Dawson's 'Descent' Eyes Spring Release, NC-17 Rating
Sex and violence may scare the MPAA
The producer-actress' date-rape drama "Descent" will get a domestic spring release by City Lights Pictures, but the rating is still up in the air, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The film centers on Maya (Dawson), a college student who is recovering from a brutal date rape. While she's picking up the pieces of her life, she decides to take revenge on her attacker Jared (Chad Faust) in a way that City Lights CEO Danny Fisher describes as "equally shocking, controversial and graphic."
Because of the nature of the material, which Fisher doesn't want to compromise, the film might face a restrictive NC-17 rating or perhaps no rating whatsoever.
"This is not a revenge thriller, and we're not planning to market it as such," says Fisher, who plans to spread awareness of the subject matter through the Internet and to rape and women's organizations.
With the NC-17 tag, anyone aged 17 and under will be denied admission to the film. Occasionally, some newspapers will refuse to run ads touting an NC-17-rated film. In recent years, films that have been stamped with the rating include Michael Winterbottom's "9 Songs," which features unsimulated footage of the two leads having sexual intercourse, "Young Adam" starring Ewan McGregor and John Waters' raunchy sexfest "A Dirty Shame."
Other films that were initially rated NC-17 went back to do some creative editing to get the less prohibitive R rating. Matt Stone and Trey Parker's action film spoof "Team America: World Police" was first tagged for a scene between two marionettes simulating the sex act. Similarly, the remake of "The Hills Have Eyes" had to pull back on the gruesome violence to get the friendlier rating.
Dawson is producing "Descent" under her production shingle Trybe Films. Her film resume includes "Clerks II," "Rent," "Sin City," "Josie and the Pussycats" and "Kids."