Program Type: 
FilmVideo
X: The History of a Film Rating
November 07, 2013 - December 19, 2013
Screening Room

Overview

X: The History of a Film Rating
Nov 7 – Dec 19

The Motion Picture Association of America’s ratings system began in 1968. It originally included an X rating for films that were understood to be unsuitable for children, but were non-pornographic and intended for the general public. But unlike the other ratings, the MPAA never trademarked X and eventually it was hijacked by the pornography industry, becoming synonymous with porn. This film series celebrates the original intent of X, showcasing eight films for mature audiences, creating a space beyond sleaze for adult material. Staying faithful to X’s pre-digital nature, everything in this series will be presented on 35mm film.

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Events

  • Last Tango in Paris
    Nov 7, 2013 7:30pm
    Screening Room
    $10 / YBCA Member, Student, Senior, Teacher: $8 / YBCA:You FREE

    By Bernardo Bertolucci
    (Trailer) The erotic classic that shocked the nation and that Pauline Kael said "altered the face of an art form." Marlon Brando stars as a 45-year old American living in Paris, haunted by his wife's suicide. Maria Schneider is a 20-year-old Parisian beauty engaged to a young filmmaker. Though nameless to each other, these troubled souls come together in a bare apartment to satisfy their desperate need for connection. (1972, 136 min, 35mm)

  • Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
    Nov 9, 2013 7:30pm
    Screening Room
    $10 / YBCA Member, Student, Senior, Teacher: $8 / YBCA:You FREE

    By John McNaughton
    This independently made horror shocker came out of nowhere, and has lost none of its power to disturb. Henry is a loose take on the story of real-life killer (and pathological liar) Henry Lee Lucas. The flat Midwestern tone and grim realism combine to create a work that is uniquely distressing and genuinely scary. Henry was actually released in theaters “unrated.” But that’s because, despite a long battle with the film’s producers, the MPAA wouldn’t budge on the X rating they assigned the film for “overall tone,” even suggesting that no amount of editing would ever get Henry an R rating. (1986, 83 min, 35mm)

  • Fritz the Cat
    Nov 14, 2013 7:30pm
    Screening Room
    $10 / YBCA Member, Student, Senior, Teacher: $8 / YBCA:You FREE

    By Ralph Bakshi
    (Trailer) This counterculture cult hit was the first X-rated animated feature in Hollywood history. After smoking some super-strong weed, our feline friend Fritz hallucinates and gets in trouble with the fuzz. Fleeing across the country in a Volkswagen Bug, he encounters biker rabbits and terrorist radicals (obvious references to the Hell's Angels and the Black Panthers). Though R. Crumb, Fritz’s creator, hated it (but if you’ve seen Crumb you know that he hates everything), the film is a funky, anti-establishment time capsule worthy of contemporary reappraisal. (1972, 78 min, 35mm)

  • Beyond the Valley of the Dolls
    Nov 17, 2013 2:00pm
    Nov 17, 2013 4:30pm
    Screening Room
    $10 / YBCA Member, Student, Senior, Teacher: $8 / YBCA:You FREE

    By Russ Meyer
    (Trailer) Finally back in circulation, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls is the frantic, flipped-out tale of the Carrie Nations, an all-girl rock band in Los Angeles, and their pursuit of fame and fortune. They navigate a maze of sexual misadventures, drugs, and brushes with some deeply unsavory characters, only to find that fame comes at a heavy price. Invited to work within a major studio (20th Century Fox) following the massive success of his independently-produced Vixen, Russ Meyer, along with screenwriter Roger Ebert, created the quintessential sex, drugs, and rock and roll film of the psychedelic era. (1970, 109 min, 35mm)

  • Bad Timing: A Sensual Obsession
    Dec 5, 2013 7:30pm
    Screening Room
    $10 / YBCA Member, Student, Senior, Teacher: $8 / YBCA:You FREE

    By Nicolas Roeg
    (Trailer) Amid the decaying elegance of Cold War Vienna, a psychoanalyst (Art Garfunkel) becomes mired in an erotically charged affair with an elusive young woman (Theresa Russell). When their all-consuming passion takes a life-threatening turn, a police inspector (Harvey Keitel) is assigned to piece together the sordid details. With hallucinatory, elliptical editing, over-the-edge performances, and a fantastic score (Tom Waits, The Who, Billie Holiday), Bad Timing is a masterful, taboo-breaking foray into a world of overwhelming obsession. (1980, 123 min, 35mm)

  • Midnight Cowboy
    Dec 12, 2013 7:30pm
    Screening Room
    $10 / YBCA Member, Student, Senior, Teacher: $8 / YBCA:You FREE

    By John Schlesinger
    Some 40 years after its original release, Midnight Cowboy remains heartbreaking and timeless. When Joe Buck (Jon Voight), a sexy, naively charming Texas "cowboy," makes his way to the Big Apple to seek his fortune, the only wealth he finds is in the friendship of “Ratso” Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman), a sleazy small-time con man with big dreams. Living on the fringe of society, these two outcasts develop an unlikely bond that transcends their broken dreams. Winner of Academy Awards® for Best Picture, Director, and Screenplay. (1969, 113 min, 35mm)

  • Pink Flamingos
    Dec 14, 2013 7:30pm
    Screening Room
    $10 / YBCA Member, Student, Senior, Teacher: $8 / YBCA:You FREE

    By John Waters
    (Trailer) John Waters’ insane, drug-drenched midnight movie and all-out assault on good taste has proven to be amazingly influential, though it isn’t often shown theatrically anymore. The story of a rivalry for the filthiest person alive, it features a cavalcade of cult superstars, including Divine, Mary Vivian Pearce, David Lochary, Mink Stole, and Edith Massey. Though Waters was kidding when he stated that the X rating for Pink Flamingos was "for hideousness, not sex,” there is a lot of truth in his words. Don’t miss this immortal, immoral mindbender on the big screen. (1972, 108 min, 35mm)

  • Henry & June
    Dec 19, 2013 7:30pm
    Screening Room
    $10 / YBCA Member, Student, Senior, Teacher: $8 / YBCA:You FREE

    By Philip Kaufman
    The last film to receive an X rating (later revised to NC-17), this sensual work helped revamp Hollywood's ratings system. Philip Kaufman's elegant biographical drama looks at the real-life artistic and romantic triangle that developed between two of the most controversial literary figures of the 20th century: Tropic of Cancer author Henry Miller and French-born writer Anaïs Nin, as well as Miller’s wife June, in 1930s Paris. (1990, 136 min, 35mm)

YBCA's programs are made possible in part by:
Adobe
Koret Foundation
National Endowment for the Arts

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts is grateful to the City of San Francisco for its ongoing support.