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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Discussions About Orson Scott Card » OSC's reviewing R movies? (Page 1)

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Author Topic: OSC's reviewing R movies?
jamesbond007
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OK, so being a semi-recent convert to the LDS church I find it a little strange OSC views and then reviews movies such as the 'Wedding Crashers' and shows such as 'Sex and the City' when he is an active member of the LDS church (as far as I know). -- When the church preaches against seeing 'R' movies and anything resembling pornography (titilating - as R movies often are *note this carefully).

Is OSC just trying to be cool to show that Mormons can follow mostly strict rules and still not be boring and bland?

I am inactive for some of those very reasons -- I cannot play Grand Theft Auto and listen to gangsta rap, watch R movies such as the Wedding Crashers etc (all things I like to do) and then go talk on Sundays about Jesus and tell others not to do as I do.

...And maybe being inactive, it is now my duty to pick at other members and sow discord. Perhaps someone else is writing this. Anyone else feel this way about OSC? Though, I love everything OSC does. --And like the feeling that if another member does it, so can I!

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quidscribis
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Read OSC's take on R-rated movies. Here are some quotes from it:
quote:
Remember, President Benson is speaking to the young men of the Church when he says:

<snip>

"We counsel you, young men, not to pollute your minds with such degrading matter, for the mind through which this filth passes is never the same afterwards. Don't see R-rated movies or vulgar videos or participate in any entertainment that is immoral, suggestive, or pornographic. Don't listen to music that is degrading" (Ensign, May 1986, p 43).

The mention of R-rated movies is clearly linked to a specific goal -- keeping one's mind free of entertainment that is "immoral, suggestive, or pornographic." The purpose of the Prophet's wise counsel is to keep us from entertainment that will excite sexual lust in an inappropriate context.

quote:
What about the counsel of Elder H. Burke Peterson: "Again I say, leave it alone. Turn it off, walk away from it, burn it, erase it, destroy it. I know it is hard counsel we give when we say movies that are R-rated, and many with PG-13 ratings, are produced by satanic influences. Our standards should not be dictated by the rating system. I repeat, because of what they really represent, these types of movies, music, tapes, etc. serve the purposes of the author of all darkness" (Gen. Conf. Oct. 1993).
Read the whole article yourself - I can't do it justice with snipping bits. Also, this has been discussed before, so feel free to use the search feature.

And if you're going to pick and chose what other members of the church do as a basis for justifying your own actions, then, well, you're going to have an interesting and potentially conflicted life.

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sands
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just because they are rated R does not mean they do not show good morals. he watches the movies to spare us from watching the bad ones.
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sarcasticmuppet
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I am a believing member of the Church who sometimes sees R-rated movies. That certainly doesn't mean I think all R-rated (or even PG-13) movies are hunky dory. I think God gave us brains for a reason, and using our own judgement in the matter is much better than following the sheep mentality of "R-rated=baaaaaad".

However, some people I know in the Church (including my sister and some who frequent this forum) who have made a conscious choice not to see any R-rated movies. I've come to see that choice as an effort to live better lives overall. While I think they may be missing out on a few things, I commend them for their effort.

It's not like movies are a mandatory part of our existence. It's entertainment. In the end, it all really boils down to a matter of individual tastes. People have and will have completely fulfillng lives without seing a single movie.

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TomDavidson
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quote:

When the church preaches against seeing 'R' movies and anything resembling pornography (titilating - as R movies often are *note this carefully).

I believe that official church policy on this is slightly more flexible than you may have understood.
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Zarex
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<b>Quote</b>---- <i><red>I am inactive for some of those very reasons -- I cannot play Grand Theft Auto and listen to gangsta rap, watch R movies such as the Wedding Crashers etc (all things I like to do) and then go talk on Sundays about Jesus and tell others not to do as I do.</red></i>

I think that what you have here, is a conflict of conscience. However, I would not let that keep you away from church. Just because you go to church doesn't mean you have to preach gospel to anyone. And one's small flaws should not keep them from reaping the benefits of the gospel. No one is perfect and God knows that, so by keeping yourself from church due to the assumption that you "shouldn't be there" is, in my opinion, even worse than your reasons for not going in the first place.

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Zarex
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Apparently html doesn't work on this forum.
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kojabu
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You have to use the UBB code. If you hit full reply form, it'll give you buttons that will help you out.
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Jonathan Howard
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Alternatively, memorise the code - and make it quicker. This Quick Reply function proved useful, even though the Forum was buggered for a couple of days in a row.
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Soara
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isn't there a difference between regular Morman church and LDS? and LDS is much much stricter.
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sarcasticmuppet
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They are one in the same. "Mormon" is generally a word used to describe individual members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
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Sister Annie
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There are offshoot groups that will also identify as "Mormons," but if you don't live in Southern Utah or Missouri, chances are you won't run into many of them. Most of the time when you hear of the "Mormon" church, what is meant is the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
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Jonathan Howard
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LDS, LSD,
It's all the same to me.

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Occasional
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zarex, I would have to disagree with you slightly. Although committing what I would consider minor sins or offenses is far from grounds to not feel worthy of going to church, I do think there has to be a recognition that some of those things might need repenting of.

On the other hand, excepting perhaps "Wedding Crashers" depending on its contents, what was listed might be more of a sin of the heart more than of action. Its not like playing or listening to that actually makes you a sinner. However, it can lead you to want to do those things if not careful. And that leads to the hard question of how much influence do things have on who we are and what we do. A question that is at the center of the "R rated" movie discussion.

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Zarex
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True, there has to be recognition of sins committed and contrition on the part of the "sinner." However we believe that a fundamental part of the process of repentance is taking of the sacrament. Renewing one's covenants with Christ, being the final step to repentance can't be left out. My father told me that the only applicable reason for not going to church is if you have been excommunicated. Even then you can still repent. Even disfellowshipped members, while unalowed to partake of the sacrement can still attend church and be edified.
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Will B
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Here's what OSC said about one particular R-rated movie, The Passion of the Christ:
quote:
(And for those who piously refuse to see R-rated films, I can only say: There are movies that children should not see, and this is one of them. But for a Christian adult to refuse to see it as a matter of moral principle, as if this movie will somehow dirty you, moves you over into the category of those who let the letter of the law keep them from its spirit.)
http://www.ornery.org/essays/warwatch/2004-02-29-1.html
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estavares
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Personally I think OSC justifies himself time and time again, and his condemning others for refusing to see films merely based on "moral principle" smacks of irony, frankly.

That being said, a cornerstone of the LDS faith is that, ultimately, personal choice is left up to each of us. True there's social pressure and all that, but we each are responsible for our own actions. Everyone must decide if the choices we make are keeping us in tune with those ideals that make us unique. If he can look himself in the mirror and feel that he's in keeping with what's taught...I don't think "Wedding Crashers" fits in that category, but that's just me.

With that in mind OSC is free to watch whatever he dang well pleases, and we're in no position to blame him for our own choices.

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jamesbond007
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Those were gentle replies.

Admittedly, though, I still tend to 'feel better' if I see another member doing something 'gray' and appearing physically unharmed. Then I feel better stepping in myself once I see the water is tepid.

And I wish the church warnings would have been more specific--how about: Stay away from 'R' movies <<unless the films are in good spirit by so and so's best judgement or it's about religion in a good way, or it's really cool sci-fi >>

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jamesbond007
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Hehe, good thing I was tunneling through a proxy server. OSC will never take me alive! (probably not)

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sarcasticmuppet
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quote:
Admittedly, though, I still tend to 'feel better' if I see another member doing something 'gray' and appearing physically unharmed. Then I feel better stepping in myself once I see the water is tepid.
So this means you don't really make a stand for or against anything, instead just going with peer pressure and following the lead of others?
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Will B
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I don't want my church (Catholic) to make precise rules for me. If we need a set of such rules, we got 'em in the Law of Moses; but we stopped doing that in the first century. I don't think it works as well as clear internal intent.

So I'm with OSC on this one. Passion was a wonderful, moving experience that drew me closer to Christ. And I wish I'd known better than to watch Jay and Silent Bob.

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OlavMah
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I dunno, I stopped watching R rated movies as an experiment, to see if there was anything to Pres. Hinckley's counsel. I didn't like it at first because some of my favorite movies were ones like Stand By Me and The Milagro Beanfield War, but stuck it out for a few months and then, like flipping a switch, I didn't want to anymore. I don't think all R rated movies are bad. Some of them address R rated topics in an intelligent, insightful, and moving way. I just think most of them are pretty worthless (many films regardless of rating are worthless) and that I've got better things to do with my time than to go dredging through scenes of foul language and gratuitous sex to find the good ones.

I've also found that my sensitivity has increased. Even non-R rated movies that I remember fondly, I'll now rewatch and think, "Wow, these people are swearing a lot," or, "So *why* are these people having sex? Why are we spending five minutes watching this pointless scene that doesn't advance the story?"

It really isn't about "following the rules" so that you can punch your card and be a good Mormon. The church leaders are out there offering free advice, and I think it's some pretty good stuff. Worth an experiment on, at least. I choose to be a lot more strict than OSC is according to his article.

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JLM
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When I read Card's article on R-rated movies, it stuck me that he missed the whole point. We have been counceled to avoid media with salicious content, extreme violence or degrading language and themes. In fact, there are many practices and activites we have been counciled to avoid, for example gambling. On top of that, we are to avoid the appearance of evil, not just the abstinance of evil.

There is a commonly told story among the LDS community of a man trying to hire a truck diver to carry goods over a mountain pass. To each of the three drivers he asked the question, "How close to the edge of the cliff can you safely drive the truck?"

The first replies, "I can drive within 3 feet of the edge."

The second boasts, "I can drive within 1 foot of the edge."

The third meekly states, "I'd stay as far away from the edge as possible."

The third man got the job.

Some R-rated films are probably OK. The majority are probably not. Some are easy to judge ahead of time, and some are not. Following the priciple of staying as far from the cliff as possible, we have been counciled not to see R-rated films because there is a high probability that the content will degrading to the soul. PG13 and PG films pose less risk of having inappropriate content but even then we need to use judgment.

I am dissapointed with Card for his choice to go see Wedding Crashers. He admitted that he knew the film was going to be a "sex farce" up front, and his decription of this genre of film further convinces me that it is likely not good for the consumption of man.

Anyway, I didn't mean to sound preachy, but these are my thoughts.

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Puppy
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I haven't stopped watching R-rated movies, and have had some cool, transformative experiences as a result that I wouldn't want to trade out for another teaspoon of outward piety.

But I HAVE noticed that as I've gotten older, I've sort of gotten past the adolescent fascination with all things "edgy" and have started to think a lot more about the meanings behind the content of a film.

When the protagonist murders somebody when he doesn't have to, and I'm supposed to accept it, that really pisses me off. When sex is portrayed in a fantastical, immoral, consequence-free sort of way, it pisses me off. When I run into these kinds of roadblocks, I reject the film almost instinctively, and I've learned that I don't ever really want to see movies that I know or suspect will have these sorts of messages.

It's strange ... among non-Mormons, my taste in movies would probably come across as conservative, or even prudish. I've never willingly watched an American Pie movie, for instance, even though I was smack in the middle of the target audience when they came out ... or a slasher flick, or even some "serious" movies that strike me as promoting (consciously or not) false or harmful ideals.

Yet among Mormons, I'm shockingly liberal because I watched City of God, Dark City, Schindler's List, The Passion of the Christ, The Ring, etc, etc, and don't feel like I need to repent for it. These films all depicted evil, sometimes disturbingly so, yet I felt that they influenced my life for the better through their portrayal of the choices made by the characters. Even when they made the wrong choices.

I don't go as far as OSC and criticize individuals for the movies they choose to watch themselves. I figure, it's up to them what they feel comfortable watching, and what level of risk they are willing to accept. However, I take serious issue with members of my church who take it upon themselves to decide what OTHER people should be watching. The prophet has the right to make those kinds of recommendations, and I always take his words seriously, and try to follow the spirit and intent behind them. Other lay members, when they take upon themselves the responsibility for deciding what I should watch ... they should look first in their own eye.

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OlavMah
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I'm not sure that's "shockingly liberal". Sounds pretty common to me. I still have a copy of Dark City that another active member gave me, although I don't watch it anymore. Most of my singles branch (when I was in one) went to see The Matrix Reloaded within the first month after its release. I think it's only shocking to people who think that acting shocked is a good way to show how devout they are....
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Jon Boy
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quote:
Originally posted by JLM:
On top of that, we are to avoid the appearance of evil, not just the abstinance of evil.

I think this is one of the most misunderstood and misrepresented scriptures in all the standard works. If you're concerned about what might look evil to your neighbors, then you're not avoiding evil for the right reasons; you're doing it because you're afraid of what your neighbors will think of you. Christ did plenty of things that appeared evil to the Jews of the time. I don't think he was very concerned about avoiding things that appeared evil. And if you look in the footnotes of that verse, you'll see that it can be translated to read "all kinds of evil." That's a far cry from "everything that appears to be evil."
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Puppy
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Olav, among the Mormons I know personally in my ward, you're right, there's nothing shocking about my behavior.

Among the Mormons I typically meet online, at websites-that-shall-not-be-named, I'm shockingly liberal.

Since I discuss this more often with the latter group, I come away feeling like that's how everyone looks at me [Smile]

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Jon Boy
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You're not shockingly liberal until someone uses the phrase "shocked and appalled" to describe their reaction to your behavior.
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OlavMah
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Actually Puppy, you were the one who gave me Dark City, now that I check your profile. So that kills one example of how "other" Mormons behave.

You want it back? Like I said, I've gone R-movie free. (Except the time I had my husband and my best friend, both LDS, watch The Milagro Beanfield War with me. I didn't know it was R until it flashed on the screen after the final credits. That was mildly shocking....)

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Orson Scott Card
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Heck, all you have to be is ALIVE to get someone to be "shocked and appalled" at your behavior. Someone, somewhere, would hate you for SOMETHING you do. <grin> Mormons are hardly unique in this. There's a very strong social-disapproval gene, and people who think they're tolerant are merely overlooking the things they aren't tolerant of.

I don't watch R-rated movies because they're R-rated. I read about movies in advance, and watch the promos to see what they're selling. I've found PG movies that are deeply offensive to me, and R-rated movies that are morally clear and fine.

There are so many ways to get an R rating, anyway. I don't LIKE bad language, but it doesn't keep me away from an otherwise good movie - I just don't take my mom. And violence - I know that it's all pretend, so I'm not bothered by that, either. You can get an R simply for dealing with issues that would be too disturbing for youngsters - but I'm not a youngster. It's only when a movie is obviously promoting sexual titillation that I simply stay away.

The odd thing is that the R rating doesn't actually make money. Studios would always rather have a PG-13. That's where the money is, and they know it.

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OlavMah
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Scott, are you really telling Puppy that he shocks and appalls people just by being alive? He's not *that* bad....
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Jon Boy
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I'm shocked and appalled that Geoff gave Dark City to you and not me, even though I don't know him personally.
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OlavMah
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Yeah, well you can have it if he doesn't want it back.
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Puppy
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HAHAHAHA! I KNEW I remembered buying a copy of Dark City, but I couldn't remember what had happened to it! [Smile] I've got my own now, so no need to return anything.

One of the reasons the MPAA rating is sort of a shaky standard, in my opinion, is the fact that movies regularly get shot with straight R-rated sensibilities, then get "shaved down" to a PG-13. Much the way we're shaving my game down right now to keep it teen-rated in Japan. The game isn't actually changing in any meaningful way ... there's just a minor difference in the depiction of certain things that fits better with Japanese moral sensibilities.

(I find it hilarious, by the way, that the culture that regularly generates some of the most horrific pornography known to man is ALSO one of the cultures that has the most stringent and well-enforced content standards in the video game industry. I can't count the number of times I've been talking with our publisher, and they said, "That's a GREAT idea! Awesome! Oh, wait ... crap, we can't do that in Japan.")

Anyway, I realize that my second paragraph leads straight into the anti-R-rated-movie argument, "Well, all that shows is that you can't watch most PG-13 movies, either! In fact, pretty much EVERY movie is bad!" That's not what I'm saying. What I'm saying is that the standards used by ratings boards, in general, are not a good indicator of the true moral value of a film. I prefer to use my own standard, which cuts out a lot of non-R movies, and brings in a bunch that ARE rated R.

The line I draw isn't really different, in its general placement, from that of your average Latter-day Saint. It just looks more like the Mexican border than the Canadian border.

Okay, once the bad analogies start flowing, it's time for me to get back to work [Smile]

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Jon Boy
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Sweet! Free movie for Jon Boy!
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OlavMah
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Where do I send it then?

See, I think a lot of R rated movies are G rated plots with R rated scenes in them. There aren't many plots that necessitate an R rating, though there are some. So I don't think movies with PG rating are more moral, I just think they have better language and fewer graphic scenes of sex and violence. So that's why I don't watch R rated movies, to avoid those scenes. Period.

It doesn't mean I can just turn my brain off and watch whatever. It doesn't mean I can just accept whatever the entertainment industry wants to show me at face value. It just means that in my digging for worthwhile pieces, I have to delve through less filth.

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Verily the Younger
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Well, I can't really add anything meaningful to this discussion, as I'm not a Mormon--I'm not even religious--but I will say this. For a twenty-five-year-old agnostic, my sensibilities are shockingly conservative. I don't feel I have any soul at stake or deity to disappoint, but I also don't like filling my memory with filth. I'm not saying everything I watch is G-rated, but I also don't go to movies where the only apparent selling point is sex or violence. I have to believe there might be something about the story that I'll care about.

I'm sorry to say I saw American Beauty because a friend told me that it was a deep and beautiful film. Well, we must have been watching a different movie, because the one I saw was trash. He tried to tell me that it was all about symbolism, but that's rubbish. If I despise every character, then I'm not going to care what happens to them, and I'm not going to be interested in symbolism. Story first, symbolism later.

Heck, I was appalled at Sleepless in Seattle. The woman falls in love with a man whose voice she heard on the radio, starts lying to her fiance (who is a good person, so it's not like this is in any way his "comeuppance"), and begins to stalk the man she heard. She even hires a detective to take candid photographs of him! Great love story, my foot.

What I don't do, though, is look at the rating. I don't think the rating actually tells you anything useful. I couldn't tell you what any of the movies I've seen this year were rated, because I honestly don't know. I just watch the trailers, and listen to what people who have seen it say. If, on that basis, I believe this movie might have something for me, I go. If not, I don't.

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quidscribis
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Hey, Verily, I'm with you on that American Beauty thing. I didn't get the point of it at all.

Unlike Puppy, I can't watch many movies that portray great evil - I'm too affected by them. I know that for me, there are certain types of movies that I should never ever watch. It doesn't matter that they don't affect the vast majority of the rest of the population, it only matters that they affect me. Like Poltergeist (yes, yes, feel free to laugh), or White Noise, or The Shining -
those affect me profoundly, and not in a good way. I get nightmares easily, and yes, I'm even scared of the dark, despite being old. I get freaked out easily.

This, I think, is a part of the spirit of the law. Know what your own boundaries and sensibilities are, and be sensitive to them.

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Treason
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quote:

OSC said:
There are so many ways to get an R rating, anyway. I don't LIKE bad language, but it doesn't keep me away from an otherwise good movie - I just don't take my mom. And violence - I know that it's all pretend, so I'm not bothered by that, either. You can get an R simply for dealing with issues that would be too disturbing for youngsters - but I'm not a youngster. It's only when a movie is obviously promoting sexual titillation that I simply stay away.
quote:

Not to be disrespectful but...
I'm curious to know why you know the violence is pretend, but can't think the same about the sex. Why is one so much worse than the other? There are some very funny/good movies out there that have a lot of sex in them. Why stay away?

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CRash
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From mpaa.org , "How Ratings Are Decided"

quote:
The basic mission of the rating system is a simple one: to offer to parents some advance information about movies so that parents can decide what movies they want their children to see or not to see. The entire rostrum of the rating program rests on the assumption of responsibility by parents. If parents don't care, or if they are languid in guiding their children's moviegoing, the rating system becomes useless. Indeed, if you are 18 or over, or if you have no children, the rating system has no meaning for you. Ratings are meant for parents, no one else.

That being the case, I agree with others that to decline to see a movie simply because of its rating is a result of not bothering to be more informed. Content and themes vary from movie to movie.
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jamesbond007
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quote:
Not to be disrespectful but...
I'm curious to know why you know the violence is pretend, but can't think the same about the sex. Why is one so much worse than the other? There are some very funny/good movies out there that have a lot of sex in them. Why stay away?

That's a good point. It brings back the Matrix. I noticed I thought it a cleaner 'R' movie than most. There was alot of violence but no sex (in the fist installment) --I actually think it is because in general violence in art is perceived as not as bad as snogging (thx JK Rowling)

I find sex in family atmospheres to be terribly uncomfortable and violence more tolerable.

--Maybe because most people after seeing a violent movie likely won't go assualt a nearby victim, but would more likely get into trouble from snogging after seeing a movie with sexual content. Just a thought...

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imogen
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I remember someone saying (Puppy? I think it was you - in the context of computer games) that the difference is that seeing violence does not tend to give rise to violent tendencies in a person, while seeing a sexual act will give rise to sexual titillation.

Personally, I think the concept of which is worse is rubbish.

I think the far greater danger is people being desensitised to violence through watching it in movies, playing it in games and its glamorisation through music and popular culture. I believe violence is inherently more destructive to society than sex could ever be.

Mind you, I realise my view of sex is different to that of the LDS church.

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rjzeller
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quote:
The odd thing is that the R rating doesn't actually make money. Studios would always rather have a PG-13. That's where the money is, and they know it.
YES!!!!! Finally someone who agrees with me on this. I've been flamed on countless other boards for making this point -- R rated movies are NOT the breadmakers. Of the top ten all-time domestic films (box office), only ONE had an R rating -- Passion of the Christ. No sex.

I think it's important to remember there is a line between adults and children, here. An adult can easily grasp the nature of violence on screne vs. reality, and generally it does not affect them. A child, however, can be greatly influenced by violence on screen.

Sexual provocation, however, is the opposite. As we get older we are more susceptible to sexual influences. It's because we find violence so apalling that we can witness it on screen and shun it in our daily lives. But porn or nudity or sexual scenes are different -- despite our conscious decision to shun and disdain it, we are nevertheless moved by it. It grabs our senses and takes root becuase instinctively we are drawn to it.

It is this inborn desire that causes sexual material to be far more insidious -- becuase while we choose to shun it an convince ourselves we are repulsed by it, it nevertheless caters to more base instincts within us.

When we witness a violent event, we are apalled. Even if we become "Desensitized" to it, we still have an acute understanding of the wrongfullness of it and the threats it presents. Think about the planes flying into the WTC towers, visualize in your minds the moment of impact, the explosion, the though of people sitting innocently at their desks when suddenly their entire world erupts into a blazing inferno. Many of us here will not be able to do that, a few will. And those who do will likely be apalled by it.

Now watch a movie like "Con Air" or "Die Hard II" and suddenly the emotion is different. Why? Because as Card says, we know it's not real.

But nudity and sex are always real. If you see a woman naked on screen, it's real. Even if you can't touch her or communicate with her, she's real. And what's worse, is even though we may be apalled by it, it nevertheless caters to a base instinct in each of us. We may be upset by it, but there is a part in each of us that will find it intriguing or arousing. When those emotions are fostered, they take over our minds and can corrupt our thinking. They stay with us, and grow.

I think the view that violence is worse than sex is yet another tool of the adversary to lead us carefully astray. We almost always see violence for what it is, but all too often see sex as "innocent" or "pure" or "natural" and approve of it becuase it SEEMS so much less threatening than violence.

It's a Trojan horse, don't be fooled into thinking otherwise.

Z

[ August 24, 2005, 12:15 PM: Message edited by: rjzeller ]

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Irregardless
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quote:
Originally posted by jamesbond007:
I find sex in family atmospheres to be terribly uncomfortable and violence more tolerable.

I think most emotionally healthy people agree. After all, it's perfectly normal for well-adjusted 7-year-olds to pretend to shoot each other (playing cops & robbers, emulating Star Wars, or whatever). This is normal even in household where the parents lean pacifistic by not giving their kids toy guns -- the kids just use their index fingers instead. Nobody with their priorities straight is particularly disturbed by this kind of harmless play-acting.

Now, if you have 7-year-olds engaging in simulated sex, there is most definitely something wrong. In fact, that act alone would constitute reason to suspect that the child might be a victim of sexual abuse.

Feigned violence is normal behavior for small kids; feigned sex is not. Therefore it is not unreasonable to extrapolate that exposure to some kinds of make-believe violence are okay for kids, while that is not necessarily true for make-believe sex acts.

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Treason
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Said by Irregardless:
quote:

Now, if you have 7-year-olds engaging in simulated sex, there is most definitely something wrong. In fact, that act alone would constitute reason to suspect that the child might be a victim of sexual abuse.
quote:

To some of us in America and a few other places, maybe. Not to me, and not to many other cultures out there. I was playing "sex games" with my girl friends when I was 6 and 7 and I was not abused. It is a very natural thing to do.

As for adults being "titillated" by sexual content in a movie: I say, so what? If you have any willpower or control over yourself at all, you'll be fine, I wouldn't worry.

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OlavMah
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Even though I'm an adult, I think I'm still susceptible to being desensitized by violence in films. The argument that "it's not real" doesn't work for me. Sure, fiction isn't real, but isn't it supposed to say something about reality? Even on a very very basic level? Why is the portrayal of violence okay just because "it isn't real"? That's like saying that I'm going to tell a story about hitting you in the face and causing you pain, and I'm going to find that really really funny, and yet I'm not being insensitive because "it isn't real".

I'm not particularly concerned about being tintillated by onscreen sex, because to me it's not real. Sex is way more than the physical act, and watching the physical act is... not the same. I actually find it rather dull, given it involves fictional characters or random famous people that I don't know, depending on how you look at it.

My main issue with both of these things is that they are a waste of my time, IMO, and yeild me little or no benefit. I just didn't realize what a waste of time they were until I went without for a few months. I may miss some good movies by not watching anything rated R, but I never thought I'd see every great movie ever produced anyway. I'll miss some of the world's best movies regardless of how many I watch because I'm only human and only have so many hours in a day and only speak one language, etc. etc.

So, the MPAA ratings might not mean much about the moral content (to me, that goes without saying), but they are a pretty straightforward filter of violence, language, and sex. Works for me. If there's an R rated movie I really want to see, I'll watch it when it's on network TV, or get an edited version. The edited version is not the same, but it gives me an indication of whether it needs to be seen in its original form in order to be understood, and if it really is one of the world's great movies and needs those R rated scenes, I'd consider watching the R version. So far, this dilemma hasn't come up.

[ August 24, 2005, 04:44 PM: Message edited by: OlavMah ]

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Sartorius
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quote:
Originally posted by rjzeller:
YES!!!!! Finally someone who agrees with me on this. I've been flamed on countless other boards for making this point -- R rated movies are NOT the breadmakers. Of the top ten all-time domestic films (box office), only ONE had an R rating -- Passion of the Christ. No sex.

Why would anyone bother to flame you over that? Were they LDS boards?
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mothertree
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I didn't see terminator 3, though I badly wanted to. In that one instance, I figure it's kind of like paying more than 2.53 in fast offering.
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CStroman
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A couple of things to point out. The LDS church's view on Rated R films only applies to the United States as those ratings are only given out in the United States. The LDS church exists worldwide.

How do you know what to watch and not watch in Mexico?

Also there are UNRATED versions of films which are WORSE than the "R" Rated versions. There are also films which have chosen to NOT submit to the MPAA. Some are TV shows or documentaries and some are pornography.

You use your common sense (or spirit if you are so inclined)

Also on the Violence vs. Sex theme.

Violence on screen is "simulated".

Nudity on screen is NOT except in rare circumstances. SEX may be simulated and depending on the purpose of the filmmaker, it may even be promoting sex in an unhealthy way (spiritually).

This is why if you portrayed a Married LDS couple having sex, LDS people would still NOT see it because it's not about the "right or wrong" of what's being portrayed, it's that you don't need to see that happening.

It's the same with violence. I don't need to be victimized by a film and pay for it as well.

That said, I do watch some "R" Rated films. In fact some of my favorite are The Green Mile and Shawshank Redemption, Saving Private Ryan, etc. etc. With Green Mile and Shawshank the POSITIVE feeling the films give the viewer outweigh the small needed instances of BAD.

My council would be to USE JUDGEMENT and KNOW YOUR WEAKNESSES when selecting films.

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OlavMah
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Well this will sound willful and even, dare I say, independent minded, but I don't give a flip what your counsel is. If you've got an insight into the advice that church leaders give, then cool. But I don't recognize you as an ecclesiastical authority. [Smile]
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