Director of Blonde (with Ana de Armas) talks about its restrictive classification

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Blonde is an upcoming biographical film, with the Cuban Ana de Armas in the role of the mythical Marilyn Monroe. It is a title that has been filmed since 2019, but various reasons have prevented its release. And after more than two years, the possible obstacles to its distribution continue, now with the threat of receiving the most restrictive classification in the United States.

Marilyn Monroe in The Seven Year Itch (1955)

Specifically, what has been rumored for some time is that Blonde it will be listed as an NC-17 film, which—in terms of the Motion Picture Association’s (MPA) ratings system—means it will be prohibited to viewers under the age of 18.

the tape director, Andrew Dominicspoke about it in a recent interview with ScreenDaily. And without biting his tongue, he described the MPA’s alleged intent as “a load of bullshit.” After all, such a classification tends to become a hindrance for such films that, having a limited audience, are not of much interest to the cinema chains. And even more so in pandemic times, it should be noted.

On the other hand, Dominik acknowledges that Blonde it is a drama that meets all the criteria so that (in the eyes of the MPA) only adult audiences are allowed to see it. But being a biopic around the turbulent life of Marilyn Monroe, the New Zealand director could not conceive it in another way.

“It is a demanding film. If the audience doesn’t like it, it’s the audience’s damn problem. It’s not about running for public office,” Dominik said. “It’s an NC-17 movie about Marilyn Monroe. That’s more or less what you want, right? I want to go see the NC-17 version of the Marilyn Monroe story.”

Last year, fashion paraphrased the theory that delays in Blonde and its potential adult classification were due to the “graphic sexual violence that is part of the film”. The same medium alluded to a passage from the homonymous novel —on which the film with Ana de Armas is based— where a producer sexually and violently abuses the protagonist. And in his talk with ScreenDailyAndrew Domink would have confirmed that there is indeed a rape scene in his feature film, taken from the book in question.

The filmmaker also confessed that Netflix —distributor of Blonde— “insisted” on including editor Jennifer Lame (Tenet) in the production team, with the task of «stopping the excesses of the film».

Anne of Arms in No Time to Die (2021)

But regardless of the violence and excesses, Andrew Dominik believes that where there will be no controversy, it is in the interpretation of Ana de Armas, in the role of that legendary actress and model of the 20th century. “She’s amazing, the only thing no one is going to complain about is her acting,” he asserted (via).

And in terms of the premiere of Blonde, the director does not rule out exhibiting it out of competition at the next edition of the Cannes Festival. According to him, Netflix had promised to grant him an eight-month theatrical window in France, hoping that the prestigious event would accept it in its official selection. However, Cannes did not budge. Its strict regulations still required the red “N” to adhere to a theatrical window of 15 months, prior to launching the film in its digital catalogue.

The next edition of Cannes will take place from May 17 to 28, 2022.

The entry Director of Blonde (with Ana de Armas) talks about its restrictive classification was first published in Cine PREMIERE.

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