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28th June

  Black and White Decision...

Kevin Costner movie reduced from R to PG-13 on appeal
Link Here
black and white Kevin Costner has persuaded the CARA appeals board to down rate his upcoming drama Black and White f rom R to PG-13.

The film is now rated PG-13 for brief strong language, thematic material involving drug use and drinking, and for a fight, the MPAA's Classification and Rating Administration announced.

Written and directed by Mike Binder, the independent film stars Costner as a widowed grandfather who becomes embroiled in a custody battle over his biracial granddaughter, whom he has raised since birth, when the girl's paternal grandmother (Octavia Spencer) surfaces. Costner is also producing the film.

 

26th June

 Obituary: Eli Walach...

Loses final shootout aged 98
Link Here
Good Bad Ugly Remastered Blu ray Eli Wallach (December 7, 1915 to June 24, 2014) was an American film, television and stage actor whose career spanned more than six decades, beginning in the late 1940s.

For his performance as Silva Vacarro in Baby Doll, he won a BAFTA Award for Best Newcomer and a Golden Globe nomination.

Among his most famous roles are Calvera in The Magnificent Seven (1960), Guido in The Misfits (1961), and Tuco in The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966).

Other notable portrayals include Don Altobello in The Godfather Part III, Cotton Weinberger in The Two Jakes (both 1990), and Arthur Abbott in The Holiday (2006).

One of America's most prolific screen actors, Wallach remained active well into his nineties, with roles as recently as 2010 in Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps and The Ghost Writer.

Wallach received BAFTA Awards, Tony Awards and Emmy Awards for his work, and received an Honorary Academy Award at the 2nd Annual Governors Awards, presented on November 13, 2010.

 

26th June

 Updated: The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet...

BBFC advised category cut replaces 'motherfucker' with 'melon farmer'
Link Here
Poster Young and Prodigious Ts Sp 2013 Jeanpierre Jeunet The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet is a 2013 France / Canada family adventure TV movie by Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
Starring Helena Bonham Carter, Robert Maillet and Judy Davis. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

A 10-year-old cartographer secretly leaves his family's ranch in Montana where he lives with his cowboy father and scientist mother and travels across the country on board a freight train to receive an award at the Smithsonian Institute.

UK: Passed 12A for infrequent strong language after pre-cut for:

  • 2014 [2D + 3D] cinema release
The BBFC commented:
  • This film was seen for advice, prior to formal submission. The company was informed that the likely classification was 15, but that their preferred 12A could be achieved by removing a single use of the word 'motherfucker'. When the film was submitted for formal classification, this word had been replaced and the film was classified 12A.

Thanks to Pooch: You Melon Farmer!

Towards the end of the film, the titular character does a TV interview, whilst being manipulated by the lady who runs the Smithsonian Institute. In the original film, after the interview spectacularly fails, she calls Spivet You motherfucker , albeit at a distance, and from behind her, so you can't see her face/mouth!

In the UK version, motherfucker has been dubbed quite well by the same actress, or at least someone who sounds very similar, with the immortal You melon-farmer!

If it weren't for this, and two uses of the word fuck , which were all completely unnecessary and totally jarring, this would have been a PG-rated film, ideal for youngsters and families.

 

25th June

  The Sky Closes In...

A film of a buddhist/mulsim friendship is withdrawn from a Burmese film festival due to violent threats
Link Here
hrdiff Religious extremists have succeeded in forcing the organizers of Myanmar's Human Rights Film Festival to withdraw the screening of a documentary about a friendship between a Buddhist and a Muslim.

The second Human Rights, Human Dignity film festival was to have featured the 20-minute documentary The Open Sky , which was singled out by extremists as part of a Muslim conspiracy to dominate Buddhist-majority Myanmar. The film made by young film students depicted the unlikely friendship of a Buddhist woman and a Muslim woman amid the communal violence which gripped the town of Meikhtila last year.

Min Htin Ko Ko Kyi, one of the organizers of the film festival, explained that The Open Sky was withdrawn from the event to avoid further conflict and hatred among the Burmese.

An article criticizing the film went viral on the Internet when the film festival opened on June 15. It accused global Muslim groups of funding the film to promote Islam. It also accused human rights groups of being biased against Buddhists.

The organizers then received threats via social media, warning that angry Burmese would destroy the movie theater and kill the director if the documentary was shown to the public. The commenters also warned that they would start another riot in protest to the event.

United States Ambassador Derek J. Mitchell, one of the sponsors of the event, condemned the online threats made against the festival organizers. This narrow, fearful mindset runs contrary to everything this festival is about. Everyone who values the meaning of this event must oppose the use of threat and intimidation to suppress speech and censor artists.

 

22nd June

  Censors with Blurred Vision...

Indian film censors say that scenes must be cut entirely where previously it was possible to blur just part of the visual
Link Here
CBFC logo India's Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has decided to delete partially objectionable scenes rather than blur them, as they claim many filmmakers are not implementing their censorship directives.

CBFC has also stated in its communication addressed to film bodies that it will now mute objectionable dialogues as opposed to beeping them out.

CBFC had asked the makers of Dedh Ishqiya to blur out a scene involging Arshad Warsi in a brothel but it was later found by the Board that the directive was not implemented.

 

21st June

 Offsite Article: Rated R for Rubbishy...

Link Here
World War DVD Brad Pitt9 Violent and Sexy Movies Which Got Away With a PG-13

See article from moviepilot.com

 

19th June

  The Original Melonfarmer...

Researching the origins of the famous Repo Man overdub
Link Here
Repo Masters Cinema Steelbook Blu ray If you're reading this, you are almost certainly familiar with the term melonfarmer and its significance. For those of you who aren't, it was used by director Alex Cox to re-dub the expletive motherfucker in the version of Repo Man he prepared specially for television.

According to Alex Cox himself, this version came about after being called in to fix a very bizarre re-edit that the studio had put together itself. Cox said:

In an effort to explain the film, someone had gone and shot an insert of the license plate of the Chevy Malibu, and made the Hopi symbol dissolve into the HEAD OF THE DEVIL!. He continued, They'd intercut static shots of this license plate with shots of the car moving, and it looked completely cheesy, worse than an Ed Wood film.

The much loved variant Cox put together - actually seven minutes longer than the theatrical version - was finally made available for the first time since its original broadcast on BBC2 as part of Masters Of Cinema's excellent Blu-ray release in February 2012, but did you ever wonder how the term came about? How do you get from motherfucker to the euphemistic substitution melonfarmer ? Was the term ever used before the TV version of Repo Man?

Mister Majestyk DVD Charles Bronson After the TV version was first broadcast and the phrase came into the popular consciousness, the first thought of some film enthusiasts was that it was taken from or somehow inspired by the 1974 Charles Bronson film Mr. Majestyk . In that movie, Bronson plays a water melon farmer who is threatened by labour racketeers and gangsters who want to either drive him out of business or kill him. They scare off his labourers and machine gun his melons until stoic diplomacy just won't cut it any more and he falls back on the plan B Bronson usually employed throughout the seventies...kill everybody. There are lots of melons on show, but at no time in Elmore Leonard's screenplay is the term used as a substitute for the expletive. All melonfarmers in the picture actually farm melons.

Last Poets This Madness It wasn't until many years later, listening to the soundtrack for the film Performance that I noticed something that may finally explain the origin of the phrase. Donald Cammell and Nicolas Roeg's film was extremely controversial on its release in 1970 for its sex, nudity, sadomasochistic violence and drug use, but what is not often noted is that the controversy also extended to one of the selections on the soundtrack. The song in question was the spoken word piece Wake Up, Niggers! by The Last Poets . In the film the track cut short, but if you listen to the full version featured on the soundtrack record - and also on The Last Poets eponymous debut album - the song includes the line, ...up against the wall black melonfarmer... .

The film and the album date to 1970 making this the earliest use of the phrase suggesting that the term was invented by The Last Poets as a way to allude to the expletive without actually using it. This would make sense because around the same time, the proto-punk band MC5 ran into trouble when their debut album Kick Out The Jams opened with the shout of Kick Out The Jams, Motherfucker! leading to some controversy and later copies of the record being censored.

Thinking that I'd made a connection no one else had noticed, I searched around online for a summary of the lyrics for Wake Up, Niggers! to confirm it. All sources claim that the words for that line are not as I initially thought ...up against the wall black melonfarmer... , but are actually ...up against the wall black male and farmer... .

So could that be it? Did the famous term actually come into being after Alex Cox misheard a line from The Last Poets' song, and in doing so accidentally coined a phrase that has persisted to this day as an amusing euphemism...and the inspiration for this very website?

When Alex Cox was asked about the films copious bad language and how he felt about having to remove it all for the TV version, he said:

By then I'd made Sid & Nancy and I was sick of swearing. It was fun coming up with synonyms for the swear words - 'Melon Farmers' was a particular favourite.

I don't think there is any doubt that Alex Cox invented the phrase - since used by Samuel L. Jackson in the TV version of Die Hard With A Vengeance - but has its ubiquitousness with movie re-dubbing in the years since the TV version of Repo Man led to a bit of self mythologising on Cox's part? To be honest melonfarmer is the only really inventive substitution in the TV version, far more so than the flip you and variations on that that make up the majority of the other substitutions. Was The Last Poets' track subconsciously at work and pointing him in the right direction. I guess you'll have to decide for yourself about that.

 

19th June

  Ordered to Forget...

Russian bans film depicting the mass burning alive of Chechens under the rule of Stalin
Link Here
film burning barn Seventy years after Chechens were deported en masse to Central Asia on the orders of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin, a film about the brutalities of the operation has been banned, with officials citing the threat of provoking ethnic enmity.

Russia's Culture Ministry has also claimed insufficient evidence to prove that the dramatic enactment is historically accurate, the film's producer and director Ruslan Kokanayev said on his Facebook page.

At the center of the dispute is a scene, featured in a movie trailer that the filmmaker has posted online, that shows Chechen prisoners in the mountainous village of Khaibakh being locked up in a barn by Stalin's secret police and burned alive.

Though the film titled Ordered to Forget makes no claims to being a historical documentary, Kokanayev has insisted that its plot, including the barn scene, is based on detailed testimony by multiple witnesses and on historical evidence.

 

19th June

 Abstract: Bleeding Obvious...

Researchers find that the more gory films are, the more they attract the attention
Link Here
journal of communication Captivated and Grossed Out: An Examination of Processing Core and Sociomoral Disgusts in Entertainment Media

By Bridget Rubenking ( University of Central Florida) and Annie Lang (Indiana University)

Abstract

While disgust repels and offends us, it has functionally evolved over time to compel our attention---both to core disgusts (i.e., blood, guts, body products) and sociomoral violations (i.e., injustices, brutality, racism)---making it a quality of many entertainment messages that may keep audiences engrossed and engaged. An experiment exposed participants to two types of core disgusts and sociomoral disgusts in TV/film messages and collected self-report emotional responses, psychophysiological indicators of dynamic emotional and cognitive processing, and recognition memory for content. Results demonstrate that no two disgusts are alike: Sociomoral disgusts captivate our attention and elicit a slower, more thoughtful response pattern than core disgusts, and the nature of the core disgust elicits different responses as well.

 

12th June

 Update: Thailand 1984...

Screening of a film version of 1984 cancelled after police warning
Link Here  full story: Censored Films in Thailand...Thai censors hack away
1984 DVD John Hurt Nineteen Eighty-Four is a 1984 UK Sci-Fi romance by Michael Radford.
Starring John Hurt, Richard Burton and Suzanna Hamilton. YouTube icon IMDb

Summary Notes

After The Atomic War the world is divided into three states. London is a city in Oceania, ruled by a party who has total control over all its citizens. Winston Smith is one of the bureaucrats, rewriting history in one of the departments. One day he commits the crime of falling in love with Julia. They try to escape Big Brother's listening and viewing devices, but, of course, nobody can really escape...

A screening of 1984 , the film version of George Orwell's anti-authoritarian novel, has been cancelled in Thailand after police claimed it breached a ban on political gatherings, an organiser said.

The novel by George Orwell has become one of the unofficial symbols of resistance against military rule.

The Punya Movieclub in Chiang Mai said it was scheduled to screen the film but decided to cancel the showing after police said it would be illegal, according to one of the organisers who said:

We just wanted to show the content of the film because many people are talking about it right now... We show all types of movies. We didn't want to start a political movement.

When we found out the police had a problem with our event we decided to cancel, because we are afraid the people who come to watch will face problems.

Political assemblies of more than five people were banned under martial law and continued after the coup by army chief Prayuth Chan-Ocha. The ban is enforced very selectively, and has never been invoked at a cinema.

One form of resistance to the coup has been reader - individuals or small groups sitting on public walkways reading Orwell's novel. Last week, protesters unfurled a giant poster of Gen Prayuth's face with the words Thailand 1984 written below.

The three-finger salute from The Hunger Games films has become another symbol of resistance against the junta, which has curtailed some freedom of speech and the press.

 

11th June

 Offsite Article: Thailand's toil and trouble over divisive Shakespeare film...

Link Here  full story: Censored Films in Thailand...Thai censors hack away
shakespeare must dieA court case attempting to revoke Thailand's ban of Shakespeare Must Die rumbles on through the current period of military dictatorship

See article from theguardian.com

 

8th June

  A Legislative Dog's Dinner...

Graham Bright, now a police commissioner, spouts about his fear of video nasties being damaging for dogs
Link Here
Video Nasties Definitive Limited Edtion Graham Bright was the Tory MP who put together the 1984 Video Recordings Act in response to the video nasties panic in the early 80s. He is now the Cambridgeshire Police and Crime Commissioner.

The makers of the much anticipated documentary, Video Nasties: Draconian Days , have scored a a bit of a scoop. In a videoed interview which took place in the 1980s Bright spoke of his fears for youngsters and dogs. He said:

If anyone can stand up and defend the sort of horrific scenes that I have had to see and other members of parliament have had to see, I believe there are living in a different world to that world that I live in.

I believe that research is taking place and it will show that these films not only affect young people but I believe they affect dogs as well. It goes far too far.

Speaking about the interview this week, Bright told of his pride at introducing the act and desperately tried to gloss over his dog shite comment. He claimed to the Cambridge News:

That was a load of rubbish. I didn't say they had an affect on dogs. I was saying they were researching it. I didn't bother about that. I was trying to protect children.

Video Nasties: The Definitive Guide Part 2 , is being released on DVD by Nucleus on July 14 ( See Amazon) . It is released to tie in with the 30th Anniversary of the Video Recordings Act.

 

6th June

 Extract: Economic Censorship...

Turkey suffocates films that it does like by awarding them an 18 rating
Link Here
lets sin Arbitrary censorship rulings have many in the filmmaking community wondering how they'll balance artistic integrity with funding and distribution.

New laws decree that films given a +18 rating not only have to return money received from the Ministry of Culture, often a vital contributor to a film's financing, but with added interest. Since distribution deals and TV chances are sunk by such ratings, the effect is clear.

Let's Sin , winner of several awards at the Istanbul festival, including director for Onur Unlu, was slapped with a +18 despite an absence of sexual content. While it's not clear what prompted this rating, the film's protagonist is a pugilistic imam who isn't exactly a model religious leader, and scattered references to last year's social unrest undoubtedly caused discontent.

Fortunately, helmer Unlu didn't receive ministry money, but the film's distribution chances could be completely shot. F ilm festival director Azize Tan explained:

There are several ways of censoring. A +18 kills your film, and then it becomes very difficult for you to make the next one. They have to explain why this film was +18, but there is no explanation.

...Read the full article .

 

4th June

 Updated: Passed 18 for bloody violence and strong whiffy sex...

Long unreleased NEKromantik is passed 18 uncut by the BBFC
Link Here
Title Jorg Buttgereit Nekromantik is a 1987 West Germany horror by Jörg Buttgereit.
With Bernd Daktari Lorenz, Beatrice Manowski and Harald Lundt. YouTube icon IMDb

The film has not been released in the UK for fear of censorship from 1987-2014. A few clues as to why are provided by the promotional blurb:

A German motorway cleaner takes rotting bodies home to a lover who has a necrophilia fetish. This involves the skinning of a rabbit, use of a metal pipe in conjunction with a condom, nudity, and graphic sexual scenes with dead bodies.

Now film distributors Arrow are well chuffed as they write:

Arrow Video is extremely proud to unveil not one but TWO as yet-unannounced forthcoming titles! SUBMITTED FOR YOUR APPROVAL: from the master Italian schlock, Ovidio G. Assonitis, the barmy 1979 sci-fi horror mash-up THE VISITOR and -- for the hardened cult movie freaks amongst you -- the infamous 1987 underground German shocker NEKROMANTIK!!!

Indeed it has already been passed FULLY UNCUT by the BBFC. Pigs are flying as we speak!

Update: Uncut BBFC rating confirmed

4th June 2014. See article from bbfc.co.uk

UK: Passed 18 uncut for strong sex, bloody violence, sexual violence, necrophilia for:

  • 2014 Arrow Film video

 

3rd June

 Offsite Article: 6 Bizarre Realities of How Movies Get Their Ratings...

Link Here
MPAA logoKirby Dick explains about the US film censors of the MPAA

See article from cracked.com

 

2nd June

  Rating Re-traced...

Tracers down rated from R to PG-13 on appeal
Link Here
tracers video Tracers is a 2014 USA action film by Daniel Benmayor.
Starring Taylor Lautner, Marie Avgeropoulos and Rafi Gavron. YouTube icon IMDb

Summary Notes

Wanted by the mafia, a new York City bike messenger escapes into the world of parkour after meeting a beautiful stranger.

The film was originally rated R for some violence by the MPAA in May 2014.

The producers wanted a PG-13 and appealed the MPAA decision.  The appeal was successful and the CARA appeals board re-rated the film PG-13 for some intense violence, perilous action, sexual content and language.

CARA chairman Joan Graves represented the ratings board while Tracers' post production producer Nancy Kirhoffer and stunt coordinator/second unit director Gary Powell represented the appellant.

 

31st May

  Morality Charge...

Malaysia's film censors to increase their fees
Link Here
malaysia film censorship board logo Filmmakers and importers will soon have to dip deeper into their pockets to have their film certified by the Malaysian Film Censorship Board.

Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the censorship fee would be reviewed after 30 years. He said the current rate was based on the Film Censorship Regulations 1984 that had not been amended since it came into force. He said:

The number of local and imported films have been on the rise, thus increasing the burden on the board. Industry players must accept the reality that changes require a high cost and the costs borne by the Government is no longer fair. We have to charge a reasonable fee to those who produce and import films,

He also urged industry players to understand the board's responsibility in ensuring that creative works by filmmakers were censored to the satisfaction of the Board moralists:

Don't just look to making a profit by producing films based on superstitions, toyol and ghost stories as we must balance art with social responsibility.

 

25th May

  Butting Out...

Indian film censors cut X-Men: Days Of The Future Past
Link Here
X Men Days Future Past DVD Hugh Jackman's bare butt in X-Men: Days Of The Future Past has been removed from the Indian theatrical release of the movie.

Rakesh Kumar, CEO of the Censor Board Of Film Certification (CBFC), confirms that the shot has been removed.

Reacting to the censorial intervention, critic Raja Sen said:

This childish censor board has become a sadistic body that enjoys playing spoilsport. This might not be a major cut. But it is the principle of the thing.

 

24th May

 Updated: Recommended by Australia's Film Censor...

Scott Schirmer's Found is banned
Link Here
Found DVD Gavin Brown Found is a 2012 USA horror by Scott Schirmer.
Starring Gavin Brown, Ethan Philbeck and Phyllis Munro. YouTube icon IMDb

Found has been banned in Australia for reasons that will be published later.

The film has not yet been rated by the BBFC but is slated for a UK release on 29th September.

UK: BBFC details not yet available for:

  • 2014 Monster Pictures R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 29th September 2014

Promotional Material

FOUND is a unique and supremely disturbing coming-of-age story of a boy whose big brother is a serial-killer.

Growing up is tough for Marty. His parents don't understand him and he is bullied at school. He has only his big brother to look up to...that is until he discovers his brother's chilling secret and a severed head in a sports bag at home.

FOUND unravels a gripping and gruesome story that captures what it's like to grow up in the time of VHS tapes and video nasties, as the American dream and everyday suburbia descends into a home-grown hell that will leave even the most hardened horror fan shocked by its disturbing finale.

"One of the most gut-wrenching experiences I've had in a long time" (Dark Media)
"A compelling, unique and, yes, totally sick portrait of a serial killer" (Twitch Film)
"The horror film that true genre fans have been waiting for" (HorrorNews)

Update: Reasons for ban

23rd May 2014. See  article from  refused-classification.com , thanks to MoonMetropolis

Refused-Classification has published an excellent detailed pictorial of the film censor's reason for the ban, with the summary paragraphs reading:

The film contains prolonged and detailed depictions of sexualised violence, including sexualised torture, mutilation, sexual activity with body parts and cannibalism, which result in a very high degree of impact. As such, this film exceeds what can be accommodated within the R18+ classification.

The Board notes that the film also contains depictions of nonsexual violence. These depictions of violence, which also include viscera, generous blood detail and gore, are mitigated by context and relatively unsophisticated production values to a level which can be accommodated at an R18+ classification. The scenes of sexualised violence, noted below, are more realistic and impactful, and result in a very high impact.

...Read the full article

MoonMetropolis tweets:

I'm watching it right now. There's no way it will get past UK or NZ censors either. The sexualized violence is very graphic.

It should be noted that the banned scene in question takes place in the context of a fictional film-within-a-film.

That's the only scene that the BBFC will demand cuts to. Everything else should be able to pass.

Update: A statement from the distributor

23rd May 2014. See  article from  monsterpictures.com.au

monster pictures logo It with sadness in our hearts that we must announce that Scott Schirmer's coming-of-age gore fest Found , was refused classification by Australia's Classification Board yesterday, on the 21st of May. This is the 4th feature, after Hanger , The Human Centipede II and Father's Day , to be scheduled for release in Australia by Monster Pictures that has surpassed (and brilliantly surpassed, at that) what is acceptable within Australia's existing R18+ classification.

Found has played in over 40 film festivals world-wide (including Australia's very own A Night of Horror Film Festival last year), winning 15 Best Feature and 8 Best Actor awards and has been championed by the First Lady of Horror, Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, herself.

Monster Pictures will resubmit the film, with cuts, to the Classification Board next month, for a September 17th release.

For more information, you can check out our page here on monsterpictures.com.au , or you can head over to the film's official page here .

For more on the history of films refused classification in Australia, check out the excellent www.refused-classification.com

 

21st May

  Tracers...

Producers are appealing against the recently awarded MPAA R rating
Link Here
tracers video Tracers is a 2014 USA action film by Daniel Benmayor.
Starring Taylor Lautner, Marie Avgeropoulos and Rafi Gavron. YouTube icon IMDb

Rated R for some violence by the MPAA in May 2014. The producers wanted a PG-13 and have announced that they will appeal the MPAA decision.

Summary Notes

Wanted by the mafia, a new York City bike messenger escapes into the world of parkour after meeting a beautiful stranger.

 

19th May

  Frankenstein and the Monster From Hell...

Movie-Censorship.com reveals the US and UK censor cuts now restored
Link Here
Frankenstein Monster Hell Peter Cushing Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell is a 1974 UK horror film by Terence Fisher
With Peter Cushing, Shane Briant and Madeline Smith.
YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

Cut by the BBFC for cinema release. Then further cut for a US R rating. All home video version were cut to some extent until 2014 when an uncut restored version was released

UK: The restored uncut version was passed 15 uncut for strong gore, horror for:

  • 2014 ICON Entertainment [Restored + R rated Versions] RB Blu-ray/R2 DVD Combo at UK Amazon

See the pictorial cuts for the US version used for all UK and US DVD releases prior to the restored version

 

19th May

 Update: The Expendable Expendables 3...

Stallone says that the latest in the series will be PG-13 rated
Link Here  full story: Expendables...Tough guys and whimpy censorship

expendables 3 Sylvester Stallone has stated that his forthcoming Expendables 3 will be PG-13 rated.

The series so far has prided itself in bringing back the bloody, R-rated violence of the films of the 80s, but Expendables 2 was also hyped up by Chuck Norris who falsely claimed that the film was targeting a PG-13 rating.

Despite the latest PG-13 rating, Stallone did note that: it's very close to an R, believe me, it's right there .

Stallone also commented on his approach towards this sequel and how it differs from the first two. He stated:

With the first one, I didn't know which direction to go. It was experimental, more dramatic and heavier. In the second one, I think we went too far in the comedy and one liners. I realized we should get back to being more dramatic. When the action starts I don't like to do jokes. So, I believe we finally got it right on the third one. It's kind of like marriage.

Response to the film's new rating has not been very kind by the fans thus far, as there is already a Facebook group boycotting the movie if it does not have an R-rating attached to it.

The film is set for release on 14th August 2014 and there is as yet no official MPAA rating.

 

18th May

 Offsite Article: Pulp Fiction: 20 years on...

Link Here
Pulp Fiction DVD Quentin TarantinoTwo decades ago, Quentin Tarantino's ultra-violent comedy-thriller changed cinema. But was that for good or ill?

See article from independent.co.uk

 

17th May

  Big Girls' Blouses at the CBFC...

Reports of Indian film censors blurring cleavage in adults only rated films
Link Here
koyelaanchal India's Central Board Of Film Certification (CBFC) is reported to have suddenly gone on a crusade against displays of cleavage.

The first casualty of the censor board's new-found regard for a woman's modesty is new actress Rupali Krishnarao, who plays a prostitute in Asshu Trikha's Koyelaanchal . Her cleavage has been blurred by the censors at several places in the film.

Trikha commented about the censorship of his adults only rated film:

The cleavage was blurred as per the censor board's instruction. I argued with them saying cleavage is an integral part of Bollywood culture.

My film is for adults only. And adult audiences are mature enough to handle some cleavage. But I saw no point in arguing beyond a point. I just blurred the blouse.

Meanwhile, a sequence in Ananth Mahadevan's The Xpose showing a starlet in a transparent white sari has also been trimmed by the censor board.

 

9th May

 Update: Floods of Religious Sensitivities...

China bans the release of the Hollywood take on Noah
Link Here  full story: Noah...Banned across the muslim world
Poster Noah 2014 Darren Aronofsky China has banned the release of biblical epic Noah starring Russell Crowe.

Paramount Pictures tried to secure a release slot but getting the Bible-based story past China's cinematic censors was stymied due to Beijing's sensitivities on religious issues. A source told the Hollywood Reporter:

This was for religious reasons, though it seems the whole issue was quite complicated.

The LA Times cited a source who suggested Noah may also have been refused a Chinese release for commercial reasons due to proximity with several other Hollywood releases.

 

9th May

 Offsite Article: A Passion for Censorship...

Link Here
Exorcist DVD Ellen BurstynThe Exorcist, Monty Python and Crash - just some of the 8 films banned or nearly banned in Bournemouth

See article from bournemouthecho.co.uk

 

9th May

 Offsite Article: A Jess Franco State of Mind...

Link Here
Bloody Moon DVD Olivia PascalHow Jess Franco fared at the hands of Australia's film censor

See article from robertmonell.blogspot.com.au

 

6th May

 Update: Computer Generated Film Censors...

Australian Government consider software tools to classify games and movies
Link Here  full story: Australian Censorship Review... Reviewing censorship law for all media

australian government logo A proposal for computer software to be used to classify material, such as movies and video games, has hit the news in Australia. The Federal Government has proposed the development of digital tools to speed up the work of the Classification Board.

Responses to survey questions by producers or developers about the content of movies or games could be used by a computer program to recommend a classification. Members of the Classification Board would be able to change the final result if they did not agree with the software's decision.

Legal academic Lyria Bennett Moses and her colleagues at the University of NSW's Cyberspace Law and Policy Community commented that draft changes to classification law did not place enough restrictions on the use of classification tools:

At worst, there would be no human judgment applied to the necessary human judgment matters central to the classification process. A Google bot might do it.

Morality campaigners of Family Voice Australia did not believe the Government intended to use computer programs to make a classification decision. But they feared this could happen in the future, enabling pornographers to exploit the classification system by supplying incorrect information about the content of their films to censorship programs.

Justice Minister Michael Keenan told Parliament recently that a draft Bill would require any classification tools to be approved by the relevant government minister.

The Bill also provides the Classification Board with the opportunity to classify material even after it has been considered by an approved tool, if it considers that the decision is problematic. As a final protection, if there are concerns about the effectiveness of a classification tool, its approval may be suspended or revoked at any time.

The computer game industry supports the use of automated tools to help speed up long delays waiting for material to be classified. Since 1996, the Classification Board has classified an average of 745 computer games a year. But more than 57,000 games were released by Apple's App Store in 2013. It also very expensive, costing upto $2460 to have a computer game classified.

The Government  is also considering scrapping proposals for 2-D and 3-D versions of the same movie to be classified separately.

 

6th May

  Censors Run Riot...

Russia bans 32nd May Film Festival featuring documentaries highlighting human rights issues
Link Here
Pussy Riot Punk Prayer DVD The May 32nd Film Festival had to cancel its opening event after Saint Petersburg officials claimed unlikely sounding local code violations.

This is the fourth year of the documentary film fest, but the first time it has been disrupted. Organizers say it always attracted a degree of attention from authorities over its human rights theme, but not anything like the scrutiny they've experienced this year.

Festival organizer Ksenia Vakhrusheva said police old her:

You all have such controversial topics raised in those films, and it is on the eve of the May 9th celebration, and we have such difficult circumstances in Ukraine.

She added that authorities, let us know that our event is completely unwanted.

Two films in the lineup this year were particularly controversial. The first one, called Putin's Games , is about corruption and ecological damage during preparations for the Winter Olympics in Sochi. The second film is Pussy riot: A Punk Prayer , which won a special jury prize at last year's Sundance film festival.

Boris Vishnevsky, a representative in the Saint Petersburg legislature from the Yabloko opposition party said:

God forbid people would see some opposition on the screen and discover some truth. We are not allowed to find out the truth. We are only allowed to see what is shown on the government channels and state media like Russia Today.

The films will be shown at the Yabloko party office starting tomorrow. The organizers say they expect a lower turnout and don't rule out the possibility of more difficulties from authorities.

 

30th April

  A Tesco Nasty...

The Hospital, the film banned by Tesco, turns out to be a massively pre-cut version
Link Here
Hospital Jim ORear The Hospital is a 2013 USA horror by Tommy Golden and Daniel Emery Taylor.
Starring Jim O'Rear, Daniel Emery Taylor and John Dugan. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

The film made the news earlier in the year after it was banned from Tesco nationwide for being too nasty.

Well now it turns out that the UK release of the film was substantially pre-cut for UK DVD.

An article from movie-censorship.com points out that the  UK releases is missing 17:30s of footage depicting the rape and torture of several girls.

Tesco would have been doubly outraged had they seen the uncut original.

 

30th April

  Half of a Yellow Sun...

Banned by Nigeria's film censors
Link Here
Half Yellow Sun Chiwetel Ejiofor Half of a Yellow Sun is a 2013 Nigeria/UK drama by Biyi Bandele.
Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton and Anika Noni Rose. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

In the US the film was rated R for some violence and sexual content. In the UK the film was rated 15 for strong violence and sex.

The most awaited movie of this year in Nigeria, Half of a Yellow Sun , has been banned by the country's film censorship board because the movie partially takes place during the Biafran War.

According to the director, Biyi Bandele, the movie scheduled to open in Nigeria last Friday was essentially banned as the country's film censorship board has refused to issue the movie a certificate.

The movie which is unites some of Nigeria's major cultural figures of civil war (also known as the Biafran War) is already showing in Britain and is scheduled to open in the United States next month.

It also had its premiere last year at the Toronto International Film Festival. And Nigerian actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, who starred in the Academy Award-winning film, 12 Years a Slave , is one of the stars in the movie.

Bandele said officials seemed to be

Jittery about its content. That it deals with the Biafran War (from 1967 to 1970). That it might incite people to violence.

Bandele denounced what he characterized as a blatant attempt to suppress discussion about a crucial if painful episode in Nigeria's coming-of-age:

It is seriously shocking that someone would presume to be this arbiter of what Nigerians want and don't want to see.

Bandele suggested that the war remains largely taboo in the country's classrooms, making his film all the more important as a discussion point.

 

29th April

  God Frozen Out...

Songwriters reveal that the word 'God' is banned from Disney films
Link Here
Frozen DVD Chris Buck The songwriters behind Let It Go , the hit song from the successful Disney cartoon Frozen , have revealed that the word God is banned from Disney movies.

Robert Lopez and Kristen Anderson-Lopez explained that Disney was not a sanitized corporate environment but that one of the only places you have to draw the line at Disney is with religious things, the word God . Lopez went on to say: You can say it in Disney but you can't put it in the movie.

Somewhat understandable in this age of easy offence, the revelation is likely to draw the ire of Christian commentators who have already targeted Frozen for its supposed pro-gay propaganda.

 

28th April

 Offsite Article: Hide your eyes!...

Link Here
Guinea Pig Complete Metalcase subtitlesThe Japanese extreme gore series is being remade in the US

See article from fangoria.com

 

27th April

 Updated: Silenced Movies...

Russian proposal to ban strong language from cinema films and stage performances
Link Here
russian film poster Russia's repressive culture ministry and Parliament are seeking to censor strong language in theater and film.

The State Duma, the lower chamber of Russia's parliament, is preparing to adopt a law authored by Stanislav Govorukhin. It will be aimed at banning the use of strong language in the arts. A year ago, a similar law restricting strong language on TV was adopted.

Minister of Censorship. Vladimir Medinsky, known for his repressive views, said that he supports the law and his agency will make sure that movies containing profanity will not obtain exhibition licenses. He said:

I believe that if a movie has a general release, it shouldn't have any profane language. Our stance is that profanity shouldn't be present on [theater] stage or in the movies.

He added that movies containing profanity could only be screened at film festivals as screenings of that kind don't require exhibition licenses.

The law is unlikely to affect Hollywood movies, though, as bad language in them has been traditionally translated into Russian using softer terms that are not considered profane.

Update: Bill passed

27th April 2014. See  article from  bbc.co.uk

Russian Duma logo The Russian parliament's lower house has passed a bill that bans swearing from films, music and other works of art.

The measure would impose fines for swearing in films, plays, concerts and shows, the Itar-Tass news agency reports . In addition, members of the public could face penalties of up to 2,500 roubles (£42; $70) for swearing in public and officials would have to pay double.

The bill says a panel of experts will decide exactly what counts as a swear word. If the measure is approved by the upper house, it will be signed into law by President Vladimir Putin and take effect on 1 July 2014.

 

21st April

 Update: I Spit on Your Grave Again...

Producers announce I Spit on Your Grave 3, surely it will be censored, just like the previous 3
Link Here  full story: I Spit on Your Grave...Remake enjoys some good publicity
i spit on your grave again All 3 of the I Spit on Your Grave films so far have been censored in the UK, so it looks a fair bet that the 4th will also invoke similar censorial ire.

CineTel, who produced the two recent offereings, have decided to go into production for a 3rd time. The story:

Will focus on a serial killer that uses a crisis hotline to target rapists. One of the counsellors has a dark past, which sends detectives sniffing in her direction -- but is she the killer they're looking for?

There's a good chance that Steven R. Monroe, who helmed the last two instalments, will return for this latest effort.

 

21st April

 Updated: Rouh's Beauty...

Film banned from Egyptian cinemas and under duress in Qatar
Link Here
rouhs beauty Rouh's Beauty is a 2014 Egypt drama by Sameh Abdelaziz.
Starring Salah Abdallah, Nagwa Fouad and Mohamed Lotfy. YouTube icon IMDb

Egypt's interim Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahleb has banned a recently released Egyptian film, Halawet Rooh (Rouh's Beauty) . It will now be withdrawn from movie theatres and resubmitted to the country's censorship board.

The decision comes after the for-adults-only film, released on 3 April, was hit with a wave of moral indignation accusing it of containing heavy sexual connotations that violate the Egyptian moral code .

The film, which revolves around Rooh, played by Egyptian/Lebanese diva Haifa Wahbe, who becomes the object of desire of all the men in her working class neighbourhood while her husband is away.

A review published last week in the Egyptian daily Al-Masry Al-Youm took aim at Halawet Rooh under the title of How to Make an Egyptian Porno , which accused the film of unsuccessfully posing as drama while it was only concerned with sexually arousing the audience .

Other morality campaigners have joined the crusade against the film. The National Council for Childhood and Motherhood (NCCM) claimed:

The film includes language and scenes that negatively affects the morals of children.

Meanwhile the easily offended in Qatar have also been campaigning against the film.

Supposedly, the indecent nature of the film has caused social media outrage due to the x-rated content, which was deemed inappropriate to the norms of the conservative Arab culture. The hashtag #banbeautyofthesouldmovie was trending on Twitter in support of banning the film from screening in Qatari cinemas.

They claim the film was banned in some of Qatar's neighbouring countries for its brazen display of nudity, and the sexual undertones. 'Concerned' Qatari citizens said:

How could they have approved such a movie, we need new regulations to ensure that such unconventional movies are kept out of our islamic society.

Update: Censor resigns

20th April 2014. See  article from  timesofisrael.com

The head of Egypt's censorship board has resigned after the country's prime minister overruled his decision to allow the screening of the film Roh's Sweetness .

Ahmed Awad, undersecretary to the culture minister and head of the censorship authority, told The Associated Press that he had submitted his resignation in response to Prime Minister Ibrahim Mahlab's decision to stop the film from being shown. The censorship board is meant to be an independent body that gives the final say on whether a movie can be seen by Egyptian audiences. Awad said:

Of course I'm not happy with what happened  I did this out of respect for myself.

Update: Censorship reviewed

21st April 2014. See  article from  egyptindependent.com

Egypt flag Egypt's Prime Minister Ibrahim Mehleb has decided to form a panel tasked with restructuring the Censorship Authority following a controversy over his earlier decision to ban Lebanese star Haifa Wehbe's latest movie, which was deemed as supposedly sexually provocative.

The PMs decision came after he had met with a number of actors, directors, authors and film critics. A Cabinet statement said:

The panel will be comprised of representatives of artistic associations and syndicates, as well as specialists, in order to introduce a developed ideology for the authority.

The panel will also review art censorship laws.

Update: Unbanned

28th November 2014. See  article from  english.alarabiya.net

Egypt's administrative court has revoked a Cabinet decree banning the screening of a sexually provocative film starring Lebanese pop diva Haifa Wehbe.

 

18th April

 Offsite Article: In bed with Bollywood...

Link Here
Jism DVD Regions Bollywood 2012Sex and censorship in Indian cinema Bollywood may be the blushing ballerina to Hollywood's brazen pole-dancing stripper, but, as the history of film censorship in India reveals, its screen stars are no stranger to the lip lock

See article from theguardian.com

 

17th April

 Extract: Hammer Girl...

Director of Raid 2 speaks of cuts for an MPAA R rating
Link Here
Poster Raid 2 2014 Gareth Evans The Raid 2 is a 2014 Indonesia action crime thriller by Gareth Evans.
With Iko Uwais, Julie Estelle and Yayan Ruhian. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

In an interview with Hypable, director Gareth Evens has provided a few more details about what was cut for an MPAA R rating:

Hypable : After seeing this finished version of the film and the previous unrated cut at Sundance, I barely noticed any changes. How were you able to get through the MPAA ratings board with so few changes?

Gareth Evans: We were very lucky because the changes were minimal. We did make some changes but they're so subtle like cutting a couple of frames here and there. Also, there were some issues with Hammer Girl where she impacts to the flesh. Impacts to the flesh are okay but impacts to the flesh and dragging the body are not. I trimmed here and there and thankfully you didn't notice, which is great for me.

...Read the full interview

 

15th April

 Extract: Bloody Kids...

The BBFC archive reveals that the original Carrie was considered about a 16 rating for aggressive teasing
Link Here

Carrie Rage Double Pack DVD Carrie was submitted to the BBFC for classification in November 1976. Language, implied off-screen sexual activity and the cruelty of the early bullying scenes kept the film out of the AA category (over 14s) and placed it in the higher X certificate (over 18s), although the examiner report observes it would be a perfect film for a 16-year-old-category .

...Read the full article

 

15th April

 Offsite Article: Partial Recall: An Interview with Paul Verhoeven...

Link Here
Total Recall Ultimate Rekall DVDSpeaking of censor cuts, violence, and not taking stories too seriously

See article from cornellsun.com

 

8th April

 Offsite Article: Fifty Tame Shades of Grey...

Link Here  full story: Fifty Shades of Grey Movie...Kink for kids Hollywood style
fifty shades mock upDoes a Tame Fifty Shades of Grey Movie Send an Anti-Feminist Message?

See article from hollywood.com

 

5th April

 Update: Film censorship that belongs in the ark...

Film censors save Malaysia from the depiction of religious prophets
Link Here  full story: Noah...Banned across the muslim world
Poster Noah 2014 Darren Aronofsky Noah is a 2014 USA adventure drama by Darren Aronofsky.
With Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly and Anthony Hopkins. YouTube icon IMDb

A home ministry official has confirmed that Noah will not be screened in Malaysia. Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid, chairman of the home ministry's Film Censorship Board, said the decision to ban the film was made about two weeks ago. He said:

Yes, I can confirm that it has been banned by the board, the movie can cause quite a lot of anger and distress if it is shown in Malaysia.

Abdul Halim said the main reason for the ban was the portrayal of Noah by Crowe, since Islam forbids visual depictions of any prophet.

 

4th April

  The Love Punch...

BBFC category cuts for cinema release to remove the 'melonfarmer' word
Link Here
love punchjpg Love Punch is a 2013 France comedy by Joel Hopkins.
Starring Emma Thompson, Pierce Brosnan and Tuppence Middleton. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

UK: Passed 12A for strong language, moderate sex references after category cuts for:

  • 2014 cinema release
The BBFC commented:
  • Company chose to remove strong language (in this case 'motherfucker') in order to secure a 12A classification. An uncut 15 was available.
Summary Notes

A divorced couple scheme to recover the retirement money that was stolen from them.