Movie-maker Lasse Halstrom blames Bill Clinton and Janet Jackson for the fact his new CASANOVA epic has been rated strictly by US censors.

The Scandinavian director insists attempts to clean up the media after Clinton's romance with Monica Lewinsky and Jackson's breast-baring scandal at the 2004 Super Bowl have cost harmless films, like Casanova, the chance to get fairer ratings.

He says, "Casanova is 'R' rated, which is such a stupid American thing.

"From my experience (with Cider House Rules), I had to cut out thrusts between Tobey Maguire and Charlize Theron; a half a thrust is OK for PG-13. It's crazy.

"For this film, I think the Motion Picture Association of America had a problem with the under-the-table scene (in which an underage teenager frolics with Casnova Heath Ledger's manhood during a ball).

"So it got an 'R', which is a pretty dramatic decision and the wrong one. It made this whole thing escalate after Clinton and (Janet) Jackson showing one tit at a football game.

"Had this film been made a few years ago it would've been rated PG-13."