of an NC-17 rating.

I agree wholeheartedly that the fact that we allow so much violence to be shown to our kids but deny them steamy sexual content is absurd. We should prevent them from seeing much of both. There is a line where artistic expression becomes pornography, plain and simple. There is also nothing wrong with a little modesty. It does not, contrary to these men, make one unenlightened.

Given the comments of Mr. Egoyan and Mr. Lantos on this subject, one point that needs to be emphasized by the media and hasn’t, besides us, is that since Mr. Egoyan and Mr. Lantos are so shocked and outraged at the proposed rating, one can only conclude that their target audience was children under the in the first place. If they are dismayed that this group may not be able to see the film, then simple reasoning would suggest that their intentions were just that. Why would someone direct a film at children that engages in group sex, drug use, , lesbianism, and tough violence? I think we already know the answer. Money.

There are some great films out there that have wonderful storylines that do not need to have gratuitous sex scenes to make them compelling, but we all know that sex sells, so when you are unable to tell a compelling story, such as Gladiator or The Fugitive, to name only two, then I suppose you have to do what Mr. Egoyan et al feel the need to do and that is include some great sex scenes to draw the impressionable to your films.

Instead of attacking the Motion Picture Association of America, perhaps Mr. Egoyan and Mr. Lantos should practice what their left leaning friends like to preach. Shouldn’t we respect their sovereignty as we insist they respect ours? Shouldn’t we ‘tolerate’ their differing values? They should respect the decision of an independent organization and stop attacking the entire American establishment with terms like ThinkFilm president Jeff Sackman was throwing around, intimating that the Americans just aren’t as evolved as us.

Actually Mr. Sackman, the truth is that they just aren’t as far gone as we are. Maybe you should try making some truly great films. They don’t need to rely on smut, and history is much keener to remember those who have talent. not a set of mammories.

And these people ponder why we don’t go to the movies as much anymore.