February 14, 2008 / 6:13 AM / in 10 years

Italian film benefits from sex controversy

ROME (Hollywood Reporter) - Italian filmmaker Nanni Moretti struck back at his detractors Wednesday, blaming “ignorance” for motivating attacks on his candid sex scene with co-star Isabella Ferrari in the new movie “Quiet Chaos.”

Nanni Moretti and Isabella Ferrari pose pose during a photocall to present their Italian film 'Caos Calmo' (Quiet Chaos) running in the competition at the 58th Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin, February 13, 2008. REUTERS/Johannes Eisele

The film opened last week in Italy and immediately topped the box office charts. It is in competition at the Berlin International Film Festival, where it had its international premiere Wednesday.

Although Moretti is probably best known as a director, his credits for “Chaos” are for writing and acting, and it’s the acting role that’s causing the controversy.

Some of the most visible criticisms came from the Catholic newspaper Christian Family, which has editorialized against the film, and the Italian Conference of Bishops, which termed it “vulgar” and “disturbing.” One of the offending scenes features the protagonists having sex, standing, fully clothed and seemingly detached from each other.

Moretti struck back Wednesday, saying that most of the criticisms were groundless.

Other media criticized the amount of time television news has dedicated to reporting on the scene and the controversy it has stirred at the expense of coverage of weightier issues.

The film was given the equivalent of a “G” rating in Italy, though the posters “advise” cinemas not to let anyone under the age of 12 to view the film if unaccompanied by an adult.

The film, which grossed $2.2 million during its opening weekend, tells the story of a television executive who watches the world from a park bench after becoming a widower.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter

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