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Tuesday, 10 October, 2000, 15:06 GMT 16:06 UK
'Banned' film gets TV première
Story of O
Story of O: Adapted from a best-selling novel
A film adaptation of a controversial French erotic novel is to receive its British television première, after being effectively banned for 25 years.

The film version of Story of O, by French writer Dominique Aury, will be screened on Channel 4's subscription service FilmFour next month.

Refused a certificate when it was submitted in 1975, the British Board of Film Classification gave the film an 18-certificate in February.

It commented: "The film is very much a work of its time. Much of the action is conveyed by the facial expressions of the characters."

Sexual slavery

Published under the pen name Pauline Réage in 1954, the novel became an instant under-the-counter success, and although never officially banned, it was often targeted by the vice squad.


If anyone was going to be morally outraged I would be very surprised

FilmFour spokesman
Regarded by some as a masterpiece of erotic fiction, and by others as a degrading study of sado-masochism, the story follows a woman, known only as O, who willingly enters into sexual slavery.

Announcing the screening, a spokesman for FilmFour said: "They're all pushing the understanding of the traditions of cinema. They are all innovative films and we are keen to stretch the boundaries of what people expect to see."

"It's not just about putting this on for shock value. We will be putting it into context.

"Is this a dangerous piece of film-making? I really don't think so. If anyone was going to be morally outraged I would be very surprised."

Directed by Just Jaeckin, who also made Emmanuelle and Lady Chatterley's Lover, the film stars Corinne Clery - who went on to be a Bond girl - in the title role.

The Story Of O is being shown on 6 November as part of FilmFour's Extreme Cinema month. There are no plans for the film to be shown on Channel 4 at present.

It is also to be released on video and DVD later this month.

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