A year ago at Sundance, Kirby Dick made noise with his docu "This Film Is Not Yet Rated," which took direct aim at the Motion Picture Assn. of America’s ratings system for being shrouded in secrecy and, hence, lacking accountability.
At the time, Glickman had already been meeting with and gathering input from various stakeholders in the ratings system — including filmmakers, guilds, parents’ groups and Washington lawmakers — but Dick’s film had an impact.
"The documentary made it clear that we probably haven’t done as much as we can to explain how it all works," Glickman told Daily Variety, adding that the voluntary ratings system–devised and implemented by Jack Valenti, his predecessor — is a "gem," even if it needs some polishing.
And so, finally, reforms: Filmmakers will be able to cite precedents when appealing a rating (e.g. "You could see Sharon Stone‘s cooter in ‘Basic Instinct’ and that still got an ‘R’ so I don’t know why my movie can’t do the same, gosh darn it!"); the appeals board will have new members who don’t come from the MPAA or NATO fold; CARA will formalize a training system for its raters and will kick them to the curb once their children are no longer children; CARA will post the ratings rules and standards on the MPAAs website; and there will be "a new admonishment to parents that certain R-rated movies aren’t suitable for younger kids, period."
This campaign will start off with a meeting at Sundance between MPAA head Dan Glickman, Joan Graves, the chair of the Classification & Rating Administration, and various indie filmmakers, producers and execs.
And on that, we’re headed off to Sundance ourselves in a few days, so forgive us a little radio silence while we get prep work done â€” and if there’s film in particular you’d like us to see, drop us a line. We’ll probably be spending the entire festival in a hotel room nursing a near-fatal altitude-induced nosebleed, but we do always appreciate email.
+ MPAA, NATO reform ratings system (Variety)