She’s made the call on PG, NC-17 for 30 years

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still love movies. That has never gone away.”

Graves, who stud­ied po­lit­i­cal sci­ence at Stan­ford Univer­sity and started out as a stock­bro­ker, was re­cruited by the Mo­tion Pic­ture As­so­ci­a­tion in 1988, when her youngest daugh­ter was 9. The or­ga­ni­za­tion was look­ing for some­one “sen­si­ble,” she said.

Charles H. Rivkin, the Mo­tion Pic­ture As­so­ci­a­tion’s chair­man and chief ex­ec­u­tive, called her an “in­sti­tu­tion” whose con­tri­bu­tions to film rat­ings are “im­mea­sur­able.” For di­rec­tors and stu­dios, her de­ci­sions have car­ried enor­mous busi­ness im­pli­ca­tions: The dif­fer­ence be­tween rat­ings – PG-13 ver­sus R, or even G ver­sus PG – can mean mil­lions of dol­lars in ticket sales.

But not ev­ery­one in Hol­ly­wood is a fan, in­clud­ing the Os­car-nom­i­nated doc­u­men­tar­ian

Kirby Dick, who made an en­tire movie in 2006, “This Film Is Not Yet Rated,” about the rat­ings sys­tem. In an email Thurs­day, Dick blamed Graves for, among other things, al­low­ing “films with ex­ces­sive vi­o­lence to be rated PG-13, re­sult­ing in tens of mil­lions of chil­dren be­ing ex­posed to trau­ma­tiz­ing vi­o­lent im­agery.”

Con­sider this her exit in­ter­view. Over scram­bled eggs at a cafe near her of­fice in sub­ur­ban Los An­ge­les, Graves spoke of her most chal­leng­ing mo- ments on the job, the rat­ing she now be­lieves she got wrong, and im­ages she can’t un­see. Th­ese are edited ex­cerpts from the con­ver­sa­tion.

Dur­ing the re­ally hor­ri­ble movies, I of­ten find my­self won­der­ing, “Who gave them money to make this?” There have been times when I have felt worn down – when di­rec­tors try to outdo each other with sadis­tic stuff. Did we re­ally need that 15-minute rape scene? But then not long after will come a film that is in­trigu­ing and well writ­ten and re­stores your love.

I shouldn’t say no, be­cause then they’d try.

We don’t set stan­dards, we re­flect them. What are par­ents most con­cerned about? Over­all, there is some­thing about graphic nu­dity in this coun­try. We are all graph­i­cally nude a cou­ple times of day, so I don’t quite get it.

Har­vey We­in­stein was a great frus­tra­tion.

The last run-in I had with him was on a movie about a trans­gen­der char­ac­ter. He floated out to the news me­dia that we gave it an R be­cause of the trans­gen­der story line. That was not at all the case. It was an R for

Stu­dios want the rat­ing they think will be most com­mer­cial. It’s al­most as if they throw in a “hell” or a “damn” just to get a PG.

One year, not too far back, prac­ti­cally every pic­ture seemed to have some­one uri­nat­ing on the side of the road. Right now, hav­ing a con­ver­sa­tion while sit­ting on the toi­let is big. One year, ev­ery­one was throw­ing up. I think it’s young film­mak­ers think­ing: “Oh, that’s cool. I’ll do that too.”

When I first started, we still had the X rat­ing. There were still a good number of the­aters play­ing

A se­nior rater an­nounces the tally and leads a dis­cus­sion. Was the vote a slam dunk or was it wishy-washy? They dis­cuss the con­tent and form the rat­ings de­scrip­tor on the spot.

Sub­mit­ters are then in­formed of the rat­ing. Many times they will say: “We agree with your assess­ment of the rat­ings, but we don’t want to mar­ket it that way. We want to edit it to get an­other rat­ing.” At that point, the se­nior rater can tell them – not as an in­dus­try pro­fes­sional, but as a par­ent – what led to the rat­ing. Was it the shot to the head with the blood on the wall? Then they can edit and sub­mit it again if they want.

On my first day I rated three, and one starred Ben Kings­ley and was set on a Greek is­land. That’s all I re­mem­ber. The last one was yes­ter­day, and, to tell you the truth, I can’t re­mem­ber its name, ei­ther. I can wipe my brain clean af­ter­ward, which is ac­tu­ally help­ful – one anal­y­sis doesn’t bleed into an­other.

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