Cinema: It's Great! Don't Show It!

A misguided rating system slaps an X on a discreetly erotic film

Henry Miller, an expatriate Brooklynite in '30s Paris, wrote rambunctious novels about sex and saw Tropic of Cancer banned in his homeland for 30 years. Anais Nin, a Frenchwoman who befriended Miller, wrote intimate journals that remained expurgated long after their publication. Now American director Philip Kaufman (The Right Stuff) has made a biography of the two writers and Miller's wife June. Surprise! Henry & June has been rated X by the industry's classification board.

If the rating sticks, Kaufman could become the most notable victim of an increasingly misguided system of self-censorship. Even in a year when the rating board...

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