Harry Novak (January 12, 1928 -- March 26, 2014), the sexploitation king, produced and distributed a
prolific number of exploitation films from the early 60s to the mid-70s, including William Rotsler's cult classics The Agony of Love and Mantis in Lace and the influential monster nudie Kiss Me Quick ! among many others.
His mondo documentary film Mondo Mod is considered a seminal surfer cult movie, offering early glimpses of southern California's surfing and biker subcultures, and was a film that proved successful enough that it was eventually distributed
widely to North American drive-ins by exploitation powerhouse Box Office International Pictures
But really, Wiki's selected filmography best describes his enormous contribution to the exploitation genre:
Indonesia's film-censorship board has banned Darren Aronofsky's upcoming movie Noah on the grounds that it showed an image of Noah who is considered to be a prophet in the religion of islam.
The censorship board defended its decision
claiming that the film was against religious teachings and values. Zainut Tauhid Sa'adi, a member of the board, told the Indonesian news portal Detik.com:
We have our own authority. We adjust it in accordance with
society's values which uphold religious and unity values. We won't just follow in the footsteps of another country.
The chairman of the censorship board said the story presented in Noah ran counter to the relevant verses in the
religious book, the Koran. Mukhlis Paeni told the Indonesian news portal Merdeka.com:
There are many considerations. The first thing is the content of Noah is against our beliefs or not according to the story in the
Respected Indonesian film director Joko Anwar criticized the country's Film Censorship Board (LSF) for its narrow-minded ban:
If there is a fear that the film will cause unrest and
protest from some groups then the government should create a situation conducive to people growing up instead of always limiting them to a narrow-minded condition.
We don't need to get worried about a movie which they claim might
corrupt religious teachings. Nowadays, with the easy access to YouTube, banning a movie is a waste of effort. Secondly, if we are talking about film, we should see it as a work of art. Art is an interpretation of the filmmaker, so it should not be
These are good times for British film fans. The UK is lucky to have some of the best DVD labels in the world ( Arrow , the BFI , Masters of Cinema , Odeon , Second Run , Second Sight , Nucleus...) producing essential releases of that cater for every
But this golden age could be coming to an end, courtesy of some well-meaning government legislation. From May, the way home video material is classified is changing: material that is currently exempt from classification will have to be vetted
by the BBFC.
The Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) decided that the best way to stem the tide of tabloid claims of pop video filth is to tighten up BBFC ratings. And they came up with some new and expensive regulations.
change is that any documentary material that contains clips of things that might be considered unsuitable for children will no longer be exempt from classification. So any DVD extra (an interview, for example) that contains a clip from the main
feature will have to be scrutinised again. A single use of the word 'fuck' is enough to put the work in 12 rated territory and hence need expensive vetting by the BBFC.
A 90 minute film on DVD/Blu-ray will set you back
£ 615 plus VAT, according to the fee calculator on their website. No big deal to the major labels but potentially calamitous for the knife-edge economics of the independent sector. It was Marc Morris, of Nucleus Films who first sounded the
alarm about these changes and he offers a case study of the impact they'll have on industry.
The documentary Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide proved a big hit, but parts of the material, particularly the framing documentary were exempt
from classification. Morris estimates it would cost between £ 6,000- £ 7000 more had the documentary been made after the new law comes in.
Alan Byron, MD of Odeon
The economics behind collector's releases will now dictate that extra features are reduced and more vanilla editions will appear.
It goes without saying that all this was
pushed through without consulting any of the labels it affects -- and there's been virtually no communication from either the DCMS or BBFC to explain that the changes were even happening
Francesco Simeoni of Arrow Films concurs:
The new legislation has serious implications for niche labels, says . Our audience is very much on an international level and so we must compete with territories that do not have to contend with such costs. Whether we
choose to include content for our releases has a whole new set of financial considerations which means we are at a significant disadvantage to our competitors.
We know all this, and it's not as bad as this article is making out. The BBFC podcast explains in great detail about scrapping the E certificate, and it's not about suffocating the industry. It's
about informing the public about what the contents are in the DVD which some viewers might find objectionable, which gives them a choice on whether to watch it, or not.
This is not the 80s, the Whitehouse/Ferman days are long
The Hospital is a 2013 USA horror by Tommy Golden and Daniel Emery Taylor. With Jim O'Rear, Daniel Emery Taylor and John Dugan.
UK: Passed 18 uncut by the BBFC for strong violence, sex and sexual violence for:
2014 Point Blank R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 3rd March 2014 (But read the reviews first, some are
Tesco censors have removed a horror film featuring strong sexual violence from sale in all stores nationwide after being alerted to the content by the Citizen, a local newspaper.
The Hospital is rated 18 by the BBFC and was on sale for
£ 8 in a Gloucester Tesco store. The theme of the film was about snuff movies being filmed at the abandoned hospital. It features scenes of rape of both men and women as well as scenes of sexual torture
using an electric drill.
Matt Holmes, the easily shocked and rather unobservant Content Editor of the Citizen, said:
I love horror films and I am not easily shocked... BUT ... I wasn't prepared for
the graphic sexually violent scenes depicted in this film.
I would have no problem with the film being sold online or available for rent but I didn't expect to see it for sale in Tesco.
I was also surprised
having watched it that there was nothing on the cover warning of the extreme nature of the content as you normally see on films like this.
Actually the DVD's cover describes the film as bloody, violent and creepy as hell and
said it was the sickest film since Rosemary's baby. (admittedly Rosemary's baby is hardly the 'sickest' film around)
The newspaper adds that the BBFC warning does not make reference to the extreme sexually violent content of the film.
Actually the BBFC consumer advice reads: Contains strong violence, sex and sexual violence :.
A Tesco spokesperson said:
The Hospital is approved for general release and rated 18. However,
on this occasion, we've made the judgement to remove it from sale. We are always pleased to listen to feedback and remain focused on offering the most popular titles to our customers.
The steamy Danish drama Nymphomaniac: Volume 1 hits US multiplexes in limited release Friday.
Distributor Magnolia submitted the sexually-graphic Nymphomaniac to the Motion Picture Association of America ratings board earlier this year, and
unsurprisingly it came back with an NC-17. Instead of submitting to the MPAA's edit suggestions for an R rating, Magnolia decided to release the film unrated. Magnolia's sr. vice-president of marketing and publicity Matt Cowal told TheWrap:
It's not a huge distinction. But we went this route rather than accept the restrictions on promotions and marketing materials that an NC-17 would require.
In the last five years, more than 1,000 movies
have been released without a rating, while only three have gone out with an NC-17. The most recent prior to Blue is the Warmest Color was William Friedkin's Killer Joe , which grossed almost $2 million in 2012; the top-grossing was
Steve McQueen's Shame , which grossed $3.9 million in 2011.
So while many exhibitors shy away from unrated fare, Magnolia will turn to independents and smaller chains for screens when it expands over the next few weeks.
critics have been impressed but at this point no one expects Nymphomaniac to run up major grosses.
One of the lots at a sale of historical memorabilia at Whyte's auction room in Dublin caught the eye:
A 1962 poster for the first James Bond movie, Dr No, with a dress hand-painted over the original bikini-clad image of
Ursula Andress, and described by the auctioneers as the dying vestige of Irish censorship (EUR600-EUR800).
China's film censor is planning to decentralize the censorship process for local movies, granting bureaus in the provinces the power to censor films.
As it stands, filmmakers face lengthy waiting periods for approval of their movies from the Film
Bureau in Beijing (SARFT), which is part of the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.
The move is due to happen in April and is limited to local films. The censorship of imported Hollywood films, and
co-productions with international firms, will remain under the control of the central Film Bureau in Beijing.
SARFT will retain responsibility for the censorship of national films, for censoring movies produced by central government and military
film production companies, and the censorship of imported films and co-productions with overseas firms. It will also be responsible for reviewing the films that are censored by the provincial bureaus, responsible for handling the film release license and
responsible for the censorship of the film if the film production company has some objections to the decision..
Censor boards in Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates have informed Paramount they will not release the Biblical epic which is release later this month. Similar rulings are expected in Egypt, Jordan and Kuwait, according to Paramount insiders.
The National Media Council (NMC), the UAE film censor, confirmed that the film had been banned for reasons of religious intolerance. Juma Obaid Al Leem, director of the Media Content Tracking Department at the NMC said:
The film conflicts with all religions. Out of respect for these religious sentiments, we are banning the film.
In Egypt, the leading Sunni Muslim institute Al-Azhar issued a statement condemning the movie, saying
it should be banned in that country.
Al-Azhar renews its rejection to the screening of any production that characterizes Allah's prophets and messengers and the companions of the Prophet [the religious character
Muhammad], the statement read. Therefore, Al-Azhar announces the prohibition of the upcoming film about the Allah's messenger Noah.
The film was not without censorship issues in the US. The studio was said to be concerned that the
director's version may not go down well with the religious. However screenings with test audiences did not convince the studio that was a need for change. So the original director's version got the go ahead. However as a gesture of goodwill toward
religious groups, Paramount agreed to alter the marketing materials for Noah to make clear that it is a creative rather than a literal adaptation of the Bible story. A disclaimer was added to posters:
The film is
inspired by the story of Noah. While artistic license has been taken, we believe that this film is true to the essence, values and integrity of a story that is a cornerstone of faith for millions of people worldwide. The biblical story of Noah can be
found in the Book of Genesis.
Turkish censors have banned Danish director Lars Von Trier's cmovie epic Nymphomaniac from theatres for its extensive nudity and no-holds-barred sex scenes.
The first part was planned to be screened in Turkey on March 14 and the second part
on March 21. But Turkey's cinema board, which includes representatives from the culture, interior and education ministries, banned the movie outright by a majority vote on Monday.
Yamac Okur, a dissenting member of the board, said the decision was
tantamount to censorship .
Barring any cinema movie from commercial screening is unacceptable. It could have been displayed by age rating. Otherwise, it is censorship.
The horror genre has long been plagued by issues of censorship. Director Jake West exhumes its history in his latest film Feature by Chris Fyvie:
It encourages us to understand history, and to see the kind of things
that happen with moral panics, says director Jake West of his new documentary, Video Nasties: Draconian Days , which covers the passing of the notorious Video Recordings Act of 1984 and the heavy-handed tenure of James Ferman as director of
It was a period that must be almost unfathomable for a generation of genre fans now able to access any and all uncut material at the click of a mouse, where films were arbitrarily subjected to the scissor treatment by
overzealous bastions of perceived good taste:
You had a huge amount of censorship going on, and often there was nothing clear from the BBFC as to what their policies were or why they were doing this; they were kind
of making it up as they went along.
Day two of FrightFest in Glasgow saw the world premiere of Jake West's documentary Video Nasties: Draconian Days .
Draconian Days is a fascinating and thorough continuation of the first documentary, and director Jake West, producer Marc
Morris and the BBFC's David Hyman were on hand for a Q&A after its premiere. Mostly revolving around the audience sharing their memories from the video nasty era.
Starting with the Video Recordings Act of 1984, the documentary mainly revolves
around James Ferman's BBFC era until 1999. Hyman (who appears in the film) feels that the documentary captures the tightrope Ferman had to walk without being overly anti-BBFC.
I think it's well balanced in the
sense that it shows James Ferman was caught between a rock and a hard place, explained Hyman. His instincts were to support film-makers because he thought he could identify with them, but he also had to serve the public trust so he couldn't really please
anybody most of the time.
Initially, Anthony Burgess liked what he saw -- or, at least, he said he liked what he saw -- when Stanley Kubrick eventually deigned to meet and give him a private screening of the completed film. During production, Malcolm McDowell had asked
Kubrick if he ever met with Burgess to discuss the project.
Oh good God, no! exclaimed Kubrick. Why would I want to do that?
McDowell surmised, Kubrick didn't want interference from the
author, who probably didn't know the first thing about making a movie.
Watching the completed film, Burgess didn't hold it against Kubrick when his wife, repulsed by its choreographed sex and violence, asked to leave the
screening room after a mere ten minutes. Initially, he even managed to tell the press, This is one of the great books that has been made into a great film.
Maybe he meant what he said. Or maybe he simply wanted to persuade
Kubrick to direct his screenplay Napoleon Symphony. In the following weeks, as well as years, Burgess would radically reassess his opinion of A Clockwork Orange the movie.
3.50 is a 2013 Cambodia/Singapore crime thriller by Chhay Bora. With Doung Cheanick, Leang Honglee and Eunice Olsen.
When a young Cambodian village girl is sold off into prostitution, a brash
American documentary filmmaker ventures deep into the underbelly of Phnom Penh to pursue her story and rescue the girl, crossing paths with various other lives affected by the unspeakable terrain of the country's virginity trade.
film has been banned in Cambodia. Not quite officially banned, it's just that the censors won't issue a certificate:
Filmmaker Chhay Bora, who directed the yet-to-be released 3.50 , said that the censorship board has
never explained to him their grounds for evaluating movies.
It's like walking in the jungle with no road map to follow, said Bora, whose film on sex trafficking was supposed to be released last October but never received
final approval. Although his script was approved, Bora said that the censorship board has failed to reach a verdict on the final version. No specific cuts have been ordered by the ministry, he said, but feedback he received suggested that censorship
board members were concerned about the movie's heavy social commentary.
The Ministry of Culture film department said they didn't ban the film, but they didn't grant the licence yet, said Bora, adding that although the
film's dialogue did not seem to cause controversy, the censorship board expressed concern over not less than 10 shots. Some of the criticism, Bora said, was over shots that the board claimed represented Cambodia in a bad light, such as a taxi
driver throwing a cigarette out the window and a scene within the impoverished White Building community on Sothearos Boulevard.
Bora also said that other scenes were too political for the censors' comfort, such as a shot of
a character walking down a dusty road with Prime Minister Hun Sen's office visible in the background.
Bora also said that the board insisted that all plot conflicts be resolved before the credits roll. In particular one of his
characters, after escaping a brothel, is last seen joining a group of other former sex workers instead of trying to return home. Her ultimate fate is never revealed, but the possibility of her returning to sex work is not ruled out.
The censors said: why don't you find a solution for her, to find an NGO or new job? And I said that's not my job. The filmmaker has no possibility to solve the social problem.
An advertising poster of two men in a passionate embrace has been censored by Brisbane City Council'.
Lifestyle chairman Krista Adams has deemed the image too confronting and banned it, pending a review by the Advertising Standards Board.
The image in question, a parody of Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr's passionate beach embrace in the 1953 film From Here to Eternity , was designed as a publicity poster for the Brisbane Queer Film Festival which begins at the Powerhouse on
The ban could potentially expose the council to liability under the anti-discrimination act, by anybody who feels aggrieved by this decision.
While many in Brisbane's gay community are 'outraged', Powerhouse artistic director Kris
Stewart played down council's decision.
We got word from Krista there were reservations about one of the three images we had planned. My sense was it is a very sexualised image and the decision would have been the same
whether it was two men or a man and a woman.
Pompeii cut for a 12A rated theatrical release after seeking BBFC advice
Pompeii is a 2014 USA/Germany action romance by Paul WS Anderson. With Kit Harington, Carrie-Anne Moss and Emily Browning.
UK: 2D and 3D versions were passed 12A for moderate violence and threat after BBFC advised pre-cuts
for category for:
2014 cinema release
The BBFC commented:
This work was originally seen for advice. The company was advised that the film was likely to receive a 15 certificate but that their preferred 12A classification could be achieved by making some
The company was advised:
to reduce stronger moments of violence where there was a dwelling on particular acts and
to reduce the emphasis on blood on bladed weapons.
When the film was formally submitted, changes had been made which addressed these concerns. Consequently, the film was passed 12A.
Troma's War is a 1998 US action adventure by Michael Herz & Lloyd Kaufman.
With Carolyn Beauchamp, Sean Bowen and Rick Washburn.
massively cut in the US to achieve an R rated theatrical release. This version was released on VHS in the UK without further cuts. However the BBFC cut the Director's Cut for 1992 cinema release. The Director's Cut is available uncut on US DVD.
Kaufman was not impressed with the massive MPAA cuts. He explains:
Troma's War is a very underrated movie, and it got totally fucked by the MPAA . Richard Heffner , who just made a noise like a frog and was president of
the MPAA, told Michael Herz over the phone that our movie stunk. The MPAA is not supposed to do that, and they disemboweled our movie. They took out punches and jokes and things that were perfectly acceptable in movies like Die Hard . I think Heffner's
words were "No fuckin good, or something. It was very unpleasant.
Our violence is, as you know, cartoon violence. That movie followed The Toxic Avenger and Class of Nuke 'Em High , so we had built up some steam. But the only
way we could get into movie theaters in 1986 was with an R rating. And the film was cut down to something like a G-rated movie. I'm very bitter about it; I hope Dr. Heffner burns in hell, quite frankly. And I don't like to speak ill of the dead, but the
nerve, the arrogance, the hubris of his comments!
Snowpiercer is a 2013 South Korea/USA/France action Sci-Fi drama by Joon-ho Bong. With Chris Evans, Tilda Swinton and Luke Pasqualino.
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.
A disagreement between filmmaker and distributor Harvey Weinstein over
length and pacing of the Bong Joon-Ho helmed Snowpiercer has been resolved.
Weinstein bought U.S. rights on the movie back in 2012. A wide release was in the contract, until the director turned in a cut of just beyond two and one-half
hours. Weinstein had a fit of cultural vandalism and demanded that the running time be cut down by 20 minutes.
The resolution is that the director keeps the length of his action film intact but instead of a wide release, it will initially receive
a limited release at a reduced amount if cinemas.
This gives the opportunity for further cinemas to opt to show the uncut movies and so build up a wider release on merit. However the implication is that if the movie doesn't take off in this form
then Weinstein will use this as a justification for trying again with a shortened version.
When Scream Factory revealed it was at work on restoring Clive Barker's original vision of his 1990 directorial effort Nightbreed on Blu-ray. The presumption was that this was going to be The Cabal Cut , a 160-minute cut of the
creature feature that has been making the film festival and convention circuit rounds.
But that is not the case. In John Nicol's Fangoria #330 interview with Seraphim Films' Barker and Mark Miller, it has been revealed that Scream Factory's
presentation will be a Director's Cut. Miller explained:
I've seen footage that hasn't even made it into the version at the screenings. The story is all there. Clive's vision is complete. It's a thing of
beauty. Shout! Factory is going to restore it with tender loving care.
The Cabal Cut was created by us in-house from the footage we found in the storage rooms. This 160-minute beast has every bit of Nightbreed footage we had
access to incorporated into the cut. We put everything we found back in a) just to be able to say we'd seen that version and b) because we needed as much of the proverbial scultpor's rock to chip away from for what would become the finished masterwork:
The Director's Cut.
Miller goes on to say that the restoration process is well underway and that some scenes from The Cabal Cut are being cut or trimmed.
No release date for The Director's Cut has been set.
When director Paul Verhoeven submitted his cut to the MPAA for certification, they weren't at all ready to pass it with the R rating he and Orion Pictures wanted. Scenes such as the melting of Paul McCrane's character, Emil, in a vat of toxic
waste, and the gunning down of an OCP board member by the ED-209 enforcement droid, required pruning to push it down from an X.
Verhoeven resubmitted it repeatedly with fragments shorn off here and there -- somewhere between 12
and 17 times -- until it was finally passed as R. He maintains that the cuts actually rendered the film's violence more disturbing than the over-the-top kind in his original edit, which was restored in its gruesome entirety for an unrated home
The Beyond is a 1981 Italian horror film by Lucio Fulci With Catriona MacColl and David Warbeck.
Cut by the BBFC for cinema release. Then the same version was banned as a nasty. Passed uncut on DVD.
The Beyond is now due for a 2014 Blu-ray release from Grindhouse Releasing
Nightamer maker is a 1982 USA horror by William Asher. With Jimmy McNichol, Susan Tyrrell and Bo Svenson.
Banned as Video Nasty in 1983. Banned again by the BBFC for video in 1987. Not released since
But now set for a 2014 DVD from Code Red
Nightmares in a Damaged Brain is a 1981 USA/Italy horror by Romano Scavolini. With Baird Stafford, Sharon Smith and CJ Cooke.
Cut by the BBFC for cinema release. Then banned as a video nasty. The cut US R rated version was then release without BBFC cuts in the UK. There is a an uncut Unrated version that has yet to be released in the UK
A ban on the second half of Danish director Lars
von Trier's two-part film Nymphomaniac in Romanian cinemas has been reversed. The film will now be released as planned on 7 February.
Its distributor, Independenta Film, called the initial decision to ban Nymphomaniac: Volume II by the CNC
(Centrul National al Cinematografiei) a case of censorship which is unique in Europe .
Georgica Severin, chairman of the Romanian senate's culture committee, also criticised the decision, pointing out the fact that Nymphomaniac: Volume I
was already running in the country's cinemas.
The Hollywood Reporter said the president of the ratings commission, Cristina Corciovescu, had been dismissed and that the film's rating had been changed to Romania's version of an 18 certificate.
It quoted an email from Antoine Bagnaninchi, managing director of Independenta film, which said it was great publicity for the film but very bad for the image of Romania .
The Indian censor board has for the first time cleared a film with scenes of female frontal nudity and shots of bare male posteriors. The Indian audience will get to see celebrated filmmaker Steve McQueen's Golden Globe-winner and Oscar-nominated in
12 Years A Slave (without the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) having used its scissors.
Director Steve McQueen is said to be thrilled:
As a filmmaker, I needed to see the lashes on the back. I
needed to see the psychological effect afterward. If I hadn't done that, I would have done a disservice because that evidence had to be shown. The lynching had to be depicted in the best possible manner because it happened to hundreds of thousands of
people. As someone whose ancestors experienced it, I needed to do it the way I did it.
Actor Michael Fassbender says the frontal nude shots and exposed derrieres are necessary because that's the reality of it . If we really
want to do justice to Solomon's story, who are we to censor it?
The film initially faced six cuts, but a revising committee gave it a green signal without cuts. CBFC spokesperson Anjum Rajabali told dna:
Years a Slave was given clearance based on merit after it was felt that the scenes were necessary and that cutting them would take away from the film itself. However, this does not mean a blanket approval for nudity in adult-only films.
The DVD version of The Wolf of Wall Street will feature another hour's worth of sex scenes and strong language.
Producers confirmed to MailOnline that the movie will feature the extra content and viewers will have the option of watching a
However Joey McFarland and Riza Aziz insisted the most extreme scenes are in the theatrical version already.
McFarland and Aziz, speaking at the Directors Guild of America Awards, revealed Scorsese originally shot a
four-hour version, which was edited down for its initial release. The extra 60 minutes will be released in the DVD and Blu Ray release later this spring.
When asked bout extra strong language, Aziz said:
figure another 25% more! I've never done an F Bomb count. I am sure there's plenty more!'
And for nude scenes, I think a bit, the sex scenes run a little longer but nothing extreme.'
I think we are going to have some good surprises to be honest with you the movie is not much different in its longer form, it's just longer versions of scenes.
Hollywood studio head Harvey Weinstein has produced some of the most violent films of the last 30 years, but he says that's all in the past now.
Speaking to CNN's Pierce Morgan, Weinstein pledged to choose projects that aren't violent or as
violent as they used to be as he gears up to make a film that takes aim at the National Rifle Association.
Weinstein told Morgan he was inspired to take on a project carrying a strong anti-gun message in the wake of the 2012 massacre at Sandy
Hook Elementary School in Connecticut that claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults.
Since announcing the as yet untitled project starring screen legend Meryl Streep this week, Weinstein has come under sharp criticism from gun rights
Republican Senator Ted Cruz wasted no time calling the head of the studio that produced so many of Quentin Tarantino's blood-soaked blockbusters, including Reservoir Dogs, Pulp Fiction and Django Unchained, a hypocrite.
Rumors continue to fly about the upcoming 50 Shades of Grey movie. According to the latest claims, Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson's love scenes will be significantly toned down. The studio is reportedly going for the R rating and NOT NC-17, as
According to one source who spoke with Sunday People , fans of the novel may be a bit disappointed.
Likely, this is being done in order to ensure that the MPAA will rate the film R and not NC-17. If the movie receives the latter
rating, its distribution and ticket sales will suffer greatly.
A storm of protest greeted publication of new guidelines by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC). It always does. Children as young as 15 are to be allowed to watch films filled with obscene language, reported one newspaper. As a
former chief film censor myself, I don't object to these expressions of outrage, though they are often unfair. For the activity comprises an unarguably good bit -- classifying films on grounds of suitability for different age groups in order to help
parents. And also a controversial bit -- preventing people watching what they might otherwise wish to see, indeed interfering with their freedom.
In these circumstances, you should be exposed to vociferous challenge.
Another lesson you learn as a censor is that the BBFC must take society as it is, rather than seek to change it, as various pressure groups would wish. I believe this stance to be completely realistic. How
could a body employing just 60 people, managed by a handful of executives, have any expectation of holding back movements in social behaviour against which the government itself, the political classes more generally and the major faiths fail to have an
This powerlessness is going to become more acute. Because today's parents, as a result of developments in technology and the social media, are losing control of their children's viewing habits. The plethora of devices
means the dynamics of film-viewing -- in terms of frequency, audience and impact -- has greatly changed in the past few years.
The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) has banned the sale, exhibition and distribution of a Hollywood film The Wolf of Wall Street.
When contacted, the board's communications office said the film has been restricted due to elements that
include nudity, sex, alcohol, drugs and profanity.
She said that the board has the mandate to restrict the distribution of a film if it tends to prejudice the maintenance of public order or offend decency, or the public exhibition or
display of which would in its opinion for any other reason be undesirable in the public interest.
The communications office however clarified that the restriction stands for five years and can be reviewed again.
Sarawak Report has heard that movie theatres have decided it is not worth even trying to show The Wolf of Wall Street at all in cinemas in Malaysia. One movie business insider, who has made enquiries, told Sarawak Report:
I spoke with some film industry contacts in Malaysia and I'm told 'Wolf of Wall Street' was originally on the schedule for a local release, but after exhibitors saw the film, they realised there was no way they could get away with
screening it in the country, due to the drugs, nudity, profanity.
The Wolf of Wall Street is a 2013 USA crime comedy biography by Martin Scorsese. With Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill and Margot Robbie.
The National Media Council (NMC), the UAE film censor, has weighed in on the uproar
caused by Hollywood film The Wolf of Wall Street in the UAE. Audiences of the Martin Scorsese film, which released on Thursday, have complained that scenes were haphazardly chopped and dialogues muted, making most of it incomprehensible.
The film's runtime is 180 minutes on IMDb but cinemas in the UAE, however, list it at 135 minutes.
It seems that the film was massively pre-cut so that a single version could be distributed throughout the Gulf region. Juma Obaid Al Leem, director of the Media Content Tracking Department at the NMC said that the cuts were made even before it
came under their review:
We didn't touch the film. The distributor already made the cut [when it came to us]. When we asked the distributors, they said they cut all those scenes and words, because they want to
distribute the film in GCC.
Al Leem added that, following complaints from moviegoers, the NMC has instructed distributors to leave the editing to them.
[We have told them] next time, don't touch the
film. We will make the cuts. We will decide. Maybe some scenes will be accepted. Don't make any cut outside till they bring the full film and we will decide about the film, he said. We told them very clearly.
Reel Cinemas at The Dubai
Mall posted disclaimers outside its box office:
The Wolf of Wall Street contains muted words, and some scenes have been removed as they were not considered suitable. Reel Cinemas has no control on the censorship and we
apologise for an inconveniences caused.
Not only is the BBFC press release rather vague, but the consultation report is
contradictory. Time and time again, we are told that the majority agreed with the BBFC's classification of certain films, yet the only people quoted most of the time are those who disagree.
One could easily imagine the Board are
allowing the vocal but irrational opinions of the minority to hold sway, in search of an easy life -- censoring and classifying according to the delusions of the most censorial. But that would be silly, wouldn't it?
Board wouldn't survey so many people, be told -- as they continually boast -- that they are getting it right, and then still tighten up restrictions because some people are too dumb to realise that Ted isn't a kid's film, too weak minded to be able to
tell their kids that ghosts are not real - When you bring in supernatural, where you can't explain it away, then you have got problems. (Female, with children 6 -- 10) - or so prudish that they are shocked by the use of arse and crap
in a U rated film?
The Daily Mail picks up on the relaxation of strong language in the 12 and 15 categories. The changes are:
BBFC Guidelines 2009
BBFC Guidelines 2014
Strong language at
Moderate language is allowed.
The use of strong language (for example, ‘fuck’) must be infrequent.
(In practice this meant a maximum of 4 or 5 uses of 'fuck' in a 12 rated film)
There may be moderate language.
Strong language may be permitted, depending on the manner in which it is used, who is using the language, its frequency within the work as a whole and any
special contextual justification
Strong language at 15
There may be frequent use of strong language (for example, ‘fuck’).
The strongest terms (for example, ‘cunt’) may be acceptable if justified by the context.
Aggressive or repeated use of the strongest language is unlikely to be acceptable.
(In practice there is a limit of 3 or 4 uses of the word 'cunt' assuming them to be non aggressive, non sexual, and not based on power imbalance. In addition these allowed used must be grouped together)
There may be strong language. (ie 'fuck')
Very strong language (ie 'cunt') may be permitted, depending on the manner in which it is used, who is using the
language, its frequency within the work as a whole and any special contextual justification.
The BBFC press release added:
Regarding language, the public wants the BBFC to be more flexible about allowing very strong language at 15. Context, not just frequency, is the most important factor in how
language in films is perceived by the public.
The Daily Mail article spouted:
Children 'as young as 1'5 (sounds so much more outrageous than 15-17 year olds) are to be allowed to watch films filled with obscene language.
Swear words are now
so commonplace among teenagers that age ratings will be relaxed, censors said yesterday.
The British Board of Film Classification claims parents accept it is game over when protecting their children from bad
language. Controversy: The Woman in Black, starring Daniel Radcliffe, received more complaints than any other film in the past four years, according to the British Board of Film Classification
Under the new rules, even
12-year-olds could potentially be exposed to more profanities.
And the Daily Mail rounded up a little outrage from its panel of sound bite campaigners:
Pippa Smith, of the christian moralist campaign, Safermedia
It is truly outrageous -- parents and children are being let down by a regulator who is no longer interested in regulating.
Everyone except the BBFC and broadcast media knows children will
copy the swearing they hear. Films make it cool. We dread to think what this latest announcement will mean for films deemed acceptable by the BBFC -- an industry-funded body --for our children.
Margaret Morrissey, of the family group
Parents Outloud, asked:
If no standards are set by adults, what chance do our children have of being polite and decent grown-ups and parents?
Philip Davies, a Tory MP on the culture, media and sport
select committee, said:
This reflects the general decline in good behavioural standards. It makes children think it's perfectly normal and reasonable to use bad language. I would rather they weren't exposed to even
worse levels of swearing.
They are still children at 15 and are already exposed to things in films at a younger age than I would care for them to be exposed to. I would like to think that people would want to bring up their
children to know that that isn't acceptable.
Vivienne Pattison of Mediawatch said:
Swearing is not tolerated anywhere else in life -- kids can't do it at school, you can't do it in public. So it is
quite extraordinary that they're just saying "Well, it's a free-for-all in 15-rated films". There is this idea that you just have to accept obscene language because we've got an evolving contemporary society and that's just how it is. But,
actually, no we don't.
The Daily Mail leader writer whinged:
In page after page of an exhaustive survey, parents tell the British Board of Film Classification of deep concerns over their children's
exposure to obscene language in the playground and online.
The BBFC's response? With the perverse logic of the liberal intelligentsia, it concludes that the fight to protect the young from words that have become part of their
vernacular is game over , and no longer worth fighting.
Hence its hugely controversial decision to make films containing foul language accessible to ever-younger audiences.
But then what's new? For
decades, the BBFC has brought ever-more graphic obscenities and pornography into mainstream cinema.
Is it any wonder the battle for decency is being lost, when a body set up to defend standards proposes abject surrender?
The BBFC will launch a crackdown on sexual content and swearing in films
The Daily Telegraph featured seemingly contradicted the Daily Mail by saying that the BBFC will launch a crackdown on sexual content and swearing in films. However they were referring to BBFC changes in the children's categories rather than the 12
and 15 categories that were mentioned by the Daily Mail.
The Daily Mail also ran big headlines: Film ratings to be toughened up. Apart from a few lines of BBFC political correct vagaries about sexualisation then the toughening up claim
seems to based on BBFC comments about horror at 12 an 15.
BBFC Guidelines 2009
BBFC Guidelines 2014
Moderate physical and psychological threat may be permitted, provided disturbing sequences are not frequent or sustained.
There may be moderate physical and psychological threat and horror sequences.
Although some scenes may be disturbing, the overall tone should not be.
Horror sequences should not be frequent or sustained.
Threat/Horror at 15
Strong threat and menace are permitted unless sadistic or sexualised.
There may be strong threat and horror.
A sustained focus on sadistic or sexual threat is unlikely to be acceptable.
From my reading of the rather subtle rewording it would appear that one borderline 12/15 film every blue moon may be move from 12 under the old guidelines to 15 under the new guidelines. I think the Telegraph will be disappointed if they think Film
ratings are to be toughened up.
Finally David Cooke reiterates most of what was said in yesterday's press release in a Huffington Post article. But he does make the point that if film censors actually censored according to the wishes of the Daily Mail sound bite panel, then they would
end up simply being ignored:
Public trust is crucial to an organisation such as the BBFC. It is vital that the public - parents in particular - trust that the classification decisions we make reflect their own
sensibilities. If for example, we were to classify depictions of strong, unsimulated sex as suitable for all, or restrict mild language to older teens or adults only, the public would soon start to lose confidence in, and so ignore, the BBFC's
We therefore go to great lengths to ensure that our decisions are in tune with society's concerns.
But, As David Flint comments, it seems a shame that the BBFC go to the trouble of ascertaining
that the majority of the public thought they got it right about, say The Woman in Black, and then somehow give more credence, or at least more column inches of PC pandering propaganda to a handful of whingers and moralists.
Netflix, Lovefilm and the rest are a bit like the cheap DVD racks at your local supermarket, where you pay $10 for a bare-bones copy of a film. No special features, no director's commentary and no director's cut version.
conscious decision, according to Netflix chief product officer Neil Hunt My guess is that there really isn't a case for different versions of a film, he told us at the company's demo of 4K streaming. The studios should deliver the best version,
and that's what we capture. Our job is to get the director's cut and not bother with all the rest of it; there are very, very few users who are going to care about watching the five different versions and geeking out on it. That's probably not an
audience that it's cost-effective and worthwhile to chase.
CUT DOWN Accordingly, for Netflix titles like The Hobbit and Mimic, there's only one version available on the service -- indeed, there's no indication that there are
any other versions available elsewhere. While that's a fair point of view for a company to hold, it does seem a bit short-sighted.
The British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) is publishing new Classification Guidelines today alongside the results of the large-scale public consultation which underpins them. The new Classification Guidelines will come into force on 24 February
Speaking to more than 10,000 members of the public from across the UK from December 2012 and throughout 2013 has highlighted public trust in the film classification system. 95% of parents with children under 15 say they
check the BBFC classification before watching a film and 89% of film viewers consider classification as important. 92% of film viewers agreed with the classification of films and videos they had seen recently, with even the most complained about film of
the past four years, The Woman in Black, receiving 89% support for its 12A rating. Only 11% thought it should have received a higher rating.
Specific changes to the Classification Guidelines as a result of the public consultation
Greater weight will be given to the theme and tone of a film or video, particularly around the 12A/12 and 15 level;
Particular attention will be given to the psychological impact of horror, as well as
strong visual detail such as gore;
Regarding language, the public wants the BBFC to be stricter with the language allowed at U and more flexible about allowing very strong language at 15. Context, not just frequency, is the
most important factor in how language in films is perceived by the public.
A specific issue highlighted by the consultation is in relation to sexual content, where the public is particularly concerned about the sexualisation of girls, and pornography. The content of music videos and the ease of accessibility
of online porn are special worries.
Parents are also concerned about risks to vulnerable adolescents including self-harm, suicide, drug misuse and premature access to sexual content, including what some describe as the normalisation
in films and videos of behaviours which parents consider inappropriate.
David Cooke, Director of the BBFC, says:
Regular public consultation is crucial to continued public trust in what
we do. Our new Classification Guidelines reflect explicitly concerns raised by the public during the 2013 consultation and will, I believe, ensure that we continue to be in step with what the public wants and expects in order to make sensible and
informed viewing decisions.
There is also room for continued improvement. Although it is 12 years old this year, the 12A rating remains confusing for a significant minority, with up to 27% of consumers unable to describe
accurately what 12A means. We and the film industry will work during 2014 to improve understanding of this very important rating as well as raise awareness of BBFCinsight information, which is vital in helping parents decide if a 12A film is suitable for
The new Classification Guidelines are now available online and will come into force in six weeks time, on Monday 24 February 2014. The consultation exercise, which began in December 2012 and was
completed in 2013, involved more than 10,000 members of the public from across the UK, and for the first time involved teenagers as well as their parents. The consultation process issued hundreds of films and videos to households across the UK and asked
for their views on the classification of this material. The research continued through the spring of 2013 with focus groups in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland looking at how the public thinks specific issues, such as sex, violence and
language, in films and videos should be handled. Over the summer several thousand members of the public completed questionnaires about classification generally and about 60 specific films and videos, including some of the most controversial films of the
past four years.
Large-scale public consultation is used to revise the BBFC Classification Guidelines every four to five years and is supplemented with additional in-depth research on specific issues.
The Wolf of Wall Street is a 2013 USA crime comedy biography by Martin Scorsese. With Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill and Margot Robbie.
The Nepal Censor Board has decided to ban the film completely, forcing local
distributors to apologize to their customers who had been waiting to see the movie. The censor chairman Umakanta Parajuli said that the film was banned:
Due to Vulgarity. Nepal is orthodox regarding vulgarity.
Meanwhile in Singapore, fans are calling for a total boycott of the version of the film cut by 4 minutes by the local censors. Movie goers want to be able to watch the original uncensored version.
Martin Scorsese's new film, The Wolf of Wall Street can claim one triumph: no non-documentary film has ever dropped quite so many 'fucks'. According to a report by Variety , with 506 'fucks' in its two-hour, 59-minute running time, Wolf
uses the word approximately 2.81 times a minute.
The previous record holder was Spike Lee's 1999 serial killer drama Summer of Sam , which contained 435 instances of the word.
In an anecdotal ranking compiled by Wikipedia, of films with
150 or more instances of the word, the director's Casino (1995) and GoodFellas (1990) are also in the top 20, with 422 and 300 respectively. Notable by its absence, however, is Scorsese's 1980 film Raging Bull , which contains
perhaps the Oscar-winner's best-known use of the word: when Robert De Niro playing Jake La Motta asks his brother: Did you fuck my wife?
The top 10 contains two British films, Gary Oldman's 1997 directorial debut Nil By Mouth , and
the Welsh crime film Twin Town , from the same year.
The identity of the first use of the expletive on film is disputed, though the word appears in two pictures -- Ulysses and I'll Never Forget What's'isname -- from 1967.
Yet all of the above pale in comparison to the overall record-holder for the most fucks in any film: a documentary about the history of the expletive in question called, simply, Fuck . Director Steve Anderson elicits exclamations of fucks
from a broad selection of celebrities, racking up a surely unbeatable 857, at a rate of 9.21fpm.
Martin Scorsese's forthcoming film The Wolf of Wall Street has been criticised for its sexual scenes and foul language, but it could have been even more explict, according to Margot Robbie, who appears in a nude scene.
actually a lot more risque than the final cut, the Australian actress tells Mandrake at the film's premiere at the Odeon Leicester Square in London. A lot of it got cut in the final edit, so you lot haven't seen the half of it.
Mike Vraney, the founder of Something Weird Video and a pioneer in the discovery, preservation and distribution of thousands of lost and obscure exploitation and sexploitation films, died Thursday following a long battle with lung cancer. Born in 1957,
Vraney had just celebrated his 56th birthday on December 29.
Something Weird, which was founded in 1990, remains in business to this day, offering fans of alternative cinema a cornucopia of bizarre titles on DVD and video on demand. The company also
screens new releases, including this past June in Los Angeles, when Something Weird Video collaborated with the Grindhouse Film Festival to present the world premiere of Frank Henenlotter's new documentary, That's Sexploitation! Over the years,
Vraney's releases were also recognized by AVN, and garnered AVN Awards nominations, as well.
Mike had a larger-than-life personality and a genuine enthusiasm for movies. Something Weird was his heart and soul, he was obsessive in his pursuit of
tracking down the weirdest, wildest movies out there. And it wasn't enough to find a few forgotten films, he was always in search of the movie motherload. (Making 370 two-hour volumes of Nudie Cuties loops is a good example of this. Who does that?! Mike
Vraney!) Even as a child, Mike loved movies. During his teenage years, he worked at the Bel-Kirk Drive-In, and then later as a projectionist at the Green Parrot and Apple Theaters in Seattle. Then around 1990, Mike went in search of as many old, unusual,
obscure, and lost low budget exploitation movies as he could, and preserved them for prosperity. Mike amassed thousands of these rare movies and had them transferred to video so that people could relive the good old days of going to the drive-in or
grindhouse theater, in their very own home. We have him to thank for introducing fandom to the wonderful world of sexploitation sinema, rescuing it from the dark recesses of forgotten film vaults and defunct movie theatres.
The folks at Something
Weird fully intend to keep Mike's incredible legacy intact. Mike may be gone, but his remarkable achievements will live on.
India's films censors have cut 6 minutes from Martin Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street .
A source from one of the multiplex chains showing the movie said Indian audiences will be denied visuals of frontal female nudity, intercourse and
masturbation as well as the dialogue, "All nuns are lesbian". These cuts, amounting to a little over 6 minutes, bring down the movie's running time from 180 minutes to 174 minutes.
Three scenes were cut: a gay orgy, co-star Jonah
Hill's public masturbation sequence and the opening scene of the film that features DiCaprio blowing cocaine into a woman's derriere using a straw.
The Indian release will also include an anti-smoking disclaimer, which is now mandatory for any
film that features cigarettes.
As part of the Bath Film Festival 2014, Wells Cathedral is hosting a screening of Martin Scorsese's controversial film The Last Temptation of Christ on Saturday 25 January.
The film caused outrage when it was released in 1988 because some
hold that it is a blasphemous interpretation of Jesus' life on earth, depicting, among other things, His marriage to Mary Magdelene and raising a family with her.
The Cathedral is standing by its decision to show the film despite nutter pressure
to get it banned.
Andrea Williams of Christian Concern said:
The planned screening at Wells Cathedral will spread a wholly false message and obscure the New Testament history of the life and purpose of Jesus
Christ from his birth to his death on the cross.
In an age when many people may have the sketchiest knowledge of the Gospel and history of Jesus Christ, the screening of this blasphemous film which challenges the perfection of the
life of Jesus, by introducing an offensive dream sequence, will spread misunderstanding of the tenets of the Christian faith and give the impression that the church endorses such false teaching.
We have received calls and
correspondence from concerned churchgoers, not only in the Somerset area, and the Western Daily Press has reported that some worshippers have described the film as 'appalling' for introducing the 'theme of debauchery'. It is difficult to understand how
screening such a film in a hallowed cathedral serves the Kingdom of God. For that reason we have urged our supporters to make their views known to the Dean, who is principally responsible for the administration of the Cathedral.