Right, it’s not a typical example, but if you’re talking about simply breaking down the door, a typical example may not be the best tool. Look at some of the films that finally did in the Production Code.
If Showgirls leads the way, then NC-17 will become Porn-Lite, and maintain its stigma.
Yeah, and the sky was falling in 1967 with Bonnie and Clyde, The Dirty Dozen and Fistful of Dollars . . . except it wasn’t.
You can’t fix overly-rigid moralism with either overly-rigid aestheticism or overly-rigid countermoralism (and, incidentally, hiding in the bushes with Dick paparazzi-style waiting to leap out on unsuspecting raters probably isn’t much help in the long run, either).
The funny part is that the violence depicted in the movies you mention seems so quaint now. I think they should just drop this ratings game all together, but of course that won’t happen.
True, as does the “adult content” in Henry & June in light of more recent, more explicit films like Shortbus and 9 Songs
I agree that the the rating systems SHOULD be scrapped… it should be up to a parent to decide what their children watch with perhaps some extremely unsuitable films highlighted.
Oh, yeah, to some extent it is self-perpetuating I suppose, but I’m not sure in what way you mean that as I would say it is more that the studios don’t care enough to combat the system, and instead use it as something of a marketing gimmick for DVD sales as that “Unrated director’s cut” label seems to be a selling point. Mostly though it is an archaic absurdity where we are supposed to pretend that our values are represented by what is shown in public at the theaters while “secretly” having it another way at home. Hypocrisy pure and simple with a liberal helping of cowtowing to the far right mixed in for flavor as it is the fear of protest from certain groups and their pull in some markets which is the only real threat at hand. The very idea that somehow no one under seventeen should be able to see certain sexual content, even with parental approval, while not treating other visual or story elements the same way is deeply problematic on a wide variety of levels and should be done away with. An R rating should suffice to cover all things that might be considered material which some parents would not like their children to see without permission, sorting what that might mean for each movie is already done with their explanation for the rating that accompanies the designation.
It’s all kind of moot though as movie production and the current theatrical system are in such trouble across the board that these sorts of things are the least of their problems I imagine.
“the studios don’t care enough to combat the system”
Right, because it’s really the studios own system, which they agreed to in order to fend off the imposing of external standards from any number of sources fifty years ago. But I think at a certain point, with enough opportunites presented, it would be possible to bridge the gap between what people will watch in their homes and what people would watch in a theater . . . if there were genuine interest in doing so.
The best way to do that, however, might not be to protest films with sexual content getting an NC17 rating, as defending those films would be harder to do in this climate and since many seem to prefer to watch them at home for the same reasons, but to protest other films, with violent or other “adult” subject matter not getting NC!7 ratings as the studios would actually care if those kinds of films would get a broader theatrical release and thus might actually push in the direction of having the rating become what it was allegedly intended to be. That is, of course, something of a pipe dream as it is unlikely to be effective and might be more likely to cause a change in content rather than rating at this point, but, still, it doesn’t seem less possible than going the other route and trying to gain more acceptance of sexual content.
I’m surprised there isn’t more of an outcry against the violence in films, especially from mothers, whose outrage in the past led to the 21 year old drinking age.
One of the most amusing aspects about these categories is that kids are expected to pay adult prices starting as early as age 9, yet are restricted from watching many movies until they are 13. If theater chains don’t feel kids are able to handle “mature content” than they should charge them accordingly.