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U.K. GIVING ‘CRASH’ TENTATIVE GREEN FLAG

LONDON — David Cronenberg’s ”Crash” has been cleared uncut for U.K. release, but it’s still uncertain whether London’s showcase cinemas will be allowed to screen the controversial film.

Westminster City Council, whose rules govern the capital’s key West End theaters, is currently reviewing its interim ban on ”Crash,” following the decision by the British Board of Film Classification to give the film an ”18” certificate.

Westminster’s response will have a huge impact on the film’s commercial prospects in the U.K. Normally an arthouse pic like ”Crash” would expect to earn a significant proportion of its revenues from upscale London auds, with the West End forming a vital platform for the film’s launch in the rest of the country.

Columbia TriStar, the film’s U.K. distributor, has not yet set a release, but the film is expected to come out this summer.

Last November, Westminster’s licensing committee said it would like to see three cuts in the pic before letting it be released. But it also said it would reconsider its position once the BBFC had decided whether to issue the film a certificate at all.

The BBFC consulted widely with obscenity lawyers, psychiatrists and disabled groups, along with filmmakers and industry execs, before ruling that ”Crash” is ”neither illegal nor harmful.”

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