It’s an unofficial rule in Hollywood —the Motion Picture Association of America doesn’t like sex. Each year, one movie or another comes along featuring mature and perhaps graphic nudity and sex, and it’s promptly stamped with an R-rating. Or worse, such films go out “unrated,” meaning most major theater chains won’t screen them. Meanwhile, your weekly kill-’em-all-explode-everything tentpole will a PG-13 pass. It’s been a longstanding battle between filmmakers and those who control how movies get rated, but how did we get here?
This entertaining, seven-minute primer, the cheekily titled “A$$, ( . )( . ), And GUNS: Censorship In Cinema” is a good place to start. It tells the history of film censorship, and how it went from local organizations enforcing what could and couldn’t be screened to the national purview of the MPAA. And it touches on the constant battle between sex and violence on the big screen as well. It’s well worth a click, so check it out below.