Rated B for Blog

IFC has been playing This Film is Not Yet Rated. If you like movies at all you should watch this film. It is a documentary about how films get rated in the US. Before I saw this I always thought the MPAA was a good idea. It is a voluntary rating group that is set up by the movie industry. Movies do not need to get rated if they do not want to and the government does not get involved.

Now seeing the movie I do not trust the MPAA at all when it comes to rating movies. The movies details a lot of problems with the way the system is run. It really pulls the curtain on the MPAA. If the film maker does not like the rating there is very little they can do. The rating the movie gets dictates who will carry advertising for the movie, who will show the movie, and who will carry the video in the DVD market. Most theater cannot run movies rated higher than R if they wanted to because of the leases.

I understand that parents need a way to figure out that kind of movies their kids should see. The problem is that when you line two movies up next to each other it often does not make sense what gets an R and what gets an NC-17. There seems not be a standard, but people making up the rules as they go along.

I am also offended by the idea that the only concern we have about a whole art form is how it effect kids. Rated R means Restricted, under 17 with parent. Rated R movies should be able to look at subjects such as sexuality in a much more adult why than they can now.

Jack Valenti recently passed away. He was the founder of the MPAA. To most accounts, he build the MPAA to be a powerful organization. In Julius Caesar Shakespeare wrote The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones. In the end I worry that the MPAA is not good for movies.


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