Monday, August 27, 2007

Showed Me Everybody, Naked and Disfigured

Erik Loomis pens an open letter to film director Ang Lee.
Dear Mr. Lee,

I see that your new film, "Lust, Caution" has received an NC-17 ruling from the MPAA. Evidently it has too many "pelvic thrusts" for the board, among other things.

By now you should know how the MPAA and the United States works. The fact that the female characters might enjoy sex or, God forbid!, have an orgasm, is deeply offensive to this nation. More offensive is the idea that a man would perform oral sex on a woman. That clearly violates the nation's values.

What you need to learn is what Americans find acceptable. Sawing a woman in two for instance. Totally acceptable. Other things you might do is torture a woman to death, have a woman thrown to her death from a tall building, or otherwise see women humiliated. That is OK.

If you follow my advice, you will at least get an R rating. If you can get a BIG STAR in your film, you'll even get a PG-13.
To which I would add, this is a deeply, deeply unhealthy standard by which this nation rates art and other cultural outputs. The tolerance for ultragraphic violence is near limitless, but healthy sexual expression is a highly regulated taboo subject matter.

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