Archive for October 2008

End the Stigma for NC-17 Films

Movie theaters don’t show NC-17 related films. Presumably to avoid an outcry by people who are against excessive sex, violence, obscenity, etc, in movies.

As someone who is actually against such things myself, at first blush I might be tempted to say “bravo.” But the problem with that is that it doesn’t prevent the stuff I’m against. Rather, films that should be rated NC-17 are ever-so-slightly trimmed and resubmitted, resulting in the hardest of hard R-ratings.

The result is that NC-17 is barely used, and many films that certainly ought to have that rating are instead simply rated R. And idiot parents take their kids to see them.

I sure saw plenty of R-rated movies as a kid, and you know what? It messed me up. I wish I hadn’t done that. I wish my parents had been more responsible. But they’d buy me the ticket and drop me off.

I’d actually rather end the stigma of NC-17, so that movie-makers who want scenes of hideous bloodbathery or eroticerry could do so. Why? Because they are going to be passing it off as R anyway, so let them at least label it properly. It won’t be much worse than what we’ve got, and the R rating can be used for stuff that a responsible parent might actually take their child to.

The theaters only care about money. They won’t show NC-17, not because they care one whit about decency, but because they fear a boycott. And people don’t boycott R movies even if they are just as bad as NC-17. So that’s what they support.

Well, either start boycotting the obscenity regardless of rating, or let theaters know you’ll let them show NC-17. It’d be preferable to simply showing NC-17 films but saying they’re really R.

The stigma of NC-17 has done nothing to stop obscenity from appearing in film; all it does is make it more accessible to young people, the ones who are least equipped to deal with it. That I know from experience.