film ratings

I watched a documentary on TV called Indie Sex: Censored. I thought it was going to be extremely trashy, but it turned out to be only somewhat trashy. I was slightly disappointed but it got me thinking about the bigger environment that Canadian libraries are situated in.

Indie Sex looked at the different actors (film makers, producers, large movie theaters, distributors, ratings board) and how censorship has changed in recent history. The film makers, Lisa Ades and Lesli Klainberg, argue that most mainstream movie theater chains will not screen films that have been rated NC-17 and that movie studios and directors will tone down their films so that they are commercially profitable. They also argue that sexual content is more controversial with the ratings board than violence. They note that frontal male nudity almost automatically receives an NC-17 rating, while female frontal nudity does not.

The film has some great interviews, including one with John Cameron Mitchel, director of Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Shortbus. Shortbus, a story about various characters negotiating sex and love in New York, was released as unrated as it had various comical, touching, and hot, sex scenes.

I believe that Canadian ratings are slightly different from the US, can someone who does collection development let me know how it works for DVDs in your library?


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