Sunday, January 22, 2012

Reference from a friend "This Film is not yet rated"

So my friend Jackie told me about his documentary that shows us how films get rated and I thought I would do another "watch while blogging" blog about it.

So far its given us a bit of a background about how parents started rating films so they could tell others which movies were safe to bring their children to. Then we get a lovely, stirring opening full of blocked out sex scenes.
Then we meet the person who wrote "boys don`t cry" and she tells us how there`s a scene where the guy comes up from eating his girlfriend out and wipes the cum off his face, and instantly they slap an NC-17 rating on it, but then later the writer kills the character very violently and they don`t say a word about it which kinda sets her off. This gives us just a taste of how inconsistent the raters are. Then they say that the girl`s orgasm is too long, which doesn`t make any sense until you watch the orgasm for yourself and see that it`s scary to the raters because it`s about female pleasure.

Then they have voice recordings of other writers talking about the stupid things they`ve had to do. They have had to cut their films or alter them to remove dildos, to remove any chance of woman-on-woman action etc. The raters refuse to give an actual "list" of stuff they disprove of and therefore mark NC-17 but seem very inconsistent, and who`s to say that they are actually right for thinking such things anyway? Why should the opinions of these people come into play? Maybe they should just make a list and if a film has a certain amount of the things on the list then they categorize the film that way.
These people think that they are "gods" of a sort, that get to lay the standards for films when its all sort of childish. The ratings are as follows:

G: general audiences, no nudity, sex or drugs and violence must be minimal and cartoonish and may contain "children`s" curse words such as "rats", "darn", or "fart."

PG: parental guidance. There may be curse words, brief nudity and light violence such as getting kicked in the ass etc.

PG-13: this is for parents who don`t mind getting questions from their kids. "Shit" is not acceptable, and so is "fuck" but only once in the whole movie. Also depends on the manner in which the "Fuck" was said. If it was at someone it is fine but if it refers to sex or anything sexual it isn`t accepted. Seriously? How does this make any sense?

If there is any sexual innuendo and any violence or drugs it is immediately given an R

R: restricted. No children under 18 unless accompanied by an adult. This isn`t an all out free for all though. There may be sex, nudity and tough violence and frank sex talk. But the sex has to be only missionary. Anything depicting anything other than missionary, involving fetishes, old people, animals or anything the rating people just plain don`t like such as gay or lesbian sex, it gets slapped with an NC-17

NC-17: no children under 17. period. And if you get an NC-17 you risk not getting advertising which hurts the money made from the film.

If you choose not to accept the rating, you don`t get commercials, radio or anything advertising. No stores really carry nc-17s, walmart, kmart etc. So pretty much you cut your film to fit their needs or you don`t make any money.
then we learn a bit more about how people have been treated by the ratings people and I finally get an answer to an old question "What is an independent film'?
Well as it turns out an independent film is a filmmaker who dished out the money to get the film produces without having it rated. They seek to operate without all the restrictions of today. So maybe watch more Independent films to get a better viewing experience.
Out of 3o countries the MPAA doesn`t disclose who the rating people are, so it could be your neighbor, or your mom lol. It is actually really odd that this agency who is "working for us" won`t actually tell us who they are.
Then the producer decides to hire a private investigator and we follow the PI around. We learn that there isn`t a way to just walk into the MPAA building. They wait for a few cars to leave around lunch time so they can be followed and see if we can talk to them or discover who they are.
We meet a few people who have decided to speak out and share some secrets from within and we do learn that there is no training process, or charting process to determine what each film should be rated. They were offended by what some of the others had to say about movies that had been cut and it made them feel uneasy.
What I find interesting is that even with all the secrecy, the government hasn`t stepped in. And the rules and rating system is against the first amendment, so anyone off the street could mount a case against the MPAA but no one has because they are afraid. No one knows what would happen, and there are probably enough people who support these ratings to keep the MPAA functioning.
Sony, Warner Brothers, Universal, Walt Disney, Fox and Paramount control more than 95% of the US film industry, and guess who`s side they are on? The MPAA. No onder people are making more and more independent films these days. And these companies have sister companies that all together control over 90% of all media in the United States. After an excerpt from the MPAA confidentiality statement it is made clear that they do not want anyone knowing what is said within that building`s walls. When asked to give a list of what employees or former employees aren`t allowed to discuss, they refused. This way they are able to sue anyone who has worked for them at any given time because these people don`t know what they can and cannot talk about.
Armed with a tiny spy camera, the Pi and her friend`s daughter are following an employee as they emerge from the MPAA building, in hopes of getting some answers. We manage to get a glimpse of some possible raters.
Then we hear some more inconsistencies. "The cooler" was given and NC-17 because there was some pubic hair but in "Scream" or one of the parody's I don`t really know, the woman got her fake breast ripped out and that movie got rated an "R"

That`s all I really have to say, I`m 38 minutes into the movie so I`m sure it will get more controversial but you`ll have to watch it and see for yourself. It is on Netflix "This film is not yet rated"

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