Australian Attorney General asks film censor's Review Board to reconsider the R18+ awarded to The Human Centipede 2
Australia's Sex Party has tweeted that the New South Wales Attorney general has asked for the film censor's Review Board to reconsider the uncut R18+ certificate previously awarded to The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence).
David Z Goodman, who died on September 26 aged 81, wrote the screenplay for the controversial thriller Straw Dogs (1971), one of the great banned films of the 1970s, which revealed rural Britain to be just as brutal as the mean streets of
downtown America. Though based on The Siege Of Trencher's Farm , a 1969 novel by the Scottish author Gordon Williams, the director, Sam Peckinpah, ordered Goodman to write in some controversial scenes that do not occur in the original.
David Zelag Goodman was born on January 15 1930 in New York. His orthodox Jewish parents wanted him to become a rabbi, sending him to a yeshiva to be trained. But at 18 he became totally secular, took a degree in English at Queens' College, studied Drama at Yale University, and became a playwright.
His film breakthrough came in England in 1959, at the Bray studios in Berkshire, with the script for the Hammer adventure film Stranglers of Bombay . During the 1960s he wrote American television episodes of The Untouchables, Combat!
and Mr Broadway.
For Hollywood Goodman scripted the mystery thriller Man on a Swing (1974), starring Cliff Robertson, and Farewell, My Lovely (1975), a remake of the Raymond Chandler story starring Robert Mitchum as Philip
New nutters on the block, Collective Shout describe themselves as a new grassroots campaigns movement mobilising and equipping individuals and groups to target corporations, advertisers, marketers and media which objectify women and sexualise girls to
sell products and services.
They have also claimed that it was they who called for a review of the R18+ certificate for A Serbian Film. This review led to the R18+ certificate being revoked and for it to be banned instead.
Other groups to
have supported Collective Shout in their action are Children of Phoenix and Kids Free 2B Kids
Director Srdjan Spasojevic's controversial psychosexual thriller A Serbian Film has been re-banned on appeal by Australia's Classification Review Board.
The CRB will release an official statement later, but their decision overrules the
Film Classification Board who passed a cut version with an R18+ rating.
The film's distributor, Accent Films, tweeted:
A SERBIAN FILM has been refused classification by the Classification Review Board. That's
democracy, right? What's next, a media inquiry???
And again a little later:
BTW, we have a great relationship with Classification Board. This is really not their doing. It's political.
The film was initially banned by the Classification Board in November 2010. Accent shaved two minutes off the running time, re-submitted it for classification, and it was banned again in February. A second censored version was passed in
April and release on DVD in August in every state except South Australia, where it was banned by the state's Classification Council.
Nutter controversy about the film had prompted the Federal Government via Justice Minister Brendan O'Connor to ask
the national film classification board to review its decision to allow the film into Australia.
One of the side effects of the CRB's decision is that it detracts from the organisation as a
reputable decision-making body. To give the film a green light one week, and rescind that decision three weeks later, with potentially significant effects on the stores that bought copies and the distributor which supplied them, sends a message that our
classification system is fickle and inconsistent.
From a business perspective the PG-13 equals an increase in revenue. It allows the attractive high body count that appeals to a huge demographic: teenagers. It also allows these teens to go to the movies
without their parents, be it through their own means or the tried and true dropped off method. Generally speaking, a film is planned out in the vision of the writer and then cut by the studio to meet the MPAA standards to attain this rating.
R-rated franchises have fallen victim to PG13ification in their attempts to return money. Live Free or Die Hard omitted a recurring phrase made famous by series hero John McClane. Terminator Salvation rewrote the
actions of characters, which in their very names are intended to kill, so that they instead harmlessly toss people around like toys.
The themes found in a film should have a bigger role in the MPAA rating. Just this
past weekend I reviewed Colombiana , a PG-13 movie about a female assassin. Maybe I'm on crazy pills but surely I'm not the only person in the world who can read this synopsis and clearly envision an R. By making Colombiana PG-13, the movie
actually fails to deliver expectations, opting to blur or totally cut deathblows.
Well maybe this is all a bit too much of a squeeze for the UK distributors. The version submitted to the BBFC seems to be a little more grown up
and seems to sit happily with the uncut 15 rating awarded by the BBFC.
The US film censors of the MPPA rated Colombiana PG-13 for violence, disturbing images, intense sequences of action, sexuality and brief strong language. The MPAA are
very hot on strong language in PG-13 and stick to a maximum of 1 use, which is then referred to as 'brief strong language'.
However the version submitted to the BBFC contains 9 uses of strong language (eg 'fuck') as well as mild language (eg.
'bullshit', 'bastard', 'shit').
The BBFC also describe the violence in Colombiana, and it seems to sit very easily with their 15 rating, and if anything, seems to be justified against not requiring an 18 rating. The BBFC wrote
(spoiler alert) :
The film also contains scenes of strong violence. The thriller maintains a gritty and violent feel to the action and conflict and there are several scenes of strong,
impressionistic violence with briefly focused upon visual detail. The early shooting of the protagonist's father and the young daughter stabbing a knife in the hand of a criminal both have a strong impact. There are further strong moments such as an
extended fight between the protagonist and a mafia henchman. This includes the some heavy blows to the face and groin, attempted strangulation with a towel, bashing of the head against a bathtub and further images of attempted strangulation with a belt.
The Guidelines on violence at 15 state Violence may be strong but should not dwell on the infliction of pain and injury . While the violence in the film is strong, with some detail and sight of pain and injury being inflicted, it does not
dwell on these elements.
So perhaps the UK and presumably Europe are releasing an R Rated or Unrated version.
The date of the appeal against the BBFC ban of Human Centipede Part 2 has yet to be set
The BBFC have kindly confirmed that the appeal against the ban on Human Centipede Part 2 has yet to be fixed.
An interview by Tom Six gave the impression that formal appeal had already been heard and lost twice... and that Tom Six was already
looking to the High Court for satisfaction.
Presumably in the following except from his interview, Six was using the word 'appeal' in an informal sense, meaning that he had just asked the BBFC (rather than the Video Appeals Committee) to think
Here is the original Tom Six wording again:
Offsite: Interview with Tom Six re the BBFC Appeal
Oh, I've got lots of things to say, you can imagine. When I first heard it I wanted to thank them so much for their incredible publicity, but now I'm getting really annoyed. They didn't agree with our appeal, so it's looking
not good, and I'm really angry now, because how can they say to adults you can't watch this film ? It's incredible, and I'm really sad because the UK is the country that gave the world the black humour of Monty Python and Little Britain, and in my
film; part 1 and part 2, there's a lot of black humour. I'm so disappointed they're so humourless.
Q: Do you see the BBFC ban being lifted any time soon?
Tom Six: Well, they have rejected our second appeal, so now the distributor has to go to a barrister or court, I'm not sure how that works, so it looks not very good. The film is not obscene, a
lawyer said that and we have to get a barrister saying that. We have to find a way, I'm fighting my ass off with the distributor to find a way to show the film in the UK.
The nutter group Family Voice Australia has failed in their court action challenging the Review Board's decision to grant Salo an R18+ certificate. They contended that the film censorship appeal board somehow failed to follow its own
The Federal Court did not seem very impressed by the Family Voice case and ordered that:
1. The application be dismissed. 2. The applicant (Family Voice Australia) pay the second respondent's costs.
The crux of the
decision seems to be that: " The legislative framework entrusts the task of classifying the film to the Board not to the courts", as explained by the court:
the Review Board itself recognised, the decisions with which it is charged under the Act, the Code and the Guidelines involve the exercise of discretion and judgment. These are matters on which, in all good faith, informed minds may differ. The
difference between the majority and minority views concerning Salo testify to this. It is, however, irrelevant whether the Court agrees with the Board's decision or would decide the matter differently. The legislative framework entrusts the task of
classifying the film to the Board not to the courts.
The function of the court is more limited. In Brown v Classification Review Board (1998) 82 FCR 225 French J, as the Chief Justice then was, observed at 240:
The function of this Court upon an application for judicial review is to decide whether the Board has acted in accordance with the law. It is not to substitute its own assessment of the publication for that of the
Board. Nor should it seek to judicialise the process of administrative decision making by imposing rigorous standards of detailed explanation.
3D Sex and Zen is a 2011 Hong Kong erotic drama by Christopher Sun Lap Key. See IMDb
In the UK it was passed 18 after 2:48s of BBFC cuts for cinema release.
HeyUGuys interviewed the director, Christopher Sun and asked about censorship cuts:
HeyUGuys: In the UK there have been some scenes removed to get it past the classification board. How do you feel
Christopher Sun: It was sad, but it's an honour for us to have the film released in the UK, and we have to respect the censorship. Even when we release a film in Hong Kong, a scene or two actually
gets shortened because of comments from the local censorship board, so we get used to this censorship stuff. We know that we're pushing things to the limits, so that's life...
There is a scene where the Prince of Ning
accidentally kills his concubine. That scene is meant to be much longer. I tried to show it with one take, but then we got some advice from the censorship board in Hong Kong, because of the realism it had, it makes people uncomfortable to see it in one
go, so we had to cut it, and take away a scene or two, so the length of the scene is actually shortened.
There is also particular a shot that we cut out here in Hong Kong, and around the globe too. [During an orgy
scene, Wei Yangsheng, the film's protagonist] gets quite exhausted, doing that stuff to the women. It came to a point where he grabs a woman, and squeezes her titty, and breast milk spreads all over his body. A lot of audiences, and censorship boards
found that too offensive, so we cut that shot away.
The Indonesian Broadcasting Commission criticised a major television station, SCTV, for giving into Islamists' demands that a film on religious tolerance be pulled.
The Islamic Defenders Front (FPI) had threatened to storm SCTV headquarters if it
broadcast a movie titled ? directed by Muslim filmmaker Hanung Bramantyo.
We regret SCTV's decision to not air the movie. The movie has passed the censorship requirements and it doesn't violate any regulations, broadcasting
commission official Ezki Suyanto told AFP. It seems the station is just afraid of the FPI. SCTV should not have given in to them. This is a bad precedent for other groups to do the same to TV stations.
FPI secretary-general Sobri Lubis said
the movie tried to incite hatred toward Islam and disgraced the religion by suggesting Muslims could live together harmoniously with people of other faiths in one country: The movie supports the idea of pluralism and that the unification of many
religions is acceptable. We rejected this dirty and damaging movie from the start.
Life and Death of a Porno Gang ( Zivot I Smrt Porno Bande ) is a 2009 Serbia drama by Mladen Djordjevic.
It is described as a disturbing film taking cues from the more famous A Serbian Film . It similarly uses the setting of a
porn film being made with allegories to some of the shit going down in Serbia. It's a transgressive film with the scenes of rape, self-mutilation, bestiality, snuff murders and suicide.
It was passed R18+ uncut for home video by the Australian
film censor in June of this year. No signs of a release as yet though, but will be sure to stir up a nutter reaction when it does appear.
The Australian censor noted that Life and Death of a Porno Gang contains: High
impact sexual themes, violence and actual sexual activity
3D Sex and Zen is a 2011 Hong Kong erotic drama by Christopher Sun Lap Key. See IMDb
An already short version was passed 18 after 2:48s of BBFC cuts for:
UK 2011 cinema release
IMDb notes that there is an 129 minute version and that the Hong Kong cinema release was noted as 118 minutes after local censor cuts
The BBFC further explained (ignoring a rather redundant explanation that the film goes beyond a 15 rating):
3D SEX AND ZEN EXTREME ECSTASY is a Chinese erotic period drama about a recently married young man who embarks on a sexual odyssey when his wife is unable to satisfy his sexual desires. The film was classified 18 for
strong sex, violence, nudity and sexual violence.
There are frequent sequences of strong sex and nudity which include sight of a man sucking a woman's nipples, pubic nudity in a sexual context, sight of a man's erect
penis, buttock thrusting implying penetration, and implied but masked fellatio and cunnilingus.
Before the film was classified 18 , the BBFC required cuts in two scenes.
In the first scene, a man rapes a woman, with the woman then going on to enjoy the sex. The scene is shot in the same eroticised style as the rest of the film and creates the impression that rape can be an enjoyable and exciting
erotic experience. The scene was cut to remove the non consensual set up, leaving a purely consensual sex scene.
In the second scene, a man engages in violent sex with a woman. Although the sex is consensual, the man
beats and whips the woman during sex, before finally suffocating her to death as he thrusts into her. The scene, which is filmed in the same eroticised style as other scenes, creates a strong link between violence and sexual arousal. Although the BBFC
suggested that the scene could be reduced to an acceptable level by multiple cuts, the distributor chose to remove the scene in its entirety.
Both scenes breach the terms of the Guidelines at 18 which state the BBFC may cut any portrayals of sexual or sexualised violence which might, for example, eroticise or endorse sexual assault .
There's nothing like a censorship 'controversy' to help market a movie.
Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein is surely emjoying ABC's decision to ban one of the trailers for Our Idiot Brother . The TV network didn't like the shots of what
looked like a drug exchange or a shot of Paul Rudd pretending to urinate, or the general talk about smoking and getting high.
So The Weinstein Company cut another red band trailer aimed at mature audiences. And Weinstein issued a
flippant statement: We'd like to dedicate our new red band trailer for Our Idiot Brother to censorship everywhere. Enjoy!!
On the day before Australia's A Serbian Film DVD release, South Australia has decided to ban it.
The movie has been given an Australian R18+ rating after cuts similar to the UK release.
Attorney-General John Rau says the film was banned
by the South Australia's Classification Council. He explained:
It was grotesque at a number of levels. Exploitative sexual violence, offensive depictions of interactions between children and adults, exploitative
behaviour generally of a nature that is so unusual that I can't imagine how any right-thinking person could think that this was something that should be appropriately, legally obtained in South Australia.
It's not just
my opinion, but the opinion of the South Australian Classification Council, that we respectfully disagree with the decision made at a national level in respect to this particular film.
Nutter controversy about the film had also
prompted the Federal Government to ask the national film classification board to review its decision to allow the film into Australia. A spokeswoman for Federal Justice Minister Brendan O'Connor says the review will not affect the imminent screening of
the film at the Melbourne festival.
The Inbetweeners Movies is a 2011 US comedy by Ben Palmer. See IMDb
Passed 15 after BBFC suggested cuts for category were implemented for:
UK 2011 cinema release
The BBFC commented:
The Inbetweeners Movie was originally seen by the BBFC in an unfinished version. The company was informed that the film was likely to receive an 18 classification but the preferred 15
classification could be achieved by making cuts in four scenes. These were:
to remove an aggressive use of very strong language,
to remove a particularly crude verbal sex reference (to urolagnia)
and to reduce the explicitness
of two scenes of sexual activity (one of self-fellatio and one of masturbation).
When the completed version of the film was submitted, the aggressive use of very strong language had been redubbed, the crude verbal sex reference had been removed, and the strong scenes of sexual activity had been reduced, by a
mixture of cutting and reframing. The film was therefore classified 15 without further cuts.
3D Sex and Zen has earned a NC-17 rating from Motion Picture Association of America, meaning big, fat corporate theaters weren't interested in showing the movie and most smaller, independent art house theaters don't have the technology to show
The Distributor Milt Barlow, CEO of China Lion, says in general, finding happy host screens in the US has been a battle, but San Francisco seems to be the biggest loser in this round. On the surface, America is a very conservative
country and I find it quite puzzling. It's supposed to be the land of free speech, sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll, says Barlow, chuckling, although audibly disappointed. Americans invented porn, didn't they?
According to the MPAA, NC-17
simply means the film contains visuals most parents would consider patently too adult for their children 17 and under and does not mean 'obscene' or 'pornographic' in the common or legal meaning of those words, and should not be construed as a
negative judgment in any sense. Many corporate theaters uphold policies that restrict the showing of anything past the R rating. When you take a glimpse at the types of programming available on cable or even prime-time TV, it feels likely some
creepy censorship shit.
Japanese police censors have ordered that Hangover Part II must be censored for general release. Male genital shots must be masked for an R15 certificate release.
However a single cinema will be allowed to show the uncut version with an R18
rating. Tokyo's Metropolitan Police, which monitors 'obscene' content under Japan's legal code, passed the shots for the R18 print saying the aim was to arouse laughs, not lust.
The police launched a probe, acting on complaints about nudity, after
the comedy was released on nearly 130 screens on July 1. It decided not to prosecute but did ask Warner not to release the R18 version on DVD.
A Serbian Film will debut on Blu-ray in North America on October 25, 2011, courtesy of independent distributor Invincible Pictures. The news comes after the Serbian horror movie had a brief theatrical run and appeared on VOD through FlixFling.
Twitch Film is reporting that Invincible hasn't yet released the content, runtimes and extras that will be included on the Blu-ray and DVD. However, the studio has listed that the Blu-ray is expected to include the unrated version of the movie,
which features approximately an extra minute of footage. However it has previously been suggested that the unrated version will still be cut.
The Scandinavian release on the Cinematic Vision is uncut but
has no English subtitles for the Serbian soundtrack
Few weeks pass without some new brutalised shambles being offered to audiences. This week's effort is a low-budget biker movie, which starts out in a city with its thuggish, dope-smuggling heroes joyfully beating up some rivals
for reasons that are never explained.
It doesn't even have the sick, defiantly primitive sense of humour that made last week's nastiest offering, Hobo With a Shotgun ,
just about bearable for the first five minutes.
China Lion Film Distribution has announced that following on from their North American distribution deal they have now completed arrangements to take the Chinese erotic blockbuster Sex and Zen 3D: Extreme Ecstasy into the UK & Ireland. The
film will release exclusively through leading UK cinema chain Odeon with a September 2 release date.
The film has created box office records since release in Australia, New Zealand & Hong Kong.
The film received an 18 rating in
Australia, New Zealand and Canada with the censors ordering no cuts.
North America will begin a city by city roll out from August 12 with leading independent and art house cinemas in the US and exclusively with Cineplex in Canada.
UK 2011 Momentum Blu-ray at UK Amazon for release on 1st August 2011
UK 2011 Momentum R2 DVD
at UK Amazon for release on 1st August 2011
Hobo with a Shotgun is a 2011 Canada action film by Jason Eisener. See IMDb
This noisy, bloody, aggressively decadent exploitation flick,
in which a homeless alcoholic cleans up a preposterously corrupt American town, is based on a fake trailer attached to Grindhouse [the Double bill of Planet Terror and Deathproof].
The aim is to
ingratiate itself with its fanboy audience by decapitating, eviscerating and mutilating as many people as viciously as possible.
There is, of course, an audience for this kind of depressing junk, and no shortage of
idiots on the internet who will vilify any critic who dares to point out it is depressing junk.
Indonesian officials have signaled that Hollywood blockbusters, including the latest Harry Potter film, could be back on screens within a fortnight.
Djonny Sjafruddin, head of the Indonesian Cinema Companies Union, told the Jakarta Globe that
almost all film importation issues were now solved: Particularly the ones related to customs, royalties and income tax . We're now only dealing with technical issues.
This meant Hollywood films might arrive here in as little as 10
days, he said: It will still take time for the films to go through customs, censors and adding the subtitles, he explained.
A key priority is getting Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 , which premiered in London last week
and began showing in Asia this week, to the chagrin of Indonesian fans.
The turn of events on Thursday was made possible by the Customs and Excise Office clearing newly registered film importer Omega Film to bring in movies. Omega was given a film
import license on May 3, but a freeze was imposed as officials sought to clarify its relationship with Indonesian film giant Cineplex 21. Cineplex 21 is affiliated with Camila and Satrya, two major film importers banned by the Finance Ministry pending
payment of Rp 22 billion ($2.6 million) in back taxes and interest.
The MPAA Appeals Board have ruled against Morgan Creek Productions, deciding that Dream House , starring Daniel Craig and Rachel Weisz, that the R rating stands.
The board decided that the movie merited the rating because of some
Morgan Creek's executive VP of marketing, Greg Mielcarz, told TheWrap that he still believes the film will ultimately receive a PG-13 rating: They gave us a list of several things in the movie that they thought should be cut. We're going to ... work with them together to ensure that we receive a PG-13.
In order to have a rating changed, two-thirds of the members of the appeals board have to agree that the rating is clearly erroneous.
Picture Association of America says that the ratings board reviews between 800 and 900 films each year and that fewer than a dozen ratings are appealed each year.
What's it like to ban a film? When I used to deal with asylum cases, the courts said we had to exercise most anxious scrutiny. It's a bit like that, however inexact the parallel. Freedom of expression is a strong human right,
and it always needs a powerful balancing case to justify cuts or bans. The main instrument we use these days is the age classification system rather than censorship. And we've repeatedly found at the BBFC that the public overwhelmingly believes that, at
the adult level, people should be free to choose whether or not to see a film, with only limited exceptions.
Adam Rehmeier's The Bunny Game is one intense and disturbing film.
It features a fearless performance from Rodleen Getsic, who portrays a junkie Los Angeles prostitute who is abducted by a crazed trucker, dragged out to the desert and
tortured for three days.
Here's the catch though, everything you see on screen is real. There are no stunts . No fake prosthetics. Rodleen underwent tremendous personal prep to take on this role, transforming her body, fasting for forty+
days prior to shooting. She takes a real brand, and some very real beatings. None of these people are actors.
The Bunny Game is minimalist, but extremely daring, cathartic, and a spiritual cleansing by fire.
At the moment the BBFC hasn't
classified/certified the film, but it should go without saying that this will get a Cert 18. Not sure what cuts might be made to the film, if any. It does open on a very graphic and painful scene of fellatio, which makes this a prime target for British
The Bunny Game will get an early 2012 release date
The Indonesian government has succeeded in decimating the local cinema industry by implementing protectionist tax measures against imported films. This resulted in a Hollywood boycott of Indonesia and a devastating halving of cinema takings.
government has now said that it had asked the Motion Picture Association of America to resume sending films to Indonesia.
I met with US government representatives three days ago to discuss the import of films from MPAA, Finance Minister
Agus Martowardojo said: We have clarified that Indonesia has nothing against the American government, exporters or producers.
The MPAA's international counterpart, the MPA, had said the decision to include royalties in its import-tax
calculation had a detrimental impact on the cost of bringing a film into Indonesia.
Last month, the Finance Ministry announced a new scheme that would see importers pay only a specific tax on movies, rather than an ad valorem tax,
which was based on each film's ticket sales. The measure was meant to resolve the dispute and head off the drastic slump in ticket sales since the Hollywood film boycott started.