Helmer sez studio backs sexually suggestive pic

Fox Searchlight sure isn’t shying away from the racy subject matter in Bernardo Bertolluci‘s “The Dreamers.” At Tuesday’s Gotham preem, staffers wore (and later distributed) T-shirts with a big “NC-17″ and director Bertolucci’s oft-repeated quote: “After all, an orgasm is better than a bomb.”

The helmer told Daily Variety he’s confident the film’s abundance of the former won’t fate it to become the latter.

“Worried?” he quizzed at the Guastavino’s post-screening party. “I’m pleased. Maybe Searchlight should be worried. But I think they’re not.”

The sexuality between pic’s twin brother and sister, Bertolucci contended, “is not incest. It’s a game they’re playing together.”

But the expert on cinematic forbidden love couldn’t help but move the discussion somewhere more prurient: “They have been together in the womb for nine months — maybe there there has been something perverse.”

The squirming Beekman Theater audience included pic’s lead thesp Michael Pitt and producer Jeremy Thomas, plus Art Garfunkel, Jonathan Demme and Bertolucci’s “Stealing Beauty” star Liv Tyler.

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