20 August 2012 2:26 AM, PDT | www.flickfilosopher.com | See recent FlickFilosopher news »

Steven Zeitchik in the Los Angeles Times contemplates the future of the MPAA’s Nc-17 rating: [MPAA head Jack] Valenti had high hopes that the Nc-17 — he called it "unstigmatized" — would usher in an era of mainstream acceptance for films with serious adult themes. But after some initial acceptance by directors, distributors, exhibitors and audiences, the rating fell deeply out of favor with filmmakers and moviegoers alike. Now, even as basic cable is constantly pushing into ever-more steamy and violent territory and a wide variety of pornography is easily available on the Web, movie theaters are practically devoid of formally adults-only films. The number of movies released with the Nc-17 rating has plummeted; those that do go out with that stamp do little business at the box office. The reasons are clear: Some theater chains, including Cinemark, the nation's third-largest circuit, won't play them. A number of media outlets, particularly newspapers and television stations in more conservative states, »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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