I just viewed the documentary This Film is Not Yet Rated and even though I considered myself well informed about censorship in the movies, this was an eye opening watch. For a documentary based on how sex is censored in movies today, they presented the information in a very tasteful and entertaining manner. I approve of all of the interviews, private investigator, and film footage that they used. I believe that it really tied the information together to inform the viewer.
Even the most basic knowledge on the stipulations of what is considered ‘G’ and ‘R’ was done in a very funny yet helpful way. And silly me, I had actually not known what NC-17 meant. To me it was just some mythical rating for movies that I never saw, or thought that I saw. NC-17 means No Child under 17, as simple as that seemingly meant, ignorant me only thought it meant something about being 17, like must be 18 or over. Aside from that lapse of common knowledge I found that I had more! After getting more than half way into the movie, I was just like %#@$ this $#%! I am looking up movies that are NC-17. Turns out I’ve seen a lot that were actually reedited for the “R rating.”
What is even more important though is why certain movies are getting this NC-17 rating (which cuts not only their audience down, but also advertisements to a dwindling none) while other, possibly more offensive movies are getting only “R’s.” Why are most of these films that contain sex getting this harsh rating? A lot of the time it has to do because of the women! Surprise, surprise! We are not allowed to be showing our pleasure on screen, and of course no pubic hair is to be seen either! Even if it is in this beautiful scene, where it really portrays how intimate the climax was, apparently it is still wrong. I don’t get it really, you can watch a man with a machete rip someone apart, watch their last dying breath, yet a woman breathing deeply is too much for a 16 year old to watch?
I have written many a thesis and essays in the past about violence and sex in the media and how it affects the public today, ever since my High School years. But even with all my knowledge I am still befuddled on how a rating system like that is in effect. Considering this is America though, I suppose I should not be surprised. We are so behind Europe when it comes to anything that is sex related, and it really saddens me. I wonder what any of the European countries rating systems are like. They see some of the same movies as us, and I know they don’t follow the same rules and regulations as ours. We are already well aware that their sexual education programs are, what seems like light years, ahead of us.
I cannot even imagine the frustration this MPAA system puts on filmmakers, they are trying to make art here with these heartfelt love making scenes, while one of those silly comedies can get away with a teenager fucking a pie. Where is the line really drawn? Personally I find the whole system corrupt and should be refitted. New decades, new audience, new rules. What I found really corrupt was that these parents on the MPAA reviewing committee are supposed to have children between the ages of 5 and 17. When the investigators did some digging, they found that many of the parents had children over the age of 20! I found that ridiculous! Also, why do these committee members have to be parents? There are movies out there whose audiences can be over 18, adults, yet never even hear about a movie that could really interests them, or even change their life, because advertisements companies won’t endorse a NC-17 film.
Thy system is broken really; I realize this more than ever after watching this documentary. I believe that the rating system needs to change and not be so against women’s sexuality.