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Ang Lee says new spy thriller receives restrictive 'NC-17' rating in US

Ang Lee says new spy thriller receives restrictive 'NC-17' rating in US

Oscar-winning director Ang Lee says his new spy thriller "Lust, Caution" has received the most restrictive "NC-17" rating in the U.S., but he hopes the movie will change public perception that the category is reserved for pornography.
"In the past, NC-17 movies were equated with pornographic movies. Most movie theaters don't show them," Lee said at the Venice airport after arriving to attend the Venice Film Festival, where "Lust, Caution" is competing for the top Golden Lion prize.
"We hope to send the message in the U.S. that NC-17 is a respectable category and that it's not pornography. It's just unsuitable for children," Lee said.
Footage of the interview was posted on the Chinese news Web site Sina.com on Thursday.
The NC-17 rating _ the most restrictive rating in the U.S. _ bans viewers under 17.
"Lust, Caution," based on a short story by famed Chinese writer Eileen Chang, is about a group of patriotic students who plot to assassinate the intelligence chief in the Japanese-backed Chinese government during the World War II era.
Hong Kong actor Leung Chiu-wai plays the intelligence official Mr. Yi, while Chinese newcomer Tang Wei plays the Chinese student Wang Jiazhi, who seduces Yi to pave way for the assassination. The movie also features Joan Chen from "The Last Emperor" and Chinese-American pop star Leehom Wang.
Hollywood trade publication Variety reported earlier that the movie, which hasn't been released, features lovemaking from "provocative" sexual positions, implied oral sex, and full female frontal nudity.
Lee said, however, China, which doesn't have a ratings system, and his native Taiwan have cleared the movie. He said Taiwanese censors didn't ask for any edits.
"Taiwan is more open than the U.S. these days," he said.
Lee said a shorter version of the movie will be shown in China. He didn't say if Chinese censors asked for any cuts.
Lee distanced himself from the controversy over the country label for "Lust, Caution," a U.S.-China-Taiwan co-production. The Taiwanese government has criticized Venice organizers for listing the Taiwanese involvement of the film as from "Taiwan, China," which suggests the self-ruled island is part of mainland China.
Venice organizers say the movie's producers decided how the movie is identified.
China and Taiwan split amid civil war in 1949 but Beijing still claims Taiwan as its territory and has threatened to retake it by force.
"The (Taiwan) government can protest. We still have to sell our movie ... My responsibility is to make a good movie and to let the world see it," he said.
The Venice event started Wednesday and ends Saturday, Sept. 8.
Lee, renowned for his Oscar-winning films "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" and "Brokeback Mountain," grew up in Taiwan before leaving for the U.S. in the late 1970s, but both Taiwan and China view Lee as their own.
Lee won a best director Oscar for "Brokeback Mountain" in 2006.


Updated : 2021-07-24 22:03 GMT+08:00