100%

Scanned image of the page. Keyboard directions: use + to zoom in, - to zoom out, arrow keys to pan inside the viewer.

Page Options

Download this Issue

Share

Something wrong?

Something wrong with this page? Report problem.

Rights / Permissions

This collection, digitized in collaboration with the Michigan Daily and the Board for Student Publications, contains materials that are protected by copyright law. Access to these materials is provided for non-profit educational and research purposes. If you use an item from this collection, it is your responsibility to consider the work's copyright status and obtain any required permission.

September 21, 1995 - Image 16

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1995-09-21

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

6B - The Michigan Daily - Weac4 4e. - Thursday, September 21, 1995

NC-17 debate rages on over 'Showgirls'

By Joshua Rich
Daily Film Editor
The trailers are startling,

and excit-

ing. A woman is shown dancing around,
licking a pole and flaunting her overflow-
ing sexuality all in the company of hun-
dreds of drooling, gawking male onlook-
ers. The voice-over tells us that the film is
so racy that we can't see most of what
actually goes on in the film.
Nevertheless, we get the idea: this
movie is about sex. And besides that, we
are told again and again that it is "rated
'NC-17' - no children admitted under
the age of 17."
But what does all this mean?
By now we all have experienced some
part of the gross media blitz that has led

the new, highly anticipated sex flick
"Showgirls" to a movie theater near you.
This film is graced with both thebeauty of
star Elizabeth Berkley - famous as the
cantankerous Jessie Spano on the idiotic
cult TV fave "Saved By the Bell" - and
a racy storyline scripted by Joe Eszterhas
and directed by Paul Verhoeven (not sur-
prisingly, the same team that brought us
1992's controversial hit"Basic Instinct").
Most important, however, is the mys-
terious"NC-17"tag thatthepicturebears.
It is not the familiar "PG" or "R"ratings
that we usually see attached to movies. It
isn't even a "G" or a "PG-13" which we
notice somewhat less frequently. And if
this picture is so explicit and racy, how
come it does not get an"X"--prohibiting
:.MM~k MN .ie a
gil *-.nt iMD}

anyone under the age of 18 from viewing
the film in a movie theater altogether?
"NC-17," was, as one will find, the
brainchild of members of the Motion
Picture Association ofAmerica (MPAA)
who are responsible for rating every movie
released by a member production com-
pany (including all those in Hollywood
and more). For fear that films exception-
ally sexual or violent in content wouldbe
ignored at the box office if they received
an "X" rating, "NC-17" was created as a
middle ground between "X" and "R."
With an"NC-17," the ratings board hoped
films would not be shunned simply be-
cause they received the same tag as, say a
pornographic feature does.
It all started, of course, with director
Peter Greenaway's 1989 black comedy
"The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her
Lover," which contained graphic scenes
of torture and murder. Recognizing that
this film was too severe to receive an "R"
rating, yet not bad enough to warrant an
"X," the MPAA was unable to decide
how the film should be presented. In the
end, it was released without a rating -
allowing age limitations to be left to the
discretion of theaters playing the film.
Around came Philip Kaufman's"Henry
and June" in 1990, however, and "NC-
17" was born with the hopes of actually
being able to market a film that contains
somecontroversial and, inthiscase, overt
sex scenes. Yet ever since, few films have
actually garnered this dreaded label; suf-
fice it to say, those released with an "NC-
17" have not lived up to the hopes oftheir
distributors or of the MPAA.
This year, "Showgirls" is not the first
film to receive an "NC-17." Earlier, Larry
Clarke'steenageviolence/sex-fest"Kids"
also was handed an "NC-17," but it too
was ultimately released with no rating.
(Interestingly, this movie earnsthe unim-
pressive distinction of being the first
Disney movie - it was also released
along with Miramax out of their child
company, Excalibur - to be rated "NC-
17.")
In the case of "Kids," the film is being
marketed as a controversial look at teen-
age life on the streets that most people,
regardless of age, may appreciate. Come
on ... like anyone younger than about 16
will really like seeing other youths beat
and rape each other! The distributors of
"Showgirls," on the other hand, make no
false claims about their picture - it has
an "NC-17," and they are proud of it.
Indeed, "Showgirls" has the potential
to earn more money - and certainly get
more publicity - than any other picture
with as high a rating. Besides the hordes
ofviewers intent ofgetting a glimpse ofa

former child actor in the buff- and you
know who you are, guys - many will
amazingly show up in search of a fine
motion picture. While previews don't
denythe film'srating,"Showgirls"is also
being marketed as an interesting and en-
tertaining movie worthy of our time and
our money. This publicity line may be
quite true.
Growing up in an age of censorship,
political correctness and general conser-
vatism, we children of the 1980s and
1990s are quite unaware of a time when
films were judged on their artistic and
entertainment merits. Such a time did, in
fact, exist. And perhaps it will take a film
like "Showgirls" to remind us how a film
can still be of reasonably good quality
even afterreceiving such a controversial
disclaimer.
In the past, this did not stop other
questionable movies from making
money or gaining great acclaim. Shortly
after the MPAA ratings system was
introduced in the 1960s, two films, John
Schlesinger's "Midnight Cowboy"
(1969) - the only "X"-rated movie
ever to win a Best Picture Academy
Award - and Stanley Kubrick's "A
Clockwork Orange" (1971) both re-
ceived "X" ratings. But people contin-
ued to watch and critics and peers still
lauded these motion pictures.
Furthermore, following the 1984 re-
lease of Joe Dante's "Gremlins," a hor-
ror movie disguised as a childrens' fan-
tasy flick, many films have made sub-
stantial profits and cinematic statements
despite their "PG-13" warnings. Un-
doubtedly most famous in the bunch is
Steven Spielberg's "Jurassic Park"
(1993), the highest worldwide-gross-
ing movie ever.
Nowadays, with more and more mov-
ies earning "PG-13" or "R" ratings, and
"PG" and most certainly "G" becoming
phenomena of the past, an "NC-17"
label poses less of a threat to film pro-
ducers as it might have before. We, as
the collective American consumers, are
getting more used to the fact that mov-
ies are violent and explicit in their lan-
guage and sexual content.
It is for this reason that 1995 is the
right time for a film like "Showgirls"
to be released out of a mainstream
Hollywood studio with an "NC-17"
... and potentially survive. While the
film's impending success may further
trivialize the complicated MPAA rat-
ing system, it should lead us to re-
member that, above all, movies are
forms of art. They continually require
our complete attention and always
deserve our open minds.

The Grizzly Peak: serving up suds to A4quared beer lovers.

Y ELLOW
CAB
2050 Comme=e Ann Arbor, M48103
663-3355
Largest and newest fleet
4 can share the fare
Service to metro airport
Night Ride service * 663-3888
24 Hour Taxi Service

Grizzly Peak i opn
By Maureen Sirhal Arborrestaurants. What makes the Griz-
Daily Staff Reporter zly Peak unique is the house-brewed
Here's the second installment of the beers you can't find anywhere else.
brewery pub series. What's with the "We have two brewers: Greg Burke
trend in brewing companies in Ann and Ron Jeffries. They both had brew-
Arbor? The Grizzly Peak answers this ing experience," explained Kucera. The
question. restaurant currently serves ale beers
Owner Jon Carlson began his en- because they can be brewed in10 to 14
deavor to open the Grizzly Peak more days.
than two years ago. "I basically fell in "We don't carry lagers yet because
love with (microbreweries)," he said. "I they usually take about six weeks to
went to California and experienced my brew," Burke said. "But we will
first microbrewery. (I) definitely change some of the beers for different
thought there was a market (in Ann seasons. We will have an Oktoberfest
Arbor)." ale and an end of the year holiday-
With the passage of a Michigan law style beer."
permitting microbreweries and brew The Grizzly Peak pays homage to the
pubs, Carlson, then a24-year-old gradu- University with their Victors' Golden
ate student, set to work renovating the Ale, a lightly roasted barley beer. The
Washington Street site. Grizzly Peak Pale Ale is a full-hopped
"(Brewing companies) have been beer that resembles Sierra Nevada Pale
popular for a while. They offer a prod- Ale, forthose ofyouwhoneed alabelin
uct you can't get anywhere else," Griz- order to identify beers (like me).
zly Peak manager Dan Kucera stated. The Grizzly Peak delivers its own
There's amajor downsidetofrequent- version of a County Cork Irish Stout,
ing brewing pubs for all you Bud Light and their Steel-head red porter main-
fans. Once you've had the home brew at tains the sweetness of a porter but adds
these restaurants, you may not want to a deep roasted flavor. In addition to the
go back to mass-produced beer. homemade beer, the Grizzly Peak also
"I love the Golden Ale," said Engi- offers a wide variety of bottled beers,
neering senior Molly Macdonald. "They wine and other beverages ofthat nature.
serve the beer in half yards, which gives So what makes this brewing pub stand
a different twist to it." out from other Ann Arbor restaurants
Carlson maintains that the Grizzly and breweries?
Peak offers the familiarity of a bar with "The atmosphere is a lot of fun. It is
the quality ofa fine restaurant. "I wanted relaxed and the wait staff is incredible,"
a place with a bar but I also wanted added Macdonald.
great food," he explained. The Grizzly Peak Brewing Company
The Grizzly Peak offers a variety of is located west of Main Street on the
entrees, from calamari to the Grizz corner of Ashley and Washington
Burger. While the variety of food may streets. They're open from 11 a.m to 11
be a little more sophisticated than at p.m. Sundays through Thursdays and
Amer's Mediterranean Deli, the prices 11 a.m. to 12 a.m. Fridays and Satur-
are competitive with those of other Ann days.

I 46,YSHAH
Authentic Indian Cuisine
Genuine Indian Vegetarian &
Meat entrees prepared for your
palate (mild, hot, Indian hot) by
the S- n family
Monda)'atura
Buy one entree and get the
second of equal or lesser
'alue for
1/2 PRICE
Suday-Thursday- Exp. 10/15/95
sm Ba e. n oWurhixsg#Fith A
Between Fourth & Fifth Ave.

I Ie
I I
Iw 1
CawT NG Tw mi io c pws 0n p"i ff sc ss"rs- CO-STARR NG
A TASTE OF ITALY KING'S KEYBOARD HOUSE
ASHLEY'S RESTAURANT & PUB LOVIN' SPOONFUL
I AUNT AGATHA'S " MARTY'S MENSWEAR
BACKROOM MAST CAMPUS SHOES I
BANDITOS MEXICAN RESTAURANT MICHIGAN BOoK& SUPPLY
BIOS MR. SPOT'S
BLUE FRONT x'
I U FRONT NOGGIN'S HAIR SHOP
BURGER KING r NORMANDIE FLOWERS
THE BURRO OASIS DELI ~
CAMPUS BARBER & BEAUTY SALOON OLD FASHIONED SOUP KITCHEN
I CAMPUS BIKE & TOY ORIENTAL EXPRESS
CAMPUS CORNER PARTHENON RESTAURANT
I CHINA GATE RESTAURANT PIZZA BOB'S I
I COLLECTED WORKS PIZZA HOUSE
COTTAGE INN PIZZA PIZZERIA UNO I
1 CONDOMS 101 RENDEZ-VOUS CAFE
DAVID'S BOOKS , RIT DRUMS OF ANN ARBOR
DECKER DRUGS . ROUTE 66 I
DECKER ELECTRONICS ae -SALAD DAYS
DIAG PARTY SHOPPE SHAMAN DRUM BOOKSHOP
DISCOUNT RECORDS SPIRIT SHOPPE
ELMO'S SUPERSHIRTS STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN
ENCORE RECORDINGS STATE STREET BARBER SHOP I
ERIC'S ACTION SPORTSWEAR STATE THEATRE
ISTT ESPRESSO R
IESPRESSO ROYALE SUBWAY I
FIEGEL'S SUWANEE SPRINGS LEATHER I
I FLEETWOOD DINER THANO'S LAMPLIGHTER
R E xOUSE'TOUCHDOWN CAFE I
"r I GRATZI COFFEE HOUSE r J, A OE

Back to Top

© 2021 Regents of the University of Michigan