In Memoriam 1942 – 2013 “Roger Ebert loved movies.”

RogerEbert.com

Thumb_maps_to_the_stars_ver8

Maps to the Stars

David Cronenberg's film of Bruce Wagner's Hollywood satire-nightmare turns ludicrous situations into operatic tragedy.

Thumb_lazarus_effect

The Lazarus Effect

The Lazarus Effect is such a limp excuse for a horror movie that it cannot even get a rise out of a couple of kids…

Other Reviews
Review Archives
Thumb_xbepftvyieurxopaxyzgtgtkwgw

Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

Thumb_jrluxpegcv11ostmz1fqha1bkxq

Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

Other Reviews
Great Movie Archives
Other Articles
Chaz's Blog Archives
Other Articles
Blog Archives
Other Articles
Channel Archives

Newspapers And Use of Obscenities

For a newspaper, there is an element of irony involved in writing about dirty words. You may just have come from seeing "Glengarry Glen Ross," with its litanies and riffs of four -letter words, but in this newspaper, the closest you will get to them is a "- - - -." Apart from certain exceptions such as the testimony in the Thomas-Hill hearings, newspapers have not lowered the barricades against expletives.

Nor has over-the-air television, although anything goes on cable. Stations using the public airwaves have policies similar to newspapers, although policies are relaxed from time and time, and recently, I've started hearing "p- - - - - off" a lot on the tube, especially on sports broadcasts. The standards for radio are in flux; the current situation is that some broadcasters use borderline language, and then the FCC fines them for it, but year after year, the radio talkers expand the list of sayable words.

The current rule seems to be: If you put yourself in a position to hear four-letter words, then you have only yourself to blame, and there are no laws against their use. If you buy a ticket for a movie or a play in which the words are used, that was your decision. Same goes for books and magazines. But the public media -- newspapers, radio and over-the-air radio TV - are places where you do not expect to encounter such language, and generally speaking, you don't.

The MAA's movie rating system takes language into account, and many newspaper reprint the reasons for their ratings. In my review of "Glengarry Glen Ross," for example, the small print under the cast and credits quoted the MPAA: "R (for language)."

Popular Blog Posts

Notes on watching "Aliens" for the first time again, with a bunch of kids

Captain's log: eight fifth graders, one adult, one James Cameron movie.

Who do you read? Good Roger, or Bad Roger?

This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...

Now, "Voyager": in praise of the Trekkiest "Trek" of all

As we mourn Abrams’ macho Star Trek obliteration, it’s a good time to revisit that most Star Trek-ian of accomplishme...

A Very Particular Set of Skills: A Look at the "Taken" Saga

An FFC looks at the "Taken" saga.

Reveal Comments
comments powered by Disqus