France’s new Culture Minister Audrey Azoulay intends to throw out a recent censorship amendment that requires all films showing unsimulated sex to be given an automatic 18 rating.
The move is the first in a planned overhaul of the Centre National de la Cinématographie, France’s censorship board, which has been under pressure from Promouvoir, a conservative advocacy group, whose name translates to anything from “to promote” to “to revise” to “to instigate.”
France’s rating system more or less correlates to America’s, where (U)niversal matches G and PG, 12 more or less matches PG-13, and 18 corresponds to R. There is no NC-17 or X rating in France, because they are not Puritanical weirdos.
At least, they usually aren’t, but three weeks after rating and releasing Gaspar Noé’s Love, which contains explicit, three-dimensional sex scenes, pressure from Promouvoir sent the 12-rated film up to an 18. The same thing happened with Abdellatif Kechiche’s Blue Is The Warmest Color, while Lars Von Trier’s Antichrist was banned outright from the country—seven years after it had been released in theaters.
The appeals process that allowed Promouvoir to rejigger the CNC’s ratings is also under review, with Azoulay planning to abbreviate the window for appeals to the ratings board.