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October 1998, Week 4


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Scott Hutchins <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 19 Oct 1998 12:42:34 -0500
TEXT/PLAIN (55 lines)
On Sunday morning I caught a midnight screening of Robert Rodriguez's
_From Dusk Till Dawn_ (at General Cinema's ScareFest 98) which again
reiterated the worthlessness of the MPAA.  Yes, Tarantino can write witty
dialogue.  (I think he also admits to being a foot fetishist.)  It was
certainly as violent if not more violent as _Demoni_, one of the worst
excuses for graphic violence that I have ever seen, which had to be
released unrated to avoid an X... but we can go more recent than that.
_La Chiesa_ (_The Church_) has its U.S. release only a couple of years
before FDTD.  The second sequel to _Demoni_ was actually a good film,
inspired in part by the work of Godfrey Reggio, with a wonderful
performance by Hugh Quarshie, a black actor, who, judging from his role in
this film, ought to rank as high as Denzel Washington, Danny Glover, or
Ernie Hudson. It exists in a 102 minute uncut, unrated version and a 98
minute R-rated version.  I've seen only the uncut version, and I must say
it could not be said to be more violent than _FDTD_.  Equally violent,
perhaps, but if we're going by screen time occupied by violence, far less.
The level of sex was pretty much the same.  _FDTD_, however, was one of
the most sadistic films I've ever seen, something which the other films
don't compare to.  It's still furhter proof that the MPAA caters to money,
and is more willing to give Dimension/Miramax an R than
independants like Renaissance/Rosebud (THe Evil Dead films had to be
released unrate, and they're tamer than this, and _Army of Darkness_
desreved a PG-13 that Sam Raimi fought for, but never got) or Cecchi
Gori/Shapiro-Glickenhous.  Wes Craven always said the MPAA was always
after him saying stuff like "What if a child should see it?"  To which he
would reply that his films are not for children and if theatres would
enforce the R rating parents could only blame themselves if their child
saw it.
I think it's sad that quality films get slapped with the stigma (which
appeals to a certain small sector, but not to the mainstream) of "uncut,
unrated" or NC-17, while worse films with harsher content get the R.  It
seems strange that a group whose goal is to give people, especially
parents, a guide, could be so influenced by money, but alas, it is.  In
truth, the rating system says a lot by putting films in a category, but
means almost nothing as to the film's content.
Scott Andrew Hutchins
Oz, Monsters, Kamillions, and More!
Frances:  I've led a pretty boring life compared to yours.
Freddy [the neighbor]:  Mine was pretty boring, too.  I've just got a
knack for picking out the interesting bits.
                                    --David Williamson
                                    _Travelling North_
                                    Act Two Scene Three
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