6/26/2007

All Movie Talk, Episode 39

Posted in Episodes at 5:00 am by Sam

Show contents, with start times:

  • Industry Trend: Ratings and Censorship, Part 1 (1:52)
  • Trivia Question: Movie Or Band (15:49)
  • How To: Be the New Teacher In the Hood (17:30)
  • Top 6: Political Satires (26:21)
  • Film Buff’s Dictionary: Masks, Filters, Day For Night (50:28)
  • Closing: Trivia Answer, Preview of Next Week (57:55)

Press the Play button below to listen to the podcast, or the Download link to save it. Here’s how you can download new episodes automatically.

Show Notes:

Industry Trend: Ratings and Censorship, Part 1

Film ratings and censorship are two things that have existed in America as long as the movies themselves. In the early part of the 20th Century, the First Amendment did not have the wide-reaching scope it does today, and thus governments were more able to censor things like movies.

Mutual Film Corp. v. Industrial Commission of Ohio was a 1915 U.S. Supreme Court case where the Court ruled that films are commerce, not speech, and thus explicitly gave local governments the power to set up film boards that would determine which movies could and could not be shown. This system of local governments approving films created a variety of rules about what could and could not be shown.

Charges of indecency — both on and offscreen — led Hollywood to form the Motion Pictures Producers & Distributors Association (later the MPAA) in 1922 as an industry group to clean up its image. Originally headed by former Postmaster General Will Hays, the group is largely ineffective at regulating film content throughout the ’20s.

Under religious boycott, the studios finally agree to adhere to a Production Code in 1934. The Code (sometimes called the “Hays Code”) strictly regulated the moral content of films. It is enforced by the Production Code Administration.

Under the leadership of Joseph Breen, the PCA has unprecedented powers to dictate what does and does not go into films. The PCA will govern most major studio releases through the late 1960s.

Trivia Question: Movie or Band

Are these movies or bands? Play along in our home game by clicking the link to find out for yourself:

  1. Savage Garden
  2. The Fabulous Baker Boys
  3. Trout Fishing in America
  4. Smilla’s Sense of Snow
  5. Thanks to Gravity
  6. Goat on Fire and Smiling Fish
  7. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
  8. The Doors
  9. Wings
  10. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

How To: Be the New Teacher In the Hood

Keep your cool, change up your lesson plans, and get ready for a lot of 2 a.m. knocks on your door — being the new teacher in the ‘hood is tough, unless you listen to the episode for our handy guide on how to pull it off.

Top 6: Political Satires

See our separate Top 6 entry for more information about our picks.

Film Buff’s Dictionary: Masks, Filters, Day For Night

Masks and filters are both ways of controlling the final recorded image by putting things in front of the camera’s lens. A mask is usually an opaque material that changes the shape of the image. Commonly, rectangular masks are used to matte an image, making it wider. The most famous mask is the iris, a circular mask that can change size. Rarely seen since the silent era, the iris functioned as a way of zeroing in on a subject in the days before zoom lenses.

Filters change the quality of light that gets recorded, usually by adjusting its color. Generally speaking, a filter is a colored piece of glass that will absorb certain colors. A blue filter, for instance, gives the recorded image a blue tint, as the blue glass absorbs other colors of light. Filters can also be used to change the quantity of light allowed in, and to adjust the quality of light in more subtle ways.

Shooting day for night is a cheap special effect that is achievable with filters. Since shooting outside at night is more expensive than shooting during the day, low-budget movies would put a dark blue filter over the lens and underexpose the film to achieve the illusion of night during a day shoot.

 
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12 Comments »

  1. wintermute (157) said,

    June 26, 2007 at 7:35 am

    Once again, I cannot wait to be able to listen to this podcast!

  2. sabel4 (3) said,

    June 26, 2007 at 8:15 am

    We may have technical difficulties here.

  3. Sam (405) said,

    June 26, 2007 at 9:55 am

    Fixed now.

  4. LaZorra (60) said,

    June 26, 2007 at 2:18 pm

    1. Really interesting stuff about the production code and regulations. Don’t apologize for going into the political side of things; that’s just as interesting. I never knew (and perhaps I should not be admitting it) that the Bill of Rights originally applied mainly just to the federal government, nor that Catholic boycotts were the main reason movie censorship became so widespread. Looking forward to the next episode!

    2. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom would be the best band name ever.

    3. Snoop Dogg . . . Robert Frost . . . brain aneurysm imminent . . .

  5. Nyperold (116) said,

    June 26, 2007 at 3:27 pm

    Well, there is that important word “Congress” that some people conveniently forget when they want to lambast webmasters for having and enforcing standards of speech and behavior on their websites. They wax all eloquent about impeding the flow of ideas and stagnation and suchlike, and then demonstrate that what they really want to do is flood us with the same old profanities. Some higher purpose.

    Incidentally, I’ll quote myself from RinkChat:

    If I didn’t know better, I’d say Sam was prescient, releasing this Top 6 list this week.

  6. Nyperold (116) said,

    June 26, 2007 at 11:26 pm

    Also, I have to mention this: I played the podcast without looking at the contents list, so when you came to the Trivia part, with you just having talked about censorship, I thought the question was “Movie or BANNED?” I know the different segments don’t necessarily tie in with each other that well, but it got me in that thought process. :D

  7. Jeffrey (84) said,

    June 27, 2007 at 12:50 pm

    Hey Stephen, thanks for name-checking me in the Film Buff’s Dictionary spot. :-)

  8. joem18b (231) said,

    June 27, 2007 at 1:24 pm

    Watching “The Adventures of Robin Hood” (1938) last night with the commentary turned on: When Robin escapes from the castle for the first time, there is a day-for-night scene, blue light, back lighting with blue added, etc.

  9. LaZorra (60) said,

    June 27, 2007 at 1:47 pm

    Nyp: Heh, I had the same problem. Cleared up for me when Sam used the article “a” in front of “band,” but it was kind of trippy in the beginning.

  10. Rifty (64) said,

    June 27, 2007 at 5:01 pm

    I know this is TOTALLY off topic from the show, but it would seem even more off topic in a comment to the 1408 review, so I decided to post it here.

    Sam and Stephen, have you guys seen “AngryAlien.com”? It’s a website of flash movies that reenact famous movies (Superman, Alien, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Star Wars, Pulp Fiction, Die Hard, Titanic, etc).

    BUT.

    Each one is done in thirty seconds.

    And with bunnies.

    Just curious if you knew about it, and thought you might like it if you didn’t know.

    -Rifty

  11. Stephen (221) said,

    June 27, 2007 at 11:38 pm

    Yeah, I’ve seen it. It’s pretty funny.

  12. vivaladisney (4) said,

    July 2, 2007 at 1:38 am

    Stephen, did you say “check us back next week”? I think that that might be a blooper that made it. Or am I hearing things?

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