CATEGORIES Comedy, Drama, Independent, Cannes, Distribution, NSFW, Movie Marketing, Cinematical Indie, Movie News, CinematicalOne of the few movies that has been almost universally praised at Cannes thus far is John Cameron Mitchell's (he of Hedwig and the Angry Inch fame) Shortbus -- the film is screening out of competition and won't be winning any big awards, but critics have loved it. You'd think, then, that at a festival where the sales market is reportedly pathetically light on quality films, distributors would be lining up to buy Mitchell's film. There's one problem, though: The movie is charming and funny, but also happens to feature real sex, including an opening made up of "a young man performing oral sex on himself in front of a camera, another a young man masturbating as he is whipped by a dominatrix and ... a couple having acrobatic sex in their apartment." So yeah, distributors are facing a bit of a dilemma.
In the US, for example, the movie will obviously be slapped (and like it) with an NC-17 rating, immediately slashing the number of theaters that will even screen the film, in addition to making mainstream advertising practically impossible. While the film could still be released by a canny distributor -- witness ThinkFilm's success with the NC-17-rated Aristocrats last year -- it nevertheless represents a very risky investment in an industry that is nothing if not profit-driven.
James' Shortbus review -- like everyone else, he dug it -- is here; distribution updates will come as we get them.