amusingly, Mistress Cowfish reports that the first trailer has been, you guessed it, censored.
So I added a second, below it. Just scroll respectfully past the corpse…
This Film Is Not Yet Rated asks whether Hollywood movies and independent films are rated equally for comparable content; whether sexual content in gay-themed movies are given harsher ratings penalties than their heterosexual counterparts; whether it makes sense that extreme violence is given an R rating while sexuality is banished to the cutting room floor; whether Hollywood studios receive detailed directions as to how to change an NC-17 film into an R while independent film producers are left guessing; and finally, whether keeping the raters and the rating process secret leave the MPAA entirely unaccountable for its decisions.
Sounds like my kind of film! Not only does the Motion Picture Association of America censor the films, it censors its own identity, in that the censors themselves are carefully hidden from public view. Now that prison executioners are all out, the MPAA censors could well be the most seceretive Star Chamber in the United States.
Okay, maybe the second.
Naturally, the MPAA claims it hides its people to protect them from undue public influence. But what about due public influence? They are serving, after all, a public here, a public which has very different standards of decency and outrage than their grandparents did. If you think about it, the sole innovation the MPAA rating system has offered in the past 40 years is the NC-17 rating, which was about as welcome at a producer’s meeting as a big, steaming mug of hemlock. Surely someone should be held accountable? Why the Bene Gesserit treatment? Do their powers vanish if they’re seen? Do they disintegrate in sunlight, or (given that it’s Hollywood) melt in water?
By making them invisible, the MPAA has made their censors unaccountable and, thus, irresponsible. Only by making people’s decisions effect their reputations, and by connecting their reputations to their identity, can we have a functional system. The censors are dehumanized and isolated from the community by the system designed to protect them. Without the possiblity of consequences reflecting actions, what we have is not an anarchy but a fascist system, and the only cure for that is revolution.
Behold the terrorist force:
When director Kirby Dick wanted to learn the identities of the most secretive group in the film industry, he resorted to a time-honored Hollywood tradition. He hired a private eye to follow them and go through their garbage…
Dick argues that the process amounts to censorship because it forces filmmakers to tone down — maybe even gut — their works rather the incur the wrath of the Motion Picture Association of America‘s ratings board…
Dick said he did nothing illegal in hiring his own investigator and filming her at work, scenes that help form a dramatic arc in his production.
“That was the only way I could get their names. They have been kept secret for nearly 30 years. If what they are doing is in the public interest, then the information about who they are should be public.”
His film got NC-17, by the way, so he told them to fuddleduddle themselves and released it unrated, which will be good for PR if not for bums in seats.