Warning! I’m deliberately tryint to NOT put in anything to spoil the flick, but I’ve been known to have errors in judgement. Caveat Lector!
So, last night I went and saw This Film Not Yet Rated. I was really excited to see it; I thought it was going to be really good. It wasn’t. The fact that the film maker had such an easy target, and yet all he could state, in nearly two hours, was the painfully obvious: the film rating system is soft on violence while hard on sex (no pun intended), misogynistic, and homophobic. Duh. There’s a big Bonus Duh as well, because if the rating system is supposed to represent the so-called average American parent, then of course it’ll favor violence over sex, by a bit misogynistic, and homophobic.
In order to establish these very obvious points, several film makers are interviewed. Most dissapointing of the interveiws was with Matt Stone, since he’s a math major and I expected a lot from him. Heh, seriously, he had one good point about the surveys of parents regarding the MPAA rating system; however, he didn’t establish a premise of his complaint, that an alternative might be better.
I think the three key problems were the lack of focus, the failure to identify and go after the real culprits, and the failure to establish the harms being done.
Some spoiler type things. John Waters:
Thinks it’s better to show people fucking food rather than each other, so that teens who do what they see will be having safe sex.
That is a fair point, indeed, but what he doesn’t establish is that showing the former is something that shouldn’t be rated in the first place.
Feels that things like violence against women should be rated heavily against because it is so over used as a plot device!
What the hell kind of system will that ethic leave us?
Marry Harron: Apart from directing the film adaption of the worst book ever,
speaks about how the egregious violence in her flick isn’t censored, but her egregious sex is censored.
I mean, if the one is bad enough to be given as an example of something worthy of censoring, that doesn’t really speak against the MPAA so much as their focus. But, again, that focus is already obvious.
A documentary film maker tells us that reality shouldn’t be rated or censored. Yeah, right. Budd Dwyer’s suicide should be on Saturday morning kids programming. :rolleyes:
The flick has a lot of time devoted to finding out who the ratings people are, but never seems to try to contact them, instead the film only gives us their license plate numbers (spoken aloud, but blurred on the screen), their names, and their kids’ ages. That whole bit was really pointless.
Time is also given to the secrecy of the whole thing, which certainly doesn’t stand up to the arguments being made is said secrecy’s defense; however, because the significance of the alleged harms being done is never established, it really comes off as a lot of handwringing over nothing. We’re never shown why the, in all honesty, so-called censorship is something to be concerned about. And that leads to the real issue.
The MPAA has no power whatsoever. We’re told right off the bat that a NC-17 rating will kill a movie, not because people won’t want to see it, but because the studios won’t back it! In a nut shell, that’s the problem; the MPAA doesn’t kill movies, the studios do, and because the studios pander to this group, the problems are allowed to continue or even obtain in the first place. So really, the whole thing was more-or-less off target.
So, is the MPAA arbitrary, cloistered, and fascist? Yeah, it sure sounds like it. But it appears the attitude of the studios is what really allows those problems to continue.