'This Film is Not Yet Rated' commentary by Jenna Johnson
â€śThis Film is Not Yet Ratedâ€? was quite a humorous showcase of the mysteries behind the MPAA, which I found interesting enough to pay attention to, considering I knew nothing about the ratings process and how difficult it sometimes is to put out mainstream films. I never realized the complexities of what forms of censorship were in play for a film, and the politics behind each. Franklin describes how the film industry itself set in place a personal strict production code, â€śimposed by the movie studios on themselves and was made enforceable by the vertical integration of the industryâ€¦ [and which] came about as a by-product of governmental pressure.â€? The film seems to agree with this self-censorship, but also support censorship by the market, as most of the filmmakers interviewed seemed to focus on what viewers would like to see in films. â€śThis Film is Not Yet Ratedâ€? also gives reason for the strong governmental influence in film censorship, as we find out that the man behind the whole MPAA came as a lobbyist from Washington, D.C.
Cieply describes that Jack Valenti has some kind of â€śgeniusâ€? by developing the ratings system. I donâ€™t necessarily think it was genius material, but people simply thought it was because they had no previous guidance in the rating of filmsâ€”simply, no one had done it before. Valentiâ€™s ideas were innovative in this specific department, yes, but how could they have been perfect if they never changed according to a changing culture? Cieply also says of the system, â€ś[f]or the major studios it has been a bulwark against outside interference, though it has often galled filmmakers and hasnâ€™t done enough for many parents.â€? This implies that the system is not in fact perfect, however, it never will be possible to please everyone. Perhaps the fact that Valenti at least came up with a working system of this sort made him a â€śgeniusâ€? in some respects.