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Monday, 30 July, 2001, 12:09 GMT 13:09 UK
Naked film postcards returned to sender
Cast of A Heap of Trouble,
The cast spent two days in just their shoes and socks
Postcards promoting a film featuring a group of men parading naked through a south Wales housing estate have been banned by the US Postal Service.

More than 40,000 cards showing a line-up of actors from "A Heap of Trouble" had been printed to advertise the The World According to Shorts film festival at the Brooklyn Academy of Music in New York.

US Postal Service website
US Postal Service website

The low-budget movie - which shows a group of men walking around in just their socks and shoes - sets out to chart their struggle for emancipation in a suburban world dominated by women

But the US Postal Service - which has a ban on "lewd or filthy matter" and sexually orientated advertisements - would only agree to mail the cards on condition a black bar was added to cover the actors' bottoms.

"With bulk mail we try to think about the few people who will have objections," a spokesman said.

But Brooklyn Academy of Music curator Jonathan Howell, who choose the image for display at racks in restaurants and other public places, refused to comply.

"I ran the postcard past representatives of several cultural institutions and they were all okay with it," he said.

"We are all fairly surprised anyone could find it offensive.

"I ran the postcard past representatives of several cultural institutions and they were all okay with it

Brooklyn Academy of Music Curator Jonathan Howell
"We chose the image because it was eye-catching. It's about the middle class reaction to nudity - which is panic.

"The postcard is clearly humorous - perhaps more of a British-type of humour."

The film was co-funded by Channel 4, British Screen, Welsh film agency Sgrin and the Arts Council of Wales.

Its director Cardiff-based Steve Sullivan said: "I think it's funny that the film which has been shown all over Europe, should cause offence in the big liberal melting pot of New York.

"The general effect of censoring something is to make people see what's been censored."

The film - shot in the Pontprennau housing estate in Cardiff - received its official screening at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival back in May.

See also:

11 May 01 | Film
Naked ambition hits Cannes
10 May 01 | Film
Boosting Britain at Cannes
16 May 00 | Wales
Wales has first nudist beach
14 Nov 00 | Wales
Naked truth about soap stars
05 Apr 01 | Business
US mail mulls delivery cut
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