If someone told you that people were getting sick while at a film, what would you imagine would cause it? Me, I immediately think about gore, especially in the wake of all those realistic, cringe-worthy sorts of scenes we get these days. But no, it's nothing that disturbing. Since Babel has been released in Japan on April 28, at least 15 people have complained that the film has made them ill. These complaints have inspired Gaga Communications to release national news ads warning of the film's propensity to make viewers ill. It was not the subject matter that made them queasy, but the lights.

In one scene, Rinko Kikuchi, whose performance in the film garnered her an Oscar nomination, visits a nightclub. For about one minute, strobe lights flash on the screen -- this is what is making some Japanese viewers queasy. Part of the warning describes: "This feature presentation includes some highly stimulating effects and some customers have complained of feeling ill." Talk about vague. Really, this is no different than what happens at amusement parks. Any ride that has strobe and beating light effects gets that little warning beforehand describing as much. Wouldn't it just be easier to have a strobe warning for any films that have those lights in them? "Highly stimulating effects" can mean anything, and doesn't really describe the why. Heck, I would consider the words more descriptive of a hot sex scene than some flashy strobes. If any of you have read the warning in its entirety, I'd love to know if they ever get specific, or just continue to be vague.
categories Movies, Cinematical