Another Great Documentary — 5 years ago
Sometimes you think you have a grip on the country you live in…and then you hear or read about something that just seems impossible- like the MPAA. Thank goodness for this hilarious look at what has to be one of the most bizarre aspects of the American film industry.
Most people probably don’t know that there is a secret group of “parents” that meet to rate films based on arbitrary discussions of things like amount of naughty words, the placement of the camera during sexual scenes, the general “tone” of a movie, and who knows what else? Unfortunately, as numerous filmmakers interviewed in the film point out, this wacko institution has some pretty far-reaching impacts on what movies are successful, how they can be marketed, and what “version” of an artist’s work you actually get to see.
As Kevin Smith, John Waters, and Lawrence Lessig all point out, this is fundamentally censorship; and it affects the non-mainstream, independent filmmaker the most. The premise behind the film is that Kirby Dick (director) hires a private investigation team to reveal the truth about the MPAA. Along the way he documents other indie filmmakers experiences, while simultaneously taking his film through the actual process. It’s clever and funny while making an impact. I feel silly I have been watching movies all my life and had no idea this was going on. Check it out!