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David Poland

By David Poland

The Horror Of Ads…

ADD – 9:27p Tuesday – Ah… here is the horrible outdoor… and indeed, it is more offensive that the rest of the art… no?
ADD – 2:55p Tues – I am told by a good source that these are not the actual outdoor ads under attack. I will adjust as I can as I find out more.
So what do you think? Are these images too gruesome for the bus bench?

The MPAA thinks so…

I must admit, I think the second one is rather brilliant, especially for a bus bench ad kiosk that has that metal frame look where you might actually feel like she is stuck in there. And it certainly could have been more gratuitous.

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71 Responses to “The Horror Of Ads…”

  1. SJRubinstein says:

    I think the most shocking thing is the seven years between this and “Vatel.”

  2. a1amoeba says:

    The MPAA has got to go. Enough of soccer moms who think gays, marijuana, and evolution are the biggest evils facing society telling us what is acceptable to watch. How about if you want to sit on the MPAA board you have to have at least a Master’s degree and made at least one feature film in your life.

  3. William Goss says:

    Actually, to my understanding, this is the billboard that people have qualms with, not the above:

  4. jeffmcm says:

    This is a Roland Joffe movie? Holy crap.

  5. jeffmcm says:

    Goss is correct, the above two images are obviously not meant for American advertising space, so they’re a little off-point.

  6. Ju-osh says:

    I think that the first poster is nothing special, but the second one is great — especially when seen full size, where it looks like a real girl is trapped in the wall behind the glass of the poster frame.
    And what does this latest nonsensical act on the part of the MPAA mean for Graindhouse’s rating? I mean, if duct tape and kayro syrup can’t get through un-fucked with…

  7. Josh Massey says:

    I think Naomi Watts should be the one to complain. The girl in the image (particularly on the billboard) looks just like her. I had to go to IMDB to find out she wasn’t in it.

  8. Richard Nash says:

    If you have someone as great looking as Cuthbert, by all means sell that. I dont mind looking at her on anything.
    But I really dont what the big deal is about those 2 posters. Its nothing b ad or out of the ordinary. I’ve certainly seen worse out there.
    Something tells me this is the studios PR firm bringing this to light to get this movie some free publicity.

  9. Wrecktum says:

    Jesus, Poland and others clearly aren’t reading the L.A. Times or the Reporter or even freakin’ Defamer. Neither of these two one-sheets are an issue. It’s the very controversial (and pretty icky) billboard that’s in question.

  10. Tofu says:

    Ah yes, let’s ask an online community if they think these images are too gruesome. As if ANYTHING on the internet looks gruesome anymore.
    I’m less interested in the rantings on “Soccer Mom’s” and more interested in watching anyone here actually slap these up around some public places, and then seeing if they can justify them with so many kids around.
    No one was throwing junk like this at me when I was a kid, and if I did want to see it, I could prepare myself before by going into environments where they belong, like the movie theater or video aisle. Not on the school bus or where I’m shopping.

  11. Wrecktum says:

    One thing about that billboard…I love what they’ve done with Elisha’s rack in the “termination” shot. Yummy.

  12. Harley says:

    Well, if nothing else, this answers my wife’s question: “Whatever happened to Roland Joffe?”
    Though given the one-sheets, uhm, not entirely.

  13. Lota says:

    i don’t think I could ever forgive Joff

  14. jeffmcm says:

    DP, did you seriously think the movie’s title was HOXWWEHUE? Del Director de “La Mision”?

  15. Cadavra says:

    Not just Joffe, but also Larry Cohen, who wrote the screenplay. I’m beginning to wonder just how accurate this campaign is, since Cohen in particular is a very tongue-in-cheek writer…

  16. jeffmcm says:

    Depends on if it’s Cohen in It’s Alive/Q/The Stuff mode or Phone Booth mode.

  17. bipedalist says:

    That billboard that Goss posted is the right one. I saw one a week ago in Studio City – I was with my daughter and horrified. I was going to complain about it but promptly forgot. I’m glad they were taken down. Abduction porn, not a good thing. I’d rather see a billboard of a blow job.

  18. RDP says:

    My kids see so many dismembered girls around the house that stuff like the billboard wouldn’t affect them at all.

  19. jeffmcm says:

    The big problem for me with the billboard is that the movie just looks cheap and dumb. Tawdry I guess is the word. At least the Saw marketing has been semi-clever crummy though the movies be.

  20. Yeah, the billboards that are the subject of the controversy are indeed quite unpleasant (at least for this kind of thing to be put in public).
    “This is a Roland Joffe movie? Holy crap.”
    Agreed. When I first saw the post (the last one with Cuthburt buried) I thought it was a really great poster, but figured it was just another silly horror movie (I didn’t even notice the Roland Joffe mention), but geez… Roland Joffe directed this? I’m perplexed.

  21. Also, have they just given away the end of the movie with the “Termination” bit?

  22. jeffmcm says:

    It also looks like it wants to be a CBS TV show – like a ripoff of Prison Break or 24 or Criminal Minds.

  23. EDouglas says:

    Yeah, they’re not so bad.. if you’re a fucking misogynistic fuck who believes that torturing and killing women constitutes “entertainment”. The MPAAis there for a reason.. to help parents who want to try to protect their kids and for fuck’s sake, if they want to sell another misogynistic torture movie, why don’t they save it for the proper audience, rather than pushing this little trash on little kids who might be pushed by these posters in their strollers.

  24. Nicol D says:

    The four picture billboard on the top is definitely the poster in question. I personally think they could have gotten away with it if it wasn’t for the last two panels of ‘Torture’ and ‘Termination’. The first two aren’t really that special.
    The tubes in the nostrils seem to cross a bit of a line though.
    As for the foreign posters, the one of the lovely Cuthbert caked in wet cement? is quite well done. I think its designed to appeal to the European ‘sploshing’ market, no?
    I must say that I agree with EDouglas and Tofu for the most part on this one. The MPAA is there for kids…not you. They do not in any way determine what you can or can’t see…not any more then the studios themselves do when they determine what movies get greenlit or not. The issue of the MPAA is far more complex then the typical ‘Kirby Dick’ rant.
    If you want to talk censorship, worry about real issues of complex ideas or art…not schlock commercialistic crap. Choose your battles.
    As for the poster who said that all members of the MPAA should have to have a masters and made at least one film…good grief…how small a pool would that give us to choose from.
    Using that standard, Leather Bound Dykes From Hell Part 9 would be rated PG and the next sequel to Narnia would be banned. Grow up.
    Posters aside though, it is sad that Joffe, a man who made the brilliant The Mission and The Killing Fields is now doing ….this. And he didn’t even get to see Cuthbert nude.

  25. EDouglas says:

    BTW, fans of Kirby Dick’s doc might be happy to know that it definitely has had some effect a/p Joan Graves at the ShoWest MPAA seminar… they are indeed working on their appeal process for independent filmmakers (even having an indie representative on the appeals board) but they’re also working on overrcoming the stigma of NC-17, especially when it comes to exhibitors and newspaper advertising. It was an interesting panel until it got to the lawyers talking about the new changes in the MPAA.

  26. Nicol D says:

    The stigma of NC-17 will never be gone until a major director is willing to uncompromisingly say a few things…
    1. I have made a film that is unabashedly adult and artistic.
    2. It is not for kids and I will not cut it for kids.
    3. I will not cut it for money but I respect that some people will not want to show it because of the rating but that is their free speech.
    Like Penn Jilette said about his wonderful The Aristocrats.
    Until a major director is willing to say this; and by major I am talking MAJOR like Spielberg or Scorsese (not John Cameron Mitchell or Todd Solondz)it will still have a stigma.
    Sadly, more often then not, the NC-17 is co-opted by whiny, pissy, moaning types who never really had a chance at commercial success anyway (I’m talking to you Atom Egoyan). People who have no cred with the public at large and who have an elitist tinge about them.
    To remove the stigma from NC-17 (a good thing) you need a director who has credibility with the mass audience to take them through the door. Someone whom they respect and who does not frown upon them. Not an elitist artist type who just wants to bitch that he is being censored while drinking a 15.00 frappa-mochachino.
    That may sound harsh, but until it happens, it will continue to have a stigma.
    Also, the way guys like Tarantino play with using the NC-17/MPAA as a marketing tool doesn’t help the cause. It helps keep the stigma alive.

  27. jeffmcm says:

    What’s your problem with Atom Egoyan?
    “I think its designed to appeal to the European ‘sploshing’ market, no?”
    This is a joke, right? (Can’t always be sure with you).

  28. Nicol D says:

    Yes, Jeff, the sploshing thing was a joke. I have a fairly dry sense of humour.
    As for Egoyan, he is talented but he is also a director who makes emotionally static films that have trouble connecting not only to mainstream but even many art house audiences.
    My point is if NC-17 is to lose its stigma, it will have to come from people who audiences respect.

  29. jeffmcm says:

    I was more interested in the phrase “whiny, pissy, moaning types” in reference to Egoyan. I’m sure you will agree that’s the more pointed aspect of your sentence.

  30. Wrecktum says:

    Nicol, you have forgotten your film history. Everything you mentioned happened a decade ago. The major director was Paul Verhoeven. The movie was Showgirls. Didn’t work.
    To remove the stigma of the NC-17 you need: 1) major studios willing to release movies with the rating, 2) major theatre chains willing to show the movie and 3) major networks and newspapers willing to advertise the movie.
    The MPAA and NATO always say that all three criteria exist today (John Fithian reiterated this in his ShoWest opening remarks) but this is obbiously not the case. The distribution communinty is gunshy to release adult NC-17 films and always will be.
    The major studios and exhibitors do not want to court controversy. Movie content is always a favorite punching bag for politicians, especially during election time. It’s not worth the hassle to the large public companies that control the market.

  31. jeffmcm says:

    It didn’t work with Showgirls because (a) the movie was perceived as trashy and exploitative, and (b) it was a bomb. If it had been a movie with more of an ‘art’ aura like Henry & June (and not arty in a weird, uncomfortable way like Cronenberg’s Crash, but something with appeal to women) and if it had been at least a minor financial success, then things would have turned out differently.

  32. Nicol D says:

    Paul Verhoeven is not the type of MAJOR director I was talking about. Paul Verheoven always made extreme films and while he had many good hits (Total Recall, Basic Instinct, Robocop) he was/is never a household name. He also, if you read his interviews, is quite contemptuous of the average American…who you are trying to convince.
    You need someone who has a reputation for liking the public and is a name they trust. Spielberg is the type you need. Ron Howard perhaps. Not someone who makes hard-nasty films to begin with.
    The three points you say are the end game…I wrote how you get there.
    You also need a good film to back it up with mainstream potential. Showgirls (a bad film I like) was not it.
    Oh, the whiny, pissy, moaning type?
    Yes, Egoyan did a lot of whining and pissing and moaning over Where the Truth Lies (a baaaaaad movie) and came off like a flake in the process. He acted as though he new nothing of how the ratings game was played (he never had an alternate take!!??) and his film was a flop with art house audiences to boot.
    This is not the type of person you need to legitimize NC-17.
    Again, I am surprised that no one picked up on my Tarantino remark. The way he plays with the MPAA as a marketing hook does not help the cause. It helps to stigmitize it.

  33. Me says:

    I’m not sure what the big deal about NC-17 is. Any movie that would get the rating in recent year has been released unrated, which allows it to get both bookings and advertisements.
    Also, I know movies like to be considered art, but with the large amount of investment that goes into them, why is it wrong for studios or producers to demand a film that will attract as large an audience as possible (and eveyone knows teenagers see more films than adults)?
    Finally, I have yet to see an NC-17 or unrated movie that with a little editing couldn’t have been rated R and lost little to no impact.
    Seems like a tempest in a teapot to me.

  34. jeffmcm says:

    I believe that studios are not allowed to release movies ‘unrated’. I tried digging through IMDB to see if I could figure out what the most successful Unrated release was in the last several years and couldn’t find much – only documentaries and foreign films. The high grosser might have been The Aristocrats with $6.4million. Which I believe would have to be cut substantially in order to get an R rating – I call that significant impact. Also the R-rated version of Cronenberg’s Crash is about 15 minutes shorter than the NC-17 version, which I would again call pretty significant.

  35. Me says:

    Jeff, which studio would want to release an unrated movie – the stakes at play are so small? It’s why they lost most adult mainstream fare to the indies and dependents, too.
    But, who thinks a film like Requiem for a Dream would be a hit (or even have made more money) if it had a viable NC-17 rating? I contend that the movie made what it made whether it was rated or unrated.
    And are you saying you didn’t get the creepy, auto-erotica of Crash through the R version? Would more graphic imagery really have changed your perception of the film or the characters? Running time doesn’t always mean a significant change in how a movie is perceived.
    As for the Aristocrats, I think there you’re probably right, though I find the bleeps that cover language to be about ten times funnier than what is actually said. And again, would you not have gotten the gist of the message without hearing words like cunt, fuck, etc.? (Though, I’ll grant that I didn’t find the joke funny, so it very well could affect people who “get it.”)

  36. Me says:

    Though, the audience for The Aristocrats was small enough that whether it was edited for an R or let go unrated wouldn’t have made much of a difference in terms of how big an audience it raised.

  37. jeffmcm says:

    Me, you said “I’m not sure what the big deal about NC-17 is. Any movie that would get the rating in recent year has been released unrated, which allows it to get both bookings and advertisements.”
    So I was responding to say that the studios are not able to release their movies unrated and that even if they did it’s not a mainstream thing to do.
    I’ve never watched the R-rated version of Crash but I can’t imagine there’s any way to describe it other than ‘bastardized’. The point of the movie isn’t to creep people out, which you can certainly do without certain scenes – The sex in Cronenberg’s movies has meaning and if you chop it out it destroys the purpose.
    As for The Aristocrats, again, the point of the movie was what was conveyed through language. Sure, bleeps can be funny because they leave certain things to the imagination, but in that movie the whole point of watching it was to actually hear Bob Saget, for example, be filthy and raw – bleeps were not what I was paying for. Yes, I wanted to hear all the words – that was the point.

  38. jeffmcm says:

    Also, there have been a large number of movies released in the last several years as NC-17 – Bad Education, Mysterious Skin, A Dirty Shame, The Dreamers, Inside Deep Throat.
    In response to your 12:21 posting, The Aristocrats’ $6.4m theatrical gross, while small, still would give it a higher gross than all but 3 movies that have ever been given the NC-17 rating. And if it had been rated R, I would not have seen it – again, the point – and I am pretty sure it would have grossed significantly less.

  39. Me says:

    So you think that going NC-17 would have kept people away from the Aristocrats, who did see it unrated? I’m not sure I buy that. I believe the gross comparison doesn’t hold, as it had more to do with the media’s reaction to The Aristocrats, while the other movies you mention barely registered a blip.
    I do think you’re right on the rating affecting the appreciation of The Aristocrats. Language might be a place where the MPAA should lessen it’s guidelines.
    I disagree about Crash, though. Whether you see every detail of sex or have certain parts suggested, you can still get the same appreciation for the characters. You see it as a bastardization, I see it as edited.

  40. Me says:

    As for “the studios are not able to release their movies unrated and that even if they did it’s not a mainstream thing to do.”
    True, but it’s not like the studios are the only outlet. With the indies and dependents nowadays, most filmmakers can find a way to release their films if they are any good. The problem is that most of them want to be paid for making a studio film. And if they’re going to take studio money, I don’t feel bad that they have to abide by the studios’ needs for a profitable film.

  41. jeffmcm says:

    I really have no idea what you’re arguing. You said “the audience for The Aristocrats was small enough that whether it was edited for an R or let go unrated wouldn’t have made much of a difference in terms of how big an audience it raised.” Not NC-17. If it had been released NC-17 the difference is that they couldn’t have advertised it as widely as they did, and possibly couldn’t have run it in certain theater chains. Clearly they were better off releasing it unrated.
    I don’t think you’re following what the point of Crash was. You do not “see every detail of sex” in that movie, you see a lot of nudity and simulated movement. 10 minutes is a lot to cut out of a movie and say “you can still get the same appreciation for the characters” – The R-rated version is probably missing entire scenes.

  42. EDouglas says:

    sorry, David… didn’t mean to change the entire direction of this thread to be about something else.

  43. Snrub says:

    Being British, I used to envy your ratings system. Films that over here would’ve been prohibited to under 15 or 12 year olds would’ve been easily accessible to a younger me if they had your PG-13 rating. R rated films also could’ve been accessed with the presence of liberal/careless parents (like mine) thanks to the “must be accompanied by an adult” addendum.
    But now I’m old enough to view 12, 15 and 18 films at will, I can’t help but be a little pissed off that truly provocative material is censored by the MPAA just so younger teens can be taken by their parents to see it. And that exhibitors in America refuse to accomodate films that don’t allow said younger teens and their parents to come along.
    It pisses me off because the majority of the stuff we get over here now inevitably comes pre-vetted by the MPAA. The USA ratings board is the first port of call for the majority of films, and it winds up neutering them all for the rest of the world who aren’t so god-fearing and morally ham-strung.

  44. Blackcloud says:

    Ed, it’s inevitable when the MPAA comes up. Someone else would have done it if you hadn’t.

  45. Me says:

    Sorry Jeff, I thought I was being clear, but I’m not a very good writer. I’m just saying that The Aristocrats did as well as it could, no matter what the rating was – so where’s the need for a functional NC-17 if going unrated does just as well?
    As for your other arguments, scenes get cut out of movies all the time – sometimes I wish they were left in, and sometimes they have no bearing on the whole film.

  46. jeffmcm says:

    The need for a functional NC-17 comes with higher-profile studio movies. Right now Unrated or NC-17 movies are still in an arthouse ghetto and it would be nice if they could be more mainstreamed, which’ll only happen in one of Nicol’s scenarios.
    Sure scenes get cut out of movies – but they should be cut by the director, not by a censor.

  47. Nicol D says:

    I think it would also have to be a film whose very subject matter was of so much interest to the majority of filmmgoers that it would transcend the rating.
    For example, say a film like Saving Private Ryan, The Passion or even Basic Instinct had been slapped with an NC-17…I think these films all have subject matter that would have made people give it a chance. But they were not, so we will never know.
    Part of the problem is so many films that are NC-17 do not have subject matter that is terribly interesting to the majority of people. So as a result, they are not worth the fight to the studio. It’s a bit cyclical in a way.
    I love Cronenberg’s Crash. It is not exploitive at all and the Howard Shore score falls over you like a dream. But I totally understand why the vast majority of people have no interest in this subject matter. Even as an R it is a niche film at best.
    Again, hypothetically, if the Grindhouse crowd forced the film out as an NC-17, I guarantee you some walls would begin to get chipped (not fall entirely) because many people will want to see the subject matter of that film.
    A whole combination of factors will have to come into play before a workable adult rating is found.
    What won’t work though is the filmmakers crying censorship. That just feeds into the whole ‘stigma’ perception.

  48. jeffmcm says:

    Hey, what a pleasant day! Nicol and I both like Crash. What a happy meeting of the minds. Great score, very solid acting, and a movie that (when I saw it) just leaves you in a very contemplative mood if you’ve been following its themes and concerns.
    I also agree about there needing to be a mainstream movie, specifically with appeal to women, to open up the NC-17, but both Spielberg and Mel Gibson wanted their movies to be viewable by teens so it would have to be a movie with less educational intent.

  49. Wrecktum says:

    “For example, say a film like Saving Private Ryan, The Passion or even Basic Instinct had been slapped with an NC-17…I think these films all have subject matter that would have made people give it a chance. But they were not, so we will never know.”
    But would the filmmakers have wanted an age-restrictive rating for these films?
    But suppose they didn’t mind. Saving Private Ryan is as graphic as Spielberg wanted it to be. What more could Gibson have done to garner the tougher rating? Not much, I suspect.
    I love Crash, too.

  50. Nicol D says:

    JeffMCN and Wrecktum,
    Yes, again we agree. Both Spielberg and Gibson wanted their films seen by a mass audience and would have never let an NC-17 happen.
    I only use those as examples because I think they are the type of films with very tough subject matter but that appeal to a very broad demo. This is what would have to occur for the NC-17 to gain acceptance. Subjects that people think justify a tough approach. Not like they are being used.
    What subject matter that may have to be, I do not know. But it would definitely have to be in that sort of ball park by a major repected director.
    As for Crash…why Deborah Unger never became more of a success after this, The Game and Payback I have no idea. She was versatile, sexy and complex in all of those films. I wish Hollywood was a bit more unique in how it chose its leading ladies.

  51. EDouglas says:

    Jeffmcm, start worrying… I also liked (actually loved) Crash… Paul Haggis brings people together.

  52. jeffmcm says:

    Ha ha.

  53. Josh Massey says:

    Kirby Dick picked the wrong target. The villain isn’t the MPAA; it’s the theaters, newspapers and outlets that refuse to feature/promote/carry NC-17 films.

  54. The NC17 rating confuses me. Wasn’t the point of NC17 to destinguish between porno films (X, right?) and regular films made for an adult audience? Yet, now NC17 is essentially perceived at a porno rating because most films that are rated NC17 are rated so because of nudity and sex.
    I find it strange that there isn’t a commonly designated “adult” rating that can be used for any genre and is merely seen as a rating that doesn’t mean “if anybody sees this movie they will become a pervert” but instead means “this movie wasn’t made for kids so don’t take them.” or whatever. I’m not making sense.
    Australia has an R18+ rating, which is essentially America’s NC17, but is far less poisonous. I mean, we’ve had #1 movies at the box office rated R! Wolf Creek was the most recent. They’re not common, but if a movie is rated R here then it’s not box office poison. And violence is taken very seriously here. Wolf Creek, The Hitcher, The Hills Have Eyes and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning were all rated R18+. I wouldn’t want underage kids seeing those movies, yet they can in America because if they’re given any harsher than a US R rating… well, we all know what happens.

  55. Hallick says:

    What the billboard says to me is, “Hi! We’re America! Aren’t we swell? We make fartsy snuff film posters for public consumption! Trust us with your planet!”

  56. Me says:

    One thing that seems to get lost in all the argument for a workable NC-17 is isn’t there already an adult-only rating (R), and why isn’t it enough? If the R rating were properly enforced, kids and teenagers wouldn’t be able to see them without parental supervision. And why can’t parents decide what their kids see rather than the MPAA or theaters?

  57. Wrecktum says:

    “Parental supervision” is not the same thing as “adults only.” And the NC-17 does not have the stigma that the X rating used to have. The NC-17 rating has no stigma at all because it hasn’t been properly marketed by the MPAA. Most people probably don’t even know what it is.
    The best thing that can happen would be for independant distributors to stop using the “unrated” moniker, sign up to the MPAA rating system and release their films as NC-17. Sadly, “unrated” has become a cool brand for both theatrical and especially home video releases. As long as distributors continue to sell their product as “unrated” and the public continues to respond to it, the NC-17 will continue to languish.

  58. Edward Havens says:

    Kirby Dick’s villain wasn’t the MPAA or the media. The villains of the NC-17 stigma are the filmmakers who willingly fuck with the rating system to get their way, and the studios who are so focused on the short-term that they can’t see supporting the NC-17 will only add to their coffers later. Grindhouse is exactly the type of movie that would help the NC-17 rating if it had been rated and released that way. But since QT and RR spent $55M+ of the Weinsteins money, and the Weinsteins need every penny of that back as quickly as possible, they obviously felt the need to weaken the material for the sake of the quick buck.
    As for why parents can’t decide what their kids see… it’s because many parents are not aware or do not care what their kids see. If any member of the MPAA would spend a week hanging out in the box office of any theatre playing 300 or Grindhouse, they’d see hundreds of teens and pre-teens trying to buy tickets to these movies without a parent in sight. The whole fucking rating system is a joke, but a necessary evil, since it saves us from having a thousand community ratings board, forcing filmmakers to cut their films a thousand times to appease each and every community.
    But to get back on topic… AfterDark was very smart in commenting publicly about their whole “controversy.” I wouldn’t put it past them to not have only known about the billboards going up, but making the call to the Times themselves to get the press rolling. Because that’s the world we live in: every man for themselves.

  59. Nicol D says:

    There was a nail and you hit it right on the head. The exploitation of the unrated moniker is something that has annoyed me for a long time.
    There was a time when it was valid but now it is mostly used to make unknowledgable teenage boys gobble up horror crap thinking they will get hard core sex or violence when in many cases the films in question, had they been submitted to the MPAA would be little more then PG-13 or a soft R. It is a huge marketing tool for low budget straight to DVD companies.
    Edward H.,
    Yes, I also agree with you about the billboards. I would not at all be surprised if they were just a stunt to get the ball rolling.

  60. The Carpetmuncher says:

    The thing about NC-17 that everyone is ignoring, and that frankly, Kirby Dick ignored in his film to my great astonishment, is that most big theatre chains won’t book NC-17 films into their theatres. The problem isn’t the MPAA (as screwy as they are) or the studios (why would they make movies they can’t book into theatres?).
    Kirby Dick just igonred this in his film, which makes the entire film, while entertaining, essentially worthless IMO.
    And getting NC-17 movies booked into theatres is the whole ball game – it’s why no filmmaker who actually wants his movie seen by a big audience would make an NC-17 movie, and why most directors are under contract to their financiers to deliver a R-Rated picture.
    The scenario proposed suggesting that a big director could just stick to his guns and make an NC-17 movie and audiences would then go see it is not based in reality. Any movie with a real budget could never make it’s money back as NC-17 because it could never book enough screens to ever make it’s money back.

  61. bobbob911 says:

    For what its worth, in Canada our Restricted truely is ‘Adults-Only’. US ‘R’ films are binned into either Restricted or AA (Adult Accompaniment).
    The Restricted rating has no stigma of being associated with pornography here. Perhaps its time to redefine the Restricted rating in the US to mean something similar?
    Either that, or I think a more civilized way to proceed in inches would simply be to treat violence a little more seriously and nudity a little less seriously. PG-13 should be more tolerant of the latter and significantly less tolerant of the former. R should be almost unlimited in its tolerance for either.

  62. Nicol D says:

    Because everyone here knows that Canada is a fetish of mine…
    In Canada there is a different ratings board for every province. Something rated R in one province might be 18A in another or 14A in yet another. The ratings are inconsistant from territory to territory.
    For video ratings, often the American rating is used, or the average of all the provincial ratings is used.
    This leads to a patchwork system where many people often do not know what the rating of a film is. This may not be an issue to you or I but it is of great concern to the parent wondering if a film like Hostel is R, PG-13 or 14A.
    Take a very extreme example; in America Trainspotting was considered a hard adult R (which it is). In some Candian provinces it was given a 14A which is like a PG13 in America.
    Also, until very recently, the Ontario film review board actually had the right to flat out ban films, something the MPAA has never had the power to do.
    The Canadian system is not better or worse…just different.

  63. Wrecktum says:

    The Canadian censor board system is a pain in the ass for distributors. The MPAA is so much easier to deal with.
    By the way, the idea that theater circuits have blanket policies to ban all NC-17 movies is incorrect. It depends on the circuit and it depends on the region. Regal theaters in L.A. would likely play an NC-17 movie but Regal theaters in Oklahoma City would probably not.

  64. LexG says:

    About the proximity of these posters and billboards to schools and kids: Isn’t that kind of LA-NY thing? Giant movie billboards and bus stop posters, that is?
    Not that it makes any difference, because kids are kids, be it in LA and Times Square, or Omaha and Cleveland. But having gone to high school and college in the not-small town of Pittsburgh, PA, I can tell you the only place I ever saw a movie poster was in a movie theater. I imagine it’s the same for most of “flyover”: I doubt there are giant billboards for ANY movie adorning the main thoroughfares in any non-LA-NY-Chi-SF-Miami cities. Then again, I could be wrong.
    But didn’t they always kind of have posters like this? I take exception to whoever above said that as a kid they weren’t exposed to stuff like this. I’m 34, and even in my youngest days I remember newspaper ads and posters at the local drive-in for stuff like MANIAC, I SPIT ON YOUR GRAVE, MAUSOLEUM, HE KNOWS YOU’RE ALONE, etc: Really hardcore and colorful one-sheets all through the drive-in and slasher years. This is HARDLY anything new.

  65. The Carpetmuncher says:

    Most major theatre chains do indeed have blanket policies banning NC-17 movies – though they typically won’t admit it, but try booking one into AMC theatres and you’ll find out it exists – as does Blockbuster, Hollywood Video, Walmart and others, and most newspapers won’t carry ads for NC-17 films. And anyone whose ever booked a movie into a theatre knows that if you don’t place a newspaper ad in the theatre chain’s required newspaper (in NYC, that would be the NY Times), then the theatre won’t show the film.
    It’s naive to think otherwise. There’s a reason the major studios have only released like 20 NC-17 films – because you can’t release an NC-17 film successfully with the theatre marketplace being what it is.
    A while it’s expected to hear people say, fuck Blockbuster and fuck AMC (I say that same stuff), the fact is that any movie that cost over 20 bucks will have a lot of trouble recouping if they can’t get into the two most important film exploitation venues in the country.
    Even Stanley Kubrick himself had to blotch out the privates in the orgy scene in EYES WIDE SHUT so he could get an R, because otherwise even that film, with all that star power, would have been dead…or only seen by the lucky folks who have access to independent theatre chains.

  66. bobbob911 says:

    Im not defending the canadian system in general (and certainly not the actions of the old ontario censor board), Im only pointing out that we do have a workable “Adult” rating, and that I personally think the balance between R or Adult and PG-13 or Teen is somewhat better up here.

  67. Lota says:

    “But didn’t they always kind of have posters like this? ”
    Maybe someone older or trained in billboard history can say–it seems to me the first campaign I remember is Freddie…
    but on TV there were some scary Ads…like in the late 70s when I was really little, Suspiria had an extremely scary commercial shown at various hours when kids could see it (Why?!). Never was big into Argento, but the commerical was slick. You see a long-black-haired woman from the back brushing her hair..”roses are red, violets are blue” and then she turns around and she’s a horrible leering skull or some such…then screaming (or was that me), breaking glass…destruction.
    Also my parents said The Exorcist “campaign” scared people but more by what it implied and didn;t show.

  68. Bob Violence says:

    Most major theatre chains do indeed have blanket policies banning NC-17 movies – though they typically won’t admit it, but try booking one into AMC theatres and you’ll find out it exists – as does Blockbuster, Hollywood Video, Walmart and others, and most newspapers won’t carry ads for NC-17 films.

    Hollywood Video, at least, carries NC-17 movies — several stores around here stock Crash, In the Realm of the Senses, the uncut version of Ma m

  69. jeffmcm says:

    The troublesome billboards have now been replaced with blank white screens with black scrawl reading “Captivity was here!”

  70. Nicol D says:

    Are they graffiti or an actual billboard?

  71. jeffmcm says:

    Actual billboard meant to look like graffiti.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon