I’ve been watching This Film Is Not Yet Rated while I’m working on Christmas decorations and presents and it just slays me. First, I’d say watch this just for the John Waters interviews is worth it, because that man has the most amazing mustache ever. But in reality, it’s an important movie because it talks about an organization that has such a pervasive and all-encompassing influence on movies. They’re influencing America’s highest form of entertainment, and knowing more about it is a good idea, if you ask me. The discrimination and blatant censorship is just kind of crazy. I think watching this really makes clear the problems with our society when we fear sex, and specifically female pleasure, way more than we care about showing kids violence. That’s so wrong to me on a ton of levels.
This argument about showing violence versus showing sex is a really familiar argument in my world. growing up with divorced parents always has some sort of funny side effects, and one of the more noticeable ones in my world involved movies. My parents had different ideas about what types of movies were appropriate for my sister and I to see. I remember the big discussions about our first R-rated movie and they went in two different directions. My mom let us watch The Blue Lagoon, a movie who earned its R rating with sex. Sex that was depicted as loving and emotional. My dad showed us Little Big Man, the most violent movie I seen at the point and it gave me nightmares for weeks. Which parent made the right call?
Kevin Smith makes one of the best arguments in the movie. He talks about the top priorities for what should be censored, or what should be taken seriously. His top wasn’t murder–it was rape. He also listed violence against women as a top priority. Yet when you look at films that get censored–it’s predominately censoring out female sexual pleasure. We watch so many films that have women demeaned, beaten, and taken advantage of, yet it’s offensive to watch a woman actually enjoy herself.
You can watch the trailer here, if you’re interested, and I know the movie is available on Netflix.