Apr 21, 2011

Guy With A Library Card: Issue 07

Written by M

Usually these writings have come inspired by a trip to the library concerning something topical in my life. Straying from that a little bit, I'm gonna talk about some movies I have watched in past trips but actually relate to something relevant today. This entry that may need some parental guidance due to some X-rated controversy. Now I have your attention. So let's begin this story with something you should write down. In the words of my hero, Van, “Sex Sells”.

Last Monday, I was going through the LeaderPost during my lunch break and came across the story of a 14 year old boy and his school administrator. Frankly, I didn't know how to take it because the whole thing seemed made up, just like a classic episode of Jerry Springer. But I kept reminding myself that the story came to the LeaderPost, a reputable newspaper, from another reputable source the Montreal Gazette. Sources so good I couldn't get it out of my head. Anyways the gist of the story is that the 14 year old exposed the administrator for starring in porn. Not sure what is more wrong with this situation, the fact she made such a decision, or the fact that a 14 year old was watching it. I recommend reading and watching the stuff from CBC. It's pretty bizarre.

A long time ago, I took out a movie called Inside Deep Throat. Up until this point I was pretty indifferent on the subject of pornography. If you don't know, this documentary covers all the issues of the 70's porn movie Deep Throat. Which is most noted for being the most profitable movie of all time. As we follow several story points, you slowly come to terms with how pornography shaped our society. I left this movie thinking everything is the way it is today because of porn. If you think about it the legacy of Deep Throat is huge. Money and Mafia aside, it spawned the name of the Watergate scandal mole or if you watch Slap Shot, Deep Throat is the movie playing at the theatre as the parade passes by. All of this commercial recognition through the fights, the censorship and lawsuits. Deep Throat stirred up a nation and spurred a new generation of filmmakers, piracy and endless debate.

I came away from this movie thinking that it is actually hypocritical that we have a film school that studies all genres except for pornography. I even had this conversation with a feminist film prof who to my surprise, agreed with me. Although she hadn't seen either film she knew enough about the social impact back then and still today. Done intelligently enough, the class could have been one of the most educational classes in film school. With all that said, I find Inside Deep Throat is a movie that most people don't know about despite rave reviews. This movie has everything a great documentary should have, in parts it's funny, in others it's serious, it makes you think, its topic is more interesting than just dissecting a movie and it's entertaining. So when the appropriate time comes, if you can stomach some graphic content and get over any ridicule you might face, I highly recommend Inside Deep Throat.

In 1969 there was a movie called Midnight Cowboy, starring Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman that won three Academy awards including Best Picture. It is the only X rated film to ever win the Best Picture. Which brings me to movie number two on my list This Film Is Not Yet Rated. The MPAA is the organization that rates movies. It gave the X rating to Midnight Cowboy and for some reason changed its rating system. That is the basis of the movie. Who runs the MPAA and how do they make decisions? With testimonials from filmmakers and the rating issues that had them scratching their heads will leave you doing the same. The only fallback of the film for me is the fact that they did some undercover investigating and really didn't answer anything. However, at times it made the show a little more entertaining. Not quite as intriguing but a little lighter, This Film Is Not Yet Rated may be a good film to work up to Inside Deep Throat. Also, I would recommend after watching, you  create a wobbly pop game in which you watch old movies you like and guess how they got their rating. Good times ahead.

Now I hope no one takes this the wrong way, but I am not trying to condone porn or other inappropriate material. I just want you to educate yourself and come up with your own opinions of exploitation, the difference between media's influence and which way that influence flows. How these inappropriate influences shape our world we live in whether its good or bad. Think of what this means to the story of the 14 year old and the school administrator. The access the 14 year old had to pornography and how it's regulated. The guidance or lack there of in the decision process of the administrator. And where we go from here as a society. We regulate and regulate but human freedoms tear the walls down and social disorder prevails. There is no right direction in life but I can guarantee you we all create the direction we are going. History is what it is and the topics of these two films play a pivotal roll in this direction whether you like it or not. Its a small piece of the pie that forms our society but to understand where we are it may be helpful to know why and how we got there.

1 comment :

Editing Luke said...

I think the story with the school administrator was blown out of proportion. She wasn't bringing it into the school, she was an adult and it is legal to be in pornography, and it was the 14 year old who technically was not 'of age' to be on that kind of website in the first place - which I know another bogus topic.

I think society is in need of a sexual revolution of sorts. Violence in films is almost common place, and yet sex is so taboo. I say it's better to educate than regulate, and let people make decisions (that don't harm others) themselves.