Ave, atque Valenti

I don’t like to speak ill of the dead, and I'm sure otherwise he was a great guy,  but I think in the flood of encomias for Jack Valenti someone should mention that he was instrumental in putting a stranglehold on creativity in American filmmaking and ensuring the domination of studio mediocrity for at least 40 years. I’m talking in part about the M.P.A.A. ratings board, which consolidates the hegemony of the corporations who own the film industry and guarantees that any movies made outside that system that aspire to originality and an adult approach to sexuality will rarely be seen by anyone in this country. But don’t take my word for it. Take a look at Kirby Dick’s “This Film Is Not Rated,” or, if you want a real eye-opener, read Jon Lewis’s “Hollywood v. Hardcore: How the Struggle over Censorship Saced the Modern Film Industry.”

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