In a rare and refreshing reversal of roles, filmmakers put the powerful Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA for short) under the microscope for inspection in Academy Award-nominated director Kirby Dick's incisive look at stateside cinema's most notorious non-censoring censors. Compelled by the staggering amount of power that the MPAA ratings board wields, the filmmaker seeks out the true identities of the anonymous elite who control what films make it to the multiplex. He even goes so far as to hire a private investigator to stake out MPAA headquarters and expose Hollywood's best-kept secret. Along the way, Dick speaks with numerous filmmakers whose careers have been affected by the seemingly random and sexual-content obsessed judgments of the MPAA, including John Waters, Mary Harron, Darren Aronofsky, Kevin Smith, Matt Stone, and Atom Egoyan. Written by
The MPAA announced that starting in March of 2007, it will change their policy and allow filmmakers to cite other film's ratings as comparison. The MPAA will also provide information about the demographics of its board. See more »
Refreshing. Not perfect, but pretty *expletive removed* good.
A look into the mysterious organization that decides what rating a film is given. And all sorts of other issues/arguments that are created because of it. Numerous actors, directors, producers, former MPAA raters and critics share their thoughts on the good and bad of the highly secretive organization.
I have always found "rating reasons" funny and often absurd, which is why I make my own when writing these things. I have also always liked to look into second opinion on things so maybe whoever reads my little IMDb reviews will get that from them. Since, the often disturbing fact for film makers is the rating is something they have to live with and discussing it with the people who decided it is virtually not an option. And that ultimately decides what theaters decided to show it and how much, which is essentially how films money.
The reason as many of you know for the infamous NC-17 rating is sexual content, especially if it is explicit, and that is basically the focus of this film. Which is both good and bad. Good, because they do a pretty good job comparing R-rated and NC-17 rated sex scenes which are not that different. But bad, because the issue of violence (in my opinion the most potentially objectionable thing shown in film) is attended to on a small scale. There are violent PG-13 movies (Ah-nuld's "The 6th Day" for one) which include bone breaking, dismemberment, and you get the picture. While on the other side you have R-rated movies with really minimal or much more accurate depiction of violence (Michael Mann's "Heat" for one). Yet violence as entertainment is condoned, but showing kids what violence really looks like is not. Darren Aronofsky and Kevin Smith make the film's only points on violence and it'll leave you wanting for more.
Also there wasn't a comparison to other countries rating system, just a mention that those systems are a little less absurd, which is true if you look at the rating sections on most IMDb film profiles, but some thought here would have been invaluable to this film's argument.
However, this remains a pleasantly fresh documentary that many, but mainly John Waters (haha), have been waiting for. 8/10
Not Rated, contains: sexual material and some violent clips - There are many clips of sex scenes shown, but are shown and discussed from a critical perspective. The few violent scenes are discussed in the same manner. So bring your kids! They'll finally know what "it's not for you" means.
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