While in NYC yesterday, I went to the IFC Center to see This Film is Not Yet Rated. Now, I just like the idea of an IFC-associated theatre (see my earlier post about IFC). It’s probably a good thing I don’t live in New York or I’d have to spend a lot of time and money going to all the cool films they show at this, and similar theatres in the city.
The film was just about what I expected it to be, based on reviews I had read. I was not particularly shocked or appalled that they exposed the identities of the various raters. It didn’t seem to me like they exposed anything particularly private about these folks (how many kids, what ages, maybe what car they drive or an image of their house). Nothing dastardly like the Craigs List scandal, at least.
I found the whole thing a bit interesting, and not at all surprising. Anyone who is surprised that over-the-top violence gets a walk while anything more than a buttcheek gets an R or an NC17 rating must not go to see a lot of movies here in the US. It’s appalling, and it’s wrong. But it’s how we do it here in the US, and have for many years.
Particularly interesting were the parts of the film related to getting HIS film (this film) run through the ratings gauntlet and then the subsequent appeals process. Again, no real surprises, but still a very crazy process and a crazy outcome. I doubt this film was deliberately suppressed to “silence it” (let’s be realistic, he included uncensored footage from a bunch of other films that had been initially rated NC17 so it seems unlikely he’d get anything less than that with the current system).
Another interesting point was made about the film shot in Iraq – real-world violence, swearing, blood, etc. And it got squashed by the ratings. How can you rate real world images? I guess that’s why documentaries are often not rated.
Since this was only in Seattle for a week, and only showing at one theatre in NYC right now, I have no idea how widely this will ever get distributed. Unfortunately. Because it is worth seeing.