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Offsite Article: Horror, Halloween and Mental Health...

Link Here28th September 2013
So will the new PC offence at anything 'mental' affect the use of psychos and the like in horror movies?

See article from



Offsite Article: Universal Appeal...

Link Here25th September 2013
Why is GTA V the most popular piece of entertainment of the year when 18-rated films are so rare in mainstream cinema?

See article from



Strong language is very much of least concern...

The Irish film censor surveys parents about their classifications

Link Here22nd September 2013
The Irish film censor has published the results of a survey of parents of primary school children. The survey consisted of 267 responses from an online form and some focus group meetings.

Some of the IFCO findings:

  • The vast majority of parents (97%) feel that age related classifications are important in protecting their children from viewing inappropriate material. 90% of parents always check the age classification before allowing their children to watch a film.

  • 53% of parents always talk to their children about the films they watch while 22% have a child who has been upset or stressed by the content of a film they have recently viewed. The films most mentioned in this regard were 'Coraline' (PG), Paranorman (PG), The Hobbit (12A) and 'The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas' (12A).

  • The primary concern of parents with regard to classification issues is violence. This is followed by sex and then drug use. Of IFCO's four main classification issues, language is very much of least concern to parents.

  • The majority of parents (57%) have allowed their children to watch a film classified for an older age group once they had satisfied themselves as to the suitability of the film. In these circumstances, 95% believe it may be acceptable for an under 12 to watch a 12A rated film while 72% believe it may be acceptable for an under 15 to view a 15A rated film.

  • The majority of parents regularly agree with IFCO's classification decisions. Of those who disagree, there is greatest divergence over films classified 12A, with 25% of respondents indicating they are sometimes classified too strictly and an equal number indicating they are sometimes classified not strictly enough .

  • The vast majority of parents believe that the media in general (film, internet, TV) can have a bad influence on young people and 58% agree that young people copy what they see in films. However, 66% agree that as people move from childhood to adolescence they are better able to cope with challenging imagery in the films they view.

  • 82% of respondents disagreed with the statement there is no longer a need for film censorship (i.e., the banning of films) .

  • 89% of parents felt that it would be helpful to them if IFCO's classifications were shown before films airing on television in Ireland.

  • 81% of parents believe that while classifications are a useful guide, they should have the final say on what their children can and cannot watch.



They Like Their Flesh Blu...

Zombie Creeping Flesh set for a Blu-ray release

Link Here20th September 2013
Zombie Creeping Flesh (aka Hell of the Living Dead) is a 1980 Italy/Spain horror by Bruno Mattei.
With Margit Evelyn Newton, Franco Garofalo and Selan Karay. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

US distributors, Blue Underground, have announced that Zombie Creeping Flesh is set for its Blu-ray premier next year.



Rated PG for Priest's Guidance...

Canada still has a religious film censor classifying films by morality

Link Here15th September 2013
  A Quebec organization founded by the Canadian bishops more than 50 years ago to censor films will be re-examining its mission under a new CEO. The Communications et Societe board of directors has appointed Monsignor Pierre Murray, a priest of the Montreal archdiocese, to run the organization. He explained his role:

One of my tasks will be to make an accurate inventory of all the players in the media, to speak with them, to understand the problems we are facing and to adjust our mission to the needs and the mission of the Church.

In 1957, the bishops were concerned about all the movies playing in the theatres, Murray said in an interview. It serves the French-speaking communities in Quebec and across Canada.

So they asked a team of priests based in Montreal to look at those films, to tell which ones you should go to and which you should avoid. Little-by-little it expanded.

Though still linked to the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, Murray is the only priest on staff among the eight paid employees. Among them are three professional movie critics who are trained to recognize the artistic value of movies, Murray said.

A baptized person with good specialization in that area has as much judgment as a priest would have. There is no need to have a priest everywhere., one of its divisions, has a searchable database with information on more than 60,000 movies. While in the beginning the focus tended to be on ensuring Catholics would not be led astray, it has since changed to considering the artistic merit of movies.

In 1968 a priest invented a rating system to evaluate the artistic content. A one would be a masterpiece like Babette's Feast or Of God's and Men . A seven would be really bad, or pathetic, Murray said.

And Murray is not phased that few movies have any reference to religion, he believes that even if movie makers do not have a Christian point of view, they have assimilated the Christian culture.

When they produce their movie they are no strangers to Christianity because it is part of our DNA as a people. Even though they don't knowingly do something Christian, it has great value.



Update: A Chilling Winter's Journey...

Russian anti-gay law has a chilling effect on gay filmmaking

Link Here14th September 2013
Full story: Gay in Russia...Russia bans gay parades and legislates against gay rights
Russia's anti gay 'propaganda' law is having wide and chilling effects on gay film making.

Filmmakers of a film with the translated title of A Winter's Journey have found that the film has been effectively banned despite winning approval by Russia's film censors and winning two prizes at separate film festivals. The film tells the story of a gay classical singer falling in love with a street-smart petty criminal.

Director Sergei Taramayev told AFP he was saddened it could not be shown at the Kinotavr film festival  after receiving such high critical acclaim. He said:

For the organisers of the festival it was uncomfortable, because there is such a law, so they thought it was better not to get involved.

At least people who were in the jury told us that this was the reason why we were not accepted for Kinotavr.

The film's co-writer Lyubov Lvova said festivals feared they could lose funding if they showed the film:

At many festivals, Russian ones, this scared the organisers a lot. They were afraid of this law, that it could stop them getting financing for their festivals.

Taramayev said they did not even submit the film to Russia's main film forum, Moscow International Film Festival, because of its anti-gay organiser, Nikita Mikhalkov. He said:

He supports the government's line and is a very political director and we realised that they would not take us.

Producer Mikhail Karasyov wrote in an email to AFP:

As for a cinema release, at the moment we are holding talks, but so far there is nothing concrete.



Offsite Article: Yippee-ki-yay Mr Falcon...

Link Here12th September 2013
when swearing gets censored on TV. Five of the best examples of child-friendly censorship of sweary film dialogue

See article from



Updated: Madras Cafe...

background about the reasons behind UK cinemas banning an Indian film

Link Here12th September 2013
Madras Cafe is a 2013 Indian action drama by Shoojit Sircar.
With John Abraham, Nargis Fakhri and Rashi Khanna. YouTube iconBBFC link IMDb

The film proved controversial in India as it is based on the Sri Lankan civil war where emotions are still running high. Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi died when an LTTE suicide bomber detonated a bomb at an election rally in May 1991. A similar incident has been showcased in the film's trailer. However, the director explained that the film is only partially based on fact:

We have taken that incident which we read in the paper. Rest, whatever is around it, has been fictionalised in the scripting. But somewhere you may find some historical references in the fictionalised bit too.

Madras Cafe invoked the ire of Tamil activist groups Naam Tamizhar and MDMK. The members have sought a ban on the film contending that it portrays LTTE cadres as terrorists. Several court cases later, the film was released across India, however cinemas in the state of Tamil Nadu refused to show the film.

Three major cinema companies in the U.K. decided not to screen Madras Cafe . The film was to have opened in the U.K. on August 28, 2013 in theatres owned by Cineworld, Odeon and Vue.

But on August 24, protests began outside the head office of these theatres, organised by Sri Lankan Tamil groups led by the Tamil Youth Organisation (U.K.). Carrying placards that said, Inciting violence is not entertainment, Ban Madras Cafe , Ban hate speech , its members shouted slogans and burnt copies of the film's posters. The protests somehow managed to elude press coverage, despite the dramatic theatricals of posters being burned.

The anti-Madras Cafe campaign went on the Facebook page of the Tamil Youth Organisation. An online campaign called on Tamils to sign a petition against the film, and to telephone theatres to protest the screenings.

When the cinemas complied with this demand, exultant messages appeared on the page. The theatres played down the ban though, perhaps suggesting that they had little desire to oppose the censorship, and certainly didn't want to take it any further.

A senior executive from Odeon, in response to a question from The Hindu, merely said her company does not wish to cause any offence to any local community groups and hence took the decision. A Cineworld spokesperson was equally guarded. Our policy is to show a wide range of films to different audiences. However, following customer feedback and after working with the film distributors, we have decided not to show Madras Cafe.

The issue then sank from public gaze, but a few voices have registered  disquiet. It is hard to believe that we are living in a first world country, said a senior media industry executive who did not want to be named: A group of people created a ruckus in front of Cineworld's offices, and the film is withdrawn! And neither does the U.K. government nor the Indian High Commission intervene.

Conversations with South Asian activists suggest that they did not want to get involved because they do not wish to mess with the pro-LTTE Tamil groups, which are well organised and militant.



Offsite Article: Fifty Shades of Spin...

Link Here9th September 2013
Full story: Fifty Shades of Grey Movies...Kink for kids Hollywood style
However one dresses it up. There can't be much sex in a film of Fifty Shades of Grey that is rated as suitable for children

See article from



Offsite Article: Brutal scenes in slavery film divide festival audience...

Link Here 8th September 2013
Some walk out, others stay to cheer director Steve McQueen

See article from



Obituary: Jose Ramon Larraz...

Noted director of Spanish exploitation, including Vampyres dies aged 84

Link Here5th September 2013
José Ramón Larraz Gil was a Spanish director of exploitation and horror films such as the erotic and bloody Vampyres (1974).

Born in Barcelona , Larraz started his career as a comics writer. He began making films in England, then in 1976 apparently relocated his operations back to Spain. He made many different types of films, but is best known for his horror films. His last few horror films were Spanish/ American co-productions. He apparently retired from filmmaking in 1992 at age 63.

Larraz died, aged 84, in Málaga on 3 September 2013.


  • Whirlpool (1970)
  • Deviation (1971)
  • Symptoms (1974) aka Blood Virgin
  • The House That Vanished (1975) aka Scream and Die , aka Don't Go in the Bedroom
  • Vampyres (1975) aka Daughters of Dracula , aka Blood Hunger
  • The Coming of Sin (1978) aka The Violation of the Bitch
  • The Golden Lady (1979)
  • El Periscopio (1979)
  • Stigma (1980)
  • The National Mummy (1981)
  • Black Candles (1982) aka Sex Rites of the Devil
  • Rest in Pieces (1987)
  • Deadly Manor (1990)



The Film Most Likely to be Banned...

Thai groups organise a Melon Farming film competition

Link Here5th September 2013
Thai groups iLaw and Movie Audience Network have organized a film competition to defy local film censorship.

Unlike other film contests, where prizes may be awarded for aesthetics, technical directing or acting, the film competition organized by three local organizations, Internet Dialogue on Law Reform (iLaw), Bioscope Magazine and the Movie Audience Network, will present awards to the director of the film most likely to be banned by the Thai authorities.

According to the organizers, the Film Likely to be Banned project aims to challenge the 2007 Film and Video Act, which grants to the Film and Video Board under the Ministry of Culture the authority to ban films which might undermine public order and morality , or affect national security and the honour of Thailand .

Last year, Shakespeare Must Die was banned under the Film and Video Act on the grounds that it would cause rifts among the people in the nation. The film is about a dictator who killed the king to become ruler, and was an adaptation of Shakespeare's Macbeth. In late 2010, the film Insects in the Backyard was barred because a scene featured students in school uniforms having sexual relationships.

The short film contest, under the slogan closer to the edge with artfulness, opened for entries in April, and will present the awards this Saturday.

The contest received 40 films submitted by amateur directors from all over the country. 15 have been shortlisted for the award. The films will be screened before the awards ceremony at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre this Saturday, September 7th.

The event will not however screen three films that were considered by the organizers as having legal implications that were too risky.



Updated: Madras Cafe...

Indian movie loosely based on the Sri Lankan civil war is banned by British cinemas

Link Here29th August 2013
Madras Cafe is a 2013 Indian action drama by Shoojit Sircar.
With John Abraham, Nargis Fakhri and Rashi Khanna. YouTube iconBBFC link IMDb

The film is proving controversial in India as it is based on the Sri Lankan civil war where emotions are still running high.  Director Shoojit Sircar has conceded that his movie may have certain scenes resembling events related to Rajiv Gandhi's assassination, but he clarifies that the film's story is not a biopic on the former prime minister. Sircar said:

This is not a biopic on him, this is not a story based on him. Yes, you can say that there is a similarity to that incident. There is a similarity in the facial structure (of the actor who plays the said role).

Rajiv Gandhi died when an LTTE suicide bomber detonated a bomb at an election rally in May 1991. A similar incident has been showcased in the film's trailer. However, the director explained:

We have taken that incident which we read in the paper. Rest, whatever is around it, has been fictionalised in the scripting. But somewhere you may find some historical references in the fictionalised bit too.

Madras Cafe is already facing the ire of Tamil activist groups Naam Tamizhar and MDMK. The members have sought a ban on the film contending that it portrays LTTE cadres as terrorists.

Banned in Tamil Nadu

The film was passed by the Indian film censors but faced court actions calling for a ban in Madras and Tamil Nadu. The court actions failed, but cinema owners took the hint in Tamil Nadu and decided not to exhibit the movie.

Banned in Britain

Now the film has been similarly banned by British cinemas. UK cinema chains, Cineworld, Odeon and Vue, have banned the film saying in a statement:

Our policy is to show a wide range of films for different audiences ...HOWEVER... following customer feedback and working with the film distributors, we have decided to not show Madras Cafe. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Press reports suggested that some Tamils had complained that the film was anti-Tamil. The Facebook page of the Tamil Youth Organisation UK has been full of agitation against the film.

The BBFC passed the film 15 uncut for strong violence and injury detail. The BBFC InSight alluded to the emotional impact of the film:

This is a sombre drama and the violence is depicted realistically, with a strong emotional impact. In the opening scene people are forced off a bus and made to kneel in a field as they are massacred. Blood spurts are seen as several of them are shot in the back, and in a more distant image a little girl is shot too as she tries to run away. Several executions are shown, including a man tied to a post, his body juddering under fire with lots of blood as he is killed.



Offsite Article: From Burma to China, the cinema industry tests the limits of censorship...

Link Here 25th August 2013
Burma's once-celebrated film industry is enjoying a revival after years of funding shortages and suffocating censorship

See article from



Monster News...

Shout! Factory and Morgan Creek announce the 2014 release of Clive Barker's Cabal Cut of Nightbreed

Link Here20th August 2013
Nightbreed is a 1990 USA horror fantasy by Clive Barker.
With Craig Sheffer, Anne Bobby and David Cronenberg. YouTube iconBBFC link IMDb

Shout! Factory and Morgan Creek Productions have officially announced a strategic distribution alliance to bring Clive Barker's classic horror film Nightbreed extended director's cut to the home entertainment marketplace in the U.S and Canada and on digital entertainment platforms next year. The news initially broke at Comic-Con 2013, however the agreement formally reached by both parties occurred on 19th August 2013.

For years rumors swirled about substantial missing footage from the film. A fan-driven movement was created ( to see the full version of the film restored and re-released, which was not only a more faithful adaptation of Clive Barker's book Cabal , but is what originally he intended Nightbreed to be.

Clive Barker said:

I had a dream about the tribes of the moon. They would live in a city called Midian and, though they were monsters of every shape and size, they would be the heroes of a movie called Nightbreed. However, when I made the movie, the studio was not comfortable with this inversion of the classic structure. They wanted the monsters to be simple-minded scare machines, while I wanted them to be the dark side of all of us, mysterious and misunderstood. Finally, with this new version of Nightbreed, which contains over forty five minutes of previously unseen material, my original vision has been realized. Come with me to Midian, the city of monsters. The tribes of the moon await us.

Shout!'s SCREAM FACTORY plans an aggressive rollout of Nightbreed extended director's cut through physical home entertainment releases and a variety of digital entertainment distribution platforms sometimes next year.

David Robinson, President of Morgan Creek Productions said:

We'd also like to take this opportunity to thank the fans. Without their hard work and persistence, this would have never become a reality. Clive Barker is one of the greats, and we are tremendously proud and excited to be working with him and Shout! Factory on this release.



Updated: Re-fucked...

Australian Censorship Board re-bans Baise-Moi for home video

Link Here18th August 2013
Full story: Banned Films in Australia...I Want Your Love
Baise-moi is a 2000 France crime drama by Virginie Despentes and Coralie.
With Raffaëla Anderson, Karen Lancaume, Céline Beugnot. YouTube iconBBFC link IMDb

The Australian Censorship Board has just re-banned Baise-Moi.

The film played in Australian cinemas with an R18+ (18) rating but the real sex coupled with rape made it very controversial. The government stepped in and requested that the film be banned on home video. The resulting ban has persisted from 2002 to the present day.

Now Potential Films have just resubmitted the film for home video hoping that time has healed whatever ailed the censors. But to no avail, the film censors reaffirmed their ban.

Uncut in the UK

UK: Passed 18 uncut for sexual violence, real sex and very strong language with previous BBFC cuts waived for:

However the 2001 cinema release was cut by 10s and 2002 DVDs were cut by 12s. The DVD cuts were:

Cuts required to two sequences of sexual violence involving strong sexual imagery:

  • explicit close up of sexual penetration of woman during rape scene
  • sight of gun being pressed into man's anus prior to being fired

See also: Melon Farmers film cuts details for Baise-Moi

Update: Reasons for the Ban

18th August 2013. See  article from

See  article from . Note that the version banned by the censors in 2013 was a pre-cut version with the sight of penetration deleted from the rape scene. The Film Censorship Board explained its majority decision to ban the video:

In summary, as this film contains depictions of explicit sexual activity and sexual violence, sexualized violence and violence which are very high in impact and, as such, exceeds what can be accommodated within the R 18+ classification, and, as the film also contains violence, sexual violence and sexualized violence and, as such, cannot be accommodated within the X18+ classification, this material warrants Refused Classification.



Updated: Chris Tookey Recommends...

Kick-Ass 2. The Daily Mail critic does his glorious best to boost the film's UK box office

Link Here16th August 2013
Full story: Kick-Ass...Movie hype featuring cussing teen assassin

Jim Carrey has famously refused to promote this film -- not on the grounds that he's in it for only about half an hour, during which time he's as dull and unfunny as the rest of the picture, but because he feels it trivialises violence.

Actually, it goes further than that. It supports vigilantism, advocates violent revenge and revels in gang warfare. It also suggests that the way to deal with bullies is to bully them back, even more brutally.

...Read the full endorsement

Update: Sob story

16th August 2013. See  article from

Chris Tookey spins a ludicrous yarn about how he himself is desensitised to violence after having watched so many violent films...

...and of course takes to opportunity to have another rant at Kick-Ass 2 (and also Only God Forgives starring Ryan Gosling).

...Read the full rant .



Blacked Out...

Warner Brothers set to censor two classic Tom and Jerry episodes from its Golden Collection Blu-ray

Link Here11th August 2013
Two episodes of classic Tom & Jerry cartoons have been pulled from the latest volume of a Blu-ray collector's disc because the feuding cat and mouse were blacked up .

Volume 2 of Warner Brothers' Golden Collection, which fans believed would be a full chronological and uncut series, was meant to have been released two months ago but still hasn't reached the shops and may not be seen until next year. Fans complain that the planned running order omitted Casanova Cat and Mouse Cleaning , episodes from 1951 and 1948 that are often censored when broadcast on children's TV.

One line of protest has been to bombard online sellers, particularly Amazon, with messages on its pre-sale order pages. Culture is always reflected in cartoons, and while this may not have been right, it existed. It is a shame to omit pieces of history in a collection simply due to PR getting shaky boots over the past, said one. Another added: These releases are almost exclusively for the adult collector, so why treat us like infants?

Meanwhile, a Facebook campaign called Unleash the banned Tom and Jerry cartoons rages on.

In Casanova Cat, above, Tom tries to impress a rich she-cat by blacking up Jerry's face with cigar smoke and then making him do a minstrel dance.

It is Tom who is blacked up in Mouse Cleaning. With his face covered in coal dust, he fools Mammy into thinking she is chatting to a black man by talking in an African-American accent.

A Warner Brothers spokesprat said:

The company felt that certain content would be inappropriate for the intended audience and therefore excluded several shorts.



Obituary: Karen Black dies aged 74...

A fine and long career in cult movies and a few horrors

Link Here9th August 2013
Karen Black was an American actress, screenwriter, singer, and songwriter. She is noted for appearing in such films as Easy Rider , Five Easy Pieces , The Great Gatsby , Rhinoceros , The Day of the Locust , Nashville , Airport 1975 , and Alfred Hitchcock' s final film , Family Plot.

Over the course of her career, she won two Golden Globe Awards (out of three nominations), and an Academy Award nomination in 1970 for Best Supporting Actress , among numerous other honors.

And just a few of her films that caught my eye or are in my video collection:

  • Easy Rider (1969)
  • Five Easy Pieces (1970)
  • Drive, He Said (1971)
  • Portnoy's Complaint (1972)
  • The Outfit (1973)
  • Trilogy of Terror (1975)
  • The Day of the Locust (1975)
  • Nashville (1975)
  • Family Plot (1976)
  • Burnt Offerings (1976)
  • In Praise of Older Women (1978)
  • Killer Fish (1979)
  • Police Story: Confessions of a Lady Cop (1980)
  • Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982)
  • Can She Bake a Cherry Pie? (1983)
  • Savage Dawn (1985)
  • Children of the Corn IV: The Gathering (1996)
  • House of 1000 Corpses (2003)



Banned by the Oppressed Students Revolutionary Force...

Chennai opening of the action movie Thalaivaa cancelled after bomb threats

Link Here9th August 2013

Thalaivaa - Time To Lead is a 2013 India action thriller by Vijay.
With Vijay, Amala Paul and Santhanam. YouTube iconBBFC link IMDb

A students' body called Tamil Nadu Oppressed Students Revolutionary Force threatened theatres and multiplexes, following which bookings for the opening night of the film were cancelled.

Members of the group threatened violence if Thalaivaa was screened in the state. According to the group, income tax on the money invested by the distributor of the film Vendhar Movies has been evaded. Besides, the money has been earned by exploiting students of SRM group of educational institutions, it is alleged.

Thalaivaa is being distributed by Vendhar Movies, who own SRM group, one of the biggest educational institutions in the state.

The film had been set to open in 500 theatres in the state of Tamil Nadu. An organisation representing cinema owners has now asked the government to step in and provide the necessary security for the film to open.

The release of the film in other states and other countries including the US and UK remains unaffected.

Cut for UK cinema release

Coincidentally the film has just received its cinema certificate. It was initially passed 15 uncut but the distributors wanted a lower age certificate, so resubmitted for a cut 12A.

The BBFC passed the film 12A for moderate violence and soft drug use after 2:21s of BBFC category cuts. The BBFC commented:

Distributor chose to make cuts to obtain a 12A classification. Cuts made to remove a focus on violence and bloody injuries, including throat slittings and bloody stab wounds, as well as sight of blood on swords and machete blades.



Update: Society Harmed by Moralists...

The movie Silk Sakkath Hot has been banned for a few days pending a court hearing to consider claims of harm to society

Link Here9th August 2013
Full story: Banned Movies in India...Sex, religion and easy offence

Veena Malik's Silk Sakkath Hot screening has been halted.

A moralist campaigner has convinced a court stay the movie untill August 10. Bhimashankar Patil, the President of Karnataka Navnirman Sene, filed a petition to ban Silk Sakkath Hot from screening.

Patil claims that the film projects women in a bad taste, and that there are vulgar scenes in the movie in the name of sensuous sequences. The film supposedly sends a bad message to society and allowing such films for screening will harm the society. He also claimed that the posters of the film are as bad as the movie, and it should be removed with immediate effect.

Silk Sakkath Hot has been cleared by the local Regional Censor Board with an 'A' (Adult) certificate.



Update: Necessary Evil?...

Speculation that a cut version of I Spit on Your Grave 2 will be shown at Frightfest

Link Here8th August 2013
Full story: I Spit on Your Grave...Remake enjoys some good publicity

Steven R Monroe's I Spit On Your Grave 2 , is set to play at this year's FrightFest in a few weeks time and there is speculation that this will be a cut version. explains:

Bloody Disgusting have just put up a new still from the film, which you can see at the head of this post, and have mentioned in their copy that a festival cut of the film is playing at FrightFest,

This very special festival cut has been over-seen by the producers specifically for FrightFest 2013 and will be the first time the film will be screened to audiences anywhere.

The film is set for an MPAA Unrated US DVD and Blu-ray release on 24th September so it seems pretty sure that this will be definitive version. Anything else seems likely to be something to keep censors happy.




Americans have to wait whilst Hollywood dumbs it down

Link Here7th August 2013

Snowpiercer is a 2013 South Korea/USA/France action Sci-Fi drama by Joon-ho Bong.
With Chris Evans, Jamie Bell and Alison Pill. YouTube icon IMDb

Summary Notes

In a future where a failed global-warming experiment kills off most life on the planet, a class system evolves aboard the Snowpiercer, a train that travels around the globe via a perpetual-motion engine.

Bong Joon-ho's Snowpiercer opened in the director's native South Korea last week, and will continue to roll out around the world for the next couple of months. It has broken box-office records at home and is very well-reviewed across the board. But despite having a US distributor in The Weinstein Co., the film has yet to announce a U.S. opening date. Now we know what the holdup is.

Harvey Weinstein reportedly has plans to chop up Snowpiercer, reducing its running time by about 20 minutes. And it's not because the film's bloated or unwieldy. It's because in his opinion, according to one report, Midwesterners are too stupid to understand the movie as-is.

Film critic Tony Rayns explained that the cuts will remove much of the character work to make the film play more like a traditional action movie. In addition, voiceovers will be added to the beginning and end of the film.

Rayns reports that the U.K., for one, isn't interested in having Snowpiercer watered down.

Update: Good news for European film fans

18th November 2013. See article from

Good news for European film fans. Director Bong Joon-ho explained:

Me and The Weinstein Company are still negotiating about everything. The movie at the festival, the French version is my own director's cut. In Korea, Japan, France and many other European countries have all bought my director's cut. And for North America we are still negotiating with The Weinstein Company, we are discussing.



Sexist, Racist and Americanist...

US DVD cover provokes 'outrage' over prominence of its American star

Link Here7th August 2013

The US distributor of Australian film The Sapphires has apologised for a DVD cover appearing to focus on Hollywood actor Chris O'Dowd at the expense of his Aboriginal but less well known female co-stars.

Anchor Bay Entertainment it regrets any unintentional upset and that it was now considering new cover art.

The Sapphires tells of an all-female Australian Aboriginal singing group that entertained US troops in Vietnam. It was a box office hit Down Under and won 11 AACTA awards earlier this year.

The Australian DVD cover places the actresses playing the Sapphires in the foreground, with O'Dowd standing behind them. Their positions are inverted on the US cover, which places O'Dowd front and centre and relegates his co-stars well into the background.

The design has prompted some commentators to accuse Anchor Bay of being both sexist and racist.

A protest has attracted almost 18,000 supporters.



Update: Supercensor...

Pakistan's film censor bans Man of Steel

Link Here2nd August 2013
Full story: Banned Films in Pakistan...Sensitive issues of image and religion

Pakistan's film censor board has banned the screening of Sanjay Dutt's Policegiri and Zack Snyder's Man Of Steel.

No specific reasons were cited for the decision. A press release issued by the Central Film Censor Board only said the ban was imposed as the films violated the Motion Pictures Ordinance of 1979.

Both movies were released in cinema halls in major Pakistani cities several weeks ago. They are still being screened in some cities like Karachi and Lahore.



The Village Censor...

Malaysian government bows to newspaper criticism and looks set ban the movie, The New Village

Link Here30th July 2013

The New Village is a 2013 Malaysia drama by Kew Lit.
With Valentine Cawley, Jeff Chin and Sam Chong. YouTube icon IMDb

Following a wave of criticism in the country's conservative press, director Kew Lit's historical drama, The New Village, has been sent back to the censorship board for a second review, and a possible ban.

The film, a period feature told in Mandarin Chinese, tells a love story set in Malaysia's tumultuous "Malayan Emergency" period of the 1940s and 50s, when a communist uprising, lead largely by the country's ethnic Chinese population, fought for independence from British colonial rule.

According to the film makers, it was approved for commercial exhibition by the Malaysian Film Censorship Board (LPF) on Sept. 4 of 2012 and given a P13 classification (PG-13).  But when a trailer was released on Youtube in June, a series of conservative editorials in local dailies attacked the film, suggesting that it portrays the communist uprising as heroic.

Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told reporters that:

We do not want sensitive issues to be raised, especially when the film is scheduled for release ahead of the country's National Day on 31st of August.

The Home Ministry has sent the movie back to the Malaysian Film Censorship Board for further review. A process that previously led to the ban of the similarly themed, The Last Communist by Amir Muhammad.



More Evil...

An Extended Version of Evil Dead 2 is being released in Germany

Link Here29th July 2013 is reporting that there is an upcoming 25th Anniversary Edition of Evil Dead 2 featuring 2.5 minutes of footage not yet seen in an official release.

It is a limited edition and includes the English language soundtrack. It is set for release on 24th September 2013.

See distributor details at



Updated: Singing for Joy...

Lost material turns up to allow Robin Hardy to make a Final Cut of the Wicker Man

Link Here28th July 2013

The Wicker Man is a 1973 UK mystery drama by Robin Hardy.
With Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee and Diane Cilento. YouTube iconBBFC link IMDb

Prior to the theatrical release in 1973 director Robin Hardy create a 102 minute cut. However his vision was overruled by the producers and he was forced to create a shortened version of 88 minutes.

Later in 2002 Hardy produced a Director's Cut from available material, but this was still lacking some footage wanted by the Director.

Hardy and Studiocanal took up the search for the missing material, and now it has turned up in a print in the Harvard Archive.

Update: Release Details

28th July 2013.

UK: BBFC details to be confirmed for:
  • 2013 StudioCanal [UK Theatrical + Director's Cut + Final Cut] RB Blu-ray at UK Amazon released on 13th October 2013
  • 2013 StudioCanal [UK Theatrical + Director's Cut + Final Cut] R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 13th October 2013

Promotional Material

The Director of The Wicker Man, Robin Hardy has approved The Final Cut as the finest and most complete version of the film. This 40th anniversary edition is every Wicker Man fan's perfect ending to a much mythicised search for the most complete version of The Wicker Man. Having left no stone unturned for the opportunity of uncovering any of the original film materials, the ghosts have now been laid to rest, as we can finally and happily confirm, that this is the Final Cut.

  • The Final cut
  • The UK theatrical Cut
  • The Director's Cut
  • audio commentary for Director's Cut
  • extras
  • The soundtrack



Updated: Censors on Report...

Durban Film Festival opener banned for under age sex featuring a 23 year old

Link Here28th July 2013

Of Good Report is a 2013 South Africa thriller by Jahmil XT Qubeka.
With Stevel Marc, Petronella Tshuma and Mothusi Magano. IMDb

Censorship marred the opening of the 34th Durban International Film Festival (Diff) when the Film and Publication Board banned the opening film, Of Good Report.

Instead of the opening sequence to Jahmil XT Qubeka's drama about a teacher who embarks on a sexual relationship with a pupil, the film-makers and invited guests read the following on the Suncoast Cinema screen:

This film has been refused classification by the Film and Publications Act 1996.

Unfortunately we may not legally screen the film Of Good Report, as to do so would constitute a criminal offence.

According to the censor board's classification committee they stopped watching the film at 28 minutes and 16 seconds because the film contained child pornography. At this point in the film 16-year-old Nolitha (played by 23-year-old Petronella Tshuma) is depicted in her Grade 9 school uniform. Since she had engaged in a sexual act with an adult in a preceding scene, this is depiction of child pornography, according to the board.

In an e-mailed letter to the Diff manager, Peter Machen, the board refused to classify the film and ordered the festival to either destroy or surrender copies of the film to the police.

The film makers will now appeal the ban.

Of Good Report producer Mike Auret, of Spier Films, said the film had been picked up for screening at the next Berlin, Rotterdam, Toronto and Dubai film festivals.

Update: Unbanned

28th July 2013. See  article from

A South African censorship appeals tribunal has lifted a ban on a film that was barred as child pornography over a sex scene between a schoolteacher and a pupil depicted as 16, but played by a 23 year old actress.

The film is now passed as suitable for viewers aged 16 and above with warnings of sex, nudity, violence and strong language.

The local film Of Good Report was cleared after a challenge by the organisers of the Durban International Film Festival where it was meant to be the opening feature last week. The film will now be screened on Sunday, the final day of the festival.

The country's censorship authority said it was very disappointed and saddened by the move to set aside its decision by its appeals tribunal.



Vulgar Protest...

Indian hindu nationalists pull down movie posters for Nasha

Link Here28th July 2013

Activists from the Shiv Sena hindu nationalist party have been pulling down posters of Poonam Pandey's soon-to-be released debut film Nasha.  The campaigners claim that the posters are vulgar and objectionable.

The party has forced the film's producer to pull down publicity posters in Mumbai's Lower Parel and Borivali. In an angry protest, sainkis burned posters of the movie at Mahim, claiming that they were offensive.

Akshay Bardapurkar, the general secretary of Shiv Sena Chitrapat Sena maintains that the party finds the poster highly vulgar and derogatory and won't allow such hoardings to be displayed across the city.

Aditya Bhatia, producer of Nasha, claims that he was threatened by party activists:

My outdoor publicist called up to say that Shiv Sainiks had made him pull down the hoarding. They found Poonam's posture objectionable. But my publicity stills have been approved by the Western India Film Producers' Association. So I am not going to pull the other hoardings down. I am even thinking of filing a complaint.



Updated: Objectionable Censorship...

Franck Khalfoun's Maniac banned in New Zealand

Link Here27th July 2013

A serial killer horror film starring Elijah Wood has been banned from cinema and DVD release in New Zealand.

The Office of Film and Literature censorship (OFLC) has classified Maniac as restricted to festival-only screenings and banning it from further release.

It is the first film to receive the special Festival-only classification since The Bridge in 2007 and means that the film cannot be released on DVD at a later date.

The remake of Maniac has been classified as supposedly 'objectionable' for the unwashed masses, but is OK for 'clever' people for the purpose of study in a tertiary media or film studies course or screened as part of a film festival.

The full restricted classification note is: R18 graphic violence, sex scenes, content that may disturb.

The film has been programmed for the NZIFF Incredibly Strange section by Ant Timpson, with screenings scheduled for Auckland and Wellington. Timpson said:

The OFLC decision says that the film may be 'injurious to the public good' if it goes out on a wider release. It's saying that the POV nature of the film mixed with the psychopathic behaviour of actor Elijah Wood is more than disturbing, that it's potentially dangerous in the hands of the wrong person (that is, a non-festival goer).

The film's distributors said:

The ban is an insult to the intelligence of the adult population of New Zealand and does little more than to serve as an open invitation to illegally pirate the film. We are flabbergasted.

New Zealand is the only western country to have banned Maniac

Update: New Zealand film censor compliments the director

26th July 2013.  See  article from

The New Zealand censor has now added a note of explanation for the ban:

While the feature does not actively promote or support this material, the tacit invitation to enjoy cruel and violent behavior through its first-person portrayal and packaging as entertainment is likely to lead to an erosion of empathy for some viewers,

The news that his slasher movie Maniac had been banned from theaters in New Zealand took director Franck Khalfoun completely by surprise, and like the movie itself, the French filmmaker was juggling a sense of outrage and perverse glee. He told Buzzfeed:

I suppose they have to control people and not let them see things; I think censorship is completely bogus. I don't know how to take it. I guess as a genre filmmaker, it's a compliment.

Update: New Zealand film censor recommends Maniac

26th July 2013.  See  article from

Maniac's distributor says that the banning is an invitation to piracy and the signs are that's exactly what's happening.

And here lies the problem. While the MPAA, BBFC and OFLC in New Zealand might like to think they have the final say over what people can see, file-sharing networks simply don't listen. With this in mind TorrentFreak decided to take a snapshot of activity of those sharing Maniac on BitTorrent networks. It's unlikely that Monster Pictures (or the OFLC) will be happy with our findings.

1 United States 18.4%
2 United kingdom 8.6%
3 New Zealand 6.7%
4 Brazil 6.7%
5 Philippines 5.9%
6 Australia 4.2%
7 Canada 4.0%
8 The Netherlands 3.6%
9 Israel 3.3%
10 Argentina 2.3%

As expected the United States with its huge 314m population is well ahead in first place with 18.4% of the downloaders. In second with its 62.7m population comes the United Kingdom with 8.6%. But in third, punching well beyond its population of just 4.4 million, is New Zealand clocking up 6.7% of downloaders. By comparison, Brazil -- also on 6.7% of downloaders -- has a population of 197 million.

When previously assessing other TV show and movie releases it's been very rare for New Zealand to make a showing in the top ten, let alone the top three downloading nations. In percentage terms of overall downloaders, the turnout for Maniac surpasses that previously achieved by Kiwis for The Hobbit.

Update: New Zealand film censor reveals full details about the ban

27th July 2013.  See article [pdf] from

The censor explains:

The film's lurid opening, gratuitously over-blown murders and cliched profile of a serial killer clearly site it as a work of homage to a bygone era of filmmaking. Those viewers with knowledge of the original film, notorious for its gruesome and creative visual effects work, may also appreciate or be curious about how it has been remade, in particular given the involvement of Elijah Wood, an actor instantly recognisable for his work in the Lord Of The Rings trilogy.

The widespread use of first-person perspective is problematic however for portraying events so entirely from Frank's point-of-view, in effect allying the viewer with his view of the women he kills, and encouraging vicarious participation. The film itself does nothing to counter Frank's own warped view of women as sexy, promiscuous, and unobtainable, and somehow deserving of their deaths. The measured way in which Frank is able to track, subdue, and butcher all these women, without the interference of police or members of the public, creates a sadistic fantasy that revels in depicting women's helplessness and cruel murder.

The publication contains highly offensive language, in particular use of the word fuck. Emulation of this language such as by impressionable young viewers would result in serious harms that could include alienation or intimidation.

The dominant effect of the publication as a whole is of a technically-proficient remake of a 1980s cult horror film that depicts sadistic acts of violence aimed mostly at women. Given the preponderance of scenes shot from the killer's point-of-view the murders could be read as a discourse about violence in film, our responses to it, our complicity and awareness of taking enjoyment from a killer's twisted fantasy, however a likelier reading is that the film merely presents the fantasy itself.

The unrestricted availability of the publication is likely to be injurious to the public good. The feature is an unsubtle portrait of a serial killer who targets women in cruel ways; the murders are depicted in first-person perspective, inviting a viewer's vicarious participation. This material would be highly disturbing and shocking to children and teenagers, and indeed most adults. While the feature does not actively promote or support this material, the tacit invitation to enjoy cruel and violent behaviour through its first-person portrayal and packaging as entertainment is likely to lead to an erosion of empathy for some viewers. The misogynistic representation of women adds to this likely injury.

Given the characteristics of this film in particular the POV stalking of women and their graphic murders, the Office has a concern around the availability of this film in other mediums or on general theatrical release. The Classification Office is of the opinion that its availability is likely to be injurious to the public good unless restricted to adults in settings of bona fide film festival screenings or tertiary film studies.

If the exaggeration of harm caused by the commonly used 'fuck' is anything to go by I think the views of New Zealand censor can be safely dismissed as hysterical nonsense:

The publication contains highly offensive language, in particular use of the word fuck. Emulation of this language such as by impressionable young viewers would result in serious harms that could include alienation or intimidation.

Update: The distributor replies

27th July 2013.  See article [pdf] from

It would appear that the NZ OFLC take particular offense at the use of a devise within the film that shows the murders from the killers POV, suggesting that this device invites the viewers vicarious participation in the murders and could cause an erosion of empathy to those exposed to the film.

Monster Pictures reject this claim outright. Horror is a cinematic genre enjoyed by millions of healthy, well-adjusted people around the world, these people demand films that challenge and disturb them, it is the most basic tenet of the genre. To suggest, that exposure to a film such as MANIAC lessens the impact of real violence to these viewers or could somehow lead to incidence of real violence is preposterous and as far as we are concerned, is supported by no genuine evidence.

The NZ OFLC also suggest in their report that MANIAC would be highly disturbing and shocking to children and teenagers, and indeed most adults. , Monster Pictures agree, so why then does the OFLC turn its back on its own rating system? which, in our opinion, very effectively rates motion pictures and also provides very adequate consumer advice to would-be-buyers. Our experience suggests that banning the film does little to deter viewers in fact it works to the contrary, adding to the notoriety of the film and encouraging illegal access to the film to people of all ages, without the benefit of rating or consumer advice.

The decision to restrict legal exhibition of MANIAC to film festivals and institutions of tertiary film studies would seem to infer that rank-and-file members of the public would be ill-equipped to deal with the horror depicted within the film. Again we reject this notion and believe it to be little more than a pompous slur on the intelligence of the adult cinema going population of New Zealand.



Despicable Censorship...

World War Z and Despicable Me 2 banned in China

Link Here25th July 2013

This week, Chinese film censors gave the green light to Sony Pictures s 3D comedy The Smurfs 2 for domestic distribution, while previously rejecting the Brad Pitt zombie thriller World War Z and the children's cartoon Despicable Me 2.

No reasons for the decisions were given, but it could be for a wider set of reasons than excessive sex or violence or whatever. Chinese film censors have previously banned films for such diverse reasons as being too upbeat, or being too competitive compared with local films.



Less Slashed...

Director James Mangold reveals the possibility of an Unrated cut of the Wolverine

Link Here23rd July 2013

The Wolverine is a 2013 USA action Sci-Fi fantasy by James Mangold.
With Hugh Jackman, Rila Fukushima and Will Yun Lee. IMDb

Digital Spy has interviewed director James Mangold and revealed that a longer Unrated cut may appear on Blu-ray.

Digital Spy: How long is your first cut of the movie and are there any scenes you had to lose that'll make it to the DVD?

James Mangold : I'm very happy with the cut, and the studio was very generous in terms of letting me finish the movie as I wanted, but I do think we will have a slightly more violent version... let's say an unrated, a bloodier version. There's about ten or 12 minutes of scenes that I'd love people to see, that we'll produce some kind of longer version of the movie at some point on Blu-ray or whatever. There's another great scene with Hiro Sanada and a much more elaborate battle with ninjas from the third act that is a pretty huge battle sequence that you'll see.




Complaints about cleft lip makeup for baddie in the Lone Ranger

Link Here23rd July 2013

Cleft palate support groups have hit out at Disney's new summer film The Lone Ranger , amid accusations that the villain was given a birth defect to make him look more evil .

Disney's promotional material for the film said of William Fichtner's character Butch Cavendish: Cavendish is a ruthless outlaw whose terribly scarred face is a perfect reflection of the bottomless pit that passes for his soul. Fichtner told entertainment reporters that his broken nose and cleft lip made it easier to slip into his role, and meant he didn't need to act any more evil because it was obvious from his face.

The Cleft Lip and Palate Association (CLAPA) issued a statement saying Disney was cashing in on prejudice , and urged its members to lodge complaints with the film's producers.

Even the official set of The Lone Ranger Lego toys features a small Butch Cavendish with a very prominent cleft lip. In an open letter to executives at Lego, a member of the US community website babycenter wrote: You make toys for children and these toys (often wonderfully) impact how they perceive or create the world.

CLAPA said Disney was sending out:

A deeply harmful message that will impact the 90,000 people that were born with a cleft in the UK as well as others worldwide. What message does this send to movie-goers about people with a cleft or anyone with a visible difference? What message does it send to those who have a cleft themselves about how they are seen by society?

Across the Atlantic, the Toronto Star reported Rachel Mancuso, who runs the website, as saying she had received around 1,000 emails a day from people complaining about the film. She told the Star: As a parent and educator, I'm having a hard time understanding why they had to create a bad guy and slap on the number one birth defect.



Update: Cuts Now a Dead Issue...

Fede Alvarez declares the cut theatrical version of Evil Dead to be his Director's Cut

Link Here17th July 2013

Director Fede Alvarez was interviewed about work on the sequel. During the Interview Alvarez explained that the cut Theatrical Version of his Evil Dead remake is now considered to be his 'Director's Cut'.

Alvarez : It's easy to come up with crazy, violent scenes, the hard part is to get an R rating and not an NC17. It's a crazy game of standing right on the line, on top of the line, juggling the ideas, and not falling on the NC17 line. Because nobody puts an NC17 movie in wide release these days. So basically that's the real challenge, how we managed to be violent, and crazy, and outrageous and keep it inside the R-rating, which is basically timing it right.

Collider: Did you end up having to cut a lot to make that rating?

Alvarez : I think all we did to get the R-rating was basically just cut down the frames, the amount of time we exposed the audience to certain images. Like when Mia was cutting her tongue or Natalie was cutting her arm. There's a lot of graphic violence that instead of showing it for two seconds we have to just show it for one second on the screen. So that's what we lost on the editing floor when we cut it down to an R-rating. That was it basically. There were no scenes that were cut out just for that reason.

Alvarez : Do you have any intention of ever putting those seconds back on the film and releasing a director's cut?

Alvarez : Eventually if they do that. I don't know it's really not up to me. Usually you always see first cut is an extended version, because it's basically everything you shot, and you have that version and then you start cutting stuff out. Just to pick up the pace or sometimes stuff didn't work out the way you wanted it to so you cut it out. Definitely my favorite cut is the one that got put out. That's my favorite version of the film, the one that I put in theaters. That's my directors cut, there's no question about it. The producers that could have come in and said, We're going to cut this a different way . That never happened. Sam saw my cut and said That the version that it's supposed to be. The cut I showed him was the cut I put out there. So what everybody saw in the theaters is the director's cut, and this first DVD is the director's cut.



Flying Fish...

Movie banned in Sri Lanka after film festival showing offends the military

Link Here15th July 2013

Igillena maluwo (Flying Fish) is a 2011 Sri Lanka drama by Sanjeewa Pushpakumara.
With Chaminda Sampath Jayaweera, Rathnayaka Marasinghe and Siththi Mariyam. YouTube icon IMDb

In light of the controversy arisen over a the screening of the Sinhala film Igilena Malu (Flying Fish) at a French Film Festival last week, the Public Performance Board (PPB) has said they are seeking Attorney General's advice regarding the course of action that should be followed in the future, when being notified or providing approval for foreign film festivals held in Sri Lanka.

PPB Chairman Gamini Sumanasekara speaking to Daily Mirror said they decided to seek legal advice concerning the specifications of the legal provisions granted to the PPB since at present, they are not equipped with the legal provisions to take action against screenings of any films that might contain material that might not agree with local audiences, at foreign film festivals held in Sri Lanka.

The French Film festival organized by the Embassy of France, was scheduled for June 18 to July 14 was suspended immediately it was subjected to criticism and controversy following the screening of the Sinhala movie Flying Fish on July 11.

The controversy arose due to its content that supposedly features degrading and offensive content regarding the armed forces of Sri Lanka.

Concurrently, the Defense Ministry too has launched an investigation into the film and its contents. Director General of the Media Center for National Security, Lakshman Hulugalle commenting on the investigation that has been initiated:

This film's contents , we have been told, depicts an offensive and derogatory image of the Sri Lankan armed forces. Therefore, we have decided to launch an investigation into its contents.

Meanwhile, the Embassy of France pointed out that it had obtained censor approval for the showing:

The Embassy received from the Public Performances Board the certifications authorizing the screening of all these movies. The conditions put to the screening of Flying Fish, such as its one time only presentation to a selected invited audience without children have been respected.



Censorship Scheme...

Film censorship continuing in Burma

Link Here10th July 2013

A tame love scene in local director Thiha Tin Than's latest film set off  complaints among audiences and local press, causing the movie to be sent back to the government censorship board for cutting.

Mar Yar Myar Tae Alin Kar (Scheme) was briefly screened in the country before 'uproar' among audiences over a bedroom scene.

Scheme is a domestic drama about a man who kidnaps his own wife, and the scene in question is tame by most international standards. The couple chat on a satin-sheeted bed, they kiss, they remain fully clothed and then, with a soundtrack of dramatic music, oral sex is suggested off-camera through shots of intertwined hands and clenched toes with gold sparkling nail polish. The implication was apparently too much for audiences.

It was simply a bed scene, not even sexual, says Lu Min, an actor and chairman of the Myanmar Motion Picture Association, who stared in an earlier film version of the same story without the bedroom scene ten years ago. But the less educated audience still cannot accept that, he adds.



The Golden Age of Censorship...

Russia starts work on a morality code for film makers

Link Here9th July 2013

Veteran Russian directors Karen Shakhnazarov and Marlen Khutsiyev have been included in a working group charged with developing a morality code for the Russian film industry, an idea originally suggested by President Vladimir Putin. The working group was formed under the auspices of the Russian Union of Filmmakers.

Putin suggested that it could improve the quality of local films and curb violence on Russian screens. More recently, he gave the example of the US Hays code, the restrictive censorship rules used by the U.S. film industry from 1930 to 1968. Rinat Davletyarov, head of the Russian guild of producers, supported his president claiming that the Hays Code coincided with Hollywood's Golden Age.

Meanwhile director Andrei Proshkin, who heads KinoSoyuz, an alternative union of filmmakers, ridiculed the idea, adding that the existing legislation is sufficient to deal with ethical issues.

The deadline set by Putin for developing the morality code is Oct. 1, 2013.



Extract: Paradoxocracy...

A Thai director outlines the difficulties of making a film about democracy

Link Here9th July 2013

Pen-ek Ratanaruang, one of Thailand's most celebrated working directors, has often represented his country abroad at international festivals. But with his latest project, the 51-year-old director has trained his attention inward, exploring the fraught and complicated modern political history of his homeland.

Paradoxocracy begins with the 1932 Siamese Revolution, which transformed Thailand from an absolute monarchy to a constitutional one, and works its way up to the present day, chronicling the country's major political revolutions, movements, and countless coups along the way.

The starting Point: Thai's are taught that democracy is a gift from a king

Pen-ek: We always went to vote, but like a lot of people, we didn't really know anything. While researching we went back to look at standard Thai textbooks and we found that very little is written about this in the education system-- just two lines in official school books about the birth of democracy in Thailand. Not only that but the textbooks suggest that King Rama 7 is actually the father of democracy -- that he gave us democracy. But, in reality, that's not the case. There was a huge revolution and fights and a struggle to win power for the people -- but we were never told that in school. We were all told that this king was so generous that he gave us democracy.

Muted by the Censor Board

Interviewer: So the film displays the ways the government required you to censor it quite boldly. The Thai dialog goes silent in several segments -- for as long as 30 seconds -- and the English subtitles are blacked out in an intentionally garish way.

Cinema tries to prevent people viewing the film it is showing

Interviewer : There have been reports that Major Cineplex, where it was shown, intentionally made it hard for people to buy tickets for the film. What was going on there?

Pen-ek: It was the first time in the history of the world, where a cinema put a film in their theaters, but tried to not sell any tickets. They lied to us and lied to people trying to attend the film. But they couldn't stop showing it, because all the media had their eyes on them. They didn't list the film on their website, they took it down from the signs. When people called to ask when it was playing they would say it wasn't showing there. Then people would call us and we'd say, no, they're lying, just go and buy a ticket at the booth. Thankfully, they would still sell you a ticket if you showed up and directly asked to buy one. They were just paranoid and afraid of political repercussions. This is the climate we live in. They panic. But it's very baseless. There were also two other cinema chains that were early allies with us, but they pulled out once they saw the rough cut.

...Read the full interview



Offsite Article: Censorship and the Sydney Film Festival...

Link Here7th July 2013
An interesting interview with David Stratton, long standing festival director

See article from



Obituary: Jim Kelly...

Actor and karate expert from Enter the Dragon dies aged 67

Link Here2nd July 2013

US actor and karate expert Jim Kelly, who starred with Bruce Lee in Enter the Dragon , has died at the age of 67. He died on Saturday of cancer at his home in California.

Kelly became famed for his cool one-liners and fight scenes as the charismatic Williams in the 1973 martial arts classic. His other films included Black Belt Jones, Three the Hard Way, Golden Needles and the Black Samurai .

In an interview with the LA Times in 2010, Kelly said:

I broke down the colour barrier - I was the first black martial artist to become a movie star. It's amazing to see how many people still remember that, because I haven't really done much, in terms of movies, in a long time.

Here is Jim Kelly's filmography from his prime.

  • 1978 Black Belt Jones 2
  • 1977 Black Samurai
  • 1976 Hot Potato
  • 1976 One Down, Two to Go
  • 1975 Take a Hard Ride
  • 1974 Golden Needles
  • 1974 Three the Hard Way
  • 1974 Black Belt Jones
  • 1973 Enter the Dragon

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