Thursday, October 27, 2011

NC17 is nothing to be aShamed about!

 Michael is wondering how the NC17 rating will help or harm his Oscar chances.

A great article/rant by Sasha Stone of Awards Daily explains her outrage of the NC17 rating, and the hypocrisy of the MPAA in rating Shame. She believes that this will have a harmful affect on Shame's Oscar chances, but she feels that Michael Fassbender's performance is the performance of the year and rightfully deserves a nomination. Along with reading her article, which I strongly encourage you to do, but also read the very informative reader comments (at the moment 106), as they provide historical context information about films rated NC17/X, the MPAA, AMPAS, and Shame's Oscar hopes.

Go to the article link here, but in the meanwhile, here are a few highlights!

"Would that the MPAA — and reactionary parents too — all had the collective intelligence to see how a film like this talks seriously about what no one really wants to talk about.  It is bringing out into the open a dynamic that exists every single day in America — trust me on this one.  I know.

It isn’t just sexual addiction, either.  It is the entire industry of sexual addiction that Shame exposes.  Porn feeds that addiction because the need is unending.  The repression is unending.  The hypocrisy, unending.  When a population lives in direct contrast to its nature there is nowhere for that impulse to go except to subvert, to go underground, to become something we can’t really understand or control.  Anyone ever listen to Dan Savage?

But this tangent is really off topic. Probably what everyone wants to know is whether the NC-17 rating will affect Shame’s Oscar chances.  And the answer is, of course it will.  Fox Searchlight will have one formidable contender now, and that’s The Descendants and George Clooney.  I’m sure Shame and Tree of Life will garner some nominations. But Searchlight’s best and surest contender is the Clooney pic.

So why does the NC-17 rating affect the film’s chances?  For some reason, Oscar voters shy away from controversy.  Maybe this is changing a bit. Maybe they will come to their senses and nominate Fassbender anyway — who, by the way, gave the performance of the year in Shame."
- Sasha Stone, Awards Daily

Stephen Holt:
"The Academy of “Midnight Cowboy” time and the Academy of today is not one and the same thing. If anything they’ve gotten MORE conservative. Esp. in areas regarding full frontal male nudity. Sadly. Yes, it’s a double standard for sure, wherein the AMPAS members will gladly stumble and rush to put a screener of “Marcy Marly MM” in their DVD players to watch Elizabeth Olsen get nude over and over again. And she does.

Just as they will plunk the “My Weekend with Marilyn” disc right into their DVD players to see Michelle Williams’ luscious Marilyn hop naked in and out of beds and also pools of water..

And AMPAS is NOT the MPAA…I realize this. But the ratings do effect what the busy (or not so busy) AMPAS members choose to watch. And if its’ something like TONS of full frontal male nudity, they may not watch it. At ALL.

And yes, the MPAA is pretty predictable and I’m sure Fox Searchlight knew this was coming.

I know critically at both film festivals I’ve just attended “Shame” was so packed with press I couldn’t get in! So I STILL haven’t seen it.

I adore Michael Fassbender. And his time will come. And probably soon. They can’t ignore him much longer. But they can and probably WILL ignore him for SHAME, which is a shame…"

"This is an art house film and that audience will keep it on their must see list. The film is also helped tremendously by its great reviews and success on the festival circuit. Its pedigree is outstanding. Most NC-17 films aren’t lucky to have all that going for them. I understand there is a stigma to the NC-17 rating that makes Shame a challenge to market, distribute and then “sell” once awards season comes. But as some have pointed out, that seems more a problem with how the rating is perceived than with the rating itself. Perhaps Shame can be the film to change that perception? If it does well come awards time, maybe it will help add some “legitimacy” to films that receive the rating."

"I don’t think it really matters about whether or not the producers of Shame decide to embrace the rating. It’s the control the MPAA has over how many people will see the movie that is the problem... It’s really about controlling what kind of content gets into the minds of the average American. Some of those people want the censorship. Most probably don’t even realize it’s happening."

Source: Awards Daily


pati said...


F.FRANKLIN said...

sadly it id true that the AMPAS are unfair when it comes to dealing with nudity in movies..if the female does it,its nothing but when a male does it,its a big issue..what makes me more angry is michael's nudity is not the kind of nudity that we usually see in a low quality films that uses the scene to attract audience for money..the sex and nudity in Shame has sadness and pain instead of sensuality or eroticsm and if the AMPAS does ignore michael just for the nudity in the nomination,i'm gonna be really pissed!!

Dionne said...

It should be a badge of honor. You can watch Halle Berry's naked ass and it's not a problem. Only when there's a penis involved is it a big deal. It's about time adults had more films to watch. NC-17 just means adults, not something to be ashamed about. Great article.

obitio said...

I lost interest in her opinion when she stated that "girl on girl sex weirds her out".

I personally feel that no one under the age of 18 should see Shame, it's just a shame (pun intended) that in America the NC17 classification is synonymous with porn and that most US cinemas and video rental chains have a policy to not screen or supply anything related to NC17 films.

The reason for this dates back to the 70s when the MPAA decided to upgrade their rating system and changed the XXX rating to the newly established NC17.

That means, that since the 1970s most video rental franchises like blockbuster have never bothered to update their stance or classifications for why a NC-17 film should not be stocked in one of their stores.

The label was once considered pornographic and as far as they are consider it will always be considered as such no matter what the actual subject matter of the film in question is about.

Now that right there is the epitome of ignorance.

Simone said...

I understand you completely Obitio, there is a very silly ignorance surrounding the NC17 rating and it has been stigmatized long enough. I'm hopeful that due to the expected success of Shame, it will legitimize the rating and perhaps make it more mainstream for easier access still to ADULTS.

Sasha's 'girl on girl' comment was stupid, but if you read her follow up explanation, it kind of makes since as she doesn't want to watch Black Swan with her 13 year old daughter. But regardless of that,she has said many things I don't agree with, and some things I do agree with. But her questioning why Shame rec'd the NC17 rating is weak - as much as I enjoyed the film, I too don't think that anyone under 17 should watch it.

obitio said...

Ah yes Simone, just imagine a world where adults are sophisticated enough to go see adult films (as in mature) and are able take in the complex themes and subject matter and where they have the faculties necessary to engage in meaningful discussions about said films as opposed to our world where you get packs of 40 year old men standing in a cue with 10 year olds to go see Green Lantern or Transformers.