If there was an inspiring, non-sexualized movie playing in town that happened to have some natural nudity in it, I would not mind my children seeing it (they would probably not flinch about it either); however, if there was a PG-13 movie with a touch of raunchiness but “doesn’t really SHOW anything” I would say no.
I’m also surprised by the level of violence that most Americans and even Mormons tolerate in their entertainment fare. I was amazed to hear of a “cleaned-up” R-rated movie shown in an LDS community for a family showing. Yup, they scrubbed-out a scene that showed a woman’s nipple but left the murder and mayhem intact. (Sure wouldn’t want them kiddies and babies to see one of those nursing apparati, now would we?)]]>
The South Africa movie ratings system has seven classifications, which is better in my opinion, but it’s not perfect either. In addition, that system doesn’t take its cues from the U.S.-based one. For instance, “The Matrix” is rated “10″ over there, meaning in theory that children under 10 years aren’t allowed to watch it. “Saving Private Ryan” is rated “13.” So naturally, a lot of people over there have seen those movies. Folks over there don’t know what “R-rated” means, so it was shocking at first to this American missionary to hear Church members talk about seeing this or that movie which I knew was R-rated in the States. Of course, they didn’t know that, nor should they be expected to.
For us moviegoers, the MPAA system is best understood as an important but imperfect guideline. It’s an initial advisory thrown out there as a heads-up to people who are concerned about such things. The textual “explanations” of movie ratings added in 2000 help a bit, but they’re also usually vaguely worded and sometimes poorly written. Kids-in-Mind and ScreenIt are helpful tools, but their classifications are imperfect too. One benefit to the Kids-in-Mind system is that over time it helps you know where your personal boundaries are. With me, for instance, I know what anything over a “4″ for sexuality, a “7″ for violence, and a “5″ for language will make me feel fairly uncomfortable.
Given all of the above, I think the revised “For the Strength of Youth” pamphlet says it best regarding entertainment choices. It establishes a clear but highly interpretable standard for Church members around the world, regardless of movie rating system. We really should be rallying around that statement (which more fully reflects the official position of the Church).]]>
“one who practices or preaches a more rigorous or professedly purer moral code than that which prevails”
So, I don’t think it is incorrect… but I will take Enlightened and Naive as compliments. Thanks!]]>
I guess the standard is so low that anything nude is sexual in the USA. Whether it is art, entertainment, or whatever mundane activity, the human body is still a taboo to self righteous puritans. I guess their thoughts are so dirty that any of these things will simply spur impure thoughts and unmeasured lasciviousness. I don’t know.
This is how funny life is, I myself have participated in theater fully nude. It was not in a sexual context and in my particular view (and in the view of my bishop at the time), not immoral. On the other hand, one of my best friends takes his rated R movies to a company to get them “cleansed” (by someone who obviously gave up his/her salvation long ago and therefore find themselves in the position to do righteous people the favor to watch those nasty parts in a film and effectively and conveniently edit them out… hehehe). Nevertheless, this is what freedom of choice is all about. Different people react differently to different things, and all of them should be able to go through life comfortably being able to choose whatever they may choose, thus we need tools like a rating system.
Since I am naturally vain and egocentric person; I just like to think I find myself in a far superior level, and when done in good taste, nudity does not spur immoral thoughts nor any type of sexual arousal. I am a man who is not offended by the nudity of other men. And this is what I advocate: Use both, a rating system and your own judgment. And please, for sure do this: OWN YOUR JUDGMENT!!! Put an effort to make a judgment for yourself whether something is good or bad! Don’t be lazy and simply allow some committee to tell you what is good and what isn’t good for you. Weight the issues. We are capable of this! If the movie is titled “Vegas Striptease Whores” and it is rated NC17…. Use your judgment!
Regardless of how critical I am of the pathetic puritan perceptions of art and the oft abused term “morality” in American society… I actually agree with the rating system established by the MPAA. Why? Because it is necessary to have guidelines. Because it is necessary for artists or entertainers to respect the tastes of all audiences, even if sometimes they doesn’t make any sense. Because people should be able to have guidelines to make their decisions. Because it is impossible to see everything and judge it. Because you need to know what your children are watching even if you don’t care to watch it. Because I like practical tools. Therefore, I say yes to the rating system.
This is a community of people I know very well and if there’s one thing I know about artists it is that they always have been, are, and always will be boundary-pushers.
And thanks to this wonderful attribute, the Renaissance could happen! And half a millennium later our jaws still drop in admiration of the great pieces of art that this creative freedom propelled. God bless all artists who don’t fall in the trap of judgmental censors and prudes! And good job for those who rate things so that people can make wise choices!]]>
Why is Mac better than Windows?]]>
Why do you spend so much of your time telling your children that “everyone is doing it” is bad, especially when everyone is using inches, minutes and decibels?
Well, my kids understand that “everybody” doesn’t use inches. Folks use metric in most of the world.
I think that when something is not working, and there is a much better idea, we should carefully consider adopting it. This is why my state re-did all the highway exit numbers to correspond to miles, which will be a much better system in the long run (although we all had to buy new maps).
A similar conversation could be had with a G-rating as well. One word is usually enough information to decide whether or not to even persue further investigation.
And once everyone becomes familiar with a better system (and there actually several out possibilities out there; I’m not pimping for that particular website), I could say, “It’s a 6-6-3″ and folks would know that it each was a score from 1 to 10, for sex/nudity-violence-profanity.
But in real life, my friends are also thinking people who don’t discount a movie on the basis of “one word.” So I can’t imagine either of those conversations happening.
Two of my most meaningful film experiences this year were the movies ONCE and THE KITE RUNNER.
ONCE is an incredible musical. (Eric Snider gave it a B+.) It was a delightful 90 minutes, and left me in tears about what love really means. But it was an independent film, and made by some folks in Ireland who weren’t really aiming for the US market or considering MPAA (the musicians who tried acting thought they might eventually recoup the expenses by selling it at their concerts; they had no idea of the millions it would eventually bring in), and it was shot documentary-style with lots of improv. It ended up with more F-words than MPAA allows for PG-13, even though those words (1) never had a sexual content and (2) were spoken with such a strong Irish accent that it didn’t affect me more than flip or frack. It was rated R by MPAA and 2.1.7 by KIds in Mind.
Then I saw THE KITE RUNNER. It was produced by a major American studio (and remember, major studios pay for MPAA and reportedly get a better deal). Despite having a brutal rape of a child and other scenes of violence, it was rated PG-13 by MPAA and 6.6.3 by Kids in Mind.
Which of those two films would I like children to be older before seeing? Definitely THE KITE RUNNER. I had read the book first, and knew when to shut my eyes, but still.
I don’t think the MPAA shares my values. One of the dangers is that it can give a false sense of security. I appreciate having a more accurate tool to get a better idea of what is in a film before spending my money and time to see it.
How lame would that be to have to go to the internet EVERY FREAKING TIME you want to get a general idea of the content of a film? Answer: very lame.
I guess I don’t mind, since I see so few films each year.]]>
I think avoidance of R-Rated movies is one of those “gospel hobbies” that are spoken of sometimes. If you wanna see R-Rated movies, go ahead! If you don’t, don’t! How simple is that? (of course, this would result in people not judging each other for their choices…imagine that!)]]>
…. a pretty weak reason never to have tried a PC;
Oh, I’ve tried PCs. I use them every day at work.
I’ve also had to carry a Windows laptop on business trips, if I was going to be needing software that only ran on PCs.
I’m actually considered to have above-average Windows skills by my colleagues. I know it, I can use it, I just don’t like it.
(And it seems to me that recent Windows versions are just trying to catch up with what Apple was doing months to years earlier.)]]>
That may be a threadjack, but it keeps me from fully taking your argument (about evaluating movies) seriously. The MPAA ratings, while not perfect, give me a rough idea of what a movie will have, and between ericdsnider.com and the NYTimes (and, of course, the Onion’s AV Club), I can get a pretty nuanced idea of whether I want to see it or not, based on both positive and negative content.]]>