|30th December |
Bollywood film banned in Qatar
The most talked about Bollywood film of this year, The Dirty Picture , has been banned in Qatar.
Our distributors applied for a censorship certificate in Qatar and they received a notice saying that the movie can't be released there. The
film is currently being screened in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and other Middle East countries, but it will not go to Qatar, says Tanuj Garg, CEO Balaji Motion Pictures, adding: The film was supposed to release there either this week or the next, but we
were informed that it has been deemed unsuitable for theatrical exhibition.
There were some hitches in releasing the film in Pakistan as well but it was all sorted out when the makers appealed their Censor Board's decision. Even a
conservative country like Pakistan released the film after initially rejecting it. Qatar is the only place where the film has been banned, reveals Garg.
|19th December |
Film and TV director dies aged 89
See article from
Donald Sharp (19 April 1922-18 December 2011) was born in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia. He became a notable film and TV director based in Britain.
His most famous films were made for Hammer Studios in the sixties. His filmography of the period
- The Kiss of the Vampire (1963)
- Wichcraft (1964)
- The Devil-Ship Pirates (1964)
- Curse of the Fly (1965)
- The Face of Fu Manchu (1965)
- Rasputin: The Mad Monk (1966)
- Our Man in Marrakesh (1966)
- The Brides of Fu Manchu (1966)
- The Violent Enemy (1967)
- Rocket to the Moon (1967)
- A Taste of Excitement (1969)
- Dark Places (1973)
- Psychomania (1973)
He then moved onto more mainstream films:
- Callan (1974)
- Hennessy (1975)
- The Four Feathers (1977)
- The Thirty Nine Steps (1978)
- Bear Island (1979)
Later he worked in TV
- Hold the Dream (1986) (TV)
- Tears in the Rain (1988) (TV)
- Act of Will (1989) (TV)
|18th December |
Angelina Jolie's controversial film about ethnic cleansing and Balkan wars
See article from telegraph.co.uk
Angelina Jolie is being noticed for her work behind rather than in front of the camera with her directorial debut - a harrowing story of love and war in Bosnia.
Even before the release of In the Land of Blood and Honey , Jolie garnered her
first directing honour, winning the Producers' Guild of America special award for portrayal of social issues.
But in the Balkans, the film is inflaming old and deeply-held emotions. The passionate reaction reflects the deep ethnic rifts that still
divide Bosnia ahead of next year's 20th anniversary of the bloody fratricidal conflict that claimed an estimated 200,000 lives.
The leader of a Bosnian Serb prisoners group has slammed the film for its allegedly one-sided depiction of the
atrocities and called for it to be banned from the country's Serbian areas.
The film, which opens in the US on 23rd December, centres on the fictional relationship between a Muslim woman artist and Serbian army officer. Once romantically involved
before the war erupted in April 1992, they are reunited when she is detained in a Serbian internment camp that he commands.
...Read the full article
|14th December |
The Australian ban on Human Centipede 2 was inspired by the earlier BBFC ban. It has now been resubmitted after cuts
14th December 2011. See
article from theage.com.au
by David Marr President of Watch on Censorship.
The brief life of Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) began in Australia at a midnight screening at the Brisbane Film Festival in early November and ended three weeks later.
The film's distributor, Neil Foley of Monster Films, says: We
played to a couple of hundred people in Brisbane over a couple of screenings; 500 or so people in Perth; something similar in Melbourne; and then in Sydney another 150 or 200. He puts the total audience in those weeks at less than 1500.
story on Fairfax websites alerted the film's adversaries to its existence in late August. Monster Films was doing itself no good by reminding everyone of the scathing commentary of the BBFC and stamping its trailer with the slogan Banned in Britain.
Unleashed in Australia .
Christian lobbyists following the usual game plan sought an attorney-general willing to demand the film's review.
The NSW Attorney-General Greg Smith was the ideal choice. Smith is well connected with nutter
causes. For instance he assured the Herald newspaper that his chief of staff, Damien Tudehope, played no role in the banning of the horror film. Tudehope just happens to sit on the advisory board of arch nutters. FamilyVoice Australia.
the Herald he decided to seek its review in October:
because of the decision taken by the British Board of Film Classification to refuse classification of the movie. In addition, the synopsis of the movie depicted
scenes of extreme sexual violence.
Human Centipede 2 distributor Foley argues gamely:
What these people are responding to is not the film. They are responding to our hype around the film. It is us
telling the world this is the most disgusting film ever made. In actual fact it's just another movie.
The banning of Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) exposes a strange rift among censors. Twice this year a horror movie has been
passed by the Classification Board and then banned on appeal by the Review Board.
We can no longer trust in the framework and the guidelines, says Peter Campbell of Accent Films who submitted A Serbian Film . He says cuts were made
to the film in collaboration with the Classification Board so it could be screened in Australia. Even so, it was banned. Campbell says: It's getting out of hand.
A fresh cut of Human Centipede 2 has now been examined by the
Classification Board. Gone, we are told, are the penis wrapped in barbed wire, close-ups of the rape and the newborn baby squashed to death under the accelerator pedal. Foley will learn the board's verdict next week.
...Read the full
Update: Cuts made
14th December 2011. See
article from canberratimes.com.au
Human Centipede 2 will be allowed back on screens this week after the distributors cut 30 seconds from it.
The amended version will screen at the National Film and Sound Archive's ARC Cinema on Friday night, as originally
The Australian distributor, Monster Pictures, had to submit a cut version for reclassification - to the same body that had originally allowed it.
Monster Pictures manager Neil Foley said while he was delighted with the decision,
it highlighted the problems of the film classification system in Australia. He said the distributors had been faced with an absurd situation whereby they were told they had to recut the film, but were not given specifics of the complaints made
against it. He said the film had received its original classification in the spirit of what extreme horror movies are about and who they're aimed at:
The Australian Government Classification Board are doing this every
day of the week and they're very versed in film in general, as far as the time and place. They understand the context of the genre, they understand the genre and they see something like Human Centipede and they know where it fits in. They can see that
there's probably nothing in this film that makes it obscene.
Update: Release schedules
23rd December 2011. See article from sexparty.org.au
Monster Pictures said in a
press release that the film has been modified by thirty seconds, these modifications were done with the utmost care so as to not damage the integrity of the film - we are absolutely confident that this is the case.
Monster Pictures feels that this
decision highlights the absurdity of Classification Review Board's decision to ban the film in the first place.
Melbourne's Cinema Nova will begin screening the modified version of the film beginning Boxing Day 2011.
The DVD and Blu-Ray of
the film will be released late February 2012.
|11th December |
Ken Russell co-scripted the remake for Bill Osco's great X Rated Alice in Wonderland
article from business.avn.com
A remake of the 1970s cult classic Bill Osco's Alice in Wonderland written by Osco and Ken Russell will go ahead as a posthumous tribute to the controversial British film maker.
Russell, who died suddenly in his sleep on November 28th,
was in the process of making final revisions to the script for the film, an adaptation of Lewis Carroll's classic tale, which he was to direct in 2012... and it may be in 3D, although that part's not confirmed yet.
The original picture, released
in 1976, and made on a budget of $500,000, went on to gross over $100 million. Bill Osco's Alice remains today one of the most successful, highest grossing, adult musical comedies in motion picture history.
The movie's producers, Renaissance Media
Entertainment, have announced that Russell's wife, Elize Tribble, will participate and assist the team in bringing forward the production of this musical remake of Bill Osco's groundbreaking feature.
We are delighted that his wife Elize is
coming on board and providing access to all of Ken's notes and other materials he kept on the project, said Stuart Young, a founding member of Renaissance Media Entertainment. Ken Russell collaborated with us for over six months, and he brought an
incredible creative intensity and passion to Alice. We want to make a film that keeps true to Ken's unique perspective for the project.
Shooting is expected to begin early in 2012, after the company secures the services of a suitable director.
|3rd December |
Court attempt to ban biopic of the deceased actress Silk Smitha
21st November 2011. See
An Andhra Pradesh High Court judge has directed the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to state its stand regarding stalling the release of Ekta Kapoor's The Dirty Picture.
The film is about Silk Smitha, an actress who became
popular for playing sleazy roles, and who allegedly committed suicide a few years ago.
The film makers have been served notices by the court for a case to be heard this Wednesday.
The petitioner, Vadlapatla Naga Vara Prasad, said he is the
brother of the deceased actress and charged the filmmakers with filling the film with unrealistic and obscene scenes rather than trying to portray the true picture. He said that none of the filmmakers had talked to him. Prasad contented that her private
life was different to that portayed.
Although the petitioner claimed that he had served a notice on the censor board asking it to not certify the film at all, counsel for the censor board, told the court that they had not received any such notice.
Update: Uncut A
22nd November 2011. See article
The Dirty Picture has now received an adults-only uncut A certificate from the Censor Board.
3rd December 2011. See article from
The UK film censors at the BBFC passed The Dirty Picture 15 uncut for moderate sex and sex references
Update: Day in Court
3rd December 2011. See
Justice Vilas Afzalpurkar of the High Court reserved his decision on a petition that wanted the release of the film, Dirty Picture,
to be stayed
The judge heard the petition from Vadlapatla Naga Vara Prasada Rao, brother of Silk Smitha, the Telugu actress who committed suicide a few years ago. Rao contended that the film was made based on the life of his sister without
obtaining the consent of her family. He also charged the filmmakers with making the film with unrealistic and obscene shots.
Later the Andhra court ruled against Rao permitting the film to be released in the original version of the film without
Update: Banned in Pakistan
3rd December 2011. See article from
The censor board of Pakistan has banned The Dirty Picture from being screened in their country . The reason behind this is not clear yet .
Background: Sexy Theatres
4th December 2011. See article from
It's shortly after 9:00 am in Mumbai's red light district and about 100 men are jostling at the box office window of the New Roshan Talkies cinema to buy
tickets for 15 rupees each for a so-called morning show .
Indian cinema's sub-culture of titillating morning shows , which are often seen as soft pornography but are mostly no more explicit than an average Hollywood film, have
attracted a lot of mainstream interest in recent weeks.
These theatres are called sexy theatres where we show these morning shows for a certain class of audience, said Raju Singh, manager of the Silver Cinema on nearby Grant Road. In the
days before the Internet and cheap blackmarket X-rated DVDs, erotic films were hugely popular in the area, he said. So-called English movies - an illicit montage of censor's cuts - were also shown during intervals at the travelling cinemas that
tour the Indian countryside, bringing films to the rural population.
Now the government and censors are very strict, Singh told AFP. They want to see every film that we screen and they do come for surprise checks. So, we don't show them
any more. As a result, audiences for morning shows are dwindling, adding to the decline of single-screen cinemas in the face of competition from new, glitzy multiplexes run by big film studios, bootleg DVDs and cable television.
interest in the decline of sexy theatres comes ahead of Friday's release of a new Bollywood film, The Dirty Picture , inspired by the actress Silk Smitha, who was a favourite among the erotic movie-going crowd in the 1980s. Her sexually
suggestive outfits, dancing and brazen attitude shocked straight-laced audiences used to Hindi-language Bollywood's traditional portrayal of chaste, romantic love.
Update: Indecent Poster
30th December 2011. See
Actress Vidya Balan has got a reprieve with the Andhra Pradesh High Court granting interim stay on a city court's order directing the police to investigate
charges of obscenity and vulgarity relating to the film posters for The dirty Picture .
The petition, filed by the actress and the film's producer Ekta Kapoor, seeks to quash the criminal case filed by the police. The proceedings turned
lively with the judge's remarks on the case while hearing the arguments of the counsels of the petitioner and respondents. There is no photo (poster) before me to judge whether it is indecent or not. To see a film which has been given an 'A'
certificate, there is an age limit of 18 years, but there is no age limit to see a poster, the judge observed.
Petitioner's counsel contended that the registration of a First Information Report (FIR) against Vidya Balan was an abuse of process
of law. The allegations made in respect of the film would not attract the sections of law referred to and would result in unnecessary harassment of the petitioner, he noted.
The public prosecutor, however, contended that the actress was liable for
punishment under Section 292 and 294 of the IPC with Section 3, 4 and 6 of the Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1986.
|2nd December |
Distributor Monster Pictures responds to Australian ban of Human Centipede 2
article from blogs.crikey.com.au
On Tuesday morning Monster Pictures received a phone call from a spokesperson from the Classification Review Board alerting us to the fact that THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2: FULL SEQUENCE had been refused classification in Australia. This came less than
twenty-four hours after a two and a half hour Classification Review Board hearing in Sydney. The hearing was convened by Victoria Rubensohn, and was attended by Ann Stark and Melissa De Zwark representing the Classification Review Board, and Tony Romeo,
Neil Foley, Jack Sargeant and Laura Crawford representing Monster Pictures Australia, the Australian distributors of the film.
Monster Pictures would like to express our disappointment at this decision.
presented a great deal of evidence, including the submissions of two highly regarded film experts (Jack Sargeant and Laura Crawford) to support our notion that this film was produced with significant artistic credentials, and with its contentious
elements justified within the context of story and genre.
Unfortunately this was rejected by the Classification Review Board, whose subjective opinion it is that the film lacks artistic merit, and must be refused classification on
the grounds that it contains gratuitous, exploitative or offensive depictions of violence with a very high degree of impact and cruelty which has a high impact .
Monster Pictures rejects this notion outright.
Monster Pictures also rejects the notion that three middle-class women -- two lawyers and a family therapist -- who supposedly broadly represent the Australian community , have the ability or credentials to read or understand a
film such as THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2: FULL SEQUENCE.
Indeed much of our discussion around this black and white film, with its casting, sound and production design steeped in the traditions of underground, horror and avant-garde
cinema, was on whether or not the film was highly stylised or realistic . In the opinion of the Convenor of the Review Board, this cinematic depiction is presented to the viewer as realistic , which therefore escalates the violence
in the film from high impact, to very high impact, therefore making it eligible for a Refusal of Classification.
To Monster Pictures and its representatives this would suggest not only a total and ludicrous misunderstanding of
cinematic conventions but also a blatant refusal to accept the evidence that was presented during the hearing. It is our belief that the review hearing was little more than an expensive waste of time, and that the Classification Review Board had already
made up their mind about the film prior to our submission.
Monster Pictures would also like to draw attention to the fact that two ultra conservative Christian groups, Collective Shout and Family Voice Australia, are both claiming
victory for the banning on their websites. We reject the notion that fringe groups -- that are amongst many other things, anti-homosexual, anti-Islamic and anti-choice -- can have this level of influence over what the adult public of this country can or
cannot view in a cinema or in the privacy of their own homes.
To Monster Pictures this represents a growing and alarming trend of fundamentalism pervading the public arena.
To us this is a far broader issue
than just THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2: FULL SEQUENCE.
It is our opinion that every free-thinking adult in this country, whether they intend to view the film or not, should be alarmed by the increasing influence of the Christian right in
Monster Pictures believe that the original R 18 + Classification of THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2: FULL SEQUENCE received in May 2011 was absolutely correct, and was arrived upon by a board who read the content and context
of the film in a fair, unbiased and informed manner.
We believe the current ratings system to be a system that works well to identify the contentious points within a film, and to alert people to the nature of the viewing material.
Monster Pictures would also like to express our disapproval of the fact that the original assessment and subsequent rating provided by the Classification Board in May 2011 could not be used as evidence in our hearing to
support our notion that the film contained no material that was unlawful or obscene in any way. We are outraged by the notion that two bodies working within the same system could apply the very same legislation to the very same material yet arrive at
diametrically opposed conclusions -- to us this would suggest a fundamental and very worrying bias by the Review Board, a bias that we believe to be highly influenced by political agenda.
In the end the fate of our investment
comes down to the subjective opinions of three women -- two lawyers and a family therapist -- ignoring the opinions of film professionals and a Government appointed Classification Board, to reinterpret the material and to arrive at the conclusion that
the film should be refused classification. In our opinion this is absolutely wrong.
Monster Pictures premiered the uncut version of the film at this year's Brisbane International Film Festival. In addition we have just completed a
national tour of the film, accompanied by Q&A sessions with the films lead actor Laurence R. Harvey.
The film has screened to sell out audiences in almost every capital city in the country, and has been unanimously well
received. To the best of our knowledge the film has received no complaints as a result of these screenings -- to the contrary we have been inundated with emails of support from people around the country outraged at this decision.
To Monster Pictures this only serves to highlight how out of touch the Classification Review Board is with the current standards of the Australian cinema going public, and how wrong they are in their interpretation of the material.
Monster Pictures is fundamentally opposed to any form of censorship of legally produced adult material.
THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE 2: FULL SEQUENCE was produced in the UK with full respect to the laws of that
country. These laws are also in line with those of this country. There was no one harmed in any way in the production of this film. We reject any notion that any harm can be done to adults who view this material. We believe that the film's director Tom
Six has produced one of the most significant genre films in recent history -- one that deserves to be seen in its original form by interested and consenting adults in this country.
Monster Pictures intends to resubmit a modified
version of the film to the Classification Board. Once rated, we intend to continue our theatrical exhibition, which will lead to a DVD release early in the New Year. We also undertake to explore every option available to have this film released in full
in this country.
Neil Foley Monster Pictures
|29th November |
Film director Ken Russell dies aged 84
See article from
British film director Ken Russell, who was Oscar-nominated for his 1969 film Women In Love , has died at the age of 84. His son, Alex, said he died peacefully in his sleep in a hospital on Sunday.
During his career, he became known for
his controversial films including Women In Love, which featured Oliver Reed and Alan Bates wrestling nude. He also directed the infamous religious drama The Devils and The Who's rock opera, Tommy , in 1975.
Russell frequently crossed
swords with the film censors at the BBFC who took issue with Billion Dollar Brain , Women in Love, The Devils, and Crimes of Passion.
Perhaps a suitable Melon Farming tribute is a summary of
Russell's strength of character in pushing through his outrageous vision for The Devils. He was up against the BBFC, his own distributors and the British establishment.
The Devils was first seen by the BBFC in an unfinished
rough cut on 27 January 1971. At around the same time, this rough cut was also shown to senior executives from Warner Brothers, the film's distributor. Both the BBFC and Warners expressed strong reservations about the strong religious and
sexual context of the film, which seemed likely to provoke significant controversy. Warners and the BBFC therefore drew up separate lists of the cuts they would require before the film could be distributed in the UK. Warners were content with their own
plus the additional cuts requested by the BBFC and a full list of required changes was forwarded to the director.
The cuts were intended to reduce:
- (i) the explicitness and duration of certain sexual elements, including an orgy of nuns
- (ii) elements of violence and gore during an interrogation scene and the final burning of the
character played by Oliver Reed
- (iii) scenes that mixed sexual activity and religion in a potentially inflammatory fashion.
A modified - but still technically unfinished - version of the film was seen again by the BBFC on 8 April 1971, incorporating many (but not all) of the cuts requested by both the BBFC and by Warners. Ken Russell had toned down or
removed what had been regarded as the most difficult scenes, including the entire Rape of Christ sequence in which a group of nuns cavort on a crucifix, whilst hoping that the significant reductions he had already made would perhaps allow certain
other shots to remain. The BBFC requested further reductions in four sequences. Russell responded by complying fully with three of the cuts but insisted that the fourth additional cut could not be made properly because it would create continuity
On 18 May 1971 the BBFC awarded an X certificate to the cut version of the film. Because of the scale of the changes made to the film (including the deletion of one entire scene) it is difficult to
calculate accurately how much was removed from the film between January and May 1971. However, it is safe to say that several minutes were removed.
The resultant version suffered cuts as follows:
- A scene showing nuns assaulting an effigy of the cross was deleted (approximately 30s)
- An enema scene loses some details
- The crushing of Grandier's legs
- Grandier's tongue torture loses details
- Shots of a priest being assaulted by nuns after the King's visit are missing
masturbating with a chard bone was cut
- Whippings scenes throughout were removed
A Timely Tribute to Ken Russell. The BFI re-release of his Masterpiece, The Devils
See article from
After much arm-twisting the BFI has indeed persuaded Warner Bros to let them handle The Devils, and a packed two-disc lovingly-curated
special edition will be out next March.
I'll get the bad news out of the way right now: as already spotted, it's DVD only, and it's the 1971 British theatrical cut, not the 2004 restoration. Since BFI DVD Publishing is
demonstrably run by Blu-ray evangelists and has a policy of sourcing the longest available version of the films they put out, you probably don't need to live at 221B Baker Street to work out the reasons for this.
But that really
does appear to be all the bad news. I've seen the full specs, and it looks like an absolute blinder of a release - and hopefully all will be revealed in a matter of days.
UK 2012 BFI R2 DVD
at UK Amazon for release on 19th march
|20th November |
Adam Rehmeier speaks of the reception so far to The Bunny game
See article from brutalashell.com
|19th November |
Getting To The Bottom Of The Human Centipede 2 Controversy
See article from heyuguys.co.uk
|18th November |
MPAA turn down appeal for a PG-13 for the R Rated The Possession
See article from
The MPAA's rating appeals board has upheld the R rating given to Lionsgate's children's horror The Possession.
The Classification and Rating Administration had assigned the movie an R for violence, terror, and disturbing images in
October, prompting an appeal for a PG-13 instead.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan stars in The Possession, formerly titled Dibbuk Box , with Sam Raimi and Rob Tapert producing, and Ole Bornedal directing. The movie follows a divorced
father whose youngest daughter becomes strangely connected to an antique wooden box she purchased at a yard sale.
|12th November |
UK version of Human Centipede 2 compared with Video on Demand version
Thanks to Abaddon
Just got back from seeing it on the big screen in London (Apollo Cinema, Piccadilly Circus)...
As hard as it is to believe, some scenes are in fact longer in the UK version than in the VOD version!! I made some notes on my
mobile phone, so here goes...
First up, the company logo is no longer IFC, it's Monster films ...
Part that seems cut in both US & UK versions: When Martin looks at the warehouse with the
lettings guy, it seems the attack on the guy is missing in both versions, as both jump from him being asked to sign the lease to him dead on the floor with stomach wounds...
Another part that seems cut in both versions: When
Martin is on the stairs with the hooker, it jumps from him getting maced to the body being in the van...
The scene after Martin kills his mother: Not a huge difference, but the camera lingers for longer on her mangled face (When
she's sitting in the chair), showing a slightly closer, gorier angle.
The sandpaper part: This is longer in the UK release, you see him unzipping his trousers (Not in VOD) and the sequence goes on slightly longer until he
The part with the Dr, Martin and his mum together: A very small difference here, you see the centipede eating its prey for longer, as it crushes it etc...
The teeth removal part: This is
shorter, there are less hits from the hammer (I think you see about 4 hits), then it switches to Martin dragging the bloody teeth etc from the mouth. Seemed a bit pointless to shorten this, as, like I said, it only removes a few hits.
The ligament cutting part: This part is almost exactly the same as the VOD release, but there seemed to be more screaming added.
The buttock cutting: Exactly the same as VOD.
stapling: This is essentially the same as VOD, however the VOD shows possibly around 2 seconds longer of the stapling itself.
When the completed centipede is revealed: The VOD is missing a shot of Martin with his arms
out-stretched, looking very happy with his creation...
The laxative / Wall painting scene: Is identical, this is the only bit where colour (Brown) is shown...
The rape scene: This is where it get's
interesting, as in the VOD, this scene is practically non-existant, you just see Martin slumped over the end of the centipede; In the UK version, this part go's on for 20 - 30 seconds, and is pretty nasty! There's no mention at all of barb-wire, but you
see Martin Getting himself ready (Playing with his y-fronts), followed by him humping the centipede, with a LOT of screaming, shots of reaction from other members of the centipede, and like I said, lasts about 30 seconds and is pretty disturbing
to watch. Absolutely NONE of that was in the VOD version.
The baby scene: The scene is essentially the same, but when the bay comes out it's on the screen for a tiny (Very tiny) bit longer, but cuts straight from that to the car
driving off. (Interestingly, some shots of Martin banging on the car and shouting have been removed.)
When the centipede is being killed: During the shooting, one of the women pees herself, I didn't notice that in the VOD version
- The shootings and throat slashings are the same.
And that's about it!! Sorry if I've missed any parts!! To be honest, for a UK cut of the film it really wasn't too bad, I went there expecting to see next to nothing!!
|12th November |
Lebanese cinema with Spielberg's credits covered up spark international interest
10th November 2011. See
A blog image at BlogBaladi.com has intrigued the world as it shows a Beirut cinema with Steven Spielberg's name covered over on promotional posters for the new TinTin film.
Last year, a U.S. embassy memo released by WikiLeaks revealed that
Spielberg had been blacklisted by the Arab League's Central Boycott Office in 2006 after making a $1 million donation to Israel during the conflict with Lebanon. Representatives from 14 Arab states voted to ban all films related to Spielberg.
Films have continued to be shown in Lebanon and other Arab League countries, however, but the blacking out of Spielberg's name suggest that the issue hasn't totally been forgotten.
Internet material promoting the film in Lebanon has not been similarly censored and carries Steven Spielberg's credits as per normal.
Update: Spielberg Unbanned
12th November 2011. See
article from nowlebanon.com
coordinator for Empire Theatres in Lebanon, said that General Security had nothing to do with the incident. Instead, he contends that the act of censorship was the work of a stupid employee who thought that covering Spielberg's name was procedure
and was acting alone. When asked whether NOW Lebanon could speak with the offending employee, Eid refused, saying, I don't want to make it a big issue. I prefer no.
Eid stressed, though, that Cinema City was the only theater affected by the
temporary censorship and argued that had it been government policy, the film would not have made it to cinemas in the first place. As of Sunday evening, the strips of tape were removed, and Spielberg's name was visible on film posters.
others are not convinced this was an innocent mistake.
|12th November |
Uzbekistan bans the country's artists from using religious themes
See article from
The Uzbek national security service (SNB) has issued warned to the country's leading artists against using religious themes in their work. The warning was issued at a special conference held at the end of October.
At the meeting, an SNB
representative told leading theatre and film professionals, writers, painters and musicians that the use of any kind of religious theme in their works was strictly forbidden.
Following the KGB-style warning, a member of Uzbekistan's State
Committee for Religious Affairs described how members of extremist Islamist organizations knowingly misrepresent the Koran, exploiting the fact that the majority of Muslims in Uzbekistan do not know the Arab language and cannot refer to the original
It is thought that one of the reasons for the move to ban religious themes in works of art was the recent film Nafs (Desire) by the young Uzbek actor and director Farroukh Saipov. The film premiered not long before the special meeting
of Uzbek artists, but Saipov's film was banned from distribution after the screening.
Saipov is very popular among young Uzbeks as an actor and director. He is deeply religious and is also a member of a Muslim sect which is not recognised in
Uzbekistan. Not long before the premier Saipov was arrested and charged with belonging to a banned religious organization.
|10th November |
Disappointing box office for the opening weekend
9th November 2011. See
article from hecklerspray.com
Human Centipede 2 has taken just £ 942 at the box office after opening in the UK last weekend.
hecklerspray.com suspect that
it has been streamed and downloaded online (uncut) more times than it has been seen in a cinema.
Offsite Comment: Story is a few legs short of the full sequence
10th November 2011. See
article from cinema-extreme.blogspot.com
Playing on just ten screens across the entire country, and predominantly at once-off, late-night festival screenings, Human Centipede 2 has taken just £ 942 at the UK Box Office, over its opening
weekend. That's just in ten, individual showings, not ten screens playing the film three or four times a day!
What the report failed to state, is that in the USA, THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE II has been doing very well, thank you
very much! So far, the film has taken some $49,456 (US) in its Opening Weekend, playing on just 18 screens.
...Read the full
|8th November |
Why do we find the digestive tract so hard to stomach?
See article from guardian.co.uk
|5th November |
The Bunny Game on course for release in US, Germany and Scandinavia
See article from
The Bunny Game is a 2010 US kidnap film by Adam Rehmeier. See IMDb .
The BBFC ban on The Bunny Game has ended the chance of a release in the UK, but it looks
as if Brits will be able to import the film from a choice of other countries.
German has now picked up the film for distribution via Illusion Unlimited, and the film will be distributed in Scandinavia by Njuta.
There are hopes that a US
distributor can be revealed in the next week.
|4th November |
Immortals cut by the BBFC for a 15 certificate
Thanks to Gavin
article from bbfc.co.uk
Immortals is 2011 US fantasy by Tarsem Singh with Luke Evans and Henry Cavill. See IMDb
The film was passed 15 after BBFC cuts for category for:
The BBFC provided consumer advice:
The BBFC commented on their cuts:
Company chose to make cuts to reduce violence in order to achieve a 15 classification. Cuts included:
removal of the bloody focus on a throat being cut
reducing the focus on young women dying, having been burnt
reducing the focus on eye gouging
removing the shot of a beheading, and
'reducing some focus on large splashes of blood resulting from characters being killed.
An uncut 18 classification was available.
The US release is uncut and MPAA R Rated
|4th November |
Uncoiling The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence)!
See article from cinema-extreme.blogspot.com
|2nd November |
Director Tim Sullivan comments on his trouble at the German film censor
See article from fearnet.com
|1st November |
Human Centipede 2, which he likens to violent porn of the Tabak kind
See article from
|30th October |
Nutters lining up against the Australian premiere of Human Centipede 2
article from couriermail.com.au
The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) will make its Australian debut at the Brisbane International Film Festival on Saturday 5th November.
It has been labelled a mad orgy of depravity and gore, a movie so disturbing and sickening it was
banned in Britain [for a while].
But this week the film scuttles into Brisbane cinemas, untouched by censors and courting inevitable moral 'outrage'.
Queensland was once infamous for its movie censorship, with the state banning an average
of five films a year until former premier Wayne Goss disbanded the review board in 1990. But now the state's Arts Minister Rachel Nolan is wisely refusing to intervene, saying it's up to federal classifiers to approve films: This is the new Queensland
and the Government and I, as Arts Minister, are not going to be some kind of moral censor.
However the Classification Review Board is set to examine the film's R18+ rating after a request from the NSW Attorney-General. A total of eight
complaints have been made to the film censors. But the review will not be conducted until November 28, allowing the film to premiere at the festival.
Christian lobby group Family Voice Australia is preparing a submission to the review board and is
calling for the film to be banned in Australia.
Films like this are really promoting a very demeaning image of women and children, claimed national research officer Roslyn Phillips, urging Brisbane organisers to ditch the movie from its
Meanwhile University of Queensland psychology researcher Brock Bastian provided a puerile and generalised sound bite for the newspaper article. He claimed violent media, including films, could affect the behaviour of their viewers: It's not the most healthy or best way to be spending your time and it may transfer into your interpersonal interactions in subtle ways
. [perhaps having the occasional urge to molest a centipede].
The Brisbane International Film Festival runs from November 3 to 13. Tickets and more information are available via
the BIFF website .
|30th October |
Human Centipede 2 Online
Thanks to Nick
It seems that a video on demand version of The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) is all over the internet via file sharers - so much for the BBFC cuts and previous ban.
From the Melon Farmers:
From reports I have read though, this seems to be US Unrated version that is missing the barbwire rape of the 'centipede'. It is much more complete than the cut BBFC version though.
Reviewers don't seem to have
been impressed by the need for BBFC cuts. For instance the sandpaper masturbation is off screen, the BBFC claimed sexual motivation is near non existent, and most of the violence is of a level that has been passed before.
seems to leave just the BBFC concern that arses, mouths and shit in near proximity could be deemed obscene by the authorities.
2nd November 2011. Thanks to goatboy
sandpaper scene in the leaked VOD version of Human Centipede 2 is exactly the same as in the BBFC cut. Also in the VOD version the rape scene at 76 minutes is completely cut out, some of it is retained in the BBFC cut. However the guy having his teeth
knocked out is shorter in the BBFC version and some shots of swallowing in the centipede are in the VOD version but not the BBFC .
It is an odd film!
|25th October |
Spanish distributors cut key lesbian scenes from Without Men
Without Men is an R Rated comedy about a remote Latin American village that is left without men after all the male folk were press ganged into a civil war. It stars Eva Longoria and Christian Slater.
According to a film festival director, the
lesbian love scenes have been cut by the film's Spanish distributor.
Xavier Daniel, the director of the Barcelona International Gay and Lesbian Film Festival told AFP:
We received a statement from the
distributor in Spain saying that when the film premieres it will have the lesbian scenes removed.
We are very angry that a distributor can modify the content of a film. The audience will not understand the film, because all the
lesbian scenes are cut out... It is unbelievable in the year 2011.
As a result of the censorship, the film festival has decided to cancel its screening of the film.
|22nd October |
Dutch crime boss wants movie ban for The Heineken Kidnapping
21st October 2011. See article from
A Dutch crime boss, Willem Holleeder, wants The Heineken Kidnapping film banned.
A court in Amsterdam has heard from lawyers for the convicted kidnapper, who wants to use the legal system to protect his reputation from a new film.
portrays the 1983 kidnapping of brewing executive Freddy Heineken. Holleeder was among those convicted of the crime, and is unhappy with the portrayal of his character in the film.
The new film stars Rutger Hauer who plays the kidnapping victim
Update: Not Banned
22nd October 2011. See article from
A Dutch court has rejected a gangster's bid to block the release of a film about his infamous 1983 kidnapping of beer tycoon Freddy Heineken.
Judge Wil Tonkens
rejected the suit without comment. She said she would publish her reasoning on 28 October.
|21st October |
Sam Peckinpah's Straw Dogs was notorious, but can the remake repeat its incendiary impact?
article from independent.co.uk
|15th October |
Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers was banned in Guernsey in 1995
See article from cinemascream.wordpress.com
|14th October |
Distributors, Trinity X, comment on the BBFC ban of The Bunny Game
From Trinity X press release
The Bunny Game is a 2010 US horror by Adam Rehmeier. See IMDb .
The film has just been banned by the BBFC for:
The distributors, Trinity X have now issued their comments on the ban in a press release:
Trinity X saddened by BBFC decision to ban The Bunny Game
Trinity X, the recently formed DVD
genre distribution arm of UK-based film distributor Trinity, described the BBFC's decision to ban The Bunny Game as disappointing, worrying and sad .
Mark Sandell, co-director of Trinity, who acquired the film during
Cannes this year, went on to say:
We knew the film was challenging and confrontational, but also felt, as a independent filmmaker, Adam Rehmeir (the director), had a highly original filmic eye and had elicited
powerful performances from the cast. We did imagine that the BBFC might ask for cuts but an outright ban gives the film a twisted notoriety that, quite frankly, it doesn't warrant .
Adam Rehmeier, the director
commented : Rodleen and I didn't make 'The Bunny Game' to glamorise prostitution. It is far from an erotic film. It is a modern cautionary tale grounded in reality.
Trinity is currently considering its options
|13th October |
Unremitting sexual and physical abuse of a helpless woman
See trailer from
The Bunny Game is a 2010 US horror by Adam Rehmeier. See IMDb .
The film has just been banned by the BBFC for:
The BBFC explained in a press release:
The BBFC has rejected the sexually violent DVD The Bunny Game . The film follows a female prostitute who hitches a lift with a truck driver. The truck driver kidnaps the woman,
restrains and forcibly strips her, and proceeds to physically and sexually abuse and humiliate her. The abuse of the kidnapped woman takes up the greater part of the film.
The Board's Guidelines state A strict policy on sexual
violence and rape is applied. Content which might eroticise or endorse sexual violence may require cuts at any classification level. This is more likely with video works than film because of the potential for replaying scenes out of context. Any
association of sex with non-consensual restraint, pain or humiliation may be cut . The principal focus of The Bunny Game is the unremitting sexual and physical abuse of a helpless woman, as well as the sadistic and sexual pleasure the man derives
from this. The emphasis on the woman's nudity tends to eroticise what is shown, while aspects of the work such as the lack of explanation of the events depicted, and the stylistic treatment, may encourage some viewers to enjoy and share in the man's
callousness and the pleasure he takes in the woman's pain and humiliation.
David Cooke, Director of the BBFC said:
It is the Board's carefully considered view that to issue a certificate to
this work, even if confined to adults, would be inconsistent with the Board's Guidelines, would risk potential harm within the terms of the Video Recordings Act, and would accordingly be unacceptable to the public.
The Board considered whether its concerns could be dealt with through cuts. However, the pervasiveness of the abuse makes it very difficult to deal with The Bunny Game by means of cuts. If the company would like to attempt to cut this
work in order to submit it in a reduced form, they are entitled to do so, but the Board can offer no assurances that such re-editing would be successful.
The decision to reject The Bunny Game was taken by the Director, David Cooke
and the Presidential Team of Sir Quentin Thomas, Alison Hastings and Gerard Lemos.
The decision means that the film cannot be legally supplied anywhere in the UK.
|13th October |
Just how stupid is the British Board of Film Classification?
See article from blogs.telegraph.co.uk
|11th October |
Australian premiere of Human Centipede Part 2 will be at the Brisbane International Film Festival
article from smh.com.au
See also Laurence Harvey: “It’s an ordeal for the audience.” from
The Human Centipede 2 (Full Sequence) will make its Australian debut at the Brisbane International Film Festival in November. It will give local audiences a first look at what American critics are describing as a methodical snuff film , an unfortunate success
and a dismal, nauseating and yet bizarrely artful sequel .
Recently released in full in America, and to be shown cut n the UK, the film has been booked by festival director Richard Moore and guest curator Tim League for the 20th
anniversary program of BIFF after the Australian Classification Board cleared the uncut version for R18+ release earlier this year.
It's not the first time Moore has sparked controversy; while head of the Melbourne International Film Festival, his
selection of Bruce laBruce's L.A. Zombie was followed by a ban, and an illegal screening.
Moore said he was not showing The Human Centipede 2 at the festival to create controversy but as a chance to present BIFF audiences with an Australian
premiere of a hotly anticipated genre title. He said the movie was not being treated as one of the showpiece films of the event.
Having seen the sequel himself Moore admitted the movie would not be everybody's cup of tea.
Human Centipede 2:
Full Sequence opens at the Brisbane International Film Festival at midnight on November 5. BIFF runs from November 3 to 13. Tickets and more information are available via the BIFF website
|11th October |
Terry Jones comments that Life of Brian could never be filmed today
See article from
Monty Python star Terry Jones has revealed he would shy away from making the film Life of Brian today, because of a resurgence in religious belief. He said:
At the time, religion seemed to be on the back
burner and it felt like kicking a dead donkey. It's come back with a vengeance and we'd think twice about making it now.
Jones directed and acted in the 1979 film, which sparked accusations of blasphemy. Opponents of the
now-celebrated comedy claimed it made fun of Jesus.
Comment: A resurgence in religious belief?
There's hardly much evidence 'of a resurgence in religious belief'. The opposite is clearly the
case. However the sharp decline in belief must be making the christians feel a little insecure. Perhaps in the days of Life of Brian, the christians generally were confident enough that such a minor jibe could hardly shake their religion. Now they are a
little beleaguered, and must feel that they have to be more willing to fight for the survival of their cause.
Then of course there's the tension with other religions. And there its the authorities who feel that they must calm any
tensions by trying to censor anything that could add to that tension.
Either way, it would appear that Terry Jones is right, and Life of Brian could never be filmed today.
|9th October |
Noted for censor baiting performances in The Last House on the Left and The House on the Edge of the Park
Based on article from
The US music maker and actor, David Hess, has died aged 69.
Interleaved in a long career in the music industry were a few film acting performances that have secured him a place in the Melon farming Hall of Memory.
His first major
appearance was as the ultra thug Krug in Wes Craven's landmark 1972 film, The Last House of the Left. Hess also composed the score.
Hess also played another notable thug in Ruggero Deodato's 1980 film, The House on the Edge of the Park.
He also appeared in later films by the same directors. He played a villain in Wes Craven's 1982 Swamp Thing, and appeared in the 1987 slasher, Body Count , for Ruggero Deodato.
|9th October |
Lars Von Trier in DogsHouseVille
See article from bbc.co.uk
|7th October |
BBFC agree to grant an 18 certificate after cuts
6th October 2011. Press release from Eureka Entertainment
Eureka Entertainment is pleased to announce the forthcoming release of the controversial horror film The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) .
Ian Sadler, Sales Director for Eureka Entertainment, Bounty Films' UK distributor said:
We are really pleased that after nearly 4 months of detailed discussion and debate, we have been able to reach an agreement with the BBFC and to produce a very viable cut of the film which will both excite and challenge
its fans. Naturally we have a slight disappointment that we have had to make cuts, but we feel that the storyline has not been compromised and the level of horror has been sustained.
Further details of our plans for the UK theatrical
and DVD release will be announced early next week.
The BBFC has awarded an 18 classification to a cut version of The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) after 32 cuts
6th October 2011. From
The DVD of The Human Centipede II (Full Sequence) has been passed with an 18 classification following 32 cuts made across 8 separate sequences. The cuts total 2 minutes 37 seconds and address all the concerns raised when the Board
refused a classification on 6 June 2011, including those relating to sexual violence, graphic gore and the possibility of breach of the law relating to obscenity.
The President, Sir Quentin Thomas, said
first examined this work earlier this year we judged that, as submitted, it was unsuitable for classification; and, as we explained to the company, we could not ourselves see how cuts could produce a viable and classifiable work. That remains the view of
one of our Vice Presidents, Gerard Lemos, who is therefore abstaining from the Board's collective decision.
The company lodged an appeal against our decision to refuse classification. In the course of preparations for that appeal,
the company proposed a number of cuts which it was right for us to consider. In response, after further examination, we proposed a more extensive series of cuts. These cuts produce a work which many will find difficult but which I believe can properly be
classified at the adult level. The company has now accepted these cuts, withdrawn its appeal and the work has been classified, as cut, at 18.
In its original letter of 6 June refusing classification, the Board made clear that it was
open to the distributor to attempt cuts. The cuts which have now been made are, in the Board's judgement, necessary if the film is to be classified.
Update: The BBFC list their cuts
7th October See
article from bbfc.co.uk
Human Centipede Part II (Full Sequence) has been unbanned and passed 18 after 2:37s of BBFC cuts for:
- UK 2011 Bounty video
- UK 2011 cinema release
The BBFC commented on their cuts:
Company was required to make 32 individual cuts to scenes of sexual and sexualised violence, sadistic violence and humiliation, and a child presented in an abusive and violent context. In this
case, cuts included:
a man masturbating with sandpaper around his penis
graphic sight of a man's teeth being removed with a hammer
graphic sight of lips being stapled to naked buttocks
graphic sight of forced defecation into and around other people's mouths
a man with barbed wire wrapped around his penis raping a woman
a newborn baby being killed
graphic sight of injury as staples are torn away from individuals' mouth and buttocks.
|2nd October |
The Good Doctor reduced from an R Rating to a PG-13
See article from
The MPAA has reversed its earlier R rating for the upcoming Orlando Bloom drama The Good Doctor , reducing it to a PG-13 on appeal.
The indie film was originally slapped with an R rating for some crude sexual references by the
MPAA's Classification and Rating Administration. However the movie will now be rated PG-13 for thematic material, disturbing situations and some crude sexual content.
Also read: Harvey Wins! MPAA Overturns Blue Valentine's NC-17The
decision to reverse the rating was made following arguments by Jonathan King and Julia Lebedev, the film's producers.