It was just this past May when Patrick Walsh blogged that the MPAA was going to start using smoking as a consideration of a film's rating. Just a few months later, Disney seems to be following suit, declaring a ban on smoking in future films. Chief exec Robert A. Iger wrote a letter to US congressman Edward Markey about the subject, which the congressman has made public. Iger claimed that smoking in future Disney films would be "non-existent." He also says that anti-smoking announcements would show up before any future film where smoking is shown. Personally, I'm not sure how he can have it be both non-existent AND showing up, unless he means future films already in production only.

While Markey is calling this "a really important first step," I'm waiting to see something actually happen with it. The letter also states that Disney would "discourage" depictions of smoking in films that get released under Touchstone and Miramax. It's going to be axed, then deterred and then discouraged? Sounds to me like making "effort" in word only, not in deed.

If you like the billowing, cloud of cinematic smoke, Film Forum has a NYC Noir series coming up, which has a bit of a celebration of smoke, because really, what's old-school noir without the cancer stick? Organizer Bruce Goldstein told The Reeler: "I love images of people smoking, and I think [others] find it attractive, even if they don't smoke -- they find it sexy in old movie images. It's so iconic, not only for film noir but for old movies. What's better than a femme fatale with a cigarette dangling out of her mouth? What better image?"
categories Movies, Cinematical