This post is not yet rated

Although I greatly enjoyed watching Kirby Dick's documentary 'This Film Is Not Yet Rated', I wish it had a clearer idea of what it wanted to be. On one hand, it's a fun adventure to investigate the Motion Picture Association of America, the shadowy committee who decide exactly how much pubic hair is too much pubic hair. He hires a lesbian private investigator, and they shadow people in restaurants and follow cars. Like I said, it's really fun. He almost gets caught in a McDonalds, but their targets figure out that it's normal in Los Angeles to be followed around by a creepy-looking weirdo.

They dig up some great dirt, like the identities of all the "secret" film raters. Why are they secret to begin with? The official line is "to protect them from outside influence", but surely that's just a cop out. I mean, judges are surely subject to outside influence. Or politicians. Their identities don't need to be protected, and they deal in matters of more significance than deciding if 'Team America' has too much deviant sexuality to warrant an R-Rating.

But I felt like their serious and sometimes worrying findings (violence has no parameters, apparently, but show any sex and you're in trouble; very few raters actually have young children as they're supposed to, etc) got a little diluted by the craziness of the chase, and the gonzo-ness of it all. There's a bit near the start about shooting disabled orphan kids, which is funny (come on! it's a cartoon!) and the final third, in which Kirby (whose previous doc was about literary theorist and, let's be honest, dreamy Frenchman, Jacques Derrida) attempts to get his film rated is more of an adventure than an explosive exposé.

Definitely give it a look, because it's fascinating. I just wish it wasn't so frittering. Here's an interview with Kirby Dick on (ugh) CNN Headline News. And, without saying too much, let's just say.. full film.. YouTube.. ten parts.. you didn't hear that from me.


Lauren said...

I enjoyed the film well enough. It was strange and eye opening, but i agree, i wasn't sure what it wanted to be either.

But on to more important matters...

Reasons why i like you:
using the word "gonzo-ness" and calling one of the many loves of my life, Mr Derrida, dreamy. Now my next job, a piece i'd like to call "The Deconstruction of Gene Hackman"

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