1. What are your basic
thoughts about the MPAA?
-From an adult point of
view, theyíre useless. I donít see why a group of bitter old men and women
locked in a room, forced to watch movies should decide on what I should or
should not watch. I am mature enough to know what I want to see and know what I
can endure violence/nudity wise. Being a major horror buff, theyíre particular
grudge against the genre has frustrated me on many occasions over the years.
Friday The 13th Part 7 for example was severely butchered by the
MPAA and in consequence the film winds up negating its reason to be. Genre
fiends donít watch Friday The 13th movies for a layered narrative or an
exploration of the human psyche; we watch them for gratuitous blood and guts.
Who are the MPAA to
tarnish our movie going experience? I thought this was a free country! Now
donít get me wrong I do believe that some kind of efficient system should exist
to prevent younger viewers from witnessing material that is inappropriate for
them, but censoring a film thatís aimed at a mature audience and thatís Rated R
feels trivial to me and reeks of dictatorship. Iím an adult and I should be
able to see what I want to see and not have these nitwits mess with the
directorís vision or the overall experience that the film should deliver.
2. How do you feel about
the MPAA's renewed zealously when it comes to horror films?
-To me horror films are
the biggest scapegoat on the block. Its easier and cheaper for a politician to
blame violent movies for the unfortunate acts that take place in this world
(Columbine for example) then actually addressing the problem hands on and doing
something about it. How many copies of Basketball Diaries were taken down from
the video shelves after Columbine? Too many. Did that type of censorship help
the cause or solve the problem? No. Maybe if the people in charge would
concentrate on the real reasons behind the madness instead of always taking the
easy way out and blaming it on movies, things would be different. Issues such as poverty, education, security, parenting; how about
putting some money and attention there instead of wasting everybodyís time by
pointing the finger at horror/violent films?
the MPAAí relentless bitterness against the horror genre? Itís unfortunate cause it
reinforces the ludicrous stereotypes that are out there and gives the
politicians more fuel to blame it all on the movies. Iíve been watching horror
movies since I was 13 and no I havenít killed anybody. When will they stop
hiding behind genre films and address the real issues? Probably neverÖtoo expensive
and time consuming. I donít know how they sleep at nightÖ
-3. What do you think
about major films like Hannibal going nearly uncut, while independent films
such as Cherry Falls are destroyed by the MPAA?
-Iím furious about that.
It just goes to show the hypocritical stance the MPAA takes when they approach
a film in terms of censoring. I donít have a deep insight on how the system
works but I would think its probably money driven to a certain extent. Its
probably profitable in some way for them to be lenient on a film like Hannibal
which sports a big director, huge stars and thatís distributed by a major
studio. The smaller films donít have that kind of clout or exposure and
therefore get screwed. If Cherry Falls wouldíve starred Brad Pitt and was distributed
by MGM, Iím sure it wouldíve gone through the MPAA barely touched. Just look at
SEVEN, which was one grisly movie! It got away with so much! If SEVEN wouldíve
been a 5 million dollar picture, released by a small company, Iím sure the MPAA
wouldíve axed it all over the place. This is just another case of the little
guy getting the shaft cause heís the little guy. It makes me sick really; how
can I respect a system thatís so inconsistent and unfair?††
4. As an upcoming
director, how do you think the MPAA will affect your films?
In terms of my film The
Red Hours, Iím not actually too scared of them cutting anything graphic
gore/nudity wise nor do I really care. The film does have some visually extreme
sequences but I purposely want to communicate them in a subtle manner in order
to not drown out the subtext of the picture. My main concern is that the MPAA
will not or wonít want to understand what Iím trying to communicate. The Red
Hours deals with touchy social issues such as extreme feminism, bi sexuality,
manís place in todayís society, the rave scene, sex, drugs and its all wrapped
up in a horror movie motif. Iíve got all the ingredients here to offend the
MPAA and yes I feel theyíll have me tinker with my film so much that it might
hurt what Iím trying to say or maybe even decrease the impact the film should
I think the MPAA needs to
understand that the more brutal elements in Cinema are fished out of real life.
I didnít take these themes out of my hat? Theyíre very present in our society.
I donít see anything wrong with commenting on whatís going in the world via
celluloid while trying to also entertain the viewer at the same time. This is a
crazy world we live in, why should we ignore whatís going on and not be able to
express our views on the subjects at hand through art (yes film is an art
form)? Now donít get me wrong, The Red Hours is meant for an adult audience and
I donít think kids should see it but butchering the picture wont change a thing
in the world or protect anybody from whatís going on. All they have to do is
switch on the news and theyíll know. Having said that, whatís important to me
is the integrity of the message that The Red Hours has and Iíll fight the MPAA
till the bitter end to retain it.