Ahead of the release of the rated “R” version of Lars von Trier‘s controversial new film The House That Jack Built on December 14, a Director’s Cut version of the film played select theaters tonight, for one night only, and it looks like those screenings have landed IFC Films in a bit of hot water. According to the MPAA, they’ve broken the rules big time.
As reported by Deadline, the MPAA has ruled that tonight’s one-night-only Director’s Cut screenings of The House That Jack Built violate the group’s rules, because, the site says, “rather than being the abridged R-rated version that hits theaters in two weeks, they were of a decidedly gorier unrated director’s cut.”
The site adds, “IFC faces potential sanctions over the screenings.”
The MPAA said in a statement tonight that they have “communicated to the distributor, IFC Films, that the screening of an unrated version of the film in such close proximity to the release of the rated version – without obtaining a waiver – is in violation of the rating system’s rules. The effectiveness of the MPAA ratings depends on our ability to maintain the trust and confidence of American parents. That’s why the rules clearly outline the proper use of the ratings. Failure to comply with the rules can create confusion among parents and undermine the rating system – and may result in the imposition of sanctions against the film’s submitter.”
A hearing in the very near future will allow IFC to plead their case, and it’s possible that the MPAA could revoke the rating they had issued to the film. If the MPAA did revoke the “R” rating they had recently issued to The House That Jack Built, the film would presumably be un-releasable in theaters. And with that theatrical date so close, that could spell trouble for IFC.
We’ll report more on this developing story as we learn new information.
In the film, Matt Dillon stars as a serial killer who views each of his murders as a work of art. Uma Thurman (Kill Bill), Bruno Ganz (Downfall), and Riley Keough (Mad Max: Fury Road) also star with South Korean actor, Yu Ji-tae, best known to us genre fans as the antagonist in Park Chan-wook’s 2003 hardboiled thriller Oldboy.
Rafael reviewed the film out of Sitges and explained that, “The nihilism of Lars von Trier’s darkly comedic The House That Jack Built rivals American Psycho.”