Sunday, February 6, 2011

This Film is Not Yet Rated

Award winning documentarian Kirby Dick takes on the Motion Picture Association of America (the MPAA), the board that hands out the ratings for the movies we watch. Dick angrily and humorously examines the double standards the board has for male and female pleasure, straight and gay sex, and violence and sex in general. Dick shows side by side comparisons of scenes in which the straight sex or male pleasure got an R rating, where the gay sex or female orgasm received the dreaded NC-17. The NC-17 is supposed to be a workable rating for non-pornographic adult movies, yet most theater chains won't show the movie, most newspapers won't carry ads for it. And the same newspapers and theaters still won't carry anything for an Unrated movie if the filmmakers tried to release the film to the public without a rating, even though the ratings are technically optional.

Dick also shows the shadowy nature of the board and how none of its members' identities are released to the public, so he hires a Private Investigator to find out who they are. This section of the movie is fairly interesting, but I would've love if the whole movie were dedicated to examining the ratings themselves and the politics behind them and less on the "gotcha" kind of moments that this part focuses on. Still, it's a terrific movie and highly recommended to those of us who have been angered so many times over the years by the many idiotic decisions the MPAA has made.

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