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Movie Review: This Film is Not Yet Rated

Alternate Title: It's the Sex, Stupid!

Story: This revealing documentary is mandatory viewing for anyone who cares about the movies. Your chances of being able to see this muckraking film are slim because it received the dreaded NC-17 rating from the MPAA.

Director and writer Kirby Dick (yes, I laughed at his name too) methodically covers the process a film maker goes through in order to get a rating from the Motion Picture Association of America. Why does a film need a rating you ask? Without a rating the financial backing for advertising is minimal and the film gets limited release in theaters. The bottom line suffers.

So who the heck is the MPAA? That is one part of the story. Dick hires a private investigation firm (I loved the two female PI's ) to find out who is on this secret board. The MPAA is an self- regulated industry organization that is funded by the big studios (you know who all of those conglomerates are). The secret board members are supposed to be your average parent (whatever that means). Their rating system is arbitrary, secretive, hypocritical and smacks of moralizing Puritan values. The other part of the film involves Dick's personal experiences in trying to get this film rated.

Director Dick dissects some of their decisions by interviewing film makers who have run into problems with the MPAA like Kimberly Pierce (Boys Don't Cry), John Waters (A Dirty Shame), actress Maria Bello (The Cooler) Mary Harron (American Psycho), Kevin Smith, Matt Stone and more.

His investigation clearly shows that the board favors violence over sex. They especially frown upon females enjoying sex, homosexuals having sex, or any sexual position other than missionary. They do seem to like violence against women however. And slasher films are okay in their minds. Aurgh!

Dick has done movie goers everywhere a service by unveiling this group of uptight, moralistic, old world creeps. The appeals board of the MPAA even has two members of the clergy (Episcopal and Catholic only) as part of the process. Gasp!

See the film, have a few laughs, get angry and above all - always support your Independent film maker. Otherwise we will all have to watch the same crap that is spewed out year after year.

Acting: The film is a documentary so this category does not apply.

Predilection: I like documentaries and hate censorship of any kind.

Visual Art: There are some wonderful clips from films gone by.

Theater Audience: I saw this film in my new favorite theater. The IFC on 6th Avenue. It used to be the Waverly but has been reincarnated. It now shows only independent films with absolutely no annoying advertisements. They show a short film before each movie and the popcorn is excellent.

Weather: Sunny and 72 (it takes place in Los Angeles).

Sappy Factor: 0

Squirm Scale: I squirmed whenever creepoid Jack Valenti came on screen.

Drift Factor: I did not drift for a second.

Oscar Worthy: Yes

Soap Box: Censorship sucks. Don't tell me what I can't see, read or watch. The five ratings a film can receive are G (usually boring), PG, (usually drift worthy), PG-13 (usually big movie studio productions that appear on airplanes first), R (that means sex and violence) and NC-17 (the rating formerly known as 'X').

Big Screen or Rental: Please go to the big screen for this one.

Length: 100 minutes

LOBO HOWLS: 9