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X Doesn't Mark the Spot in Danish Film Making Anymore

January 01, 1986|BETTY LUKAS

COPENHAGEN — Denmark may not have a big international reputation for its feature films, but for many years it has held the dubious reputation as headquarters for pornographic productions.

That reputation is no longer deserved, according to Finn Aabye, director of the Danish Film Institute.

"It's been years since a pornographic feature film has been produced in Denmark," he said recently during an interview in his office in Copenhagen.

"It's American pornographic films that are shown here," he went on, "mainly in the tourist area. They're coming to Denmark to see American pornographic films. They're expecting to see pornographic films, because Denmark was the first country without censorship."

And there is still no censorship. But, Aabye pointed out, "you can't produce a feature-length pornographic film here and get your investment back, and we would never put up money from the Film Institute (for such a film).

"In a feature film, (subsidized by the institute), if we have a scene which would require naked persons and it's natural for the script, then OK, then it's there."

Denmark also has a ratings system that poses roadblocks to gratuitous sex.

"It's possible," Aabye said, "to send out films without any censorship, without showing it to the committee (that rates the films). But that means it's not to be shown to children." And that, of course, cuts down the potential audience considerably. (Twenty-five percent of the institute's production budget is allocated to children's films.)

"But what you're talking about now are 8- or 16-millimeter pornographic films which are mainly produced for videocassettes for export," Aabye said. "They're made here and in Holland and exported all over the world.

"But that's an international industry. There's nothing particularly Danish or Swedish or Dutch about it."

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