A couple of weeks ago, everyone got sort-of excited about the fact that Kevin Smith's Zack and Miri Make a Porno got slapped with the kiss-of-death NC-17 rating by the MPAA. I sure did: even the tiniest glimmer of hope that a mainstream film may make it into release with an NC-17 would be great news. Maybe -- as Roger Ebert among others has been pushing for years -- we can finally decriminalize the Movie for Adults.

But we all knew it was wishful thinking; that Smith is almost certainly obligated by contract to do whatever it takes to secure the R for Zack and Miri. In a conversation with Capone of Ain't It Cool News, Smith confirms that, and goes into considerable detail about his back-and-forth with the MPAA over the film.

Smith claims that the MPAA originally gave him two "areas" of the film to focus on; after he cut out more than 12 minutes, did some trims of other offending section, and resubmitted (twice), the ratings board apparently got hung up on one 14-frame-long shot ("It's not even a second!" Smith objects) and Smith gave up on editing and is now simply appealing the rating. If his appeal is rebuffed, he says, he won't have a choice but to make the cuts. And he's not angry about it: "I haven't blogged about it, I'm not out there screaming 'Oh my God, they're violating my .f***ing civil liberties or my rights as an artist.' It's just part of the process." (This is in stark contrast to star Seth Rogen's take on the subject.) The MPAA is set to hear the appeal on August 4th.

Smith also tells AICN he is still planning to make the fundamentalism-themed horror movie Red State; the Weinstein Co. refused to finance it, but he is close to securing some independent backing.
categories Movies, Cinematical