Just watched the documentary "This Film is not yet Rated" and found it very interesting.
I never thought much about the rating system before. I grew up in a pretty religious/conservative household and my parents acted as my raters. There were a few PG-13 movies I never saw and many a R that I did. It was about context with them. They always believed that some rating body wasn't going to decide what they let their kids watch.
There was a rating that was completely off limits for me and my parents: NC-17. That was no mans land. It was the realm of porn and filth and human depravity. Even if my parents wanted to they would be hard pressed to watch one. The only NC-17 movie I remember being advertised growing up was Showgirls, which was filth human depravity and near porn. Anyways....
I enjoy foreign films and independent films and documentaries more so than most standard Hollywood stuff, but I'd never watch a film with the NC-17 brand on it. It was just.... I don't know. I don't want to watch filth and depravity and NC-17 equaled that.
I hate to say that something "opened my eyes" because it implies that my eyes were shut on the matter, but this film opened my eyes.
Now, I don't agree with all the points made in this movie. They imply that violence in movies has a harsher effect on kids than sex does. I've never seen any academic studies that suggest that at all. They also criticize companies for protecting and copyrighting their creations. I don't see why a company cannot protect their creations.
- The standards that give a film a rating are not established. What one film gets away with another will not.
- Many movies rated "R" have the same, if not more sex and violence than the NC-17ers.
- Sex between homosexual partners are almost always given a harsher rating than sex between heterosexual partners.
- The rating board is a small group of parents (though many of their kids are older than 18). It's crazy to think such a small group of people decide what's considered decent.
- This film shows many scenes that got deleted from NC-17 films to make them rated R. I was shocked that (A)- I'd seen the same things from several R rated movies (B)-I'd seen far more in foreign films not submitted to the rating standards of the MPRA. (C)- I'd seen far more in original series on HBO or Showtime, and not the ones that run after midnight. The Sopranos or Rome would get an NC-17 rating I have no doubt.
All in all I think "This film is not yet Rated" is an important film to watch. I don't know, and frankly don't care, if it will revolutionize the MPRA, but it changed my attitude about what ratings mean, what I choose to watch, and the taboo on the NC-17 rating.