Filmmaker Kirby Dick's new documentary, This Film is Not Yet Rated, peers into the secretive world of the Motion Picture Association of America's film ratings system. MPAA board members are anonymous, deliberations are private, and standards are seemingly arbitrary.
Iranian film maker and film professor Jamsheed Akrami will discuss film making in Iran and Iran's Fajr (FAH-jer) Film Festival which took place in February. This year's festival included a juried competition for international films and was open to Iran's independent and government sponsored producers.
Film director Joseph Cates. His film "Who Killed Teddy Bear" was made in the mid 1960s. It starred Sal Mineo, Juliet Prowse and Elaine Stritch. The film has recently been re-released. It's been described as a "smorgasbord of Hollywood taboos: voyeurism, pornography, masturbation, incest, child abuse, transvestism, lesbianism." "Who Killed Teddy Bear?" is playing at the Film Forum in New York City, March 8-14.
Spanish film director Pedro Almodovar. He made the campy comedies "Women On The Verge of a Nervous Breakdown" and "Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down." His new movie, "High Heels" is a more sober story, the tale of a romantic triangle involving a mother, her daughter, and a murder.
Film historian Leonard Leff. His new book is "The Dame in the Kimono: Hollywood, Censorship and the Production Code from the 1920's to the 1960's. It's a history of the Motion Picture Production Code and its impact on American life. The Production Code was a set of Hollywood guidelines to help regulate morals in the movies. (The Dame in the Kimono is published by Grove Weidenfeld).
Television writer Gerald Gardner. His new book, The Censorship Papers, is a collection of memos from the Hays Commission, which was the censorship arm of Hollywood's production studios from 1930 to 1968. The dossiers were released last year and Gardner covers those concerning 70 of Hollywood's best known films, including "The Maltese Falcon," "Pal Joey" and "Notorious."
Hanif Kureishi, a Pakistani-Briton, wrote the screenplay for 1985's surprise hit "My Beautiful Laundrette," which explored the oppression of Pakistanis in England. His new film is titled "Sammy and Rosie Get Laid."
Film director and writer John Waters is Hollywood's "leading exponent of bad taste," and Waters describes himself as making exploitation films for the arthouse. Waters is also interested in murderers and has taught film in prison. The Baltimore Museum of Art recently held a retrospective of Waters' work, and the mayor declared the opening day "John Waters Day."