Cuts to award-winning lesbian movie

Cuts to award-winning lesbian movie
Blue Is The Warmest Color starring Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux

The controversial 2013 Palme d'Or winner Blue Is The Warmest Color has been found to be a couple of shades too blue for Singapore.

It is rated R21 with the consumer advice of homosexual content with eight minutes cut.

The movie is slated for release in cinemas here on May 1.

The French drama by writer-director Abdellatif Kechiche centres on the relationship between the teenaged Adele and older art student Emma.

In a first, the prestigious Palme d'Or was awarded to the director as well as to the lead actresses, Lea Seydoux (Emma) and Adele Exarchopoulos (Adele).

According to the Media Development Authority's (MDA) films classification database, the film contains "several strong, prolonged and explicit sexual scenes between the two women".

They include a seven-minute-long sexual scene "where the two female protagonists appear naked and engaged in various sexual activities, including oral sex and masturbation".

An MDA spokesman said that the uncut version of Blue, also known as Adele Chapters 1 & 2, had been referred to the Films Consultative Panel.

He noted: "The panel felt that some sexual scenes between the lead characters are too prolonged and explicit, and are clearly beyond the film classification guidelines, which state that explicit portrayals of sex between persons of the same gender are not allowed.

"Taking into account our guidelines and the panel's views, MDA has thus informed the distributor that the film has exceeded the R21 guidelines."

The film was subsequently resubmitted for rating after cuts made by the distributor, Shaw Organisation.

Public relations manager Avi Tan, 32, saw the uncut version in Melbourne and said that she squirmed during the seven-minute-long sex scene. She felt that "it was too graphic and erring on the side of being gratuitous".

However, she does not think the scene should be cut. "I believe in artistic integrity. If the director didn't want the scene in there, he wouldn't have included it.

"Imagine if you went into an art gallery and there was a piece of paper stuck on a portion of a painting because the curator felt it was inappropriate or because it wasn't aligned to the exhibition's values."

Another acclaimed film which was cut for its release here in January was Martin Scorsese's Oscar-nominated The Wolf Of Wall Street.

Some fans were upset that five minutes were cut from the profanity- laced film which starred Leonardo DiCaprio as a stockbroker living a life of excess.

The Oscar-winning Aids medication drama Dallas Buyers Club was rated R21 with a cut for profanity.

Last year, local film-maker Ken Kwek's Sex.Violence.FamilyValues was rated R21 after eight seconds of controversial dialogue between an Indian and a Chinese character was overdubbed with Indian classical music.

Blue Is The Warmest Color is slated to open in Singapore on May 1.

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