Controversy and Lars Von Trier are two words that always appear together. The filmmaker has one of the most divisive receptions of any filmmaker, with critics being split on whether he’s a genius or just an idiot. That controversy continues with his latest film The House That Jack Built, which has received edits to make for its theatrical version.
While the film has yet to be officially released, a Director’s Cut one night event Wednesday showed audiences Lars’ true vision. According to The Hollywood Reporter though, these nationwide screenings were in violation of MPPA rating rules. Here is their official response:
The MPAA has communicated to the distributor, IFC Films, that the screening of an unrated version of the film in such close proximity to the release of the rated version — without obtaining a waiver — is in violation of the rating system’s rules. The effectiveness of the MPAA ratings depends on our ability to maintain the trust and confidence of American parents. That’s why the rules clearly outline the proper use of the ratings. Failure to comply with the rules can create confusion among parents and undermine the rating system — and may result in the imposition of sanctions against the film’s submitter.
While I understand the MPAA’s grievances and they are technically in the right, but I don’t think this in particular is a big deal. The only people who likely went to see The House That Jack Built were people that were aware of Von Trier’s filmmaking and style, so to enforce strict sanctions is bit unnecessary. It will be interesting to see if they are any significant changes from the director’s cut and theatrical version, with the film finally hitting theaters on December 14.
How do you feel about this news? Are you surprised? Tell us in the comments below!