Friday, September 15, 2006

This Film Is Not Yet Rated

This Film Is Not Yet Rated
Distribtor: IFC; Production: Netflix
Where seen: Landmark E-Street, Washington DC, 9/15/2006
Type: Documentary
Director: Kirby Dick
Rating: NC-17 (not listed on the marquee, but the film documents the rating from the MPAA)

This digital video documentary exposes the secrecy of the motion picture ratings process at the Motion Picture Association / National Theater Owners Assocation ratings board in the gated community in Encino, CA. The director hires two female private detectives to track down the board members. You have to have kids to be employed as a rater (how is that for forced family values?) but many of the children of board members are grown. The "unfairness" of the system to gay films, and the focus on explicit sexuality, and the lack of accountability are all covered. The film also discusses the DMCA, and also touches on Internet censorship, a tangential reference to COPA (the Child Online Protection Act), already being litigated. There are many more-or-less explicit film excerpts, themselves converted to somewhat grainy video.

Note: When the current rating system was implemented in 1968, the ratings were G, M, R, X. The X would become NC-17, and M would be replaced by PG and PG-13.

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