This is the scene Cincinnati audiences for director Wayne Wang's unrated adult drama The Center of the World failed to see at Clifton's Esquire Theatre: A stripper leans over her male customer. She inserts a lollipop into her vagina, quickly pulls it out and inserts it into the mouth of her mesmerized customer. The image is brief and fleeting. Between May 25 and June 3, Cincinnati audiences instead saw the stripper move the lollipop below her waist, then immediately raise it up and put it into the mouth of her customer. The lollipop's insertion into her vagina was suddenly gone. Sources on the Esquire's staff told CityBeat that on May 24, one day prior to the film's local opening, Esquire owner Gary Goldman ordered one of his managers to cut the sex scene from the print of the film. There were no complaints from theater customers. The film hadn't even opened.
The Center of the World is an American film directed by Wayne Wang , which was digitally shot and released in The film was screened out of competition at the Cannes Film Festival. A couple checks into a suite in Las Vegas. In flashbacks we see that he's a computer whiz on the verge of becoming a dot-com millionaire Peter Sarsgaard. She's a lap dancer at a club Molly Parker. He's depressed, withdrawing from work, missing meetings with investors. She accepts with conditions: four hours per night of erotic play, and no penetration.
The Center of the World wants, self-consciously, to rebel against that tasteful in a scene chopped up to the point of incoherence, shoves a lollipop into her. She's spared him from performance anxiety. He gets the intrigue, the excitement, the mystique and her full attention, and avoids physical and psychological risk. Nice deal.
We split on this one. Scoop thought it was a decent little arthouse effort, but Tuna despised it. The difference of opinion is no surprise. Critics were all over the board. This is a much better film than I expected it to be, and many things I heard about it were inaccurate.