Jun. 22nd, 2007

I just finished watching "This Film Is Not Yet Rated".

And . . . wow. Really, really great documentary.

Interesting commentary on the differing roles things like sex and violence have on the likelihood of stricter ratings. In particular, on the role heterosexual versus homosexual has on the MPAA's judgments. The film has some great screen splits where it shows a homo-scene on one side that received an NC-17 rating and a very similar hetero-scene on the other that received an R rating.

They managed to identify all but one of the raters, who are theoretically "average Americans." If my memory serves me correctly, they were all over 40, most of them had children, all had been or were still married, all were apparently heterosexual. Hm . . .

I think I was most struck, and potentially enraged, by the appeals process. For one, the film directors are not allowed to know the names of the people making the judgment in the appeals process. Eh? Two, the director is not allowed to make any reference to prior film ratings. So they can't say things like "but in this R rated film so-and-so was gang raped and in my film, which you rated NC-17, I just have conensual homosexual sex . . . " Thirdly, there are two clergymen involved in the appeals judgments. Yes. Read that again. TWO CLERGYMEN. Excuse me?! Now, it is obvious to me that churches are largely treated as moral regulators and compasses in America. And have a very large influence in that role. So it's not surprise so much as . . . I don't know. It just never occurred to me that fucking CLERGYMEN would be involved in the movie rating process.

And the worst part is, all of the wrong people - like me - will rent and watch this film.

Nothing like preaching to the converted . . .



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