Eighth Grade Screenings for Eighth Graders!

Bo Burnham's free screenings will highlight ridiculous rating

Bo Burnham and Elsie Fisher on the set of Eighth Grade

The MPAA's rating system is ridiculous. You know it, we know it, everyone knows it, but it's rare to see a filmmaker call it out publicly. However, Bo Burnham has booked a night of free showings of his directorial debut Eighth Grade this Wednesday around the country – including in Austin – to prove that point.

Eighth Grade has been lauded for being one of the most earnest, honest, and accurate portrayals of what it's like to be an early teen in America today, and so of course the MPAA slapped it with an R "for language and some sexual material."

Which Burnham called "sort of stupid" on Twitter, before announcing the night of free screenings, with no ratings enforced, and open to all ages – including exactly the kind of eighth graders that will recognize themselves on the screen, but the MPAA won't let in without an adult. And what 13 year old wants to go to the cinema with an adult? None.

So here's the deal. There will be free screenings, courtesy of distributor A24, on Wednesday, Aug. 8, all around the country (see www.thisis.eighthgrade.movie for the full list), including at the Alamo South Lamar at 7:45pm: for that screening, you can reserve a seat for $5, and apply that to your food and drink bill (you can book here). The remaining tickets for the Austin show will be available, first come, first served, at the theater one hour before the screening.

Don't worry, there are plenty of other regular screenings (see the full list, plus our review of one of the year's best films, right here). But this is an opportunity for the very people this film is about to see it in a theater, without the MPAA getting in the way.

Also, can we point out that two of the year's best social commentaries – Blindspotting and Sorry to Bother You, plus international finance documentary The China Hustle – all got R ratings, and the MPAA somehow managed to make Won't You Be My Neighbor? a PG-13? Mister Rogers is apparently too edgy for the MPAA.

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Bo Burnham, Eighth Grade, Alamo South Lamar, MPAA

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