the secret agenda of rabbits (cjp) Sat 28 Mar 09 11:35
Do you two (and the other parents out there) find TV ratings accurate and helpful? If so, what differences do you note between them and the MPAA ratings?
David Albert (aslan) Sat 28 Mar 09 11:40
We don't watch enough TV to pay attention to the ratings. I don't think I could tell you the rating of a single TV show.
Betsy Schwartz (betsys) Sat 28 Mar 09 12:56
Ditto. Well, when my kid's sick she watches the Style Network and TLC, but if What Not To Wear has a rating I haven't noticed it.
Bob (bob) Sat 28 Mar 09 17:19
I actually appreciate the distinction between PG-13 and R, in most cases. With violence, 'R' tells me that there's enough of a squick factor that will repel my wife and to a lesser extent me, that is, if the overall film doesn't make it worthwhile (as I certainly think it is in plenty of movies). With nudity, my attitude is pretty much the more the merrier, but as I said, it's good to know in advance that a movie isn't acceptable for viewing on the corporate shuttle-bus. (As for the f-word stuff, I think the MPAA needs to lighten the fuck up.) It's the sometimes arbitrary threats of NC17, for stuff that isn't close to being pornographic, that really annoy me.
the secret agenda of rabbits (cjp) Sun 29 Mar 09 11:05
Couldn't agree with you more. So, we've rolled our way up to 2009, and in spite of the prudes on the MPAA, just about anything goes in movies, and even on cable television, for that matter. Are we pretty much inured to violence, sex, and dirty words? Does nothing shock us anymore? What would be considered a "controversial" film nowadays?
Hugh Watkins (hughw1936uk) Sun 29 Mar 09 15:32
>> What would be considered a "controversial" . . . << by whom? there are few universals
Linda Castellani (castle) Sun 29 Mar 09 15:41
I was shocked at The Aristocrats, although I understand I am in the minority. I saw all the warnings in the theater before I went in, but I thought I was pretty shock-proof so I didn't take them too seriously. There's a TV show that consistently shocks me: Nip/Tuck. It's rated MV LAS, if I remember correctly. Every episode I come away shaking my head at the over-the-top situations, both sexual and violent. And yet: I love it. So, even for me, there's no universal.
Every Acid Dealer Gets Busted Eventually (rik) Sun 29 Mar 09 16:04
"The Aristocrats" is a study in the excellence of editing. Comedy is, after all, about timing. And Gillette hit you right up front with George Carlin's incredibly gross, yet to me, hysterically funny version joke. Nothing in the movie outgrossed that (corn kernels, for god's sake), not even Gilbert Gottfried.
Linda Castellani (castle) Sun 29 Mar 09 16:59
Stephen Tropiano (stropiano) Sun 29 Mar 09 20:43
CONTROVERSIAL FILMS in 2009? That's a good question--why qualifies as "controversial today"? Is there anything that hasn't been seen in films (or even television) yet? I understand that people were shocked by THE ARISTROCRATS, though the shocking content was basically words (in the content of a joke)...But let's think of it another way...what film content is still considered by today's terms CONTROVERSIAL (which is a relative term, because it always depends on whose standards something is being measured by...). One example: fictional films that are not pornographic by adult film standards featuring =couples having unsimulated sex: SHORTBUS, 9 SONGS, ANATOMY OF HELL
the secret agenda of rabbits (cjp) Mon 30 Mar 09 00:26
Oh yeah, Bob Saget blew my precious little mind for good in THE ARISTOCRATS. One last frontier seems (to me at least) to be mainstream religion. The uproar over Mel Gibson's THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST seemed in part because it rehashed old prejudices, in addition to dwelling almost pornographically on the Christ's torture. Other mainstream films, though, have taken a different tack and questioned traditional religious subjects -- like Scorcese's LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST and even Bill Maher's recent RELIGULOUS -- and there was a bit of a to-do over them as well. Are mainstream religion and full-on sex (plus perhaps animal maltreatment) the only things that get people in the U.S. really upset nowadays?
mother of my eyelid (frako) Mon 30 Mar 09 08:58
How about the notion that a woman could have an abortion and not be punished for it (by getting depressed, suicidal, etc.)? I can't think of another film like FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH (1982), where a girl gets an abortion and still ends up happy with a guy.
uber-muso hipster hyperbole (pjm) Mon 30 Mar 09 13:27
That movie is often lumped in the serio-comedy group. It is much more than that.
Cogito? (robertflink) Mon 30 Mar 09 13:36
The discussion set me to speculating on a religious equivalent to indulging our prurient interests. The flipside may be seeing who can be the most righteous, resulting in a kind of pornography of the spirit. Then, again, inquisitions may have their own "carnal" delights. I would contend that humans "need" some degree of "tut,tutness" if only to go "tut, tut" to those who go "tut, tut".
Michael C. Berch (mcb) Mon 30 Mar 09 14:48
Re <40>, <46>, what I hope we can work towards is some way of killing off the MPAA ratings system, and other means of self-censorship and "official" systems in favor of a completely pluralistic system like the rating web sites you and others mentioned. More importantly, the following discussion revealed that parents' concerns, real or assumed, are the tail that wags the dog of film content and ratings of all kinds. It's one more manifestation of the whole "it's for the children" excuse to infantilize modern life, and I really resent it.
Linda Castellani (castle) Mon 30 Mar 09 15:56
How does the NC-17 rating compare to NR or X? Does the X-rating still exist, and if it does, what does a film have to contain to qualify for it? Are there official rating distinctions between X, XX, or XXX?
Stephen Tropiano (stropiano) Mon 30 Mar 09 16:55
THE X RATING: The X rating no longer exists--and as for XX and XXX. The MPAA never copyrighted the "X" rating, which essentially meant that anyone could rate their film X. NC-17 is copyrighted. The reason NC-17 came about is the X rating, which at one time (late 1960s, early 1970s) was actually used for films (including non-pornographic ones) that dealt with adult themes (MIDNIGHT COWBOY, which won Best Picture, was rated X, though by today's standards it would receive an R).
Linda Castellani (castle) Mon 30 Mar 09 18:18
I think that Fritz the Cat was also rated X. Thanks for the clarification.
(dana) Wed 1 Apr 09 16:39
Thank you, Stephen, for joining us here in the Inkwell. Our virtual spotlight has turned to a new discussion today, but everyone is free to continue the discussion.
Stephen Tropiano (stropiano) Wed 1 Apr 09 23:30
Thank you---I have really enjoyed conversing with all of you! ST
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