Synopisis from RopeofSilicon.com
IFC Original Documentary This Film Is Not Yet Rated, the breakthrough film from Oscar-nominated director Kirby Dick (Twist of Faith) is an unprecedented investigation into the MPAA film ratings system and its profound impact on American culture.
The MPAA, a lobbying organization for the movie industry, maintains a ratings system first implemented in 1968 by longtime president Jack Valenti. This system, with its age based content classification using letter grades G, PG, PG-13, R, and NC-17 (formerly X), has become a cultural icon. But behind its simple facade is a censoring process kept entirely secret. Board members are anonymous; deliberations are private; standards are seemingly arbitrary. Thus, the trade organization for the largest media corporations in America also keeps a trademarked lock on content regulation over our most unique and popular art form.
This Film Is Not Yet Rated asks whether Hollywood movies and independent films are rated equally for comparable content; whether sexual content in gay-themed movies are given harsher ratings penalties than their heterosexual counterparts; whether it makes sense that extreme violence is given an R rating while sexuality is banished to the cutting room floor; whether Hollywood studios receive detailed directions as to how to change an NC-17 film into an R while independent film producers are left guessing; and finally, whether keeping the raters and the rating process secret leave the MPAA entirely unaccountable for its decisions.
Filmmakers who speak candidly include John Waters (A Dirty Shame), Kevin Smith (Clerks), Matt Stone (South Park), Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry), Atom Egoyan (Where the Truth Lies), Darren Aronofsky (Requiem for a Dream), Mary Harron (American Psycho), actress Maria Bello (The Cooler) and distributor Bingham Ray (co-founder, October Films and former President, United Artists).
In This Film Is Not Yet Rated, director Kirby Dick also examines the most controversial ratings decisions in recent history, as well as the MPAA’s efforts to protect copyright and control culture in the name of piracy and profit. Ultimately, Dick tries to uncover Hollywood’s best-kept secret: the identities of the ratings board members themselves. The result is a movie about movies unlike any other movie ever made.