‘Helena’ to do battle with NC-17

A battle is brewing over which limbs will be cut from “Boxing Helena” to get the MPAA NC-17 rating reduced to an R so Orion Classics can release the film Sept. 3.

Carl Mazzocone, prexy of Main Line Pictures and producer of “Boxing Helena,” says the film has been submitted to the ratings board three times.

He says the requested cuts were made, but each time the board cast an NC-17 vote anyway. Main Line is appealing the rating.

Richard Heffner, chairman of the Motion Picture Assn. of America’s Classification and Rating Administration, counters: “That’spatently untrue. If they cut it to a version that we believe parents would consider appropriately rated R, we’d give it an R.”

Mazzocone said there were three love scenes in question. One particular four-and-a-half-minute love scene is the source of the problem. “They say it’s too long and sexy,” he says. Heffner declined further comment.

“It is definitely a sexy and erotic love scene but we achieved this through aesthetics and cinematography, lighting, production design and direction (by Jennifer Chambers Lynch),” Mazzocone said.

John Hegeman, VP Orion Classics, said, “Main Line has diligently worked with the MPAA in trying to make every cut necessary to achieve the R rating. Unfortunately it’s a very subjective process. We feel the picture as it stands now deserves an R rating.”

The issue will go before the appeals board in August.

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