THE RATING GAME
A year ago at Sundance Kirby Dick (Sick, Derrida, Twist of Faith) talked to me about his new documentary, promising that it would blow the lid off some very powerful forces within the film industry. He wouldn’t directly tell me what it was about, though. It was one of those “if I tell you I’ll have to kill you” things.
Now, the film, This Film is Not Yet Rated, is headed for Sundance and then broadcast on IFC. And it’s about, yes, the MPAA. Over at Ain’t It Cool News Moriarty posts the press release detailing the film’s own twist of fate:
“On November 30, the ratings board, an anonymous group whose mandate is to classify films for the MPAA from the perspective of ‘the average American parent,’ screened this documentary and gave it an NC-17 rating for ‘some graphic sexual content.’ An NC-17 rating generally limits a film’s avenues of exhibition: many theater chains will not show it, media outlets will not run its advertisements and video store chains will not stock it.
IFC, however, will present the film uncensored and uninterrupted. Alison Palmer Bourke, IFC’s VP of Documentaries and Features states: ‘Kirby’s film is a natural for IFC. Our ‘tv, uncut.’ mandate is to give filmmakers a platform for free expression, and we let our viewers decide for themselves what is appropriate and of interest to them.’ Kirby Dick agrees, ‘It is important that this film be seen by as many people as possible, as it deals with an insidious form of censorship resulting from a ratings process that has been kept secret for more than 30 years.'”