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Updated: Midsommar...

The Daily Mail picks up on the censorship and a Director's Cut


Link Here 20th July 2019
Midsommar is a 2019 USA horror mystery thriller by Ari Aster.
Starring Florence Pugh, Jack Reynor and William Jackson Harper. BBFC link IMDb

A young American couple, played by Florence Pugh and Jack Reynor, fly to a rural town in Sweden for a once-in-a-lifetime midsummer festival after experiencing a death in the family. Not long after the couple's arrival, their trip unfolds into a hallucinatory nightmare when the visitors are invited to drink some sort of concoction that seemingly screws with their perception of time, and are targeted by the sinister leaders of a pagan cult.

The Daily mail has somewhat uncharacteristically published an article about censors cut and a Director's Cut for Ari Aster's Midsommar.

Film producer A24's critically-acclaimed horror film Midsommar is winning rave reviews from fans and critics alike, who will get to see an even longer version soon.

Midsommar writer-director Ari Aster held a Reddit Q&A, where he was asked about a potential director's cut, and reports that he had to cut a whopping 80 minutes from the theatrical cut, which spanned a lengthy 147 minutes.

Aster was asked if the director's cut will be part of the film and not just a special feature, while the director responded by saying the extended cut will have a half hour of new footage.

Another fan also asked if the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) gave them any trouble for a scene involving Jack Reynor having an erection. Aster responded:

Yes, we had an NC-17 for 6 weeks. Lots of back-and-forth with them

Update: Director's Cut confirmed

20th July 2019. See article from hypebeast.com

Ari Aster's director's cut is now confirmed and is set to debut next month in New York City.  The screening will take place at the Lincoln Center in New York City on August 17 and will be titled as a Director's Cut as opposed to just an extended cut.

On the 30 minutes of additional footage, Aster has teased:

A more nuanced picture of Harga, more rituals and more nuance for the relationship between Dani (Florence Pugh) and Christian (Jack Reynor), and more by way of the thesis competition between Josh (William Jackson Harper) and Christian.

 

 

German film censors achieve 70 years of film censorship...

And describe a timetable for all but 18+ ratings to go self rated from next year


Link Here 19th July 2019
The German film censors of the FSK started up 70 years ago. After World War II, according to the Allies, a post was supposed to replace military censorship and thus block propaganda films with National Socialist content. Politicians wanted to seize the opportunity and connect it with a state control authority for the protection of minors.

Although there is no legal obligation in Germany to have films examined by the FSK, according to the Youth Protection Act, cinema and video films must be provided with an age-approval mark. That is, a film that has no FSK certificate, may only be seen or purchased by adults.

Saying that, the rules for selling 18 rated videos seem very onerous in Germany and it has led to large numbers of films being cut for the easier to retail 16 rating.

The FSK charges film distributors 1000 euro for its age rating. A movie is rated by five examiners. The odd number is important because it is decided by a simple majority. The chairman is the Permanent Representative of the Supreme State Youth Authorities, in addition to a youth protection expert, for example, from the youth welfare office, and a public representative, for example, of churches, the Central Council of Jews or the Federal Youth. Two examiners are selected by the FSK although they must be independent of the film industry.

Going self rated in 2020

Age ratings can be self applied for online films so an FSK rating is not required. In addition, the online streaming competition is rather diminishing the market for DVDs. And the declining DVD sales makes the censorship fees every more burdensome.

So to tray and reduce costs the FSK wants to start a new test procedure next year. The distributors will fill in a questionnaire with information, such as hard violence, explicit sex scenes or similar. A computer program calculates an age rating. Releases of 18+ years or for controversial/contested cases will still be consider by an FSK panel.

In addition to the cost savings, the FSK hopes with the new system to find a connection on the international market.

 

 

Shopping: Scars of Dracula...

1970 UK horror by Roy Ward Baker set for US Blu-ray release on 10th September 2019


Link Here 18th July 2019
Scars of Dracula is a 1970 UK horror by Roy Ward Baker.
Starring Christopher Lee, Dennis Waterman and Jenny Hanley. IMDb  

Originally cut by the BBFC for an 18 rated 1970 cinema release. The cuts have persisted ever since but the the BBFC rating was reduced to 15 for DVD. The same cut version is MPAA R rated in the US.

See further cuts details at Melon Farmers Film Cuts: Scars of Dracula

US: Uncut and MPAA R rated for:

Promotional Material

The legendary Christopher Lee is back as Dracula, bringing unspeakable horrors upon a local village that defies his evil reign. But when a young man and his luscious girlfriend unwittingly visit the Count's castle, they find themselves trapped in a face-to-face frenzy of bloodthirsty vixens, religious blasphemy and sadistic. The Prince of Darkness has returned like never before, but will his horrific mark remain forever?

 

 

The Current War...

Cut in the US for an MPAA PG-13 rated theatrical release


Link Here 17th July 2019
The Current War is a 2017 USA historical biography by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon.
Starring Tom Holland, Benedict Cumberbatch and Tuppence Middleton. BBFC link IMDb

Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Thomas Edison and Michael Shannon as George Westinghouse, THE CURRENT WAR is the epic story of the cutthroat competition between the greatest inventors of the industrial age over whose electrical system would power the new century. Backed by J.P. Morgan, Edison dazzles the world by lighting Manhattan. But Westinghouse, aided by Nikola Tesla, has seen fatal flaws in Edison's direct current design. Igniting a war of currents, Westinghouse and Tesla bet everything on risky and dangerous alternating current. Directed by Alfonso Gomez-Rejon (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl) and written by playwright Michael Mitnick (Sex Lives of our Parents), THE CURRENT WAR also stars Katherine Waterston, Nicholas Hoult, Tom Holland, Matthew Macfadyen, and Tuppence Middleton.

The film is MPAA PG-13 rated in the US but only after cuts so as to tone down the consumer advice.

The film was originally uncut and MPAA PG-13 rated for some disturbing/violent images, and thematic elements.

The distributors made cuts and resubmitted the film. it was then passed PG-13 for some violent content and thematic elements.

Presumably the US version was cut to remove the disturbing images.

For comparison the film is uncut and 12A rated in the UK.

 

 

13 Reasons Why...

Cuts in the uncut version have been cut from the Netflix version


Link Here 16th July 2019
Netflix has censored the climatic suicide scene in the finale of season 1 of 13 Reasons Why . The original uncut version is no longer available on Netflix

The Netflix series' creator Brian Yorkey decided to edit the scene after seeking the advice of medical experts, Netflix said in a statement to PEOPLE. Netflix continued:

As we prepare to launch Season 3 later this summer, we've been mindful about the ongoing debate around the show, the statement continues. So on the advice of medical experts, including Dr. Christine Moutier, Chief Medical Officer at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, we've decided with creator Brian Yorkey and the producers to edit the scene in which Hannah takes her own life from Season 1.

The scene, which takes place part way through the finale episode in the first season, no longer includes footage of Hannah, played by actress Katherine Langford, dying by suicide. Instead, the scene goes from Hannah looking at herself in a mirror to her parents' reaction to her death.

The original uncut version is still available on DVD. It was passed 18 uncut by the BBFC for a suicide scene.

 

 

Extract The Hidden Sword...

Chinese film censorship leaves little chance that its films can find international success and the resulting insipid films are hardly setting China's box office alight


Link Here 16th July 2019
Full story: Film Censorship in China...All Chinese films censored to be suitable for kids

The Hidden Sword is a 2017 China action drama by Haofeng Xu.
Starring Qing Xu, Jue Huang and Aoyue Zhang. IMDb

Latest film of Xu Haofeng, a new master of Chinese Wu Xia films, screenwriter of Wong Kar-wai's The Grandmaster. The new film tells a Chinese Wu Xia story happened in 1930s, but with a new presentation.

Long-awaited martial-arts film The Hidden Sword announced Monday that its theatrical release this Friday in China has been cancelled, presumably the latest casualty of a censorship campaign that is damaging the country's box office.

The Chinese film censors had granted the film at least enough permission to appear at international film festivals and it won awards at Montreal and Taiwan.

However the censors seemed to get cold feet at the domestic premiere. It was banned just 4 days before its premiere.

See Chinese Box Office Self-Harm Continues With Axing of 'The Hidden Sword' from variety.com

 

 

Twitter recommends...

The Soska sisters' Rabid


Link Here 13th July 2019
Full story: Twitter Censorship...Twitter offers country by country take downs

Rabid is a 2019 Canada Sci-Fi horror by Jen Soska and Sylvia Soska.
Starring Laura Vandervoort, Greg Bryk and Stephen Huszar. IMDb

An aspiring model suffers a disfiguring traffic accident and undergoes a radical untested stem-cell treatment. The experimental transformation is a miraculous success, leaving her more beautiful than before. She finds her confidence and sexual appetite is also strangely increased resulting in several torrid encounters. But she unknowingly sets off a spiraling contagion, and within 24 hours her lovers become rabid, violent spreaders of death and disease. As the illness mutates, it spreads through society at an accelerated rate causing an ever-increasing number of people to rampage through the city in a violent and gruesome killing spree.

Twitter has banned the account of the Soska Sisters after they posted promotional images for their forthcoming horror Rabid. The image appears on the cover of the Rue Morgue magazine.

The directors commented on their Facebook page:

Bad girls. We'll be back. But man, those @mastersfx1 prosthetics in #Rabid must be medically accurate to get us suspended for advertising our World Premiere with a FrightFest banner. I like how that makeup could be on the cover of @ruemorguemag & @fangoria, but shut down on Twitter. Wild world we are living in.

 

 

Offsite Article: Definitely not Dr. Dolittle...


Link Here 13th July 2019
Peter Fonda recalls that the US film censor's moralising over The Trip inspired him to write the classic Easy Rider

See article from finance.yahoo.com

 

 

Shopping: Apocalypse Now - Final Cut...

1979 US war film by Francis Ford Coppola set for UK Blu-ray and DVD release on 26th August 2019 in a new version


Link Here 10th July 2019
Apocalypse Now is a 1979 US war film by Francis Ford Coppola.
With Martin Sheen, Marlon Brando and Robert Duvall. BBFC link IMDb  

Exists as a Theatrical Version, an extended Redux Version and a Final Cut
UK: The cinema version of the Final Cut was passed 15 uncut for strong bloody violence, gore, sexualised nudity, very strong language:
  • 2019 Studiocanal RB 4k Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 26th August 2019
  • 2019 Studiocanal RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 26th August 2019
  • 2019 Studiocanal R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 26th August 2019

Promotional Material

Synopsis A never-before-seen and newly restored cut of Francis Ford Coppola's spectacular cinematic masterpiece in a way which the director believes "looks better than it has ever looked and sounds better than it has ever sounded". Apocalypse Now was nominated for 8 Academy Awards (including Best Picture) and won 2 Academy Award for Best Cinematography and Best Sound, 2 BAFTAs for Best Direction and Best Supporting Actor and the Palme d'Or in Cannes.

Starring Academy Award winner Marlon Brando (1972, Best Actor, The Godfather), Academy Award winner Robert Duvall (1983, Best Actor, Tender Mercies), Golden Globe winner Martin Sheen (2001, Best Actor - TV Series, "The West Wing"), Academy Award nominee Dennis Hopper (1986, Best Supporting Actor, Hoosiers), Academy Award nominee Laurence Fishburne (1993, Best Actor, What's Love Got to Do with It), and Academy Award nominee Harrison Ford (1985, Best Actor, Witness), the film follows Army Captain Willard (Martin Sheen), a troubled man sent on a dangerous and mesmerizing odyssey into Cambodia to assassinate a renegade American colonel named Kurtz (Marlon Brando), who has succumbed to the horrors of war and barricaded himself in a remote outpost.

The best visual and sound technologies have been used to present Coppola's true vision of the film: one that delivers deep, visceral visual and auditory impact. "The audience will be able to see, hear and feel this film how I always hoped it could be-from the first 'bang' to the final whimper" said the film-maker.

 

 

Eastern Condors...

The BBFC confirms that the previous animal cruelty cuts have been waived for 2019 Blu-ray release


Link Here 10th July 2019

Eastern Condors is a 1987 Hong Kong action war drama by Sammo Kam-Bo Hung.
Starring Sammo Kam-Bo Hung, Biao Yuen and Haing S Ngor. BBFC link IMDb

Passed 18 after cuts for animal cruelty for cinema , VHS and DVD. The BBFC cuts were waived for 18 rated Blu-ray in 2019

The previous BBFC cuts were for animal cruelty, pulling the head off a snake.

BBFC uncut
98:18s
18 UK: Passed 18 uncut for strong bloody violence with previous BBFC cuts waived:
  • 2019 Eureka [Three Films With Sammo Hung] (RB) Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 23rd September 2019

Promotional Material

Presented here are three highlights from Sammo Hung s incredible career, showcasing his incredible skill and artistry both in front of, and behind the camera.

The Iron-Fisted Monk [1977] Sammo Hung s directorial debut, The Iron-Fisted Monk introduced many of the choreographic and editing techniques that would become commonplace in modern action cinema. A significantly darker and more violent film than audiences were used to, the film was originally cut when released on UK home video, but is presented here fully uncut for its worldwide Blu-ray debut from a brand new 2K restoration .

The Magnificent Butcher [1979] Directed by the legendary Yuen Woo-ping as a spiritual successor to his earlier smash hit, Drunken Master, The Magnificent Butcher stars Sammo as Butcher Lam Sai-wing, a pupil of Wong Fei-hung (the role Jackie Chan portrayed in Drunken Master , but here played by Kwan Tak-hing who played the legendary folk hero in over 70 films). When Lam is framed for murder by a rival clan, he must track down the real murderer and fight to clear his name. To be strong enough to have a chance of winning, he must train under the original Drunken Master, Beggar So! Presented from a brand new 2K restoration .

Eastern Condors [1987] Quite possibly Sammo s best film, this high-kicking tribute to The Dirty Dozen sees ten convicts offered amnesty if they undertake a deadly mission behind enemy lines in Vietnam to destroy a top-secret munitions dump. Presented here fully uncut for the first time ever in the UK, and from a brand new 2K restoration , this film is an absolute must-see!

BLU-RAY SPECIAL FEATURES:
  • Stunning 1080p presentation of all three films on Blu-ray, from brand new 2K restorations and in their original widescreen aspect ratios.
  • Original Cantonese mono tracks for all three films
  • English audio options, all three films include the option of classic English dubs from the films original international releases, and the newer English dubs produced for later home video releases
  • The Iron-Fisted Monk - Fully Restored Cantonese mono track, with original sound effects reinserted after being absent from previous releases
  • The Magnificent Butcher Alternate Cantonese mono track featuring a unique mix and different music cues
  • Eastern Condors: The Export Version [94 mins] Presented in 2K, a shorter edit of the film released to international markets
  • Newly translated English subtitles (optional) for all three films
  • Brand new audio commentaries on Eastern Condors and The Magnificent Butcher by martial-arts cinema authority Mike Leeder and filmmaker Arne Venema
  • Brand new audio commentary on The Iron-Fisted Monk and Eastern Condors by Asian film expert Frank Djeng (NY Asian Film Festival)
  • Multiple interviews with Sammo Hung, talking about his work on each film
  • Interview with actor and stuntman Yuen Wah, talking about his work on Eastern Condors
  • Interview with Yuen Woo-ping, talking about his work on The Magnificent Butcher
  • Eastern Condors Live! a live performance from the 1987 Miss Hong Kong Pageant
  • Trailers for all three films
  • O-Card Slipcase
  • Limited Edition Collector s booklet [First Print Run of 2000 units ONLY] featuring new writing on all three films by James Oliver

 

 

Happytimes at the censor's office...

Malaysia's chief censor reports on 8 films banned in 2018


Link Here 9th July 2019
Full story: Censored Films in Malaysia...Film censors and censorship
Mohd Zamberi Abdul Aziz, chairman of the Malaysian Film Censorship Board (LPF) has been interviewed by the New Straits Times.

He reported that eight films had been banned in 2018:

  • Dua -- Dunia Untuk Aku (Malaysia)
  • Padmaavat (India)
  • Iruttu Arayil Murattu Kuthtu (Malaysia)
  • Love, Simon (US)
  • A Fantastic Woman (Chile / Germany / Spain / USA)
  • Bilal (Malaysia)
  • 18.05.2009 (India)
  • The Happytime Murders (US)

He also made a fe comments as to why these had been banned

Any film with LGBT elements, whether directly or indirectly promoting or propagandising this element, will be banned. That was why Dua -- Dunia Untuk Aku was banned.

The animated film Bilal was banned as its portrayal of Islam was not in accordance with the Sunnah practised in Malaysia.

The Bollywood movie Padmaavat , meanwhile, was axed as it depicted Muslims negatively.

The other movies contained LGBT elements or had extreme sexual scenes.

Zamberi also spoke of the board's discussions to add an extra age certificate to Malaysia's line up. Currently, films are classified as U, P13 or 18. Zamberi said most of the time, local distributors and producers seek a U or P13 classification.

He said that there was a significant gap between the P13 and 18 categories and so the LPF is mulling introducing new classifications, like P15 or P16, to bridge this gap.

 


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