from the this-film-is-now-rated-nc-17 dept
Back in January we noted the MPAA's double standard, when it came to unauthorized copies of movies. The same MPAA that goes around telling schoolchildren if you haven't paid for it, you've stolen it and once said that fair use doesn't exist. Well, it turns out (of course) they meant for other people. That's why they made unauthorized copies of the movie "This Film Is Not Yet Rated" -- a documentary about (aha!) the MPAA itself. You see, when it's about them, suddenly things like fair use and unauthorized copies are perfectly fine. Well, not surprisingly the MPAA wasn't too happy with the movie, and has given it an NC-17 rating.
Salon has a piece reviewing the movie and shedding a little light on the secretive MPAA as described in the movie. Movie ratings, despite what many people believe, are a voluntary thing -- and not government run. However, it's pretty difficult to find a theater or a studio who doesn't feel compelled to live by the MPAA's rating system. With so much power, it's interesting to note that the people on the MPAA's ratings board have all been secret, until the movie "outed" them. The movie also discovered that the MPAA's "appeals board" is made up a combination of movie execs and two representatives from religious groups. For a group so powerful, you would think they'd have a bit more accountability. Unfortunately, as the review points out, there are some weaknesses and somewhat dishonest parts to the movie as well -- which take away from its overall credibility. However, it still sounds like it sheds a lot of light on how the MPAA goes about its movie ratings business. Of course, it may be difficult for you to see, since very few movie theaters will actually show NC-17 movies... which pretty much explains why the MPAA rated it that way.