13 February 2011

OMENS: This Film Is Not Yet Rated

This Film Is Not Yet Rated

Featuring Kirby Dick, Jack Valenti, Kimberly Pierce, Becky Altringer., Kevin Smith. Directed by Kirby Dick. Release: 7 September 2006. IFC Films, 97 mins., Not Rated

Plot: Kirby Dick investigations the Motion Picture Association of America's rating system.

With the publicly known battles with the MPAA concerning recent films like BLUE VALENTINE and Kevin Smith's outspoken words concerning JERSEY GIRL, the MPAA is ripe for a documentary investigation, and what we get is one hell of an enlightening, frightening, and compelling film that will make you roll your eyes, laugh at the absurdity of it all, and quite possibly strongly dislike this organization. As a movie fan, one owes it to themselves to watch THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED.

The film is all about the rating system and some of the stupid choices made as well as the secrecy surrounding the raters. Filmmakers like Kevin Smith discuss JERSEY GIRL, how Liv Tyler talking about masturbation was not favorably looked upon by the MPAA, and Matt Stone, discussing the reaction from the MPAA concerning the SOUTH PARK movie compared to TEAM AMERICA. When Stone independently came out with SOUTH PARK, the MPAA apparently didn't give that much of a shit, but the big studio production of TEAM AMERICA got them their asses handed a few hundred times over. Michael Tucker (GUNNER PALACE) talks about language in violence in film, actress Maria Bello (THE COOLER) on nudity, and Jamie Babbit about the confusion of what exactly is allowed or not when it comes to what can be seen (BUT I'M A CHEERLEADER). NOT YET RATED delves into the MPAA's decisions about sex, masturbation, violence, language, and drugs. Comparisons are made between the U.S. and foreign filmmakers and the taste of explicit sexuality.

Her's two interesting tidbits:
- When making a case concerning a rating on their movie, a filmmaker cannot cite another movie. As in, say a penis was shown in their film, they can't cite SCARY MOVIE's penis/bathroom gag as a reason they should get a R instead of NC-17.
- There are two clergymen who watch the movies, too. Huh.

Oh, and do be warned, watching NOT RATED streaming in a public vicinity is probably not the wisest move. A lot of sex scenes are shown, and although you'll be hard pressed to find me objecting to one of 'em, the idea of folks watchin' you watchin' a couple dozen sex scenes probably isn't high on the list of 'fun' things to do.

Whatever your opinion of the MPAA - they're a force of good that saves the innocence of children or whatever, or they're oppressing artistic freedom - this documentary presents the facts upfront and has a bit of fun doing it. There's also quite a lot of opinion from filmmakers and Kirby's humorous smirks and chuckles at hearing about his own films' rating and subsequent argument with Joan Graves.

Overall, watch it. Now. It's interesting.

Netflix Rating: Loved It

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