Everyone knows about battles with the Motion Picture Association of America, in which directors and producers disagree with the board over a rating. The stories are plentiful, of being forced to cut a scene out of a film to get a lower rating, of a harsh rating given to a mild film, all that kind of stuff. You can kill literally millions of people in a movie and get a PG-13 if there’s no blood, but three F-words in a family drama lands a film an R rating. Long story short, the MPAA is a joke, but it’s just the culmination of a long history of censorship in film.
If you’re curious about what that long history entails, it’s told in a very brief manner by the team at CineFix. Their latest video in the Film School’D series is called A$$, ( . )( . ), and GUNS: Censorship in Cinema. In about 7 minutes, the video goes from the earliest instances of sex and violence in film through more modern fare like the doc, This Film Is Not Yet Rated. Check out the video below. Read More »
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Normally, the rating of a film isn’t particularly important. In fact, ratings can totally fail to represent the content of a film. When the Motion Picture Association of America gives a sweet movie like Boyhood an R and a huge, destructive movie like Transformers: Age of Extinction a PG-13, it’s obvious the association’s judgement is questionable. But every once in a while a rating indicates something significant about a film. Now another big summer franchise is about to go through a potentially telling ratings change.
After part one and two were rated R for “strong bloody violence,” The Expendables 3 has been rated PG-13, which suggests the franchise known for being so brutal might have been toned down. Read More »
Posted on Friday, March 14th, 2014 by Angie Han
To date, every single Marvel Cinematic Universe has been rated PG-13. That’s the sweet spot for big-budget four-quadrant tentpoles like these; a PG-13 lets a movie be edgy enough to attract the grown-ups but not so hardcore it keeps out kids. But as Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige recently revealed, getting that rating has been a trickier task for some films than others.
While the latest Marvel outing, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, easily made the PG-13 cut, Feige revealed that 2012’s The Avengers initially got an R rating from the MPAA. The filmmakers recut the movie and submitted it again — only to get another R rating. Hit the jump to find out which specific scene was the sticking point.
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Posted on Tuesday, December 31st, 2013 by Angie Han
The Wolf of Wall Street is all about obscene excess in every vice imaginable. Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his associates do more blow, screw more hookers, toss around more money, and piss on more legal documents than most of us could ever dream of.
So it only makes sense that they’d be more profane than just about everyone else, as well. As it turns out, The Wolf of Wall Street has more utterances of the f-word than any other non-documentary film in cinema history. Find out just how many fucks it gives, as well as which films it had to beat out to get there.
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Martin Scorsese rarely holds back when making his films. Some of his work, from Taxi Driver to The Last Temptation of Christ, stands as among the most provocative in mainstream cinema thanks to violence and (to a lesser degree) sex, and the director’s willingness to engage those elements directly.
Jordan Belfort’s biography The Wolf of Wall Street is a story that is rife with hedonism, as Belfort rode out of the ’80s and into the ’90s making insane amounts of money. Unsurprisingly, some of it was spent on women and sex. Given Scorsese’s tendencies, there’s every reason to expect those elements would be in his film The Wolf of Wall Street as well. The trailers certainly suggest there will be a lot of flesh on display.
Too much, in fact, as Scorsese had to trim sex and nudity to prevent the film being slapped with an NC-17. Even with those cuts, Wolf clocks in at two hours, fifty-nine minutes, the longest film of Scorsese’s career. Read More »
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A behind the scenes photo from Raiders of the Lost Ark has unearthed an interesting story from one of the most iconic adventure films of all time. As we all know, when the Ark is opened at the end of the film, all of the evil Nazis and their supporters are killed in incredibly gruesome ways. The worst was saved for Belloq (Paul Freeman), Indiana Jones’ main nemesis throughout the film. In the movie, his head explodes while being engulfed in flames. However, that wasn’t what director Steven Spielberg originally intended. Read More »
Posted on Friday, November 15th, 2013 by Angie Han
Lars von Trier’s plan to release hardcore and softcore versions of Nymphomaniac didn’t go quite as planned, but now another developing project has glommed onto a similar idea.
Producer Dana Brunetti recently revealed that he hopes to put out two edits of Fifty Shades of Grey: an R-rated one for more general audiences, followed by an NC-17 edit for the more hardcore fans. Hit the jump for more details on his thoughts on how that might work.
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Posted on Tuesday, November 12th, 2013 by Angie Han
In theory, the PG-13 rating is supposed to protect younger teens from adult elements like sex or violence. In practice, however, anyone who’s ever seen, say, Skyfall or The Dark Knight knows that these movies can actually get away with quite a lot of brutality.
In fact, a new study indicates these films have only become more and more violent since the PG-13 rating was first introduced in the ’80s — to the extent that PG-13 films actually have more gun violence these days than R-rated movies do. Hit the jump for more findings from the researchers.
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Posted on Friday, October 25th, 2013 by Angie Han
The news that the MPAA had stamped Abdellatif Kechiche‘s Blue Is the Warmest Color with an NC-17 rating wasn’t much of a shock. The board is famously prudish when it comes to sex, and the film raised eyebrows at Cannes for its lengthy, intense, and graphic scenes of lesbian lovemaking.
Distributor Sundance Selects announced in August that it would not “compromise Kechiche’s vision” by whittling it down for an R, so it’s rolling into theaters this weekend with that NC-17 rating still intact. Normally, this would prevent anyone under 17 from seeing the movie, even with parental supervision. But one theater in New York has decided to defy the MPAA recommendation and let teens see it anyway. Hit the jump to find out why.
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