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'Blue Valentine' Director Derek Cianfrance Talks About the MPAA Rating Flap

At the Gotham Awards, the filmmaker talked about getting an R rating for his movie and his next projects.

Derek Cianfrance
Frazer Harrison/Getty Images
Derek Cianfrance

Blue Valentine co-writer and director Derek Cianfrance spoke to THR at the Gotham Awards on Monday night:

THR: What projects do you have coming up in 2011?

Cianfrance: I have a film called The Place Beyond the Pines, which is all about fathers and guns, and it has motorcycles and guns in it. One thing I wanted to do with Blue Valentine was to make a really violent film without guns in it. The next one will have guns, so it will be easier. No studio yet. We're in the middle of financing it right now.

THR: Any routines or plans to handle awards season?

Cianfrance: It's definitely a marathon publicizing a movie. They talk about pre-production, production and post-production. But you don't learn a lot about publicity. It takes a lot of endurance and stamina. But it's a gift to be in the position of working on a film for 12 years and people actually wanting to see the film. Just being nominated means a lot. My first job when I moved to this city 12 years ago when I had the script for Blue Valentine in my hand was cutting the award tributes at the Gothams. Nobody wanted the script, so I had to work. My first job was to watch every Meryl Streep movie and cut it into a tribute. This place has a special meaning. I have been on all sides.

THR: Any Blue Valentine ratings news?

Cianfrance: We have a team of great lawyers and so much support from the industry, media and fans. I haven't really met anyone who thinks that [NC-17] rating is just. We are still fighting it and hoping it can be changed to an "R." Bottom line is we are not changing the movie out of respect. The movie is this movie ... it has no harm in it. It is about loving, intimacy, care and emotions. It is the intangibles of emotion and intimacy you don't see that got us the rating. If you take those out, that's the heart of the movie.

THR: Any idea on when they'll decide?

Cianfrance: I hope soon. It is such a mysterious organization the MPAA. I don't know who they are.

THR: The MPAA is still looking for a new boss. Maybe you should run!

Cianfrance: No, I don't need to be in politics.