Gaspar Noe's 'Love' Receives 16 Rating in France Following Controversy

@Maraval/Twitter
'Love' poster

The sexually explicit film will not be restricted to those over 18 despite an the culture minister's unusual request for a second review by the ratings board.

Gaspar Noe’s sexually explicit Love, which premiered out of competition to middling reviews in Cannes after an explosive poster generated more buzz than the film, has been given a 16 rating in France prior to its release on July 15.

The 16 rating means no one under 16 will be admitted.

The film, which shows several scenes of explicit sex, had been originally given a 16 rating before culture minister Fleur Pellerin made the unusual request of asking the ratings board for a second review.

The National Cinema Center (CNC) stuck with its initial finding and ruled the film was not “pornographic” and would not be restricted to those over 18.

The film was co-produced by Wild Bunch and its founder Vincent Maraval, who is no stranger to sexual controversy, having produced Welcome to New York, starring Gerard Depardieu, and Blue is the Warmest Color.

“While the CNC classification commission recommended last week a ban under 16 for the film, we learn with dismay that the Minister of Culture and Communication has asked that the film returns to the commission with the hope of a more severe classification,” Wild Bunch said in a statement, calling the request a move of “extreme conservatism.”

Both Maraval and the French directors guild L'ARP supported Noe and framed the film as a battle against Internet porn.

“Our teens are condemned to discover sex on the Internet through bodybuilder athletes, tattooed and shaved,” he wrote on Twitter, before poking fun at Pellerin's tastes.

"The cultural policy of Fleur Pellerin is Turf, rather than Passolini, Bunuel or Fassbiner,” he wrote, referring to a popular horse racing comedy.

The directors’ guild also stood by Noe, calling Pellerin’s move a “violation” of creative freedom.

“We have nothing to gain from being in the game of conservatism and puritanism. The 'moralization' of works, the intimate friend of censorship, is a dangerous game,” the organization said in a statement.

“The filmmakers of ARP remain convinced that poetry, sexual as it is, [from] filmmaker Gaspar Noe, will remain a better educational source than that of porn debauchery permanently available on the Internet.”

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