This Film Is Not Yet Rated Reviews
Interviewing many of today's filmmakers who have had their films sanctioned by the MPAA, director Kirby Dick tries to get at the heart of what exactly is the criteria used when applying these ratings - G, PG, PG-13, R, NC-17 - to films, and who are the people who make such decisions. What follows is something quite disturbing. From first hand accounts of people who have worked at the MPAA as well as filmmakers who have had to battle to get their films "properly" rated, we learn that there is no real criteria that distinguishes an R from an NC-17, and that the decision makers are not only anonymous to the public but security measures have been set up to protect these people from ever being known.
This Film is Not Yet Rated shows just how much a particular rating can affect the box office performance of your film, and beyond that, how accessible your film will be to the general public. In one scene you learn that most theatres and big retail chains will not carry an NC-17 rated film. Talk about limiting freedom of expression. Also, through comparisons between how lenient the MPAA is towards violence as opposed to sex, how big studio films will receive detailed and specific ways to get their films tailored to a specific rating while independent filmmakers are left with nothing more than a vague response, this documentary reveals an organization that doesn't know what it's doing. Instead, it is a system designed as a false safeguard to parents based on some false moral ground that Uncle Sam is watching out for you and that "somebody is thinking of the children." But it's a joke. Filmmakers can argue their ratings on what they think is suitable for a particular rating, but if there are no standards set out for these ratings, how can any of these ratings be legitimate?
In the end you're left with information that you probably already knew about a system that non-filmmakers just ignore and what little information you DIDN'T know; you can't/won't do anything about.
So the real question is, why?
The doc is well made and covers the subject very well even if it is from a point of view that doesn't think the system is working.
One of the highlights of the film is when the ratings review board has to review this film.
This is a documentary about the MPAA film ratings system. It goes into detail about how the MPAA is run very secretively and how ridiculous the whole system is. Several filmmakers are interviewed about their movies and the treatment they received when having to deal with NC-17 ratings and the possibility of editing their work.
The film also examines a number of common issues concerning the strange rules and standards the raters seem to follow, including issues such as violence not being as big of a deal as sex, homosexuality in film being treated much harsher than heterosexuality, and the subject of the raters themselves (who's identities are held secret from the public, so they don't have to face outside pressure of course).
This film's director, Kirby Dick, also employs a PI to monitor the MPAA building and possibly learn the identities of the raters.
The final section of the film actually deals with rating this very movie, the rating, and the appeals process (this film was released not rated).
The documentary is very entertaining, complete with some flashy title cards and animation, as well as plenty of cut scenes are re-edited movies. Of course as a documentary, it leans towards one side of the problem, however its tough to find any sort of counter, unless your an extremely right-wing Jesus freak.
What does matter is that the film is entertaining, and it is, as well as being a good way to see the MPAA get their ass kicked.
Herself - Rating Board Chairperson: We don't give out that information.
One really would like much more facts or coverage, instead of slapdash moments of inference which really could have been covered in much shorter a time. It falls into the documentary pitfall of having half of your documentary be about how you made your documentary.
Really this is an interesting insight into the ridiculous American ratings system by the MPAA. It is also an entertaining one, as they do find some of the raters on the boarsd.You also can see just really how different American's are to our ratings system here in the UK. I mean Oldboy gets a R rating when the violence is so obvious in that. Anyway, we begin to see just how different Americans are. For instance, they are far more lianent with Violence, hence Oldboy, boy yet anything Sex related gets a NC-17 or same sex sex for instance. Our BFI is the total opposite. What I don;t get is why it is a secret with the raters. Seems pretty ridiculous.
However the film is incredibly biased towards it's theme. At no point does Kirby Dick get a view from the MPAA. It does get annoy at times but it's interesting to see that 4 of American's major conglomarated own 95% of America's entertainment. Also, that there are representatives of every company at the ratings. Makes you wonder just what American's think of their movies. Astonishingly, NC-17 movies are not avalible to buy at Blockbuster and Supermarkers in the U.S. Also interesting, the role of the clergy in movie rating. Yes, I did say clergy, as in priests. In the appeals commission there are always an episcopalian priest and a catholic one. No other religions get to add their input.
A must see movie, not a conspiracy theory film, but certainly one that is against the system. The system here being the absurd movie rating system of the MPAA.
Overall a must see movie to see an insight into this stupic ratings system in the U,S. Highly recomended