Italian News Program Says Venice Lineup Should Be Rated R

Venice Film Festival Golden Lion Statue - H 2012
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Venice Film Festival Golden Lion Statue - H 2012

ROME – Italy’s TG 24 news program said that the upcoming edition of the Venice Film Festival should be rated R because of its lineup full of films about “Sapphic sex, violence, and religion.”

Festivals do not carry overall ratings for their lineups, though the festival can reserve the right to refuse admission to any specific film it screens to under-age viewers. And TG 24’s observation was made with tongue half planted in cheek. But the report did call attention to the large number of films set to screen on the Venice Lido that would be questionable to the young.

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Among those highlighted by the program are Spring Breakers from Harmony Korine, which the program said was full of “sexual transgression”; Brian De Palma’s Passion, which explores a dark sexual relationship between a “cynical businesswoman” played by Rachel McAdams and her “sweet assistant” plated by Noomi Rapace; To the Wonder, the latest from Terrence Malick, which the program said was ruled “not suitable” for young viewers sue to a high content of sex and nudity; Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, which tells the tale of the founding of a religious sect; and Marco Bellocchio’s Bella addormentata (Dormant Beauty), which explores the moral issues related to euthanasia as it applies to the real-life case of an Italian woman named Eluana Englaro.

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TG 24 is the main news program on one of the three national television networks controlled by Italian billionaire and former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, whose own life story might not be suitable for minors. Berlusconi, who coined the term “bunga bunga” for a kind of sex party he often hosted, stepped down last year amid personal scandal including charges of corruption, bribery, and paying an under-age girl for sex.