Courtesy of OpinionJournal's Best of the Web today
, a story of film student Paula Carmincino who decided that her video would be about how people censor their lives between the bedroom and elsewhere. So she wanted to make a film in which the actors actually have sex on film.
She said her video, titled "Animal," was supposed to depict the contrast between public and private behavior: "The whole concept of it was to compare the normal behavior of people in their everyday lives versus the animalistic behavior that comes out when they are having sex."
She planned to intersperse 30-second clips of passionate sex with scenes of the couple engaged in more mundane activities, like watching television and reading a newspaper.
Simulating the sex would have defeated her purpose, she said. "That's censoring the sex part. My thing is how we censor ourselves during the day when we're not having sex."
The New York Civil Liberties Union is supporting her, but the school is promulgating a rule that films must be rated on the MPAA scale and be no lower than an R-rated movie. You can go many ways with this, but the one that I found telling was the quote from her mother.
Ms. Carmicino also has the support of her mother, Theresa Carmicino, a retired social worker in Shelby Township, Mich., near Detroit, who said, "It's not subject matter I probably would like, but I think she had the right to represent herself the way she likes."
Nor was the controversy a surprise. "Paula's always pushed buttons," her mother said, but she has always backed up her contrarian positions with sound reasoning.
Paula decided instead to make a different movie.
It consisted of two characters having a conversation in which every word was bleeped out.
"She did a beautiful piece," Professor de Jesus said. "I said to the class, `You see what you can come up with when you feel real passionately about a subject?' "