I just wanted to get some feedback on something I've been wondering about for a little while now. Since the dawn of film, there has been a ratings system for motion pictures.
In Canada it's as follows:
G - General. The film is appropriate for an audience of any age.
PG - Parental Guidance. These movies tend to be recommended for anyone over eight years old. Some possible frightening or violent content.
14A - 14 or Adult. This meant that the movie contained violent scenes, frightening scenes, or mild sexual content or nudity. Also, coarse language. No one under the age of 14 was permitted to enter unless accompanied by someone over the legal age.
18A - 18 or Adult. This meant that the film contained violent, disturbing, frightening, sexual content or strong coarse language or nudity. No one under the age of 18 was permitted to enter unless accompanied by someone over the age.
R - This was stronger than 18A. It was the same idea, with more of the objectional content and NO ONE under the age of 18 (accompanied by an adult or otherwise) was permitted to enter.
NC17 - This was the base definition of pornography and no one under the age of 17 was permitted. Contained STRONG sexual content and nudity.
I *believe* (although I could be wrong) that in the United States it's as follows:
G - General. A certificate issued by the MPAA indicating that a film is suitable for all ages.
PG - Parental Guidance Suggested. A certificate issued by the MPAA indicating that a film's content is suitable for viewing by children, but recommends parental guidance. This tends to suggest that the film might contain scary moments or moderate violent content.
PG13 - Parental Guidance Suggested, 13 years or older. A certificate introduced by the MPAA on July 1, 1984 to indicate that a movie's content is rated as slightly stronger than a PG certificate. This would mean more violence, scary moments, and moderate/limited sexual content. Moderate coarse language.
R - Restricted. A certificate issued by the MPAA indicating that persons under the age of 16 would only be admitted when accompanied by an adult. The age was later raised to under 17 years old, and varies in some jurisdictions. Strong coarse language, violence, sexual situations, or nudity.
NC17/X - A certificate issued by the MPAA indicating that no person aged 17 or under will be allowed to attend a screening of the movie. This category was formerly called "X", but many people's mistaken association of "X" films with XXX films caused the MPAA to change this on September 27, 1990. This meant strong sexual content and themes. Graphic nudity.
I got the American information from the Internet Movie Database and other film sources.
Now, since the dawn of time, youth have been trying to get into see movies they aren't permitted to attend because of their age. I think we can all remember the hype surrounding the release of "Hannibal" and how tons of teenagers and kids were trying to get in to see a movie that carried a strong 18A/R (depending which country) rating. And many managed to succeed. I used to work in a movie theatre as a concession stand worker and ticket attendant and we showed many movies which carried the 18A or 14A rating.
A few years back there was a great controversy in England over the release of a movie called "Crash" by David Cronnenberg. The movie centered around a small group of people who were sexually stimulated by witnessing or participating in car crashes. I've never seen the movie myself, but it was said that have contained graphic sexual scenes and nudity and was also found to be very disturbing. It was released in Canada, but was banned completely in the UK as well as being banned (at least for some time) in the United States. It was a media frenzy and the censorship was in the public eye for a while.
My question is really wether or not rating movies is a good idea. I mean, I myself (when I was the ripe old age of 17) snuck in to see "Fight Club" even though I was under the legal age (NOT that I promote this). Seeing that film (which contained graphic violent content and moderate sexual content along with strong coarse language) didn't really do me any harm (except increase my lust for the fabulously talent Edward Norton). There are even ratings on television programs these days (it is required in Canada, I'm not sure if in the United States). This has to do with sexual content, violent content and coarse language.
Should censorship be reworked or is it not a big deal as is? What do you feel about the ratings system? Is it effective or useless?
Share your thoughts!
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