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Postcards on a scandal from the edge of reason 

Dear Focus Features,

I want to lick your face.

Wait, that was forward — super-forward. I am not a pervert. At least no more a pervert than Gwen Stefani appeared to be when she licked Moby’s bald head in the “South Side” music video. Incidentally, where did we come down on that?

Moving on — I’ve had my eye you for some time now, Focus, since the shiny new, glorious days of Lost in Translation and Eternal Sunshine to this month’s Cronenberg-wrought Eastern Promises. I mean, who could fault me? Have you taken a look in the mirror lately? You’ve developed an enviable body … of work.

Sure, Evening was crap. So what? Vanessa Redgrave was in it for heaven’s sake. How could you have predicted that the thing would turn into a heaping pile of vomitacious refuse?

I for one am willing to give you the benefit of the doubt. I’m not saying it was easy to get past, but then you did that special thing we’ve been talking about — er, I’ve been talking about — crossing my fingers that one day you’d graciously grant my somewhat dicey request.

You don’t really need me to remind you, do you? (Honestly, it’s like you don’t even know me sometimes!) Anyway, it was toe-curling: There you were, screening Ang Lee’s erotic espionage film Lust, Caution for the (utterly dimwitted) MPAA, and when they offered you a hard NC-17 rating, you took it — like the sexy beast you are.

You could have demanded an R-rated second cut. You could have gone with the old “Not Rated.” Though some insist it was the only way Lee could overcome the mocking “gay-cowboy director” designation, I like to think you accepted the chancy rating because you understand the importance of the utilization of NC-17. (And because Focus CEO James Schamus is a Lust, Caution co-writer and longtime friend of Lee.)

In my book, there’s nothing more delectable than a company with the gall to give a director final cut in the face of potentially teensier profits and neglect from major-awards distributors. For that, Focus Features, you’ve got my heart. And my wallet.


Your secret admirer

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