Saturday, January 24, 2004
Keep the Sex R-Rated, N.Y.U. Tells Film Students: "In October, a film student at New York University pitched an idea for her video-making class: a four-minute portrayal of the contrast between unbridled human lust and banal everyday behavior.

Her professor approved. The student, Paula Carmicino, found two actor friends willing to have sex on camera in front of the class. The other students expressed their support. But then the professor thought he should double-check with the administration, which immediately pulled the plug on the project.

What's more, university officials said they would issue a written policy requiring student films and videos to follow the ratings guidelines of the Motion Picture Association of America, with nothing racier than R-rated fare allowed, according to Ms. Carmicino and her professor, Carlos de Jesus. The association says R-rated films may include 'nudity within sensual scenes.'

The matter has raised a mini-tempest on campus. Yesterday, the school newspaper, The Washington Square News, published a front-page article about it, as well as an editorial critical of the administration.

Ms. Carmicino and Professor de Jesus say the issue raises far-reaching questions of censorship and academic and artistic freedom. 'This is where you unfold as a creative artist,' Ms. Carmicino, 21, said. 'You need people to bounce your ideas off of, or else you won't evolve as an artist.' Ms. Carmicino is a junior in the film and television department at the university's Tisch School of the Arts."

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