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IFC takes ‘Curious’ turn to VOD sex

Pics to air include 'The Other Hollywood,' 'Maitresse'

NEW YORK — Chuck Dolan’s Independent Film Channel is rounding up a library of sex-saturated movies, TV series and documentaries for a proposed video-on-demand platform with a target date of September.

To be called Uncensored on Demand, the service will feature 20 hours of commercial-free programming a month, highlighted by uncut showings of controversial foreign films such as the Swedish “I Am Curious: Yellow” (1968) and the S&M-themed “Maitresse” (1976) with Gerard Depardieu.

“We think this Uncensored On Demand initiative will help cable operators sell video-on-demand to their subscribers,” said Kathleen Dore, president of the IFC Companies.

IFC will urge operators not to charge an extra fee for Uncensored, Dore said, so that more people will experiment with VOD. The theory is that free programming laced with sex will lure people into the VOD tent, making them so comfortable with the technology they’ll end up buying pay-per-view movies in the window, as well as subscription VOD services like HBO on Demand and Showtime on Demand.

To help viewers navigate some of the obscure programming on the service, Dore said IFC will tape a short commentary (two or three minutes) that will explain something about the offering and why it could never turn up on mainstream television.

Some observers may be reminded of porno movies that used to begin with a bogus sex educator sporting a white lab coat who’d proclaim, with a straight face, that the following scenes with explicit sex are to be viewed as instructional aids for sexually dysfunctional couples.

Uncensored on Demand plans to engineer the U.S. premiere of the Canadian TV series “Kink,” which runs on the Showcase pay TV service. IFC euphemistically described “Kink” as a “journey through the secret, hidden lives of seemingly normal citizens of Toronto.”

Other appetite-whetters for VOD subscribers include “The Other Hollywood,” a candid docu look at the porn industry; “Hollywood Uncensored,” featuring clips of scenes that were cut from movies like “King Kong” and “Baby Doll”; and “Erotica,” a “sensuous celebration of the female imagination” as explored by 10 women, including Pauline Reage, author of “The Story of O.”

Although sex will be the predominant theme of Uncensored on Demand, the service has scheduled a few other programs such as “Feed,” a behind-the-scenes docu about the 1992 presidential race, and “Crimes of Honor,” a hair-raising docu on the way women are treated in the Islamic world.

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