In: 02.05.31 Out: 02.08.11
Sound Bite: Kevin Smith – on the MPAA
Um I can’t fathom why they would have initially given it an NC-17. I mean granted there’s some pretty racy stuff in the movie but I don’t think there’s anything outside the confines of an R-rated film, albeit a hard R-rated film. Like we’re not one of those R-rated films where um you know somebody said fuck twice and suddenly the movie’s R-rated. We earned our R-rating but never crossed that line and that was the argument that I brought to the appeals committee. I said, look, you don’t make a movie called Zack and Miri Make a Porno without extra close scrutiny when it comes time to rate the movie. We knew this would happen, so we went out of our way to make sure it nestled comfortably within a hard R. And I said um, the argument that the MPAA gave is that the movie’s too titillating for people of a younger age to see. No one under 18 could possibly fathom or comprehend this movie, which is just like, hey man, I don’t know a 12 year old boy that doesn’t explore himself or a 12 year old girl that’s not already using the showerhead. Kids learn about sex at a very early age. Since we all have the internet, kids know what porno is. They don’t gravitate toward it. Just cause something exists doesn’t mean you become it. Just because you see something in a movie doesn’t mean you become it. I saw Star Wars quite a bit when I was a kid, never wanted to be Darth Vader once. You know it’s like I don’t think anybody sees this movie and goes, “Oh, porno, what a great idea.” Although in these harsh economic times, maybe, maybe it’s different now. When we made the movie, not so much, so when I stood up in front of the MPAA, I said look, if was 13 years old and this was 1983 when I saw this movie on cable when we first had cable in my hometown, would it send me to the bathroom to tug one out? Absolutely. But in 2008 when you can flip open your laptop and see 15 second mpeg clips of real people having real sex, this movie is not titillating at all. This movie is what it’s intended to be, a flat-out comedy. And then the MPAA relaxed their rulings a bit from a few years ago, now you’re allowed to cite precedent. So I was able to cite other movies that had done stuff similar to what we did for the thrusting that they objected to, because they said that in the first porno sequence with Katie and Mewes, there was far too much thrusting. I cited Taking Lives where I was like, there’s a 3rd act love scene between Angelina Jolie and Ethan Hawke that’s very erotic, very titillating, they’re having sex all across this room, on top of a dresser, breasts are bared, lots of fake thrusting, that movie got an R. Our movie, where the sex is cartoonish, ridiculous and over the top, and the only sex scene that’s treated seriously is very chaste and people are wearing clothes, we get an R? Like it doesn’t make sense. We do as much thrusting as they do. Like ours is an R, even though we’re trying to be funny? If you’re gonna give that an R, clearly we’re an R as well, and for some reason they bought it.
In: 02.08.17 Out: 02.10.04
Sound Bite: Kevin Smith – on the advertising
I found that a little surprising. I mean I understood like going in you know of course with a title like that, it’s a provocative title. Um I didn’t create the title to be provocative, I just thought it was funny. It’s a funny grouping of words. Um and very upfront, you know it’s the kind of movie that’s just like you’re not gonna accidentally walk into and be like, “I had no idea what it was about.” It’s not like you see the title, “Zack and Miri Make a Porno” and you’re like, “Oh it must be a meditation on the Holocaust.” You know what you’re getting going into right? So I felt like, you know, that would be the most heat we’d take. People would be like, “Well, it’s a little naughty.” When people start objecting to like putting up billboards, once again like this, nobody in this country right now should be pushing money away, and going like, we don’t want your advertising dollars. Especially for as innocuous a billboard as we wanted to put up. Stick figures? It’s not even like you know a picture of Seth and Elizabeth doing something kind of salacious. It’s stick figures for gods sakes and it’s little word porno that they objected to. I thought that was ridiculous. I was like look, it’s a descriptive term, like porno exists, everybody knows it exists, you can’t pretend it doesn’t exist. There’s not a kid alive that who’s gonna look at that and be like, “Porno, what’s porno mom, or dad?” And you can’t answer that? Like just tell them, it’s a movie you’re not gonna be interested in. My kid asked me like, “What’s porno?” I’d be like, “Guess what, Hannah Montana ain’t in it.” And my kid loses interest immediately, because she don’t, she don’t care about anything that doesn’t like have the stuff that she cares about in it. I’d tell her like look, it’s more adult talking and sometimes not talking but it’s boring, you’re not gonna like it. Or look, porno is something you shouldn’t even be thinking about until you’re really hard up for cash when you’re about 20, 22, but I just don’t feel like that it’s a concept that you can’t explain to your kids, like it’s a grownup movie, and that’s it. And even though there are drawings on the poster, look, it’s not for you.
Description: HRN-2781 Zack and Miri Make a Porno Kevin Smith
Enter a name for the new bin:
Select the bin you'd like to add the clip to:
Share this by emailing a copy of it to someone else. (They won’t need an account on the site to view it.)
Note! If you are looking to share this with an Historic Films researcher, click here instead.
Enter the security code you see below:
Oops! Please note the following issues: