Robert Maier is a writer, producer, educator, specializing in cinema.
I just watched a movie yesterday with an MPAA rating graphic warning that some scenes included “Smoking.” Was that a joke? I mean as a progressive liberal, I’m all for government regulation, but this needs further explanation. Smoking is a public activity. It’s bad for you, but so are many other activities. Will scenes of people eating pancakes require warnings? Will there be a list of foods that diabetics should avoid watching, lest they pounce on the snack bar if a shot of Raisinettes appears? Will the new rage be Odorama-like on-screen warnings for chocolate sundaes or chili-cheese fries? Will we be warned if a scene shows a reckless driver? A sign on a nearby walking path has a list of user instructions 2 feet long.
If people are so weak that they cannot be trusted to watch someone smoking on screen, what will we do when the Chinese Red Army begins streaming across the the Canadian border?
Read more about Robert Maier’s fifteen years working with John Waters in the new book “Low Budget Hell: Making Underground Movies with John Waters.” Available on Amazon.com and other booksellers around the world.