Tuesday, March 31, 2009

¡Átame! ...and Brüno?

Antonio Banderas was on my mind. I blame Fernando in the comments. Happy b-day Fernando

Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! So many exclamation points. ¡But it's worth exclamating! Tis one of the very best films of 1990.

If you ask me this one never gets enough attention in the Almodóvar oeuvre. It's the MPAA's fault (It's fun to blame things on them. Try it). 'Round about '89/'90 a lot of specialized films were having huge problems with the ratings board. Films like The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover and Henry & June were just too much for the simple "R". Regarding the latter film, I still maintain it was the fully clothed Uma Thurman that did it in with the board. She was unbelievably smoldering in that picture. And you can't really edit a title character out of the picture, can you? In this climate was born the NC-17 rating which is still protecting fragile Americans from ever being subjected to films as permanently scarring to their psyches as....

Lust, Caution

(I'm sorry to scare you out there. Settle down, it was only an Ang Lee movie!)

There are a few violent pictures on the list of films that got slapped with 'the new X' but mostly it's sex that gets them angry enough to outlaw any parent from bringing their teenagers into the theater with them. Meanwhile, it's totally OK for a parent to bring their 5 year old into Saw XIV. "All is right with the world", he typed sarcastically.

The new victim of the NC-17 is... Brüno ???

The Wrap reports that the new Sacha Baron Cohen comedy, his follow up to Borat, got slapped with the dread rating. Perhaps reading the full (informal / gifted?) title will make the MPAA's objections more comprehensible.

Brüno: Delicious Journeys Through America for the Purpose of Making Heterosexual Males Visibly Uncomfortable in the Presence of a Gay Foreigner in a Mesh T-Shirt

The film hasn't even opened yet and Brüno's already achieved his purpose. They're visibly uncomfortable. The comedy, presumably with a few snips, cuts and resultant "R" rating, will open July 10th in theaters everywhere.


Dimi said...

Wasn't that title made up by someone? I think he's just sticking with Bruno this time.

Fernando Moss said...

OMG!!! Thank you very much Nathaniel! :)

I've never been so world-wide congratulated before...


You are the best!

and I just love ATAME because it's just amazingly great. Victoria, Antonio, Pedro, the script... I mean WOW. So this post is the best way to say happy birthday to me :)

Thanks again.

crossoverman said...

I would be happy if this homophobic piece of crap was never released.

Yes, I know I haven't seen it. No, I'm no advocating censorship.

But I despise Baron Cohen making a living from cheap stereotypes, whether they be of foreign people or gay people. Or gay foreign people.

So soon it will be okay to take your child to see Saw V, laugh at minorities but not see anyone naked or have sex. Ah, progress...

Karen said...

Thanks for the Antonio Banderas mention!

Anonymous said...

It seemed like for awhile in the early aughts there was a slight push for the credibility of the NC-17, because I remember seeing a lot of films released with the actual rating and not unrated- "Bad Education", "The Dreamers", "A Dirty Shame", "Ma Mere", "Inside Deep Throat". I also specifically remember "L.I.E." having an NC-17 next to it in its newspaper ads around here, even though every website I've found seems to claim it was released unrated.

I just get so happy when I see that logo- no matter what it makes me flash back to the brief moment when scandalous adult-oriented art films were poised to have an actual place in the industry, sanctioned by a trademarked MPAA rating. And the little descriptions below the rating telling just what got the film an NC-17 are so fun and tend to be more unique to the film they're on- my favorite is "Aberrant sexuality" which they use very rarely, but did in the cases of "Crash" and "Matador". And "Pink Flamingos" is NC-17 for "a wide variety of perversions in explicity detail". Ha!

Does anyone know just how "Showgirls" was able to play in such wide release with an NC-17? I was too young to remember but am fascinated by that case.

Dean said...

yeah, that title was made up by some blogger. its just bruno.

jahs34 said...

Can't they release both versions? i didn't know Bad Education was NC17, is not very graphic.


well IMDB lists it as the alternate title and the IMDB is always correct (kidding!)

Jack... i assume that Showgirls got there by way of mainstream heternormative interest (topless Vegas women) and being completely unrelated to the "aberrant sexuality" (their words) of most of the films that have been rated NC-17 which tend to feature non-traditional depictions of sexuality like the car-crash fetishes in Crash or all the silly fetishes in A Dirty Shame or the multiple variations of couplings a la Henry & June or, you know, gay stuff.

And considering how many limited releases don't make any money at all it's a little weird that studios are so scared of NC-17 because their takes aren't that embarrassing... they seem fairly comparable to other "limited appeal" movies

the top grossing NC-17 movies:

01 SHOWGIRLS (1995) $20.3
02 HENRY & JUNE (1990) $11.5
03 THE COOK, THE THIEF... (1990) $7.7
04 BAD EDUCATION (2004) $5.2
05 LUST, CAUTION (2007) $4.6
06 TIE ME UP! TIE ME DOWN! (1990) $4
07 THE DREAMERS (2004) $2.5
08 CRASH (1996) $2
09 BAD LIEUTENANT (1992) $2
10 WIDE SARGASSO SEA (1993) $1.6

I guess the theory is that all of those would have made more money if they were R and could be advertised more vigorously. And that is a tough argument to fight.

Unknown said...

It'll be "R" and then released unrated on BR and DVD.

Yawn. Next?