This site is supported by the advertisements on it, please disable your AdBlocker so we can continue to provide you with the quality content you expect.

Welcome to Our Community

Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.

A Plausible Alternative to Censorship?

Discussion in 'The Philosopher' started by Einherjar86, Jun 24, 2008.

  1. Einherjar86

    Einherjar86 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Messages:
    18,297
    Likes Received:
    1,796
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower
    I know I've stated this in a thread somewhere before, but I despise the MPAA. I despise all forms of censorship, with the possible exception of television and radio. However, when it comes to records and films, I believe that labels such as the parental advisory label and film ratings should be done away with.

    This certainly affects films more than it does records. The MPAA has a strict chokehold on the film industry, and is in total control of the nature of the images that a film depicts. While an R rating still allows some room for commerical success, many R-rated films don't begin as such. Many have to be cut down from NC-17 ratings in order to achieve this opportunity for a wider release. This, in my opinion, is an impediment upon the filmmakers' artistic integrity and aesthetic appeal. There is a long list of films that have been negatively affected by this ratings system, and a great deal of material that the MPAA deems "objectionable" is often wiped from the final release, despite its potential importance and relevance to the story at hand. A filmmaker can choose to leave this material in his or her film; but then they run the risk of a very narrow market, limited advertising and a very limited release. This has a drastic negative impact on ticket sales.

    I personally think that the ratings system should be abolished. However, I don't advocate total secrecy surrounding the contents of a film. For every film that is released, critics should be made to write reviews of the film concerning its subject matter and possible images or dialogue that parents might want restricted from their children. The films would not be rated, therefore would receive the same marketing budget and opportunities as any other film. However, parents and guardians would still be able to make informed, intelligent decisions regarding their children.

    For the music industry this would be more difficult, I think. However, it is still possible, and the internet has made something of this sort much easier in today's world. In a world of limitless knowledge and online resources, I should think that it wouldn't be too difficult to establish a series of websites that review and describe the subject matter of the majority of records released all over the world.

    Any other opinions on this? Anyone agree or disagree?
     
  2. derek

    derek Grey Eminence

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    18,777
    Likes Received:
    66
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    Are you saying children should have been able to see the recent Rambo movie, for example, had their parents seen fit, or had been negligible enough? Without the rating system that would be possible.

    I gotta say I disagree. I'm down with the theoretical, abstract idea of the rating system, but I concur with your criticisms regarding how it is actually used. The problem being that I cannot imagine a ratings system not open to abuse.

    That said, take away the ratings, which have became a cushion for some parents, and cinemas will soon start to employ their own age discrimination, in order to keep complaining parents happy/secure the future custom of adults wanting to see a movie without irritating children present. That essentially means movies still need to conform to certain standards (right or wrong) as they do now.
     
  3. razoredge

    razoredge Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2007
    Messages:
    5,895
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    It seems to me the rating system is far easier than any other method.

    I also never noticed any lack of money spent or success on R rated films.

    Then we are dealing with cable and satellite movie channels. What is a parent supposed to do, a few hours of research everyday to see which of those movies they may not want their children seeing ?

    Same deal with music... spend hours reading reviews to determine which of the hundreds of CD they may or may not want their kids having ?

    As well as what suits an adults personal sense of taste or tastelessness.

    Why bother when we have a system already put in place to simplify the matter ?

    {I hope this was written in a manor that can be comprehended.......} bahhahahahaha
     
  4. Fenrisúlfr

    Fenrisúlfr ὁ δύσκος λύκος

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Messages:
    1,139
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    США
    So long as there is no government-sanctioned system of ratings or other censorship, the free market by all means should take its course. For instance, newspapers and film critics could issue their own ratings specifying their criteria and reasoning so that the parents may make a reasoned decision.

    However, methinks it is of no harm for little Billy to see a few naughty words or some gore, heck, it is probably beneficial since he'll have to come to terms with them anyway.
     
  5. derek

    derek Grey Eminence

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    18,777
    Likes Received:
    66
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    Now consider going to watch Rambo with 45 pre-teens in the cinema. I'd stop going.

    Furthermore, how many parents are capable of reasoned decision making? I'd posit it's not all that many.
     
  6. Einherjar86

    Einherjar86 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Messages:
    18,297
    Likes Received:
    1,796
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower
    I don't know if the latter thing you said is correct. However, I do believe that certain parents would be negligible enough to let their child see a movie beyond his or her maturity. I address what I think of this at the bottom of my post.

    Manor should be manner. :cool:

    I believe this should concern us because it restricts and limits the artistic integrity of filmmakers. It isn't their responsibility to dictate what our children see.

    As far as cable and satellite television goes, I still believe that cable television can censor certain films. I agree with that. Parents can actually create settings on satellite television so that their kids can't watch it without a code, so that's not really a problem.

    But that shouldn't be the filmmakers' concern. It's not their responsibility to dictate what our children see. That should be the parents' responsibility. A filmmaker's artistic integrity shouldn't be limited because of the negligence of parents. That's not fair.
     
  7. derek

    derek Grey Eminence

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    18,777
    Likes Received:
    66
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    That's the thing, it shouldn't be the film makers concern, and it does not seem to concern many parents, thus a gap opens - what fills it? Ratings.

    Perhaps it's better to overhaul the ratings system than abolish it all together? I know they've been talking about doing that here for quite some time.

    I'm of the opinion that people often don't know what's best for them, sometimes they need told. Now that only really works in the correct situation, which does not exist, but I hold to it nonetheless.

    Also, a similar phenomenon happens even if one disregards the ratings system, in the U.S especially. Studios often edit movies based on initial test screenings, Neil Marshall's movie "The Decent", for example, has an entirely different ending in the U.S because test audiences were confused by the proper ending. That is one hell of a restriction on Marshall's artistic integrity. In short, studios want money, ratings aside, discrimination still occurs.
     
  8. Einherjar86

    Einherjar86 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Messages:
    18,297
    Likes Received:
    1,796
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower
    Your final point is a good one. I'm afraid that the desires of the studios will be harder to manage. However, Neil Marshall is a major director, and Lionsgate is a major studio. I personally didn't feel it was a movie of much artistic merit anyway. We can only hope that movies that do consist of much artistic merit are being produced by a studio that cares about such merit. I actually didn't even understand the ending of the final U.S. version of The Descent :cool:. It wasn't a very good movie, in my opinion. Good horror, but not much else.

    We merely differ in opinion. I personally believe that a filmmaker or other artist shouldn't have to suffer because some people don't know what's best for them or their children. We can try and give people all the information they need; but ultimately, we can't make their decisions for them.
     
  9. derek

    derek Grey Eminence

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    18,777
    Likes Received:
    66
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    Lionsgate is still an Indy studio, and Marshall talented to a point. I thought The Decent OK, but the clipped ending remains a slight on his original intention, regardless of its value.

    Again, the majority of these criticisms apply only to bigger movies from the larger studios. So-called Indy releases are often aware of their target audiences and relatively little profit margins, and as such slip by the ratings system.
     
  10. forbidden fruit

    forbidden fruit ...is always best

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    I think the film studios themselves would be more to blame for changing the vision of the creators than any ratings system... of course some of the pressure film studios would put on directors, writers, screenplay writers would be out of fear of losing potential ticket sales due to a harsher rating.

    In other words, the ratings applied to films probably will have a direct impact on box office sales, but won't have any impact on creative/artistic expression, unless the studio producers weigh in with demands.

    Was 'The Descent' the movie about the cavers? I thought it was pretty damn good for a low budget horror flick!
    Derek, what was the alternate ending?
     
  11. razoredge

    razoredge Member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2007
    Messages:
    5,895
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Im not sure I can see where rating affects artistic freedom, much of which is questionable to begin with. It simply puts their work in the catagory it was obviously aimed at.

    a sex scene is clearly put in place to evoke arousal, yeah yeah yeah, we get to see a little skin and maybe a glimps of ____s tittie or ass. all good fun for a fleeting moment but... shit my 6 year old is sitting beside me.
    a gore scene is clearly put in place to .... ? who knows
    extreme violence is there to be extremely violent... I guess
    lots and lots of swearing is put in place ? because thats how people talk sometimes at work ? or according to the captive audience ? not sure how impressive it really is though Im a offender myself.

    rappers and what ever that hardcore metal is say fuck every four words because ? they have a narrow scope of life and talent ?

    Its all a simplified and universal way in which to make people aware of what its about.
     
  12. Einherjar86

    Einherjar86 Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Messages:
    18,297
    Likes Received:
    1,796
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower
    Instead of ending in the car, the main character wakes up back in cave, indicating that she possibly hallucinated and killed the rest of her friends. That's one possible explanation. It could also be interpreted on more than one level, some people claim. I just wasn't very fond of the film. Horror films in general I find to be lacking. It's tough to find a good one.

    @forbidden fruit
     
  13. forbidden fruit

    forbidden fruit ...is always best

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    ah... I'm in Australia, we got the ending where she wakes up in the cave.
    I took it to mean she'd never get out & would either be torn to shreds, or just rot in the darkness. Which is part of the reason why I liked it.
    Tidy endings are boring.
    Sorry... way off topic..
     
  14. derek

    derek Grey Eminence

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    18,777
    Likes Received:
    66
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    Not necessarily, for it was an occasion where a studio clipped a movie, against the directors intentions, purely so they could make more money. The dynamic is the same as a studio editing out various scenes in order to receive a more favourable rating.

    Also, there is a tendency to give movies with a heavy sexual scene/theme a higher rating than more "conventional" violence. It's a little hypocritical, and possibly highlights who exactly makes these decisions.
     
  15. forbidden fruit

    forbidden fruit ...is always best

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2008
    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    6
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    That's true.
    Also makes me wonder whether the guidelines are out of step with the values of the community in which the ratings are used.
    Violence, to me, should attract ratings on a par with, or possibly steeper than, sexual content.

    That said, it would be an extremely difficult job to classify any creative work.

    Actually, speaking of being out of touch with community sentiment... in Australia there is no R rating for PC/console games. If it doesn't qualify for M (or MA15+), it gets banned.
    Despite the fact that the average age of gamers in this country is 28!!!!!!!!!
     
  16. Seditious

    Seditious GodSlayer

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Messages:
    2,333
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    New Zealand
    what about a distinction between ratings and restrictions: offering ratings as guidelines to parents, rather like with television, to save them the effort of knowing every single show/movie, but giving them the discretion to say 'no, cinema, I want my child to see this, even though you recommend "R18".' That avoids 'censorship', as well as the burden on parents to know what is available.
     
  17. Seditious

    Seditious GodSlayer

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Messages:
    2,333
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    New Zealand
    how d'you mean?

    shit like this disgusts me (in fact, that's me who left the first comment seen when you scroll down)
    http://www.tv3.co.nz/News/Entertain...ensors/tabid/418/articleID/34763/Default.aspx

    not sure I agree with that. Investors should have systems in place by which to gauge how poor an investment certain artistic endeavors would be (just as with books, fiction or non-fiction, there aren't 'censorship' concerns, but merely 'audience' concerns, and what you're speaking of seems to leave intact the self-censorship at the family level, which, unless we imagine there are significant numbers of people whose parents would allow them to go to a movie, or buy a video game, or what have you, but the outlets themselves aren't allowed to sell them, because of the rating, I'm not sure the absence of the present system would improve the bottom line).
     
  18. Seditious

    Seditious GodSlayer

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Messages:
    2,333
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    New Zealand
    there is an easy solution to that. selectively impose 'R18 screenings'

    force the kiddies to go at 7PM screenings if they must see it, leaving the 10PM Saturday night spots for R18 audiences to enjoy without children.

    so long as there were enough people with your concern, the outlets would find a way to keep all their customers satisfied


    a whole 'nother thread.

    I'm all for an elitist government, but, fuck we're going to have to let SOME idiots breed, just to keep the supply of cogs constant in order to maintain the economy.
     
  19. Seditious

    Seditious GodSlayer

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Messages:
    2,333
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Location:
    New Zealand
    is that true across nations? (I'm on 56k, so I can't be fucked recalling some semi-pornographic blockbusters I've seen (anything with vampires, that TV show Rome, etc.) to see how they differ across nations).

    I've heard Scotland or Wales, or somewhere thereabouts was/is notoriously repressed (having sex only exposing their genitals, shit like that), d'you recall where/when that was? (how isolated it was?), and we all know Americans are at the mercy of Christian bigots, so I'd be surprised if NZ/OZ/France/etc. had equally harsh ratings on films with sexual content, rather than being ok with that, and harshest on drugs and violence. Would also be interesting to know how they differ with respect to the legal consensual sex/driving/voting age of each nation -- are there films with sex in them which people who the government deems old enough to have sex can't see?...that would be rather odd.
     
  20. derek

    derek Grey Eminence

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2005
    Messages:
    18,777
    Likes Received:
    66
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    Edinburgh, U.K.
    It's certainly true in the U.S. It's not as bad here, but the puritanical hangover still occurs.

    We're generally OK with the ratings system, most things pass without too much concern. I think studios will perennially interfere with the artistic vision of a director if they think it'll bring in more money. It's how the film business works at the moment.
     

Share This Page