The distributor of Steve McQueen's new film Shame has lashed out at Australia's classification board, saying the internationally acclaimed film doesn't deserve an R18+ rating.
Transmission Films general manager Courtney Botfield says she is disappointed the Australian Classification Board has stamped Shame with the rating, which restricts marketing and tends to dent box office takings.
The classification is harsh, she claims, given the film's level of explicit content and the absence of violence:
We were disappointed, we don't think the film is that terribly explicit to deserve an R rating.
Given that it was rated in a similar classification bracket in the US it was on the cards, but we were pretty confident it wouldn't get one.
In fact the film was rated adults only in both the UK (18 rating), and the US (NC-17 rating).
Botfield says some people will miss out seeing an important film because of restrictions on marketing. She explained:
Mainly it's the trailering. The trailer is automatically rated R and can only play with other R-rated films, of which there are none, so that key marketing tool just disappears.