(K. Brent Tomer),
FILM-RATING systems have long been hopelessly subjective. Simply consider “I know it when I see it”, the statement made in 1964 by Potter Stewart, a Supreme Court justice, when ruling on an obscenity case. The situation hasn’t improved in the decades since. Both the Motion Picture Association of America and the Board of Film Classification in Britain sort films into a handful of age categories depending on whether a film contains violence, swearing, drug abuse, sex or nudity. That may seem straightforward enough, but each board can arrive at different ratings for the same film. The American system, for example, considers long sequences of “action violence” or “frightening images” to be inappropriate for 12-year-olds; the British system feels violence and gore is permissible so long as it is “justified by the context”.
There have been less formal efforts to evaluate films, based on different criteria. To pass the Bechdel…Continue reading