'Lust' brings honor for Lee, Schamus

( AP )- Ang Lee opened up a new world of tolerance and compassion for gay cowboys with " Brokeback Mountain." For his next act, the filmmaker helped take the pornography sting out of Hollywood's NC-17 rating, which is reserved for explicit adult-themed material.

Lee and frequent producing and screenwriting partner James Schamus were honored with a freedom of expression award Tuesday at ShoWest, an annual convention of theater owners, for their collaborations, which include last year's sexually charged thriller "Lust, Caution."

Though the $4.6 million domestic haul for "Lust, Caution" was small compared to the $83 million box-office return for " Brokeback Mountain," Lee and Schamus' latest production went a long way to legitimizing the NC-17 rating.

Set in the World War II era, "Lust, Caution" centers on a young Chinese woman (Tang Wei) who seduces a collaborator (Tony Leung) with the Japanese so she and her accomplices can plot his execution. The film features several carnal love scenes between the two.

"That's the best part of acting. I've been directing actors for a long time. How many times do you see actors like that, even just a second or something?" Lee, 53, said in an interview alongside Schamus.

"You see the most private performances. The most brave and private," said Lee, who won the best-director Academy Award for " Brokeback Mountain." "I think those scenes are pivotal. They anchor the movie, so it would be a shame if we don't see it."

Only a handful of movies have gone out with the NC-17 rating, which replaced the old X rating in the early 1990s to offer a category that did not carry the connotation of smut for explicit movies.

The most notable NC-17 release before "Lust, Caution" was 1995's "Showgirls," a huge critical and commercial flop. Other NC-17 releases such as "A Dirty Shame" or "The Dreamers" played to small cult crowds or art-house audiences.

The rating had been viewed as a kiss of death, with distributors usually choosing to release movies unrated rather than with the NC-17 tag. The expectation had been that theaters and audiences would shun anything with an NC-17 rating, but Schamus said that was not the case with "Lust, Caution."

"It was one of those strange situations where the NC-17 was kind of an unused muscle. It was lying fallow, and everybody simply assumed the stigma was still there," said Schamus, who heads Focus Features, which released both "Lust, Caution" and " Brokeback Mountain."

"While there were small pockets of resistance, in fact, it was so minor as to be almost on the level, less than the level, of what we got even with 'Brokeback,'" said Schamus, who has worked with Lee on such films as "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon," "The Ice Storm" and "Sense and Sensibility."

John Fithian, who heads the National Association of Theatre Owners, said he hoped that with filmmakers of Lee and Schamus' stature opening the door, other directors would not shy away from material that could get them an NC-17 rating.

"'Lust, Caution' showed people that an NC-17 movie is not pornography, which is kind of the legend we have been living with, that NC-17 was the same thing as X-rated," said Dan Glickman, head of the Motion Picture Association of America, which oversees the ratings system.

Foreign investors waiting for decision related to FATF in Iran – official
Foreign investors waiting for decision related to FATF in Iran – official
Iran talks IAEA monitoring cameras at nuclear sites
Iran talks IAEA monitoring cameras at nuclear sites
Various results achieved in Vienna every day – Iran’s MFA
Various results achieved in Vienna every day – Iran’s MFA
Loading Bars
Airbus to supply Uzbekistan with four H125 and H130 helicopters
Iran’s non-oil exports up 80% in current year: Industry min.
Sinovac allows its COVID-19 vaccine to be made in Turkey
FM Zalkaliani confirms one Georgian injured in Israel
President Ilham Aliyev makes Facebook post on occasion of Ramazan Holiday (PHOTO)
WHO records over 643,000 new daily cases of COVID-19 worldwide
Azerbaijani first VP shares footages of fireworks in Shusha on her official Instagram page (VIDEO)
President Ilham Aliyev lays foundation stone for school No1 in Shusha
President Ilham Aliyev views work done at Shusha Art Gallery
Azerbaijani president, first lady view administrative building for Special representation in Shusha
Azerbaijani president, first lady view building for Shusha Creative Center
President Ilham Aliyev inspects Khan gizi Natavan’s palace
President Aliyev views conditions created at block and cottages under “Khari Bulbul” hotel
Azerbaijani president, first lady inaugurate “Khari Bulbul” hotel after renovation (PHOTO)
Holiday prayers will be held in Yukhari Govharagha mosque tomorrow - President of Azerbaijan
I never seen city like Shusha elsewhere in world. There probably isn’t one - President of Azerbaijan
For all these years, we lived with one goal – to liberate our lands, says Azerbaijani president
Azerbaijani culture, prominent representatives of Azerbaijani culture returned to Shusha today - President Aliyev
Next year we will celebrate 270th anniversary of Shusha - President Aliyev
44-day war is our glorious history - Azerbaijani president
“Kharibulbul” festival will now be held in Shusha every year - President Aliyev
After long break, “Kharibulbul” festival being held in Jidir Duzu, we have been looking forward to this day for 30 years - President Aliyev
Montenegro eases COVID-19 restrictive measures
Senior Hamas commander killed as Israel strikes Gaza, Palestinians fire rockets
Anti-Trump Cheney removed from House Republican leadership
Transport Ministry shares data on ships received in southern Turkish port in 1Q2021
Ministry discloses volume of cargo from Israel handled by Turkish ports
Volume of cargo from Greece handled by Turkish ports revealed
Wix reports higher Q1 revenue, lower profit
BMW plans limited series hydrogen fuel cell SUV in 2022
Georgian economy expected to grow
Iran’s Bahar Azadi gold coin price continues to increase
More data needed before COVID-19 vaccine booster decisions - EU regulators
Azerbaijan shares data on number of vaccinated citizens for May 12
European Court of Human Rights to examine Convention violations by Armenia against Azerbaijan
Oil production volumes down in Kazakhstan
Bayati Shiraz mugham performed on Jidir Plain in Azerbaijan’s Shusha (VIDEO)
Deputy Governor of Iran’s Ilam Province talks about energy sector
Construction of Georgian Namakhvani HPP to be suspended
WB supports Georgian MSMEs and promotes digitalization of country’s economy
Azerbaijan confirms 558 more COVID-19 cases, 1,454 recoveries
Collection of notes of works by Azerbaijani composers prepared by Heydar Aliyev Foundation presented at Shusha Music Festival (PHOTO/VIDEO)
Iran discloses volume of bony fish caught in Caspian Sea
Kazakhstan's oil output below plan for 4M2021
Need to restore transport route to Azerbaijan’s Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic - obvious - Russian expert
Activities in Iran’s Bushehr Province increase
Turkey’s export of clothes to Azerbaijan up from January through April 2021
Turkmenistan, China to consider opportunities for developing co-o in number of areas
Iran to manufacture local equipment in drilling sector
Fuel costs in Georgia increase
I was thinking about architecture of new mosque in Shusha for almost few months - President Aliyev
There used to be 17 mosques in Shusha, hated enemy destroyed all of them - President Aliyev
Georgia reports 1,409 new cases of coronavirus for May 12
We returned to Shusha and we returned forever - President Aliyev
Business activity index slows down in Kazakhstan
Geostat reveals TOP-5 suppliers of oil in Georgia
Iran’s PMO declares data of cargo transportation in Bandar Lengeh Port
Turkey’s export of steel to Kazakhstan decreases
Iran reveals COVID-19 data for May 12
Azerbaijani president, first lady attend opening of “Kharibulbul” festival in Shusha (PHOTO)
Trade ministry discloses volume of electrical goods exported by Turkey to Iran
Turkey’s export of cement to Turkmenistan down
President Ilham Aliyev visits restored “Khan gizi” spring in Shusha (PHOTO)
President Ilham Aliyev lays foundation stone for new mosque in Shusha (PHOTO)
President Ilham Aliyev and First Lady Mehriban Aliyeva attend inauguration of 110/35/10 kV Shusha substation (PHOTO)
French Development Agency to support economic dev't of Kazakhstan
Azerbaijan holds Kharibulbul music festival (VIDEO)
UAE to help Sudan secure all petroleum needs through flexible agreement
Similarweb completes NYSE IPO, at $1.6b valuation
Kazakhstan observes slowing down of food inflation
Azerbaijan’s export of plastics doubles
Turkey sees increase in export of cement to Iran
Russia reports over 8,200 daily COVID-19 cases
Norway will not use AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine
Turnaround timeframe at Kazakhstan's Kashagan field unveiled
Turkish airline companies to launch direct flights to Kazakhstan
Dostlug field to allow Turkmenistan to export natural gas to Western countries
Kazakhstan-Latvia trade plummets y-o-y
Refining volume remains practically unchanged in Kazakhstan
Gazelli Group standing beside Azerbaijani nation both in hard and good times (PHOTO)
Kazakhstan’s largest logistics terminal operator to buy fuel via tender
Iran plans to increase exports of non-oil products – Deputy Minister
Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan's SOCAR have huge potential for developing co-op
Kazakhstan boosts goods import from Afghanistan
Azerbaijani PM expresses condolences to Russian counterpart
Volume of loaded, unloaded cargo in Iran’s Shahid Bahonar port up
EIA increases forecast for oil extraction in Kazakhstan
Iran's trade turnover with EAEU member states announced
Baku to host Aerobic Gymnastics World Age Group Competitions for first time (VIDEO)
Kazakh KazMunayGas decreases oil transportation volumes y-o-y
Ex-president of Iran announces his candidacy for president
Oil climbs on solid demand outlook as market awaits fresh cues
Minister discloses Kazakhstan's GDP growth rate from January through April 2021
Trade turnover increased in Turkmenistan
Iranian Foreign Minister's begins visit to Middle East, Europe
Number of countries purchase products from Turkmenistan on exchange
Latest prices for Azerbaijani oil disclosed
EIB to invest in solar plant construction in Uzbekistan
Israeli energy pipeline hit in Gaza rocket attack
Turkmenistan exceeds plan for energy production
All news