This week I watched two interesting movies, both of which are associated with the Independent Film Channel. The first was This Movie Is Not Yet Rated, a rather scathing look at the MPAA (Movie Picture Association of America) and how ratings are doled out to films. I always knew the organization was a bit weird, but I had no idea how secretive they really were. The movie covered some things most intelligent folks already know - that sex is much more dangerous (in their mind) than violence, so it's ok to shoot the woman in the head, but showing her naked is something else entirely. Now as a parent, I do like having an idea what is in a film, but honestly, I can tell most of the time from the trailers what is appropriate and what isn't. What I didn't agree with is that the MPAA has led to censorship. While films do end up getting cut to get ratings, I think there is a difference between a company trying to maximize profit (by going for an R instead of NC-17) compared to a government cracking down on speech it doesn't like. I think there are plenty of countries in this world - right now - who would love to have our "censorship".
The second film I watched was CSA (Confederate States of America), this is billed as a "mockumentary" about a world where the Confederates won the Civil War. I'm a huge alt-history fan so when I first heard of this film I was pretty intrigued. While the film can be considered alt-history, it's main point was to look at racism as it exists today. One of the most jarring parts of the film are the "advertisements" (the film pretends to be a documentary being shown on television, so it has regular commercial break) - especially when you learn the real world truth behind the ads. Taking it strictly as an alt-history show though I found it enjoyable as the documentary approach was much different than how typical novels read.
Oh yeah - and I watched 300 in HD-DVD as well. I had seen it at the movies so I already knew it rocked - but god dang what a cool movie. I need to pick up the comic sometime.