Date: 4th October 2000

Theaters Get Tough With New Film

Two New York theaters have said they will not allow children under 17 to see Darren Aronofsky's unrated film Requiem for a Dream even if they're accompanied by parents.

In reporting on the move by the management of Loews Lincoln Plaza theater and UA's Union Square, New York Daily News film writer Jack Mathews comments today (Wednesday) that it "could turn theater operators into freelance moral guardians." Mathews goes on to describe the decision as "a knee-jerk response to the recent political furor" over movie content. (Surprisingly, that "furor" was not even touched on during Tuesday night's presidential debate.)

Mathews points out that the film was originally tagged with an NC-17 rating by the MPAA ratings board "because of a scene where two women are engaged in a demeaning sex act ... as part of a montage of several events dramatizing the dehumanizing power of drugs." Calling the theater owners' decision "political pandering" Mathews concludes: "The irony in all this is that no children under 17 would be interested in this movie if the would-be censors weren't singling it out, and that the teenagers who probably should see it won't be able to."

Today's Hollywood Reporter said that Artisan Entertainment, which is distributing Requiem, has agreed to make clear in ads for the film that no one 17 or younger will be admitted to any theater showing it.

Source: Studio Briefing