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In a rare and refreshing reversal of roles, filmmakers put the powerful Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA for short) under the microscope for inspection in Academy Award-nominated director Kirby Dick's incisive look at stateside cinema's most notorious non-censoring censors. Compelled by the staggering amount of power that the MPAA ratings board wields, the filmmaker seeks out the true identities of the anonymous elite who control what films make it to the multiplex. He even goes so far as to hire a private investigator to stake out MPAA headquarters and expose Hollywood's best-kept secret. Along the way, Dick speaks with numerous filmmakers whose careers have been affected by the seemingly random and sexual-content obsessed judgments of the MPAA, including John Waters, Mary Harron, Darren Aronofsky, Kevin Smith, Matt Stone, and Atom Egoyan. Written by
The MPAA announced that starting in March of 2007, it will change their policy and allow filmmakers to cite other film's ratings as comparison. The MPAA will also provide information about the demographics of its board. See more »
This movie is informative, but also funny and clever and kind of mind-blowing. It's not for the faint of heart because it contains quite a bit of graphic footage to illustrate the point that the ratings board is totally arbitrary (in fact, one former board member says there is absolutely no training or standards -- you come in on your first day and start to rate movies). That may seem not to matter, but it matters quite a bit to the film makers whose films are being rated and several appear in the film and make very strong arguments for why the rating their film received was unfair. There are also interviews with several other people (like a free speech lawyer) who add context to Kirby Dick's expose. This really is a must see for anyone who cares about movies and it's a lot of damn fun too.
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