Gay Issues

NYC Theater Allowing High Schoolers to See NC-17 Lesbian Film 'Blue Is the Warmest Color'

| by Michael Allen

The new film "Blue Is the Warmest Color" is rated NC-17, which means the Motion Picture Association of America recommends that no one under 17 years old should view the movie.

However, a New York City theater is going to allow high schoolers under 17 see the film.

According to Variety, John Vanco, general manager of the IFC Center in Greenwich Village, recently said that “high school age patrons would be admitted.”

“This is not a movie for young children, but it is our judgment that it is not inappropriate for mature, inquiring teenagers who are looking ahead to the emotional challenges and opportunities that adulthood holds,” Vanco said in a statement.

The IFC Center said in a statement today: “The MPAA rating is a voluntary guideline that we as a theater are not obligated to enforce. In this case we feel it is unnecessarily restrictive and we will indeed admit high school age patrons to screenings of this perceptive and moving film at the IFC Center.”

The three-hour lesbian drama, which won the Palme d’Or  award at the Cannes film festival earlier this year, reportedly includes about 15 minutes of simulated sex between actresses Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux.

A.O. Scott, a film critic for The New York Times, says that his 14-year-old daughter has seen it twice.

Scott writes:

But in some ways, because of its tone and subject matter, “Blue” is a movie that may be best appreciated by viewers under the NC-17 age cutoff.

It’s a movie about a high school student, after all, confronting issues — peer pressure, first love, homework, postgraduate plans — that will be familiar to adolescents and perhaps more exotic to the middle-aged.

Sources: The New York Times and Variety