This Document is Rated X…

for Aberrational Honesty: Arguments for Ignoring MPAA Ratings

by Clifton Smith

Nine-tenths of the appeal of pornography is due to the indecent feelings concerning sex which moralists inculcate in the young; the other tenth is physiological, and will occur in one way or another whatever the state of the law may be.

—Bertrand Russell,
   Marriage and Morals
   (1929)

Ahead, I will discuss documentarian Kirby Dick’s This Film is Not Yet Rated and the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). Those involved with the MPAA claim its purpose is to warn consumers about potentially objectionable material (sex, violence, language, and drug use, for example) in films. It does this, but in a way that outsiders, myself included, often find puzzling. Continue reading This Document is Rated X…

Sex in the Film Shortbus

by Clifton Smith
Collaborator: Trevor Helminski

A noteworthy aspect of John Cameron Mitchell’s film Shortbus is that it contains explicit sex. Only a handful of serious films (films that, unlike pornography, attempt more than sexual excitation) have included explicit sex. The most noteworthy aspect of Shortbus is that it gives us explicit, realistic sex in which the participants benefit sexually and psychologically from the sex.

Continue reading Sex in the Film Shortbus