Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Big Picture: "Hollywood History 101 - Part IV"


Matt said...

Well Bob, I liked this 4-parter quite a bit. There wasn't a whole lot I didn't know in here apart from specific examples you used, but nevertheless it was well told.

The only thing is that I would have liked to see is a bit about how this things actually impacts the movie business and movies themselves now. In this episode in particular, I would have liked to hear some commentary about how the rating system helps and hinders the industry today. I mean, I know it's kind of obvious (there aren't any massive budget R rated movies as a result of the rating system). I mean, I guess I can understand why you didn't as this runs really close to an opinion piece, and your Big Picture stuff seems to be, in general, more of less objective, but having said that I think that it would have been acceptable in this case.

I think there's a lot to be said about the relationship between censorship and creativity and most people don't seem to know why things like censorship (whether it be legally mandated or regulated by the industry) are bad, both from an economic perspective and an artistic perspective. And to be quite honest I think you are more than capable to talk about it. It's clear you know more about the industry and its history than can be learnt on wikipedia, and the things you've said on TGO seem to suggest you're more or less on the rational side of the issue.

Anyways, that's just my two cents... more on censorship! I think it's an important subject that ought to be continually drilled into people's heads because most people accept things like the rating system without even being aware that it is at best an artistic speed bump, and at worst an artistic rock block.

Lee Kalba said...

Rent This Film is not Yet Rated.
It talks about the history of the current ratings system but also how the NC-17 is a kiss of death and the bias some film makers face from a traditionally evangelical-dominated panel and the lack of transparency in the process.
It is from a very liberal perspective, as it takes time to focus how "gay" movies seem to be judged more harshly than "straight" movies (basically, movies with or without content of a direct homosexual nature). I rather liked when they talked to John Waters and he, basically, compared the whole appeal system to a kangaroo court.

loveinamist said...

There is so much left out but you covered the broad aspect of it quite well. It's amazing how EVERY form of entertainment shares a similar history. First every goes, then people cry morals, then they restrict them heavily and wane them off restrictions over the years.
I find it amusing how a lot of people didn't know what was being done in the early days of hollywood. Hell people are still surprised when I tell them how with pornography films, just about everything went form straight/gay sex to bestiality.
And even though porn on film itself was illegal it didn't stop gentlemen clubs having private showings on their property with all their elite rich friends.

Dav3 said...

@Lee Kalba
I have to disagree. This Film is not yet [R]ated is a complete waste of time. I think censorship is a fascinating topic, and John Waters is one of the most interesting people alive, but that was one of the worst documentaries I've ever seen. It comes across like nothing but a bunch of whiny "artists" blaming the ratings board for their movie's faliure

They spend the whole time trying desperately to prove that the MPAA is some kind of super-secret, right-wing cabal, whose sole purpose is to keep mainstream America from realizing that homosexuals exist.

Besides that, 75% of it is just all the uncensored clips of the past 10 years that earned their respective movies an adult rating. (and I can see that online without having to put up with someone's agenda to get it.)

MovieBob said...

Yeah... "This Film Is Not Yet Rated" has some good bits to it, but it's waaaay too concerned with setting up the "Studios Use MPAA To Suppress Indies" conspiracy-mongering that isn't helpful to anyone.

Lee Kalba said...

I simply meant for the historical and factual aspects concerning the MPAA. Yes, when it tried to get political about it, the movie becomes tedious. But, it's interesting to listen to the movie makers talk about the actual process of getting a movie rated. It's the only thing I know of (however limited that knowledge may be), that has those kinds of first-hand reports. To be fair, I did warn about the political aspects.

counterpoint said...

actually, kinda wish there was a part 5....