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Cinemark to Screen 'Blue Is the Warmest Color,' Theater Chain's First NC-17 Movie Ever

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood October 30, 2013 at 1:28PM

For the first time in the theater chain's history, Cinemark is making an exception to its policy prohibiting NC-17 films and will be screening Palme d'Or winner "Blue Is the Warmest Color" at a theater in Evanston, Illinois.
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Lea Seydoux in "Blue Is the Warmest Color"
Lea Seydoux in "Blue Is the Warmest Color"

For the first time in the theater chain's history, Cinemark is making an exception to its policy prohibiting NC-17 films and will be screening Palme d'Or winner "Blue Is the Warmest Color" at a theater in Evanston, Illinois.

Marketing manager Frank Gonzalez told local Evanston paper The Patch that "it's strictly a one-theater test," but that Cinemark had been considering the inclusion of certain NC-17 films for a while now. He told The Patch that "it just happens to be the right film at the right time." The trial run stemmed in part from Evanston locals' demands for more arthouse films in the city. 

The NC-17 rating certainly didn't deter from "Blue"'s limited release this past weekend -- it instead scored the highest opening for a subtitled film in 2013. There has been a feminist debate swirling around the film, in particular its graphic and lengthy sex scenes, since its debut at Cannes in May, with NYT critic Manohla Dargis following up on her initial reaction to the film with an articulate opinion piece in last Friday's Times. 

Our TOH! interview with stars Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux is here. Much has been made of the drama between director Abdellatif Kechiche and the two leading actresses, though both Exarchopoulos and Seydoux readily admit the film and director are brilliant.

Our ranking of the best and worst NC-17 films is here.

This article is related to: News, Blue is the Warmest Color , News


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Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.