In fitting with what I was talking about the other day, I watched the documentary This Film is Not Yet Rated about the MPAA ratings board. Sure, it was set up in order to “avoid censorship” but the spirit of that idea is completely lost because the board is completely inconistent and hypocritical about what it gives NC-17 ratings to. Of course, extreme violence, misogyny, and male sexual pleasure is permissible for an R-rating. Gratuitous sex, “sodomy”, and gay physical contact are of course given NC-17. Even though it is not censoried, carrying that rating clearly hinders the movie from being shown in most places.
The most surprising thing is that Boys Don’t Cry was initially given an NC-17 rating, not for showing Brandon being shot in the head, brutally raped, or severely beaten, but for Lana’s orgasm. What the fuck?
The best parts of the film were hearing filmmakers give their thoughts on the board. My favorites John Waters, Matt Stone, and Kevin Smith were interviewed and are actually quite eloquent if given the chance for a serious interview. The rest of the movie deals with the filmmaker hiring private investigators to find out the names of the people on the board and making intimidating phonecalls to the MPAA. That was a bit overkill.
But, a good doc for those interested in the film industry and pop culture sociology.
It also validates my decision to go back to Netflix and cancel Blockbuster, who refuses to carry NC-17 films. But apparently carrying Grand Theft Auto is okay with them. Hypocrites.