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MPAA in the doghouse


Source: Variety

After 85 years of clandestine operation, the American film censorship body, the MPAA, is finally being forced to become more accountable. The reason for this, it would seem, is a little documentary by filmmaker Kirby Dick, entitled This Film is Not Yet Rated. Released on DVD on January 23rd (I’ve got my copy pre-ordered), it is a shocking exposé into the goings-on behind closed doors at the notoriously secretive organisation, revealing many interesting factoids that the MPAA would rather remained secret, including its anti-gay bias, hostility towards independent filmmakers, lack of accountability of its examiners, and seemingly arbitrary classification process.

The result? The MPAA have been dragged kicking and screaming into the public’s eye, and are now being forced to grow up a bit. From now on, the organisation will publish detailed criteria for each classification, filmmakers will be allowed to cite precedents set by previous classification decisions during the appeals process, more will be done to ensure that indie directors are given a voice, and more effort will be made to educate and train examiners before they are allowed to make ratings decisions. Obviously, given the MPAA’s long history of opression, inequity and abuse of power, it’s unrealistic to expect the situation to improve overnight, but it just goes to show that a guy with a camera can force an organisation that prides itself on unaccountability to fess up and sort out their act. Now I just need to see the film for myself…

Posted: Wednesday, January 17, 2007 at 11:50 PM | Comments: 2
Categories: Cinema | DVD



Sounds good... maybe there is some hope for fairer ratings then. For example it's a shame that films like L.I.E. receive an NC-17 rating, probably more because of the subject matter than because of actual content.

Posted by: Greeny, January 18, 2007 4:37 AM


I think the main problem is that the NC-17 is so harmful to a film. The big studios are partly to blame, if they stuck to their guns and released some big budget films with NC-17 ratings, then the big cinema chains and Blockbuster films etc. would have to sit up and take notice.

Imagine if the new Die Hard movie, for example, came out with an NC-17 rating, I can't imagine too many cinema chains wanting to turn that down.

Posted by: Tim R-T-C, January 18, 2007 8:54 AM

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