This Film Is Not Yet Rated

I just watched This Film Is Not Yet Rated, which I'd been waiting for since I first saw the preview about a year ago. It's great, and infuriating. I don't think it ever actually opened in theatres in San Francisco. The official web site is hosted by IFC, but their channel is not actually showing it any more. They're selling the DVD online, but I find it more than a little ironic, given the subject matter, that the easiest way to see this movie is via Bittorrent.

Anyway, it's a documentary about how the MPAA ratings board works, and who makes the decisions about what movies you get to see (since an NC-17 rating is the kiss of death to distribution and to advertising budgets). The MPAA is very secretive about this: they're the gatekeepers of a huge part of our culture, and we don't get to know who they are or how they make their decisions. So the filmmakers hired a private detective to figure out who these people are. That part is very entertaining. The best part, though, is the side-by-side comparisons of what gets an R and what gets an NC-17. Hint: they don't like women who enjoy sex, or gays.

The MPAA, of course, gave it an NC-17. How could they resist?


Director Kirby Dick's blog. And his response to some "changes" the MPAA said they would make after they started having to answer uncomfortable questions as a result of this documentary.

Watch the DVD bonus material too, it's also good.

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