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Extract: La Dolce Vita...

BBFC look back at their ratings for Fellini's masterpiece

Link Here28th March 2015

The film was originally classified X for cinema release in 1960, meaning no persons under 16 could be admitted to screenings. The film next entered the BBFC for cinema re-release in October 1987 and video release in 1989. The Examiner reports from 1987, available here, note the visual discretion of the film as potentially PG-level, although the despairing tone of the film and the suicide attempt by one character, of which only the aftermath is shown, was considered more suitably placed at 15.

...Read the full article



Extract: The Deprecated Version...

Unusual marketing for Johnny Depp in Mortdecai on home video.

Link Here25th March 2015
Mortdecai is a 2015 USA action comedy by David Koepp.
Starring Johnny Depp, Olivia Munn and Ewan McGregor. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

Juggling some angry Russians, the British Mi5, his impossibly leggy wife and an international terrorist, debonair art dealer and part time rogue Charlie Mortdecai must traverse the globe armed only with his good looks and special charm in a race to recover a stolen painting rumored to contain the code to a lost bank account filled with Nazi gold.

US: Uncut and MPAA R rated for:

  • 2015 Lions Gate (RA) Blu-ray at US Amazon released on 12th May 2015
  • 2015 Lions Gate R1 DVD at US Amazon released on 12th May 2015

It is normal practise for Hollywood studios to pep up the home video sales of failed box office movies with an Unrated Version or perhaps an uprated version (eg an R rated version of a PG-13 movie. But the producers have decided to go in the opposite direction for home video releases for Mortdecai. An optional kiddified PG-13 version of Mortdecai will be offered on VoD.

Whereas the uncut theatrical version was rated R for some language and sexual material , the PG-13 version receives is rating for  sexuality including references and innuendo, action/violence and brief strong language.

It's a decision that has fascinated many, including Scott Mendelson who writes for Forbes:

I'm not really sure that the reason Johnny Depp's Mortdecai flopped was because all of those young Charlie Mortdecai fanatics weren't able to get into the theater on account of its R-rating. But desperate times call for desperate measures. Mortdecai will be arriving on DVD, Blu Ray on May 12th while arriving on Digital HD services on May 5th . Here's the weird part: While the film is being offered on physical media and VOD in the theatrical R-rated version, it is also being offered on Digital HD in an edited PG-13 version. That's right, Lionsgate isn't offering the Johnny Depp/ Gwyneth Paltrow comic crime caper in an unrated version with additional violence or sex tossed back in. No, they're going the opposite route, offering a PG-13 version of the film. And I quote: And now, even more comedy lovers can experience the hilarity with the uproarious PG-13 cut of the film, Mortdecai PG-13 , available exclusively on Digital HD and On Demand. the full article



Not Welcome in New York...

Abel Ferrara's new film Welcome to New York won't be released in New York

Link Here24th March 2015
Welcome to New York, Abel Ferrara's movie starring Gerard Depardieu as a character inspired by Dominique Strauss-Kahn, won't be released in New York.

In fact, the director's cut seen in Europe won't be released at all in the US, and Ferrara is unimpressed by the censorship. Ferrara speaks of the producer's cut of the film:

My film says 'no means no' and 'violence to women is not an option. Their film says, 'this is an innocent man being harassed by the NYPD.' It lets DSK off the hook.

Ferrara says IFC, the French distributing company that produced the film, have violated his right to the final cut, and butchered his critically acclaimed movie to be less-damning of DSK. The crucial scene where DSK is depicted as raping hotel maid Nafissatou Diallo is now edited as a flashback -- a dream the maid has.

Ferrara is calling for a boycott of the film when IFC opens it in a theater in Los Angeles and releases it online.

Wild Bunch and IFC deny they buckled to pressure from Strauss-Kahn and his lawyers to whitewash the story. IFC said in a statement{

We offered Mr. Ferrara an opportunity to edit his own R-rated version of the film at our expense, but he did not respond.



Viewed from the Lobby...

Morality campaigners get Australian outdoor showing of Fifty Shades of Grey cancelled

Link Here24th March 2015
  An outdoor cinema in Adelaide has cancelled a planned screening of Fifty Shades of Grey after whinges from the Australian Christian Lobby.

Australian Christian Lobby claimed that it was concerned the film about a sadomasochistic relationship may be seen by children who are outside the cinema.

Australian Christian Lobby managing director Lyle Shelton claimed to the Advertiser that the movie tended to glorify sexual violence as being acceptable:

The message of the film is bad enough, let alone the potential for children or young people to walk past and be exposed to sexual violence against women.

The cinema said that it recognised concerns children may hear or see parts of the film from outside the confines of the cinema, but said it was built to avoid that issue, including the use of 2m high fencing and additional fencing panels to block views. A number of movies rated MA15 have been shown at the cinema already this year, without complaints.



The Duff Cut...

The latest cinema film suffering cuts for a lower age rating

Link Here20th March 2015
The Duff is a 2015 USA comedy by Ari Sandel.
Starring Bella Thorne, Mae Whitman and Robbie Amell. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

A high school senior instigates a social pecking order revolution after finding out that she has been labeled the DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend) to her prettier more popular friends.

UK: Passed 12A for infrequent strong language, moderate sex references after BBFC advised pre-cuts for:

  • 2015 cinema release
The BBFC commented:
  • This film was originally seen for advice, at which stage the company was advised it was likely to receive a 15 classification but that their preferred 12A could be achieved by removing a scene involving strong sex references. When the film was submitted for formal classification, this sequence had been removed and the film was classified 12A.



Updated: Clean Living...

Disney decides to end the depiction of smoking in its movies rated G, PG and PG-13

Link Here19th March 2015
Full story: Adult Rating for Smoking...Anti-smoking lobby for 18 for smoking in films
Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger have declared that the company will absolutely prohibit smoking in its films that are targeted at younger audiences.

The details of the company's plan is that all Disney films featuring a PG-13 rating or lower - which includes the titles from Marvel Studios - will not be allowed to depict any of its characters smoking. The only potential exception to this rule is in cases where historical accuracy is important. An example that the executive threw out is Abraham Lincoln, who was just the subject of a Steven Spielberg-directed biopic and was known to be a smoker during his lifetime.

Bob Iger made it clear that the decision being made is an internal one, and not meant to influence either other Hollywood studios or the ratings board. Said Iger, We don't get involved in how MPAA applies ratings to films... nor do we try to influence the policies of the other studios we compete with.

Update: Dragged Out

19th March 2015. Thanks to Braintree

  One of Disney's earlier movies, Melody Time , was released on DVD quite some time ago and one of the characters in it, Pecos Bill, has been adjusted to remove the cigarette that he has in his mouth. So this smoking ban is not new. Curiously the US disc is edited, but the existing UK DVD contains the unedited version.

Melody Time is a 1948 USA family animation by Clyde Geronimi, Wilfred Jackson...
Starring Roy Rogers, Trigger and Dennis Day. BBFC link IMDb

From IMDb:

In 1998 Disney changed the Pecos Bill segment. They cut a scene of Bill rolling a smoke and digitally removed all other shots of the offending cigarette hanging from his lips. The cigarette was edited out in each case resulting in the removal of almost the entire tornado sequence and some odd hand and mouth movements for Bill throughout.




Cut in the US for an MPAA PG-13 rating

Link Here18th March 2015
Mortdecai is a 2015 USA action comedy by David Koepp.
Starring Johnny Depp, Olivia Munn and Ewan McGregor. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

Juggling some angry Russians, the British Mi5, his impossibly leggy wife and an international terrorist, debonair art dealer and part time rogue Charlie Mortdecai must traverse the globe armed only with his good looks and special charm in a race to recover a stolen painting rumored to contain the code to a lost bank account filled with Nazi gold.

An uncut version was originally MPAA rated R for some language and sexual material. A couple of months later the film was re-rated PG-13 for sexuality including references and innuendo, action/violence and brief strong language.

The MPAA commented that the PG-13 rated version was an edited version with content different from the R rated version.



Cutting comments...

Ex New Zealand film censor speaks of the changes in film censorship since his time at the board

Link Here17th March 2015



Update: Censorship Gets Hard in India...

Hollywood is giving up trying to get R rated films past the new loony censor

Link Here15th March 2015
Full story: Indian Film Censor Pahlaj Nihalani...Loony film censor wants to ban everything
Get Hard is a 2015 USA comedy by Etan Cohen.
Starring Alison Brie, Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart. Youtube link IMDb

When millionaire James King is nailed for fraud and bound for San Quentin, he turns to Darnell Lewis to prep him to go behind bars.

MPAA Rated R for pervasive crude and sexual content and language, some graphic nudity, and drug material.

The Indian censor board has created a regressive environment, says studio executive, citing the example of the censorship of Fifty Shades of Grey .

Wary of a series of recent decisions by the Central Board of Film Censorship (CBFC) to impose cuts and restrictions on movies scheduled for release, Warner Bros. has resolved against showing their upcoming film Get Hard in Indian theatres. The Will Ferrell-Kevin Hart starrer was to open in India on March 27.

It is learnt that the call to not release the adult comedy was taken jointly by Warner Bros. offices in the US and India. A source told Mirror:

Another studio deleted 20 minutes of content before screening its film for the Examining Committee and was still refused certification. In these times of aggressive censorship unless you truncate your product to an extent that it doesn't resemble the original anymore, you can't get it passed here.

Earlier, the Will Smith comedy, Focus , which opens this Friday, was banned by the CBFC's Examining Committee (EC). The dark romcom was eventually passed by the Revising Committee (RC) after 14 cuts.

They even objected to the word 'boob', said the source, pointing out that this kind of regressive environment is not conducive to adult comedies whose funny lines will be punctuated by 'over 100-odd beeps'.

It also is reported that the current censorship policy means that the distributors feel that there is little point pursing an appeal of the recently banned 50 Shades of Grey.



Update: Bountiful Protest...

India's film censors protest against their tyrant boss

Link Here13th March 2015
Full story: Indian Film Censor Pahlaj Nihalani...Loony film censor wants to ban everything
Members of India's Central Board of Film Censorship (CBFC) are protesting against its loony chairman Pahlaj Nihalani's dictatorial ways, accusing him of of being a tyrant for not just reviewing films himself but also ordering cuss words to be removed despite a board resolution putting the order to ban 28 cuss words on hold.

CBFC members Ashoke Pandit, Mihir Bhuta and Nandini Sardesai have reportedly accused Nihalini of making the censor board redundant by deliberately turning a deaf ear to board recommendations or suggestions.

Board member Chandraprakash Dwivedi expressed disappointment over cuts made in Anushka Sharma's film NH10 despite a collective decision to put on hold a circular banning cuss words.

Expressing anguish that collective decisions were being ignored, Dwivedi, a prominent filmmaker, sought an urgent meeting of the board in his letter to CBFC chairman Pahlaj Nihlani to address uncomfortable issues . Dwivedi said that he was in receipt of the list of cuss words asked to be deleted by board to the producers of NH 10. Recalling an earlier meeting of the board, Dwivedi said, it was resolved that the circular issued by chairman or the office of the CBFC, banning certain words, will not be implemented till there is a detailed discussion.

Meanwhile, CBFC member Ashoke Pandit in a Facebook post wrote:

From the day this man (Nihalini) has taken the reins of the board, the CBFC is resembling like a wild horse gone amok. His ridiculous diktats and autocratic functioning has made CBFC a laughing stock not only amongst the film makers but also the cinema viewing audience. Nihalani's diktats are supported neither by logic nor law, nor does he appreciate the intelligence of the film-maker and the audience. He literally functions like an archaic monarch treating CBFC and its office like his own fiefdom.



Paul Blart 2...

UK cinema release cut for a PG rating

Link Here12th March 2015
Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2 is a 2015 USA action comedy by Andy Fickman.
Starring Kevin James, Raini Rodriguez and Eduardo Verástegui. BBFC link IMDb

UK: Passed PG for moderate comic violence after 8s of BBFC category cuts for:

  • 2015 cinema release
The BBFC commented:
  • Company chose to remove a moment of moderate violence (a headbutt) and two sequences of weapons display (knives being opened and twirled) in order to obtain a PG classification. Cuts made in accordance with BBFC Guidelines and policy. An uncut 12A classification was available.
Summary Notes

In this sequel, in which Kevin James reprises the role of Paul Blart, the security guard is headed to Las Vegas to attend a Security Guard Expo with his teenage daughter Maya (Raini Rodriguez) before she departs for college. While at the convention, he inadvertently discovers a heist - and it's up to Blart to apprehend the criminals.



Singing from the right hymn sheet...

Australian film censors drop the rating for Boychoir on appeal

Link Here12th March 2015
Boychoir is a 2014 USA drama by François Girard.
Starring Dustin Hoffman, Kathy Bates and Debra Winger. Youtube link IMDb

Summary Notes

Stet, a troubled and angry 11-year-old orphan from a small Texas town, ends up at a Boy Choir school back East after the death of his single mom. Completely out of his element, he finds himself in a battle of wills with a demanding Choir Master who recognizes a unique talent in this young boy as he pushes him to discover his creative heart and soul in music.

Boychoir has had its rating downgraded on appeal in Australia. The film has been re-classified PG (Mild bullying violence and themes) from M (Mature themes, PG-15 in US terms) by the Review Board. The Australian appeal board explains:

The National Classification Code and Classification Guidelines allows for violence and themes which are mild and justified by context. In the Classification Review Board's opinion BOYCHOIR warrants a PG classification because the violence and themes are mild in impact and justified by context.

The other classifiable elements can be accommodated within the PG classification or lower. The overall impact of the classifiable elements in the film was no higher than mild. Films classified PG may contain material which some children find confusing or upsetting and may require the guidance of parents or guardians. For this reason, PG films are not recommended for viewing by persons under 15 without guidance from parents or guardians.

Consumer advice is additional information about the main content of a film, intended to help consumers decide if they want to view this type of material. The Classification Review Board convened today in response to an application from the original applicant, Becker Film Group, to review the decision made by the Classification Board on 10 February 2015, to classify Boychoir M with the consumer advice 'Mature themes'.

For comparison:

  • UK BBFC: Rated PG for mild violence, mild bad language



Extract: Forty Shades of Grey...

Fifty Shades of Grey cut by 20 minutes in Vietnam

Link Here10th March 2015

In the days leading up to the release in Vietnam, the movie was banned in Indonesia, neighbouring Cambodia and Malaysia -- whose censors declared it to be more pornography than a movie . This stoked even more anticipation in Vietnam. Newspapers breathlessly speculated about how many minutes of screen time would be devoted to sex scenes, while cinemas created elaborate Red Room displays in their lobbies for people to take risque selfies.

The film was promoted a lot, so it made us excited and curious, says Xuan Thao, who along with thousands of others queued patiently to get a ticket for the film when it opened on Valentine's Day. We wanted to see what all the fuss was about. She left feeling angry and short changed. In this version of Fifty Shades of Grey there is no sex at all.

In total, around 20 minutes of screen time has been cut by the country's censorship committee, excising any scene deemed potentially sensitive. Only a few kisses remain. The lack of passion has infuriated audiences, who hadn't gone for deft plotting or complex characterisation. It's totally ridiculous, Thao complains. This version is rated 16+, but it doesn't need an age restriction; a five-year-old could watch it. Even the trailer was sexier. They'd have been better banning it altogether.

...Read the full article



Update: Are there now crimes that cannot be depicted in BBFC approved films?...

And is the job of the by film censor becoming a little 'political'?

Link Here 9th March 2015
Hate Crime is a 2013 USA action horror thriller by James Cullen Bressack.
Starring Jody Barton, Nicholas Clark and Greg Depetro. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

The film has just been banned by the BBFC for 2015 Horror Show VoD.

The BBFC commented:

HATE CRIME focuses on the terrorisation, mutilation, physical and sexual abuse and murder of the members of a Jewish family by the Neo Nazi thugs who invade their home. The physical and sexual abuse and violence are accompanied by constant strong verbal racist abuse. Little context is provided for the violence beyond an on screen statement at the end of the film that the two attackers who escaped were subsequently apprehended and that the one surviving family member was released from captivity. We have considered the attempt at the end to position the film as against hate-crime, but find it so unconvincing that it only makes matters worse.

The BBFC's Guidelines on violence state that 'Any depiction of sadistic or sexual violence which is likely to pose a harm risk will be subject to intervention through classification, cuts or even, as a last resort, refusal to classify. We may refuse to classify content which makes sexual or sadistic violence look appealing or acceptable [...] or invites viewer complicity in sexual violence or other harmful violent activities. We are also unlikely to classify content which is so demeaning or degrading to human dignity (for example, it consists of strong abuse, torture or death without any significant mitigating factors) that it may pose a harm risk.'

It is the Board's carefully considered conclusion that the unremitting manner in which HATE CRIME focuses on physical and sexual abuse, aggravated by racist invective, means that to issue a classification to this work, even if confined to adults, would be inconsistent with the Board's Guidelines, would risk potential harm, and would be unacceptable to broad public opinion.

Of course, the Board will always seek to deal with such concerns by means of cuts or other modifications when this is a feasible option. However, under the heading of 'Refusal to classify' our Guidelines state that 'As a last resort, the BBFC may refuse to classify a work, in line with the objective of preventing non-trivial harm risks to potential viewers and, through their behaviour, to society. We may do so, for example, where a central concept of the work is unacceptable, such as a sustained focus on sexual or sadistic violence. Before refusing classification we will consider whether the problems could be adequately addressed through intervention such as cuts.' The Board considered whether its concerns could be dealt with through cuts. However, given that the fact that unacceptable content runs throughout the work, cuts are not a viable option in this case and the work is therefore refused a classification.

See article from . The Director James Cullen Bressack responded:

I am honoured to know that my mind is officially too twisted for the UK. So it goes...I find it unbelievable that a film that shows little to no on screen violence and no nudity was actually banned. it just shows the power of what is implied and peoples imagination; and is a testament to the fact that the same crimes that happen in the world are truly horrifying.

And an article from the director continues:

As a Jewish man, and a victim of anti -Semitic hate, I made a horror film that depicts the very thing that haunts my dreams. As an artist I wanted to tell a story to remind us that we live in a dangerous world; a world where racial violence is on the rise. It saddens me to learn that censorship is still alive and well.

Despite the lurid language used by the BBFC, reviewers have concurred that the violence and sexual violence is not explicitly portrayed. For example, see review from

Clocking in at just over an hour, its not an exceptionally long feature film and with it being a low budget production, not all the acting is up to the standards of the Royal Shakespeare Company (so to speak). Also, some of the more brutal scenes are perhaps more implied than shown (the wife and daughter get to keep their underwear on for the most part whilst being sexually assaulted). But then, many might argue that's a good thing and in any case, does not detract from the extremely uncomfortable nature of it all.

The film as described in the language of 'outrage' by the BBFC doesn't quite tally with even mainstream film reviews. Well known US film critic Roger Ebert was quoted in an article from saying that he gave the film 2.5 stars, saying of the film:

Actually more of a thriller than a social commentary. the film holds our attention and contains surprises right until the end and raises complex moral issues that makes the movie more thought-provoking than we could possibly have expected.

So it would seem that the ban is more about the racist invective, than the portrayal of the violence. And of course there's also the ever important political correctness aspect, that the the film would be unacceptable to broad public opinion .

Perhaps it is also relevant to note here that the BBFC has been lobbied by a political group on the subject of the censorship of racism. From an article from :

Danny Stone the director of the All-Party Parliamentary Group Against Antisemitism told the Jewish Chronicle:

We welcome this decision [to ban Hate Crime]. We have worked closely with the BBFC over a number of years and are confident they not only have the right systems in place for certification, but a robust position on anti-Semitism and racism .

Could it be that the job of film censor is becoming a little 'political'. The BBFC now has to determine if it is acceptable to depict crimes that are PC sensitive, regardless of the director wanting to highlight the abhorrence of the racist crime portrayed.



Offsite Article: The 4 Quadrants...

Link Here9th March 2015
A few facts and figures about US film ratings from the MPAA

See article from



H is for Harsh...

Substitute teacher jailed for occupying students with classrom showing of The ABCs of Death

Link Here7th March 2015

  A former substitute teacher convicted of showing a horror movie to a high school class was sentenced on Wednesday to 90 days in jail.

Sheila Kearns, who was convicted in January of four felony counts, apologized in court, saying she hadn't watched the movie before showing it to her Spanish classes at Columbus' East High School in April 2013. The successful movie, The ABCs of Death , consists of 26 chapters, each depicting some form of grisly death and representing a letter of the alphabet. The movie is R rated in the US which means that the film is considered suitable for 17 year olds, but younger children are allowed to see it when accompanied by their parents. The film was 18 rated in the UK.

Kearns was convicted of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles. The Columbus Dispatch reported the judge placed her on probation for three years but made the jail time a condition of probation. Kearns contended she was unaware of the movie's content. Her attorney said she never would have knowingly showed it.

But a student testified Kearns watched the 129-minute movie. The student said the movie was disturbing and said students in the class went crazy while watching it.

An assistant principal who saw the DVD movie playing in the classroom confiscated it.

Prosecutors said the movie's title should have tipped off Kearns that she should check it out before showing it to her students, who ranged in age from 14 to 18.

Jurors watched the movie before convicting Kearns. After the conviction, the jury foreman said it wasn't proved at trial that Kearns was aware of the movie's content the first time she showed it but she would have known by the second, third, fourth and fifth showings.



Offsite Article: Vivienne Pattison recommends...

Link Here5th March 2015
Fifty Shades of Grey in an interview with religious campaigner

See article from



Hate Crime...

2013 USA action horror thriller by James Cullen Bressack banned by the BBFC for VoD

Link Here3rd March 2015
Hate Crime is a 2013 USA action horror thriller by James Cullen Bressack.
Starring Jody Barton, Nicholas Clark and Greg Depetro. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

UK: Banned by the BBFC for:

  • 2015 Horror Show VoD

The BBFC commented:

HATE CRIME focuses on the terrorisation, mutilation, physical and sexual abuse and murder of the members of a Jewish family by the Neo Nazi thugs who invade their home. The physical and sexual abuse and violence are accompanied by constant strong verbal racist abuse. Little context is provided for the violence beyond an on-screen statement at the end of the film that the two attackers who escaped were subsequently apprehended and that the one surviving family member was released from captivity. It is the Board's carefully considered conclusion that the unremitting manner in which HATE CRIME focuses on physical and sexual abuse, aggravated by racist invective, means that to issue a classification to this work, even if confined to adults, would be inconsistent with the Board's Guidelines, would risk potential harm, and would be unacceptable to broad public opinion. The Board considered whether its concerns could be dealt with through cuts. However, given that the fact that unacceptable content runs throughout the work, cuts are not a viable option in this case and the work is therefore refused a classification.

See article from . The Director James Cullen Bressack responded:

I am honoured to know that my mind is officially too twisted for the UK. So it goes...I find it unbelievable that a film that shows little to no on screen violence and no nudity was actually banned. it just shows the power of what is implied and peoples imagination; and is a testament to the fact that the same crimes that happen in the world are truly horrifying.



US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated for:

Summery Notes and Promotional Material:

A Jewish family, that just arrived in a new neighborhood, are recording their youngest son's birthday celebrations on video when their home is suddenly invaded by a bunch of crystal-meth-crazed Neo-Nazi lunatics.

  • ... it's brutal, it's unflinching, and it is not for the squeamish. - AIN'T IT COOL NEWS

  • ... one of the most realistic portrayals of pure fear and terror in modern day society. - BLOODY DISGUSTING

  • All I can do is promise you that it's a damn well made movie by a talented and dedicated group that set out to do more than sicken or cash in. - MOREHORROR.COM



Updated: It's all tied up with money...

Fifty Shades of Grey proves a hit at the box office

Link Here3rd March 2015
Fifty Shades of Grey scored one of the biggest R-rated debuts ever this weekend.

Playing at 3,646 theaters, the widest opening ever for an R-rated movie, ifty Shades of Grey scored an estimated $85 million over the three-day weekend. That's the top opening ever in the month of February.

And the movie is proving to be even more of a phenomenon internationally than it is in the U.S.

The movie earned a stunning $158 million from 58 markets this weekend. That's the second-biggest weekend ever for Universal Pictures International (behind Fast & Furious 6 ), and included their biggest single day ever (Valentine's Day at $55.1 million).

Update: Set to be the first film of 2015 to pass 500 million mark

3rd  March 2015.  See  article from

The film fell to fourth in the US box office over the weekend, but still added $10.9 million from its fourth week in the charts. That brings its domestic total to $147 million and its worldwide total to $486 million. Another week like this and it will become the first movie of 2015 to reach $500 million.



Offsite Article: Is censorship dead in the digital age?...

Link Here3rd March 2015
Well its alive and kicking in the UK but it is struggling a bit in New Zealand

See article from



Update: Best Documentary...Citizenfour...

Oscars honour Edward Snowden

Link Here23rd February 2015
Full story: The Edward Snowden Revelations...Internet Snooping in the US revealed

CITIZENFOUR , Laura Poitras' riveting documentary about Edward Snowden's efforts to shed light on gross surveillance abuses by the United States government and its partners, just won the 2014 Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

Tonight's Oscar win recognizes not only the incredible cinematography of Poitras, but also her daring work with a high-stakes whistleblower and the journalism that kick-started a worldwide debate about surveillance and government transparency. We suspect this award was also, as the New York Times pointed out , a way for Academy members to make something of a political statement, without having to put their own reputations on the line.

We're thrilled to see Poitras take home this prestigious award. CITIZENFOUR distilled a multi-year battle against untargeted surveillance and delivered it to the world with a compelling human interest story. The work of Poitras, Snowden, and journalist Glenn Greenwald helped shape the political course of nations across the globe. That's worth at least an Oscar.

This award means that more people will be no doubt be watching CITIZENFOUR, and thus learning about both Snowden's sacrifice and the surveillance abuses by the United States government. For those watching the movie for the first time, there's often a sense of urgency to get involved and fight back against mass untargeted surveillance



Updated: Censors in need of a good thrashing...

Fifty Shades of Grey is banned in Nigeria, UAE, Papua New Guinea, and parts of Russia.

Link Here21st February 2015
Fifty Shades of Grey continues to wind up film censors.

UAE: Banned

UAE's film censors of the National Media Council have required 35 minutes of cuts due to inappropriate scenes, forcing distributor Four Star Films to pull the film. The council's director of media content Juma Al Leem told the paper.

We reviewed the movie in the presence of the distributor and after he realized how many inappropriate scenes there were, he took the decision not to show the movie himself, before we were able to make a decision.

Russia: Not shown in the Caucases

Meanwhile Russian news agency TASS reported that the erotic drama, which opened elsewhere in Russia on Feb. 12 with an 18+ age restriction, has been pulled out by cinemas in the republics of Ossetia, Ingushetia and Chechnya. Ossetian mufti Khadzhimurat Gatsalov was quoted as saying:

The initiative to send an address to the region's authorities, requesting that the film be banned, came from young people who are concerned about noticeable interest in the movie from those who are in the early twenties,

TASS also quoted Madina Ayubova, a spokesperson for Kinostar, a theater in Chechnya's capital Grozny, as saying that film won't be exhibited in Chechnya:

Because a lot of what is shown in [the film] contradicts the mentality and religion of the majority of the republic's population.

According to Gatsalov, the film is not going to be exhibited in any of the four remaining North Caucasus republics either.

Philippines: Blurred

MTRCB, The Philippines censorship group's Chairman Eugenio Toto Villareal told the Inquirer that the board approved the film with no further cuts, but that the producer/distributor (Columbia Pictures) had made pre-cuts prior to review.

As part of the measures, a 10-second notice is flashed onscreen before each screening, disclosing that the film was classified as is and in its entirety with noticeable blurs and screen blocks introduced by the film producer. The notice also informs the public about the adult content.

Update: Banned in Papua New Guinea and heavily cut in Zimbabwe

19th February 2015. See  article from .
See  article from

Papua New Guinea : Banned in February 2015

Fifty Shades of Grey has been refused classification by the Papua New Guinea Censorship Office, preventing it from being shown in cinemas.

Zimbabwe: Heavily cut in February 2015

Zimbabwe's film censors have demanded heavy editing of the film Fifty Shades of Grey, leading to some movie theatres not screening it.

Two cinema houses in the capital Harare are screening an edited version of the movie. Sam Levy's Village was not screening it with the explanation:

It was felt that heavy censorship would compromise the integrity of the film and thus, a decision has been made by Ster-Kinekor Sam Levy's Village not to screen the film within its complex.

Update: Nigeria Too

21st February 2015. See  article from

Nigeria : Banned in February 2015

Nigeria's National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) has banned Fifty Shades of Grey, but only after the board had let it be shown for about a week.

World censors' ratings:

  • Argentina 16
  • Australia: rated MA15+ (15A in UK ratings terminology) for strong sex scenes, sexual themes and nudity
  • Canada (Quebec) 16+
  • Canada (Ontario + British Columbia) 18A
  • China Unavailable as distributors think Chinese film censors would ban it
  • Czech Republic: 15
  • France 12
  • Germany 16
  • Iceland 16
  • Indonesia Banned
  • Ireland 18
  • Italy 14
  • Kenya Banned
  • Malaysia Banned
  • New Zealand R18 for sex scenes and offensive language
  • Netherlands 16
  • Nigeria Banned
  • Papua New Guinea Banned
  • Philippines R-18 after censorship cuts implemented by blurring
  • Russia 18+ (banned in Ossetia, Ingushetia and Chechnya)
  • Singapore R21 uncut for mature theme and sexual scenes
  • South Korea 18
  • Spain 16
  • Sweden: 15
  • Thailand 20
  • UAE Banned
  • UK 18 uncut for strong sex
  • US: R rated (17A in UK ratings terminology) for strong sexual content including dialogue, some unusual behavior and graphic nudity, and for language.
  • Vietnam 16+ after cuts which were required to make the film suitable for the masses
  • Zimbabwe Heavily cut. Some cinemas have decided that the cut version is not worth showing



Shopping: French Dressing...

A fascinating version and censorship history of Ken Russell's debut film, now set for its first UK DVD release on 13th April 2015

Link Here20th February 2015
French Dressing is a 1964 UK comedy drama by Ken Russell (as Kenneth Russell).
Starring James Booth, Roy Kinnear and Marisa Mell. BBFC link IMDb

UK: The full 86 minute cut was passed 12 uncut for moderate sex references, nudity for:

UK Version History

Late on in the editing process Warner-Pathe decided to shorten the film. The scenes removed have never been included in any official release and are now considered lost. From IMDb:

There is a missing scene between where Françoise agrees to join Jim and Henry at their place. This was Ken Russell's favourite scene in the entire movie but it was dropped by the producers, hence the unexplained cut between France and the pier of Gormleigh.

Regarding the original 100 minutes, it is known that several scenes and tail ends including the one referenced on IMDb were removed from the cut as the film was considered too long by the original distributor Warner-Pathe that was part owned by Associated British at Elstree Studios who did not like the film. There are production stills, press shots and amateur photographs from residents of Herne Bay confirming scenes that were deleted.

The late French actress Germaine Delbat is credited in one version of the surviving prints yet is never seen in the film. It is believed that she played a kind concierge who took in Jim Stevens (James Booth) and Henry Ligget (Roy Kinnear) to her ruined Tudor hotel when they were hopelessly lost on foot in woodland on the road from Boulogne to Le Touquet.

The scene referenced on IMDb was after the two Englishmen found Françoise Fayol (Marisa Mell) in Le Touquet and brought her back to the hotel for a picnic (production stills exist of this) before returning to England with her the next day. These are the scenes that were most treasured by Ken Russell and the producer Kenneth Harper, but they to were cut possibly very late in the process hence why Germaine Delbat remains credited in one print as French woman .

The surviving print moves scene via a poorly executed cut from the Englishmen's invitation in Le Touquet straight to their arrival back in England at the end of the pier.

Unfortunately of course all these scenes are believed to no longer exist in any format. Possibly Ken Russell might have owned a personal collection or the original 100 minute print but all of his possessions were destroyed in a catastrophic house fire in 2006. He confirmed that he had lost his copy in 2008 when he came to introduce an outdoor screening in Herne Bay.

UK: With the distributor's cuts included, the BBFC passed the film A (PG) after further BBFC cuts required for an A rating for:
  • 1964 cinema release titled French Dressing (scope)

The BBFC cuts were:

  • The BBFC removed a scene with Françoise Fayol (Marisa Mell) dressed as a nun revealing her garter as part of a dream sequence. Ken Russell confirms this in an old Radio Times interview from 30 October 1971 which accompanied a BBC TV broadcast of the film that week. This scene was later returned in part or in whole to the surviving prints that exist today.

Apart from a number of worldwide television broadcasts of varying runtime, the film has been screened as a double bill (cut even shorter to 60 minutes) in Australia, Argentina, Canada, Germany, Japan and was given limited cinema circuit release in the UK in part thanks to the sudden popularity of James Booth via Zulu in 1964. There are surviving localised posters for all these releases.

Thanks  to Daniel who adds that the film has been on UK TV once for definite. It was on Channel 4 in the early hours of the morning, but the screening was over a decade ago. Daniel notes that it was letterboxed, but cropped to 1.77.

The full 86 minute cut has been screened in local Herne Bay festivals and a BFI screening in 2011, otherwise it was largely buried and forgotten until now.

Network's DVD is the first home video release of the film worldwide since Weintraub Entertainment released a cropped NTSC VHS in Japan circa 1989.

Promotional Material

Director Ken Russell's first film is a comedy about the exploits of a deckchair attendant in the fictional English seaside resort town of Gormleigh. Aided by his reporter gilfriend Judy (Alita Naughton), deckchair attendant Jim (James Booth) dreams up a plan to revitalise the town by organising a film festival centred around French movie star pin-up Françoise Fayol (Marisa Mell). Travelling to France with entertainments manager Henry Liggott (Roy Kinnear) to enlist the star's help, the pair finally convince her to return with them to headline the festival. But although Fayol receives a warm welcome in the town, a series of unplanned mishaps see the festival, which up to that point had been a roaring success, descend into farce.



Not a lot...

Hollywood Reporter researches the rules for the depiction of sex in the 17+ R rating

Link Here18th February 2015

The MPAA R rating is by definition suitable for at least older children, so unsurprisingly, there are severe restrictions on the depiction of sex. The Hollywood Reporter has been trying to define some of those restrictions.

The R rating can have about 3 or 4 seconds of a scene where it is implied that sex is taking place, and even then the participants must be mostly clothed. The Hollywood Reports writes:

The difference between an R rating and an NC-17 often hinges on the amount of in-and-out action, according to those familiar with the ratings process. Three or four seconds you can get away with, says one source. Linger on it for 30 or 40 seconds, and you're in NC-17 territory. And if a couple is completely naked, forget about it (think of all those half-clad lovers you've seen on the big screen).

And as for oral sex, it's all about how long the scene lasts and how completely the implied action is obscured, Harvey Weinstein successfully appealed the NC-17 given to Blue Valentine because of a scene in which Ryan Gosling's character performs oral sex on Michelle Williams'. A very vocal Gosling accused the MPAA of misogyny, saying there are countless R-rated movies in which a male character receives oral sex.

Nudity is also largely verboten. Showing genitalia full-on (his or hers) almost guarantees an NC-17, unless it's a fleeting glimpse, as with Sharon Stone's crotch shot in Basic Instinct or Ben Affleck's shower-entry scene in Gone Girl . Female breasts are R-friendly, of course, one recent example being Oscar-nominated Reese Witherspoon in Wild .

Sex within a monogamous relationship is much preferred by the moralist censors. casual sex acts are judged more harshly by the MPAA, according to insiders who have been through the process. In other words, the ratings board looks more kindly on a sex scene when the characters are in a marriage or serious relationship. (Same-sex interactions also get more scrutiny than heterosexual encounters.)



Offsite Article: How London’s Sex Comedies Saved British Cinema...

Link Here18th February 2015
A nostalgic look back of at the sex comedies of the 70s

See article from



Cuts for 12, Cuts for 15 and Cuts for 18...

Egypt film censors to introduce a system to classify their cuts according to age

Link Here17th February 2015
Plans to introduce a rating system for movies in the Egyptian cinemas would partly reduced the need for cuts but nudity and explicitly sexual scenes would still be cut out, according to the head of Egypt's state Censorship Bureau. Abd El Sattar Fathy said:

Of course, if it is a scene of explicit sex it will be removed. Images of male and female genitalia as well as nudity scenes will also be removed, he added.

Any movie that is clearly promoting pornography, homosexuality or that is damaging Egypt's relations with some specific countries will still be rejected.

The new measure would not prevent deleting scenes of atheism or that incite sectarian strife.

Fathy said that Egypt would be implementing a rating system that classifies films into three age categories, 12, 15 and 18.

He also said that the board seeks to implement the classification as soon as possible but that training on this could take two months.



Update: Blemished...

Unfreedom movie banned in India by the CBFC

Link Here15th February 2015
Full story: Banned Movies in India...Sex, religion and easy offence
Unfreedom (aka Blemished Light) is a 2015 USA / India crime romance by Raj Amit Kumar.
Starring Victor Banerjee, Adil Hussain and Bhanu Uday. IMDb

In New York arrives a violent and angry man imprisoned by his brutal past, Mohammed Husain. His mission - to kidnap and kill a peaceful Muslim scholar, Fareed Rahmani. On the other side of the world, Leela Singh, a homosexual girl in New Delhi, kidnaps her bisexual lover, Sakhi Taylor. Her mission - to marry her lover and live happily ever after. In a brutal struggle of identities against unfreedom, four characters, in two of the world's largest cities, come face to face with most gruesome acts of torture and violence. The choices they make when they are most cornered in life, expose the blemished reality of contemporary world.

Unfreedom , a new Indian film by Raj Amit Kumar has been banned in India. However it will be released in North American theatres and simultaneously on digital channels on May 29.

According to a media release Unfreedom juxtaposes two powerful and unflinching contemporary stories about religious fundamentalism and intolerance. Shifting between New York and New Delhi, one tale follows a Muslim terrorist who kidnaps a liberal Muslim scholar in order to silence him, while the other charts the travails of a young woman whose devout father tries to force her into an arranged marriage, which she resists because she is secretly in love with another woman.

Recently, Unfreedom was banned in India, where homosexuality was criminalised in 2013, by the Censor Board of Film Certification (CBFC), rendering much of its content too controversial for general audiences.



Update: Banned in Indonesia and not being shown in China...

Vietnam cuts Fifty Shades of Grey so as to be 'suitable for the masses'

Link Here14th February 2015

One day after pulling Fifty Shades of Grey from its Thursday premiere, cinema chains in Vietnam finally proceeded with a wide release of the erotic movie, of a cut version of it to be exact.

The new cut, dubbed as the Asian version, is rated 16+ for mature audience but is now advertised as more suitable for the masses.

The last-minute cancelation, which forced theaters to give ticket refunds to many movie fans, has sparked rumor that the movie could not make it pass Vietnam's censorship board.

Meanwhile distributor, Comcast/Universal Pictures, is not pursuing a theatrical release in China. A source with knowledge of the studio's plans explained that sexually explicit films generally do not make it past Chinese government censors.

The distributor in Indonesia said the film would not be shown there as the film did not meet the country's censorship standards.



Censors with ratings higher than their IQs...

Fifty Shades of Grey rated 20 in Thailand and 21 in Singapore. Meanwhile the film is rated 3 by 10,000 IMDb reviewers

Link Here12th February 2015
Fifty Shades of Grey is a 2015 USA romance by Sam Taylor-Johnson.
Starring Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan and Jennifer Ehle. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

The film adaptation of the erotic romance novel Fifty Shades of Grey will be screened uncut in Singapore. It received an R21 rating from the Board of Film Censors, with an advisory that the film has a mature theme and sexual scenes.

Meanwhile in Thailand the film has been given a rare 20 rating. (20 is the age of maturity, similar to 21 in the UK)

For comparison, countries have rated the film as follows:

  • Argentina 16
  • Australia: rated MA15+ (15A in UK ratings terminology) for strong sex scenes, sexual themes and nudity
  • Canada (Quebec) 16+
  • Canada (Ontario + British Columbia) 18A
  • China Unavailable as distributors think Chinese film censors would ban it
  • Czech Republic: 15
  • France 12
  • Iceland 16
  • Indonesia Banned
  • Ireland 18
  • Italy 14
  • Kenya Banned
  • Malaysia Banned
  • New Zealand R18 for sex scenes and offensive language
  • Netherlands 16
  • Philippines R-18 after censorship cuts implemented by blurring
  • Russia 18+ (banned in Ossetia, Ingushetia and Chechnya)
  • Singapore R21 uncut for mature theme and sexual scenes
  • South Korea 18
  • Spain 16
  • Sweden: 15
  • Thailand 20
  • UAE Banned
  • UK 18 uncut for strong sex
  • US: R rated (17A in UK ratings terminology) for strong sexual content including dialogue, some unusual behavior and graphic nudity, and for language.
  • Vietnam 16+ after cuts which were required to make the film suitable for the masses

And perhaps, most importantly the viewers have rated the film 3. (3 out of 10 that is, the average mark from 10,000 reviewers on IMDb )



Updated: Malaysia and Kenya Recommend...

Fifty Shades of Grey inevitably banned

Link Here11th February 2015
Fifty Shades of Grey is a 2015 USA romance by Sam Taylor-Johnson.
Starring Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan and Jennifer Ehle. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

The Malaysian Film Censorship Board (LPF) banned the movie with its chairman Datuk Abdul Halim Abdul Hamid saying that the board had found the film to be unfit for the Malaysian audience, calling the flick more like pornography than a movie . He said:

The board made a decision in view of the film containing scenes that are not of natural sexual content. The content is more sadistic, featuring scenes of a woman being tied to a bed and whipped.

Update: Kenya in bondage to prudery

11th February 2015. See  article from

Fifty Shades of Grey has banned by the state censors of the Kenya Film Classification Board with the following announcement on facebook :

The Board wishes to inform the public, film operators and stakeholders that the film, 50 Shades of Grey has been RESTRICTED. It should not be screened or distributed to the public.

When contacted, an official at the board declined to comment on the matter until the department releases a full statement about banning the film.



Fifty Shades of Domestic Abuse...

Campaign group gushes praise about Fifty Shades of Grey

Link Here11th February 2015
Natalie Collins, who runs campaign group Fifty Shades Is Domestic Abuse , claims that the story of Fifty Shades of Grey portrays an abusive relationship. She said:

The thing that I would say to people who are reading the books, who are going to see it, is, if he wasn't rich and very attractive, would this behaviour be normal?

Is it romantic when somebody tracks your phone, when somebody knows where you live before you tell them, sells your only means of transport, or buys the company you work for?

How can you marry that with being romantic?

We are not against BDSM (bondage, discipline, sadism and masochism), it is the other issues in the books and films which we say glamorise domestic violence.

It is not about censorship, people have the absolute right to go and watch it ...BUT... there is something about the credibility that is given by the number of people who go and watch it.

Collins also criticised what she called exploitative retailers who had taken advantage of the franchise's popularity and created branded merchandising to cash in on the publicity.

Fifty Shades Is Domestic Abuse campaigners are planning to hold a protest at the film's UK premiere in London's Leicester Square on Thursday.



Update: All Grey and No Blue...

France gives a 12 rating to Fifty Shades of Grey

Link Here9th February 2015
An amusingly taunting tweet alerted me that France's film classifiers have given a 12 rating to Fifty Shades of Grey:

50 nuances de Grey interdit aux -12 ans en France! C'est la classification de Madame Doubtfire en Angleterre

And indeed cinema websites in France do seem to be noting the screening as Interdit aux moins 12 ans (Prohibited to those less than 12 years old).

Perhaps justifiably

9th February 2015.  See  article from

The Telegraph has printed its first review saying:

Fifty Shades of Grey has no sex for first 40 minutes Preview audiences were getting restless at lack of sex in 50 Shades of Grey,

The film features only 11 minutes of sex and none at all in the first 40 minutes, according to one disappointed reviewer.

...Read the full article



Update: A Successful Interview...

Sony seem to have recovered the revenue lost by a limited US theatrical release of The Interview

Link Here8th February 2015
Following an aggressive hack against Sony in the US, The Interview was released on over 200 UK screens on Friday. This is a full cinema release after fading credibility of the hacker threats that curtailed the US cinema release.

However in the US the film was made available to purchase via on-demand services and has already been rented or downloaded 4.3m times and has taken $40m from digital sales and over $6m from cinema takings. Sony have now claimed it is the No 1 online film of all time , and with the The Interview costing $44m to make, all production costs have already been recouped.

In fact, the whole saga has revealed to have come at barely any financial cost to Sony at all. Announcing their third quarter results on Thursday, Sony said the hack would cost just $15m in investigation and remediation costs and that it doesn't expect to suffer any long-term consequences, though several employees are believed to have filed lawsuits against the company for failing to protect their personal data.

Sony did play down the UK release a little. The studio has not put on any pre-screenings, or sent out any copies to UK critics. Similarly, no interview opportunities with the cast have been offered to the media, with both James Franco and Seth Rogan notably absent from the talk show circuit.



Updated: Moralists Recommend...

Fifty Shades of Grey, with some gloriously ludicrous piffle

Link Here7th February 2015

Morality in Media

Dawn Hawkins, Executive Director for Morality in Media, spouts some gloriously ludicrous piffle about the MPAA R rating for Fifty Shades of Grey:

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) gave the film, Fifty Shades of Grey , an R rating, which severely undermines the violent themes in the film and does not adequately inform parents and patrons of the film's content. The MPAA warns that there is strong sexual content including dialogue, some unusual behavior and graphic nudity. What the term unusual does not account for is the coercion, sexual violence, female inequality, and BDSM themes from which the entire Fifty Shades plot is based. Such a vague evaluation puts viewers at risk, sending the message that humiliation is pleasurable and that torture should be sexually gratifying.

The new extended trailer for the film calls it a fairy tale which just further misleads the public into thinking this is simply a love story. The MPAA ratings and fairy tale label mask the true themes of humiliation, manipulation, abuse, and degradation of women.

Sexual violence and sexual exploitation are at an all time high, permeating our culture by way of hardcore pornography and now praised by films like Fifty Shades of Grey .

We'd like to change the MPAA rating for Fifty Shades of Grey to read:

Promotes torture as sexually gratifying, graphic nudity, encourages stalking and abuse of power, promotes female inequality, glamorizes and legitimizes violence against women.

Is this the description of a movie you'd promote to your son or daughter? What about yourself?

American Decency Association

3rd February 2015. See  article from

Speaking about his local cinema in Fremont, Michigan showing Fifty Shades of Grey, the president of the American Decency Association spouted:

It's far more than so-called entertainment. This is not entertainment. This is not about entertainment. This is about pornography. The movie flows out of a very degrading, damaging book.

Bill Johnson said he hasn't read any of the books but he believes the sexually explicit content has no place in a Fremont theater:

We are merely doing what parents, and grandparents have historically done for many, many years, over the course of time. And that it's try to defend, try to protect, try to uphold that which builds up and to stand against that which degrades and destroys.

But of course Johnson ludicrously claimed that his group isn't trying to stop freedom of speech:

I'm not saying [the theater's owner] doesn't have the freedom to show this movie. He does ...BUT... with freedom characteristically in this country, historically with freedom is also responsibility.

Update: Family First New Zealand

7th February 2015. See  article from

The head of a New Zealand morality group is calling on families to boycott screenings of Fifty Shades of Grey and donate to a group like Women's Refuge instead.

Family First's Bob McCoskrie says the film and the book it's based on glamourise sexual violence.

He says families should boycott the movie and make a special donation to any charity that is working to eliminate sexual violence.

In New Zealand the censor's rating for the film is R18 with a warning it contains sex scenes and offensive language.

Update: One Million Moms

19th February 2015. See  article from

With the controversial movie Fifty Shades of Grey set to be released in theaters this week, a national medical association says the film is yet another example of the increasingly dangerous glorification of violence and sex in the media.

Dr. Michelle Cretella, vice president of the American College of Pediatricians, tells OneNewsNow, Not only is the movie normalizing sadomasochism, but it's even romanticizing it or making it look like something exciting, erotic, and desirable. So it's almost even beyond normalization. Read his medical warning here .

Both movie theaters and moviegoers can stand up to this kind of disgusting content and choose not to show or pay to see the film. 1MM and AFA are publicizing a social media movement that urges the public to donate $50 or more to a domestic abuse shelter that helps women rather than spending $50 to see Fifty Shades of Grey which glamorizes the abuse of women. The money you would spend on a night out to see the movie will go towards serving victims of abusive relationships. Hollywood doesn't need your money, but abused women do. Read more here . The twitter hash tag is #50dollarsnot50shades.

For couples who still want to have a date night this weekend, 1MM highly recommends you consider seeing Old Fashioned, which also hits box offices this weekend. Even though this film isn't intended for children, it is a refreshing option for couples this Valentine's weekend. Old Fashioned highlights courtship and authentic romance that is born out of respect and admiration, not focused on sexual pleasure that causes humiliation and pain for another person. Read the movie review for this romantic film here . It is obvious which film glorifies God and which one does not.



A film about the C Word...

Russian bullied into expunging strong language from the oscar nominated film, Leviathan

Link Here6th February 2015
Leviafan is a 2014 Russia drama by Andrey Zvyagintsev.
Starring Vladimir Vdovichenkov, Aleksey Serebryakov and Roman Madyanov. IMDb

A present day social drama spanning multiple characters about the human insecurity in a "new country" which gradually unwinds to a mythological scale concerning the human condition on earth entirely.

The Oscar-nominated Russian film Leviathan is going on general release in Russian cinemas, but with silence blanking out the strong language. It is a highly controversial film in Russia, portraying a corrupt mayor in the bleak far north bullying a man trying to keep his property.

Russian law bans swearing in films, TV broadcasts, theatres and the media. Much of the dialogue in Leviathan contains swearing, some of it very strong language. A spokesman for the distributor said Russian viewers will find it easy to lip-read the swear words .

The film's producer, Alexander Rodnyansky, said interest had surged since a pirated copy appeared on the internet a month ago and the film had become a hot topic of debate.

Some have seen the film as a condemnation of President Vladimir Putin's Russia. A big photo of Mr Putin hangs above the corrupt mayor's desk.However, Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said he was pleased that Leviathan had triggered such sharp reactions in society.



Protection Racket...

Protectionist protests in Bangladesh aim to censor the screening of Indian films

Link Here3rd February 2015
Cinemas in Bangladesh will boycott movies starring the nation's top actor after he led protests against the first screening of a Hindi film in decades.

Bollywood blockbuster Wanted opened in cinemas this weekend after Bangladesh's censor board cleared its nationwide release, following a 50-year ban on Hindi-language films.

The screenings sparked protests outside cinemas along with wildcat strikes by hundreds of Dhaka actors, directors and others, who claimed the release would cripple the local film industry, known as Dhallywood.

Actor Shakib Khan led the marches on cinemas, where protesters ripped up Hindi film posters and pleaded with fans queueing at ticket booths to boycott the film.

Bangladesh cinema owners reacted sharply, saying they would not show any movies starring Khan and defended their decision to screen highly-popular flicks from neighbouring India on financial grounds. We've released Hindi films because we're now facing (an) existential crisis, said Saiful Islam Chowdhury, president of the Bangladesh Motion Pictures Exhibitors Association. Chowdhury said the country's 350 film theatres have decided not to show any films by Shakib Khan along with Shawdagar and several directors.

A court last year ruled Wanted could be shown in Bangladesh, despite a prohibition on Hindi films dating back to a brief war between India and Pakistan in 1965 when Bangladesh was part of East Pakistan. The censor board gave the film the final go ahead in November for screening this year.



Offsite Article: Good and Nasty...

Link Here3rd February 2015
An interesting picture essay on the video nasty output of distributor VIPCO

See article from



Update: Dead Lucky for Viewers...

Channel 4 has noted that the extended version of Evil Dead was an incorrect version for broadcast which then had to be sent back to the distributor

Link Here2nd February 2015
Evil Dead is a 2013 USA horror by Fede Alvarez.
With Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Jessica Lucas. YouTube iconBBFC link IMDb

On Sunday 25th January Channel 4 kindly broadcast a mysterious extended version of Evil Dead. It featured about 4m:40s of mostly additional material and includes a little more gore.

See article from for pictorial version details of Channel 4's broadcast

And it does seem that this version is an unreleased Director's Cut or Unrated Version. Anthony wrote to Channel 4 who returned a fascinating reply:

Thank you for contacting Channel 4 Viewer Enquiries regarding Evil Dead.

We apologise for the delay in responding to you, after investigating with our distributor it seems that the incorrect version of the film was supplied, and subsequently broadcast. Unfortunately this means we have had to send the version back and we will not be able to broadcast it again, nor do we have any further information regarding the incorrect copy.

Channel 4 Viewer Enquiries



Update: 18 Shades of Grey...

Fifty Shades of Grey given an 18 rating by the BBFC

Link Here2nd February 2015
Fifty Shades of Grey is a 2015 USA romance by Sam Taylor-Johnson.
Starring Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan and Jennifer Ehle. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

Literature student Anastasia Steele's life changes forever when she meets handsome, yet tormented, billionaire Christian Grey.

The BBFC has now passed the cinema release as 18 uncut for strong sex.

The BBFC adds in its Insight comment:

The film contains strong sex and nudity, along with the portrayal of erotic role play based on domination, submission and sado-masochistic practices. There are also strong verbal references to such practices and the instruments used.

No doubt the distributors are pleased as US Hollywood films are very restrictive on the amount of sex allowed and there was a fear that the film was heading towards 15 territory.

For comparison, countries have rated the film as follows:

  • Argentina 16
  • Australia: rated MA15+ (15A in UK ratings terminology) for strong sex scenes, sexual themes and nudity
  • Canada (Quebec) 16+
  • Canada (Ontario + British Columbia) 18A
  • Czech Republic: 15
  • France 12
  • Iceland 16
  • Ireland 18
  • Italy 14
  • Kenya Bannned
  • Malaysia Banned
  • New Zealand R18 for sex scenes and offensive language
  • Netherlands 16
  • Philippines R-18
  • Singapore R21 uncut for mature theme and sexual scenes
  • South Korea 18
  • Spain 16
  • Sweden: 15
  • Thailand 20
  • UK 18 uncut for strong sex
  • US: R rated (17A in UK ratings terminology) for strong sexual content including dialogue, some unusual behavior and graphic nudity, and for language.



Kingsman: The Secret Censor...

Director Matthew Vaughn denies that cuts were made to obtain a 15 rating

Link Here31st January 2015
Kingsman: the Secret Service is a 2015 UK action crime comedy by Matthew Vaughn.
Starring Colin Firth, Michael Caine and Taron Egerton. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

A while ago the BBFC passed the film 15 for strong bloody violence, strong language after BBFC advised pre-cuts for cinema release: The BBFC commented:

This film was originally seen for advice in an unfinished version. The company was informed the film was likely to be classified 18, but that their requested 15 could be achieved by making some reductions in scenes of violence. When the finished version was submitted for formal classification, reductions had been made and the film was passed 15.

Now Director Matthew Vaughn has denied that changes were made to obtain the 15 rating. From an interview with Den of Geek:

Den of Geek: I should ask you just to clarify the certification of the film in the UK ...

Vaughn: I haven't changed a fucking frame!

Den of Geek: Absolutely nothing? The BBFC posted that certain changes were made prior to submission to get a 15 certificate in the UK ?

Vaughn: Nothing. You've seen it! They're pretty intelligent people, the BBFC. And I think they get it right most of the time. They watched it, and I sat down with them. The violence is fun. You don't see people grimacing. They're laughing with it. It's like Tom & Jerry. It's over the top and colourful and playful.

Perhaps the inference from this conversation is that there is no uncut 18 version and the 15 rated version will be final.

However an article from gives more hope of an uncut version:

The British cut of the movie clocks in at 128:34 minutes while the German release has a duration of 129:25 minutes. The difference of 51 seconds is quite large and isn't due to rounding up. Also, logos can most likely be ignored since the film's sole distributor is 20th Century Fox. Therefore, it's quite possible that the film's UK pre-cuts won't affect other markets.



Update: A Damn Good Thrashing with a Feather...

Fifty Shades of Grey gets a 15 rating in Australia, but it doesn't stop Morality in Media whingeing about sexual violence

Link Here31st January 2015
Media Censorship in Australia has noted that the country's Censorship Board has awarded a 15 rating to Fifty Shades of Grey.

The Australian Classification Board gave an MA15+ rating to the film for strong sex scenes, sexual themes and nudity...

An Ma15+ means:

The content is considered unsuitable for exhibition by persons under the age of 15. Persons under this age may only legally purchase or exhibit MA15+ rated content under the supervision of an adult guardian.

Meanwhile the US Morality in Media campaign group has launched its miserable campaign against the film: 

National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCSE) is a new name for Morality in Media (MIM). The organization ichanged its name early in 2015.

National Center on Sexual Exploitation (NCSE) has launched an aggressive national campaign against the controversial film, Fifty Shades of Grey .  NCSE's new webpage,  highlights 50 plus ways that Fifty Shades  harms and provides various actions that the public can take, including signing a  boycott petition  and joining the  #50DollarsNot50Shades  campaign, which calls on patrons to forgo the film and donate to women's shelters  instead.

Hollywood is advertising the Fifty Shades  story as an erotic love affair, but it is really about sexual abuse and violence against women, said Dawn Hawkins, executive director of National Center on Sexual Exploitation. Hawkins noted that the public sees too much sexual abuse and violence against women in real life and urged Hollywood to take this into consideration when setting the entertainment agenda. The porn industry has poised men and women to receive the message that sexual violence is enjoyable.  Fifty Shades  models this porn message and Hollywood cashes the check, said Hawkins.



Update: More Dead...

Channel 4 airs an extended version for the 2013 Evil Dead

Link Here29th January 2015
Evil Dead is a 2013 USA horror by Fede Alvarez.
With Jane Levy, Shiloh Fernandez, Jessica Lucas. YouTube iconBBFC link IMDb

An extended version of Evil Dead, the 2013 remake, has just been broadcast by Channel 4.

This unheralded version has sparked interest on forums, but is something of a puzzle. The version featured about 4 minutes of additional material and seemed complete in terms of violence. This rather disproves theories about it being a US TV version. It is a common pattern for US TV to add in deleted material to replace or compensate for the cutting of any sex and violence.

Director Fede Avarez has been asked about the current extended version but wasn't able to throw any light on the matter.

Before the release of the original release of the film the director spoke of brief cuts to achieve a US R rating and also of the possibility of an extended version. But shortly before the premiere, Alvarez proclaimed that the Theatrical Version was his Director's Cut and no more was heard of an alternative version...until now.




Arab American campaigners unhappy with the Hollywood film, American Sniper

Link Here28th January 2015
American Sniper is a 2014 USA action biography by Clint Eastwood.
Starring Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller and Kyle Gallner. Youtube link IMDb

A Navy S.E.A.L. recounts his military career, which includes more than 150 confirmed kills.

A group calling itself the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) has written to director Clint Eastwood and star Bradley Cooper claiming an increase in threats against US muslims. The ADC said:

A majority of the violent threats we have seen over the past few days are result of how Arab and Muslims are depicted in American Sniper.

The group said it had collected hundreds of violent messages targeting Arab and Muslim Americans from movie-goers , mainly from Facebook and Twitter.

The letter asked Eastwood and Cooper to speak out against such messages in an effort to reduce the hateful rhetoric .



Update: Baby...

Indian film banned in Pakistan over sensitivity of being depicted as terrorists

Link Here26th January 2015
Full story: Banned Films in Pakistan...Sensitive issues of image and religion
Baby is a 2015 India action crime mystery by Neeraj Pandey.
Starring Kerem Sarikaya, Ali Balkan Avci and Zachary Coffin. Youtube link IMDb

An elite counter-intelligence unit learns of a plot, masterminded by a maniacal madman. With the clock ticking, it's up to them to track the terrorists' international tentacles and prevent them from striking at the heart of India.

Baby is an Indian action movie about a spy mission to catch a dreaded terrorist. It has now been banned by Pakistan's film censors. The Dawn newspaper reported:

Censor boards in Islamabad and Karachi have decided to ban the film because it portrays a negative image of Muslims and the negative characters in the film also have Muslim names.

All CDs and DVDs of the film have also been banned in Islamabad. A representative of the film's distributor, Everready Pictures informed the paper that the film has been banned in Pakistan.

Earlier, director Neeray Pandey was quoted as saying that the film was not anti-Pakistan. The board routinely bans films deemed to have anti- Pakistan themes.



Update: Dictator's Club...

North Korea persuades Cambodia to ban The Interview, at least from cinema and TV

Link Here26th January 2015
In a January 8 letter to Cambodia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the North Korean Embassy asks the government to confiscate all copies of The Interview from Cambodia's DVD shops and keep the movie off big and small screens alike.

In the letter, the embassy complains that pirated copies of the film are already being openly sold at malls around Phnom Penh.

This is generated by the plot of the hostile forces manipulating to break the long traditional friendship between the Kingdom of Cambodia and the DPR [Democratic People's Republic of] Korea.

The letter asks the government:

To take appropriate measure to see that the 'Interview,' byproduct of U.S. maneuvers against DPR Korea, would be no longer sold in the sublime Kingdom of Cambodia and also would never be broadcast on any Cambodian TV channel or shown at any movie house.

Information Minister Khieu Kanharith said the film would not be shown on television.

Even before the letter from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, my ministry already made request to all TV and Pay TV stations not to broadcast this film.

The traditional practice here isn't to offend nor hurt the country having diplomatic relations with Cambodia.

Culture Minister Phoeurng Sackona said the movie would also not be making it to the big screen. However the local DVD trade is harder to control. Eg at City Mall, every DVD shop had the movie for sale Sunday.

Last week, the New York Times reported that shop owners in Rangoon had copies of the movie confiscated by police.



Offsite Article: A Fall from Grace...

Link Here26th January 2015
ITV cuts over a minute from the Christmas Eve 8pm showing of Skyfall

See article from



Update: A Questionable Decision...

Director of latest Woman in Black film criticises the BBFC for its new rule that anything scary has to be 15 rated

Link Here24th January 2015
Full story: The Woman in Black...Cut by the BBFC for a 12A
The Woman in Black: Angel of Death is a 2015 UK horror thriller by Tom Harper.
Starring Helen McCrory, Jeremy Irvine and Phoebe Fox. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb
The film was passed 15 uncut by the BBFC for strong horror, threat for UK cinema release in 2014.

In the US it was rated PG-13 for some disturbing and frightening images, and for thematic elements.

Now the film's director, Tom Harper, has sharply criticised the BBFC over its decision to give his Hammer horror sequel a 15 certificate.

Harper questioned the grounds on which the classification for the horror sequel was made. Harper told Screen:

Personally, I was disappointed it ( Angel Of Death ) was a 15 There was no blood, no swearing. Obviously, there are some uncomfortable scenes within it. It was always intended to be a 12A.

The director said the filmmakers were presented by the BBFC with a whole long list of - to my opinion - questionable reasons as to why Angel Of Death was made a 15 rather than a 12A, eg one of the moments highlighted by the BBFC was a lady appears behind a door and a door slams .

The original The Woman In Black, directed by James Watkins and starring Daniel Radcliffe, was certificated 12A in 2011 and its success in attracting a young teenage audience contributed to its becoming the most successful UK horror movie ever at the British box office. The BBFC received a few complaints that it was a bit scary and so introduced a new rule that even if a film is not violent it can receive a 15 rating for being scary (for eg doors slamming).

The BBFC explained its 15 rating:

There is strong and sustained threat and horror throughout, as people are threatened and attacked by the title character. Much of the threat is towards children and there is sight of both dead children and children who are forced to harm themselves by the ghost. There are scenes of wartime threat, relating to the Blitz, and nightmare sequences featuring strong threat. There is some impression of blood on bodies and in medical contexts.

Even with the 15 certificate, The Woman In Black: Angel Of Death did strong business at the UK box office and has made an estimated $7m since its release at the start of the year.



Update: MSG: More Spiritual Grief...

Banned by the Indian censor, unbanned on appeal, re-banned in the Punjab

Link Here19th January 2015
Full story: Banned Movies in India...Sex, religion and easy offence
Amidst the censorship drama at the Indian film censor's office, the Punjab government Saturday banned the screening of the film MSG - The Messenger Of God , which features Dera Sacha Sauda sect chief, Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh.

The film was cleared by the Certification Appellate Tribunal's (FCAT) despite not getting clearance from the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) and its revising committee.

Update: Box office hit

20th February 2015. See article from

MSG - The Messenger, featuring Dera Sacha Sauda sect head Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, has left the cash registers ringing at the Box-Office.

The film was released on February 13 in 4,000 screens across the country. It collected a whopping Rs 61.15 crores at the Box Office within just four days of its release.

The movie was given a release certificate by the Censor Board in early February. But the Punjab and Uttarakhand government has banned the screening of the film claiming law and order problems.



Update: More Spiritual Grief...

Indian film censors look set to ban MSG after pressure from religious groups and the government

Link Here15th January 2015
Full story: Banned Movies in India...Sex, religion and easy offence
MSG: The Messenger of God is a 2015 India action comedy drama by Jeetu Arora and Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan.
Starring Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji Insan, Daniel Kaleb and Fllora Saini. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

India's film censor board has refused to clear MSG: The Messenger of God featuring self-styled guru Ram Rahim Singh.

The Censor Board (CBFC) has decided to refer the decision to the Film Certification Apellate Tribunal (FCAT). Officials said a review committee of the Board took the decision unanimously. CBFC chairperson Leela Samson told PTI:

It has been unanimously decided to refer the film to the tribunal FCAT.

Whilst waiting for the results of the appeal the movie will miss its opening date previously set for 16th January 2015.

In the movie, Ram Rahim Singh depicts himself as a god. The censors apparently have objections to Ram Rahim being shown to be performing miracles and curing terminal diseases.

Singh is head of a spiritual orginsation called Dera Sacha Sauda (DSS). He said he was not averse to cutting some scenes if the censor board objected to them. He claimed that:

The only aim of the film is to spread messages against social evils like drug addiction, female foeticide. There is nothing wrong in it. If the board finds any portion of the film objectionable, I will happily get them removed.

I have not showed myself as God but as a human. I have not criticised any religion in the film.

The Home Ministry had sent an advisory to states where the movie is set to play which said:

Various Sikh organisations and individuals are opposing the movie on the ground that its release would disturb the communal harmony and law and order. They also opine that glorification of DSS chief, facing serious criminal cases, should not be allowed.

Meanwhile in the UK, the BBFC have passed the film 12A uncut for moderate violence, sex references, drug use, for its upcoming cinema release.



Obituary: Brian Clemens...

British script writer noted in TV and films dies aged 83

Link Here12th January 2015

Brian Clemens OBE was an English screenwriter and television producer, possibly best known for his work on The Avengers and The Professionals.

He wrote the original pilot episode for The Avengers in 1961and was the script editor, associate producer and main scriptwriter for The Avengers series on ITV, from 1961 to 1969.

He followed several other successes with a twist-in-the-tail anthology series Thriller (ITV 1973-1976; aka Menace), for which he wrote all the stories as well as 38 of the scripts.

Then his company created as a French/Canadian/British co-production The New Avengers (ITV 1976-1977).

His company went on to produce The Professionals on ITV, from 1977 to 1983.

He also enjoyed success in the movies.  He wrote and produced for Hammer films Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde and, in 1974, wrote and directed Captain Kronos, Vampire Hunter . He also wrote the screenplays and/or stories for the feature films Operation Murder (1957), The Tell-Tale Heart (1960), Station Six-Sahara (1963), The Peking Medallion (1967), And Soon the Darkness (1970), See No Evil (1971), The Golden Voyage of Sinbad (1974), The Watcher in the Woods (1980), and Highlander II: The Quickening (1991) .



Fifty Tame Shades of Grey...

US film censors pass new Fifty Shades of Grey movie as suitable for older children.

Link Here8th January 2015
Fifty Shades of Grey is a 2015 USA sexy romance by Sam Taylor-Johnson.
Starring Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan and Jennifer Ehle. Youtube link IMDb

Literature student Anastasia Steele's life changes forever when she meets handsome, yet tormented, billionaire Christian Grey.

The US film censors of the MPAA have awarded the film an R rating for:

Strong sexual content including dialogue, some unusual behavior and graphic nudity, and for language.

An R rated film is considered suitable for children aged 17 and above. The rating also means that younger children may see the film in a theatre if accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Clearly this openness to children rather restricts the amount of sex allowed in an R rated film and means that Red Shoes Diary type chocolate box erotica is about as sexy as these films can become.

Of course the marketeers will now have a damn good try at convincing you otherwise.



Extract: Rated 15 for being scary...

An interview with The Woman in Black: Angel of Death director, Tom Harper

Link Here7th January 2015
Full story: The Woman in Black...Cut by the BBFC for a 12A
The Woman in Black: Angel of Death is a 2015 UK horror thriller by Tom Harper.
Starring Helen McCrory, Jeremy Irvine and Phoebe Fox. Youtube link IMDb

40 years after the first haunting at Eel Marsh House, a group of children evacuated from WWII London arrive, awakening the house's darkest inhabitant.

The National Student interviewed director Tom Harper in a conversation that briefly touched the topic of BBFC classification.

The National Student: This film has received the more restrictive 15 rating, whereas the first film the studio chose to cut in order to get a 12A and get younger audiences in there. Is this part of a deliberate aiming of the film to older audiences?

Tom Harper: I think the BBFC is slightly tighter now than it was then, partly in response to the first Woman in Black. Personally I think that's ridiculous as there is such immediate access to all sorts of content on the internet to anybody. Sure, I think the film is scarier, but compared to some there is no blood or gore or swearing or sex.

The National Student: I think the BBFC's approach is now to consider the overall tone of a film more than individual parts. Do you think that's an interesting way of viewing horror? Apparently it's Sustained threat that helped earn Angel of Death a 15 certificate.

Tom Harper: Sure, but I think it's an arbitrary thing to sit and make a decision about that with no specific criteria, I mean with sustained threat it's.... well, my feeling is that the American system is much better where if your parents say you can go and see it then you can go and see it. Personally I'm about empowering people to make their own decisions.

...Read the full interview



Updated: Childish Reasons...

Morocco film censor confirms the ban on the Biblical epic, Exodus

Link Here7th January 2015
Exodus: Gods and Kings is a 2014 UK / USA / Spain drama by Ridley Scott.
Starring Christian Bale, Joel Edgerton and Ben Kingsley. Youtube link IMDb

Epic adventure Exodus: Gods and Kings is the story of one man's daring courage to take on the might of an empire. Using state of the art visual effects and 3D immersion, Scott brings new life to the story of the defiant leader Moses as he rises up against the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramses, setting 600,000 slaves on a monumental journey of escape from Egypt and its terrifying cycle of deadly plagues.

Morocco's Reviewing Commission has confirmed the ban of the Hollywood film, Exodus: Gods and Kings.

Minister of Communication, Mustafa El Khalfi, tweeted that he welcomes the commitment of the Director of the Moroccan Cinematographic Centre (CCM) to respect the law and that the decision taken by the Commission does not breech the freedom of artistic creation guaranteed by the Constitution.

The minister said he supported the decision banning the film because it portrays God. However, God is not shown explicitly at any stage in Exodus. The portrayal of God is only an interpretation of the scene in which a child delivers messages to Moses.

CCM director and film censor Sarim Fassi Fihri said that the film approval Commission, the Ministry of Culture, the owners of cinemas and film distributors, and the Cinematographic Center, had all seen the film and had reservations about a scene which depicts God as a child during the period of revelation to Moses.

Update: Unbanned in Morocco

7th January 2015. See  article from

Morocco's movie organization has now announced that the film will be shown in Morocco after Fox Studio agreed to cut sections deemed supposedly sacrilegious to Islam.

The center's statement said that Scott and Fox Studios agreed to remove two lines of dialogue that referred to the personnification of the Divine.



Update: Bravely Defying Terrorist Censors...

The Interview will open at British cinemas despite the threat of North Korean terrorist attacks

Link Here7th January 2015
The Interview is a 2014 USA action comedy by Evan Goldberg and Seth Rogen.
Starring James Franco, Seth Rogen and Randall Park. IMDb

Dave Skylark and his producer Aaron Rapoport run the popular celebrity tabloid TV show "Skylark Tonight." When they discover that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un is a fan of the show, they land an interview with him in an attempt to legitimize themselves as journalists. As Dave and Aaron prepare to travel to Pyongyang, their plans change when the CIA recruits them.

Sony has announced that The Interview will be released in UK cinemas on 6 Februaryfollowing limited screenings in the US.

The film's theatrical release was originally shelved after the hackers responsibly for a cyber attack on Sony threatened to bring a bitter fate to cinemas.

But after a huge backlash and the surprise intervention of President Barack Obama, the studio released The Interview online and in selected American cinemas over Christmas.



Ivan the Terrible...

Russian film fund CEO seeks to censor homosexuality from a Peter Greenaway biopic of Sergei Eisenstein

Link Here7th January 2015
British director Peter Greenaway's new biopic about legendary Soviet film director Sergei Eisenstein is now under threat following a warning from the Russian State Film Fund that they will refuse participation in the movie if references to Eisenstein's homosexuality are not removed from the script.

Nicholas Borodachev, CEO of the film fund, told Izvestia:

I do not want to talk about it [homosexuality], but this topic in the script doesn't suit us. The director, in turn, insists that this aspect of Eisenstein's life is important for the picture. Of course, bear in mind that the script is written in the style of Peter Greenaway, but we would like to see the film a little differently. If something goes wrong, we will not participate in the project.

The film, scheduled to begin shooting in 2015, has been entitled The Eisenstein Handshakes and will be jointly funded by Switzerland, France and the Russian State Film Fund. Recounting the life, work and travels of the iconic director.

Naum Kleiman, an eminent film critic and former director of Moscow's Museum of Cinema, added that:

This issue [of homosexuality] has no relation to the facts. If you shoot a biopic about the great artist, you need to talk about his work and how Eisenstein's art influenced the history of cinema. What does his personal life have to do with anything here? I never take the side of censorship ...BUT... in this case we are talking about morality and a sense of tact.



Correlational Violence...

Research finds that media violence simply does not correlate with actual societal violence

Link Here6th January 2015

Does Media Violence Predict Societal Violence? It Depends on What You Look at and When

By Christopher J. Ferguson*


This article presents 2 studies of the association of media violence rates with societal violence rates. In the first study, movie violence and homicide rates are examined across the 20th century and into the 21st (1920 - 2005). Throughout the mid-20th century small-to-moderate correlational relationships can be observed between movie violence and homicide rates in the United States. This trend reversed in the early and latter 20th century, with movie violence rates inversely related to homicide rates. In the second study, videogame violence consumption is examined against youth violence rates in the previous 2 decades. Videogame consumption is associated with a decline in youth violence rates. Results suggest that societal consumption of media violence is not predictive of increased societal violence rates.

Research, led by psychologist Christopher Ferguson and published in the Journal of Communication , has found that there was no link between violent media and behaviour and has also questioned the methodology of previous studies suggesting the two were related.

Ferguson and his team point out that many laboratory-based studies into the effect of media violence have measured aggression in test subjects through less aggressive outcomes ranging from filling in the missing letters of words through delivering nonpainful noise bursts to a consenting opponent.

The study points out that these studies also commonly provide exposure to brief clips of media, rather than full narrative experiences and that the resultant aggressive behaviors are also outside a real-world context in which the aggression appears to be sanctioned by the researchers themselves.

In the first of two historical studies the researchers examined the correlation of violent films and societal violence, analysing the frequency of violent acts in the top-grossing titles between 1920 and 2005.

The study notes that film violence followed a rough U pattern during this time period, but that societal violence fluctuated differently, with the latter half of the 20th century even showing an increase in film violence associated with reduced societal violence .

A second study into video game violence used data from the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) to estimate the violent content of popular games from 1996 to 2011. This was then compared with data on youth violence during the same years, with the study finding a correlation between falling youth violence and the popularity of violent games.

During this time period youth violence dropped precipitously , despite maintaining very high levels of media violence in society with the introduction of videogames.



Cuts of the Year...

A list of the 41 films and videos cut by the BBFC and distributors in 2014

Link Here2nd January 2015

Cut of the year: House on the Hill

7 minutes and 12 seconds of compulsory BBFC cuts for

House on the Hill is a 2012 USA crime horror by Jeff Frentzen.
Starring Naidra Dawn Thomson, Shannon Leade and Stephen AF Day. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

Summary Notes

Based on a true story, HOUSE ON THE HILL is a true crime melodrama with strong horror elements, chronicling the outrageous 1980s murder spree of serial killer Leonard Lake, who would target, kidnap, rob and kill people -- and even whole families. Sonia, the only survivor of Lake's killing spree, teams up with a private investigator to help him locate a woman who disappeared into Lake's compound. In the process, Sonia recounts the horrors of the house, where Lake and his accomplice would force her to videotape the killings.

UK: Passed 18 for strong violence, sexual violence after 7:12s of BBFC compulsory cuts for:
  • 2014 Lighthouse Digital Media video
The BBFC commented:
  • Cuts required to remove or reduce scenes of sexual and sexualised violence. Cuts required in line with BBFC Guidelines, policy and the Video Recordings Act 1984.

Runner Up: Sexy Battle Girls

6 minutes and 50 seconds of compulsory BBFC cuts for

Sexy Battle Girls is a 1986 Japan action film by Mototsugu Watanabe.
Starring Kyôko Hashimoto, Ayumi Taguchi and Yutaka Ikejima. BBFC link IMDb

Summary Notes

Mirai, a high school girl, is transferred to an upscale private girls school. She soon finds out the school not only cultivates young minds, but also supplies young bodies to rich politicians. Moreover, the school's headmaster ripped apart her family. She undergoes special training, and fights her way to sweet revenge!

UK: Passed 18 for strong sex, nudity, sexual violence after 6:50s of BBFC compulsory cuts for:
  • 2014 Salvation Films [Subtitled] video
The BBFC commented:
  • Cuts required to scenes of sexual violence. Cuts required in accordance with BBFC Guidelines, policy and the Video Recordings Act 1984.

Most Talked About Cuts of 2014: Soulmate

Soulmate is a 2013 UK mystery by Axelle Carolyn.
Starring Anna Walton, Tom Wisdom and Tanya Myers. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb
Cut by the BBFC for providing details that may assist suicide. Uncut in the US.

Summery Notes:

Widowed Audrey retreats to an isolated Welsh cabin after a failed suicide attempt, to recuperate. Still haunted by the tragic death of her husband and struggling with her psychosis, she begins to hear strange noises.

UK: Passed 15 for strong violence, gore after 2:33s of BBFC cuts for:

The BBFC cuts were:

  • Cuts were required to remove a detailed focus on a particular suicide technique.

See  pictorial cuts details from . The distributors deleted the entire pre-credits scene depicting a suicide. The distributors had in fact 3 options:

  • No cuts and the film would be banned
  • 16s of cuts to remove just the vertical cutting details of the suicide but leaving the suicide otherwise in place. This would then have been 18 rated. (Suicide in films for under 18s is a very sensitive area these days).
  • Deleting the suicide film entirely resulted in a 15 rating.

See article from :

The BBFC demanded 16 seconds be removed from the two and a half minute scene in order to be granted a rating, but the required edits ended up masticating the opening to such an extent Carolyn decided it would be better to just remove it entirely rather than risk it coming across as precisely the kind of watered down, almost romanticised portrayal of suicide she was intentionally trying to avoid. As this was by far the most graphic scene of the whole film, without it the rating ended up downgraded to a 15.

Compulsory Cuts by the BBFC (ie not related to distributor requested category cuts)

9 films and videos suffered compulsory BBFC cuts

Battle Girls: Time Paradox (sexualised cartoon character depicting under 16yo)
(erect penis during a scene of sexual violence)
Gun Woman
(sexual violence)
House on the Hill
(sexual violence)
Ninja: Shadow of a Tear
(animal cruelty)
Sexy Battle Girls
(sexual violence)
(suicide technique)
The Spanish Chainsaw Massacre
(sexual violence)
Video Nasties: the Definitive Guide 2
(animal cruelty cuts to a compilation of trailers, not the feature documentary)

The Full 2014 Cuts List

41 (non-porn) films and videos were cut by the BBFC and/or by the distributor in 2014.

Aindhaam Thalaimurai Sidha Vaidhiya Sigamani
Battle Girls: Time Paradox
The Equalizer
Govindudu Andarivadele
Gun Woman
House on the Hill
I'm a Porn Star
The Inbetweeners 2
The John Cena Experience
Kingsman: the Secret Service
The Love Punch
The Maze Runner
Mr Fraud
My Dog the Champion
Naan Sigappu Manithan
Nimirndhu Nil
Ninja: Shadow of a Tear
Paul Zerdin - No Strings
Pop Party 13
Pudsey the Dog: the Movie
Punjab 1984
Sapthamashree Thaskaraha
Sexy Battle Girls
The Spanish Chainsaw Massacre
Step Up: All In
Taken 3
A Tiger's Tail
Video Nasties: the Definitive Guide 2
Viking Adventures From the British Museum
A Walk Among the Tombstones
The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet

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