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X-rated movie is approved

By Michael J. Garrison

The ad hoc Pornography Screening Committee voted to allow the Lecture Series Committee (LSC) to show the sexually explicit movie Body Talk without restrictions. The vote of 6-2 was taken following an open screening Feb. 11.

The film may now be shown on the same basis as a non-explicit film. If the movie had not been approved, LSC would have been able to show it anyway, however certain restrictions outlined last summer in the MIT policy on pornography statement.

LSC would not have been allowed to show the movie on Registration Day or in Kresge Auditorium had the committee not approved it. The committee did not approve The Opening of Misty Beethoven, a sexually explicit film, last December. LSC plans to present the film on March 2.

Nine members attended the meeting which was chaired by Senior Vice President William R. Dickson '56. John Hildebidle, chairman of the committee, was unable to attend due to illness.

Approval of the film requires a two-thirds vote of those members present. Dickson, as chair, abstained after six members voted in favor of unrestricted showing.

The committee approved the movie because it was "not detrimental ... or demeaning," according to Kenneth M. Weems '85, one of three committee members who also belong to LSC. "I don't think it was objectification of sex," he added.

Movies are judged by the following criteria as stated last summer in the official committee guidelines, Hildebidle said:

O+ The films "should reflect believable reality or more normalcy in the relationships and sexuality displayed."

O+ "The sexuality portrayed should not be objectified as being separate from the individuals involved."

O+ "The sexually explicit content and the emotional content should strive to equally reflect the viewpoint and the sexual feelings of both men and women."

O+ "The films should generally promote a positive attitude toward sexuality."

Weems noted, however, "You can't judge a movie by a checklist." He explained that the viewer's reaction to the film as a whole is very important. The committee usually discusses a film before voting on it.

Body Talk was selected for the screening by LSC over IAP in an attempt to find films which the committee would approve, he added.

The committee had also intended to meet with McBay, Hildebidle said. However, McBay was unable to attend because she met with the Visiting Committee on Student Affairs that night.