Do other contries solumnly warn viewers what to expect in films? For example, I am warned that The Alamo (yes the one with John Wayne) has "some violence", the animation Batman & Mr Freeze has been edited for violence, and American Beauty contains violence, swearing, sex scences, drug abuse and nudity.
I end up reading Radio Times to see which film has the most warnings, and which the most surprising. Topsy-turvy, the film about Gilbert & Sullivan, apparently has "brief nudity". A what point does it cease to be brief.
As I recall, Topsy-Turvy had about a minute or so of partial nudity. (female, waist-up)
What's funniest to me is that we in the US rate much more strongly for sex then for violence. Example- Bertolucci's The Dreamers, with lots of sex (all consensual) got an NC-17, but Tarantino's Kill Bill, Vol. 1- with lots and lots of violence, got an R. (Aren't you glad you got rid of the Puritans?)
You might try this website for an explanation of our ratings system. [www.mpaa.org] />
A NEW YORKER cartoon several years a go showed one couple leaving a film and waving to friends who are in the ticket line:
"The sex isn't much, but the violence is wonderful!"
Thanks for the link, Pam.
In the UK we have
U - suitable for all.
Uc - especially suitable for children.
PG - general viewing, but some scenes may be unsuitable for young/sensitive children.
12A - younger children must be accompanied by an adult.
12, 15, 18 - for viewers of these ages and over.
The warnings are relatively new and are intended to give some guidance on the reason for the rating. Lord of the Rings has "intense fantasy violence" Harry Potter "spiders"
I think the warnings were introduced after complaints about the effect of the opening of Robin Hood, Prince of Thieves, on small children not expecting a hand to be chopped off like that.
I'm not against ratings, but people need to remember that no ratings system can alert everyone to the content THEY may find disturbing.
My cousin has an adopted son, and when STUART LITTLE came out (the one with Michael J. Fox doing the voice of Stuart), word went out very quickly through the adopted-family network to AVOID it. In the book, Stuart is a mouse born into an otherwise human family. In the movie, he's ADOPTED, and the malicious cat of the family hires strange mice to pretend to be his biological parents and take him away. Many young adopted children would find that terrifying.
I'm NOT saying that there should be a warning about story lines that might upset adopted children. I'm just saying that if you are serious about "screening" your movie choices or your children's viewing, ratings only go so far.
Robin Hood, hand chopped off, yeah.
But how about Finding Nemo? The wife and all the kids except one are sharkfood? How fun is that?
I'm the squeemish one in our family. I especially don't like deliberate hurt. I even have problems with some sit-coms, I can feel so sorry for a character I can't laugh at them, Tony Hancock and Steptoe & Son are two of the worst for that.
Haven't seen that one, but it sounds like the theological problems I have with the book of Job. I just hope his wife, children and servants were fast tracked into heaven, cos killing them off just to make a point to Job does not seem fair.
Actually, I think the warning on Prince of Thieves was for Bad Kevin Costner Acting.
It's a Disney movie- they love to kill off family members.
There was so much violence in Robin Hood (tortured English accents, severely mutilated geography, mangled history, disbelief not so much suspended as hung by the neck until dead etc) that I barely noticed anyone's anything being chopped off....
When my sister read the Passover (Exodus) story to her sons, they all felt that the killing of the firstborn children was TOO MUCH. So my sister invited the boys to make up their own plagues.
Being boys who had gone from oral fixation to anal fixation right on schedule (per Freud), they chose "stinky farts" and "birds pooping on everybody's heads."
Works for me!