Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Fallout from the 'Valentine' decision

PTC condemns MPAA's decision to overturn Blue Valentine's NC-17 rating:

"...The new rating may be correct or it may be incorrect. We don't know because we haven't screened the film. What we do know is this: the entire integrity and legitimacy of the MPAA ratings system has been compromised. There is no transparency; there is no consistency; and there is no accountability - unless you are a wealthy producer who can afford to hire the biggest legal guns in the nation and wage a massive PR campaign." [Emphasis added.]

Well, I think we can all agree that there is no transparency, consistency or accountability on the MPAA's part, and this decision alone will not change that. But the Parents Television Council loses all credibility when they say they haven't seen Blue Valentine, because as I've said before, context matters. Is the sex in this movie comparable with that of your average porn movie? Does it serve the characters and the story, or is it gratuitous? Still, this is nothing new; as I recall, Dogma suffered the same problem from moral watchdogs who hadn't seen the movie.

What if Valentine lost its appeal though? Would you still see it if it was NC-17?

TWC's Harvey Weinstein talks about the strategy used in getting the R rating for Valentine
Director Cianfrance calls it a victory for free speech

- The King's Speech is still rated R. (AM Law Daily)
- Roger Ebert says American movies need only three ratings. (WSJ)

- An excellent interview with Toy Story 3 screenwriter Michael Arndt. (Thompson on Hollywood)
- Speaking of Anne Thompson, she also writes this article about the visual effects of Tron: Legacy. (Popular Mechanics)
- And speaking of visual effects, longtime FX wizard Douglas Trumbull compares movie effects then and now. (The Dark of the Matinee)
- Here's a list of 100 public domain movies. (Toronto Sun)
- Spike Lee will do a signing in New York this week for his new book about the making of Do the Right Thing. (Powerhouse Arena via The Skint)


  1. Good point. Either way I probably won't see the film until DVD, but I think the PTC makes a valid argument. Unfortunately they place it at the forefront against a backdrop that painfully undermines anything they say.

    The real argument isn't whether or not Blue Valentine should have been downgraded from NC-17 to R. The argument is whether or not it deserved an NC-17 to begin with.

  2. What really gets me is how these moral watchdogs go after films supposedly to protect children, but they're almost always films most kids would have minimal interest in at best. Is 'Blue Valentine' really on the radar of any 16-year-old Midwestern mallrat with a car and a Twitter feed? It's not even likely to be playing at their local Googleplex, since it always takes longer for films like these to hit flyover country.

  3. The MPAA is just outdated. And from what I've heard it may be that the NC-17 rating was due to a scene involving a lady being pleasured. While dudes are always getting head in regular movies, it's not ok for a lady I guess. I'd like to see the movie either way- I've heard it's very good and I dig the two leads.

    Anyway I didn't see another place to say it but your sketches are very cool! You've got a great style and I like your linework. The Helen Mirren portrait is my favorite!


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