Friday, November 29, 2013

The MPAA, NC-17 and politics

With Blue Is The Warmest Color getting the dreaded NC-17 rating and 50 Shades Of Grey almost destined to nab it in 2014, I was thinking back on some of the most memorable NC-17 rated films since the rating got introduced more than 20 years ago. Before that there was the X rating, which was just as bad and meant for a provocative experience to say the least .. Many of these films didn't even deserve the NC-17 they got. Martin Scorsese's upcoming The Wolf Of Street had to be trimmed down because the MPAA was about to slap it with an NC-17. Yikes. Even a master filmmaker like Scorsese is having a hard time dealing with the MPAA bullies.

Most of the time it has to do with the sex, other times it's .. actually 99% of the time it's the sex. You get Hollywood films where heads get blown off and those movies always get away with it easy, but you have two people having their genitals showing and the MPAA is up and arms over it. Talk about stupidity. I'd rather have my children watch two people having sex than a guy's head getting sawed off -Saw anyone? And then there is debate as to how violent movies are responsible for all these school shooting and mall shooting happening around our neighborhoods. Maybe if those kids were watching people having sex instead of a mindless Stallone vehicle maybe it wouldn't have turned out so bad.

Listen, I'm not for censorship of violent films. I just think it's funny that sex is still a scary thing in the States and that meanwhile out there in Europe there are nude women in bus ads. Talk about societal advancements, those Europeans got it going on. i just find it ironic that for a country that seems to be scared of sex -"oh the children", "GOD is looking down on you"- there really is less of a strict restriction from the MPAA on violent, big blockbuster movies. I mean, how shocking is it to watch a vagina? as compared to, for example, watching a woman getting her face busted in by her boyfriend in The Expendables (an R rated film by the way ..) Slapping an NC-17 rating on a film with sexually graphic scenes prevents some people from watching -for example- Blue Is The Warmest Color, which is one of the best films of the year or last year's underseen but brilliant Killer Joe.

Here are notable films that have gotten the rating since its inception back in 1990.

Bad Lieutenant
Lust, Caution
The Dreamers
Killer Joe
Romance
Shame
Where The Truth Lies
Bad Education
Showgirls

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