Perhaps the most chilling material in Kirby Dick's raucous exposé of the film ratings board (MPAA) is a simple statement of little-discussed fact: More than 95 percent of the movie industry is controlled by a half-dozen studios whose larger conglomerates own more than 90 percent of all media in the United States. Ethical regulation of the industry -- in terms of how much of Maria Bello's pubic hair can be seen in the indie drama The Cooler, for example -- naturally remains of vital importance to the MPAA and its studio signatories. With its sex- and joke-filled survey of what has and hasn't been deemed appropriate for wide distribution, This Film is for buffs, but ironically, it works best in the rare moments when it seems to be about more than just movies. Indeed, to the extent that the systematic sanitizing of content to serve big business interests is hardly unique to Hollywood these days, Dick's slapstick historical record does stand to have what they call a long "shelf life" -- even if they refuse to stock it at Blockbuster.
Kirby DickJohn Waters, Kevin Smith, Matt Stone, Kimberly Peirce, Atom Egoyan, Darren Aronofsky, Mary Harron, Maria Bello, Bingham RayEddie SchmidtIFC Films