I finally got a chance to see This Film Is Not Yet Rated tonight on DVD, and I must say it may be on of the best “Los Angeles” specific movies ever. The documentary is an expose of the MPAA’s top secret ratings board and ratings process, including a decent, albeit unbalanced, history of the organization.
The most engaging storyline follows a lesbian private investigator who director Kirby Dick has hired to uncover who the anonymous ratings board members are. Most of this involves the PI staking out the MPAA offices on Ventura Blvd. in Encino, then tailing many of them to their homes for dumpster diving and other subterfuge. The process seems tedious, but clever, and even though the techniques seem like a good primer for prospective stalkers, its fascinating stuff.
When he came close to finishing the film, Kirby sent a cut into the MPAA to gain a rating. Of course, this footage is part of the final film, and one of its best parts, as we listen in on his phone call that tells him he earned an NC-17 rating. Kirby seems giddy about this, but more eager to hear how they really feel about the film that demonizes the ratings system and its members as homophobes and hippocrites… he never gets the full satisfaction, but its between the lines of their responses.
However, what isn’t in the final cut, but only in the special features, is a scene where Kirby asks if the MPAA made a copy of his film, which they deny because its against their policy and agreement with the filmmakers. However, a conversation with the MPAA’s lawyer unveils that they did indeed make a copy and that it wasn’t unprecendented. The irony here, of course, is that its a blatant violation of the law that the MPAA itself lobbied for against unauthorized duplications.
While I’m not sure if this is an authorized duplication or not, YouTube has the clip of that very scene up right now, which I’ve posted after the jump.
…photo stolen by Lisa Nolan…