The fourth film in the Jurassic Park series has already taken more than ú370 million worldwide and is the UK's No 1 movie. But the scenes of bloodthirsty dinosaurs in 3D have left a few young children in floods of tears. Commentators have
noted that the film is a fang fest and by far the bloodiest chapter in the Jurassic saga .
The cinema film has a 12A certificate, which allows children under the age of 12 to view it if they are accompanied by an adult.
The Daily Mail noted 2 or 3 cases where very young children have been frightened by the film. Eg one parent wrote: Don't be fooled by the 12A and take a six- or seven-year-old.
A spokesman for the BBFC said:
The film is a solid 12A and not close to the 15 borderline. A 15 classification would of course have had the consequence that 14- and 13-year-olds would not have been able to see the film and this would, in our view, have been wholly unnecessary, and no
doubt deeply unpopular as well.
Offsite Comment: Why We Have 12A and What It Means
Turning back to Jurassic World , we see an example of a film, based on our research and Guidelines, that is likely to be suited to
those aged 12 or older, particularly 12-14 year olds. It is therefore not entirely surprising to read some feedback about 5, 6 and 7 year old children being frightened by the film. It is worth noting that the PG certificate is generally suitable for
children aged 8 and older, and we offer this guidance on our website. Therefore younger children accessing a 12A film and being upset is not surprising, though other kinds of questions about suitability come into play if the issues at 12A are language or
What Jurassic World shows is a film firmly at the 12A level, not close to the 15 borderline, but which contains sequences and action a younger child is likely to find frightening. We make this information known and it is ultimately the choice of the
parent to ensure their child views content that suits them. Our job is to help parents make that choice.
Nabil Ayouch's film about sex workers in Morocco has already been banned by the country's film censors, but now the authorities have
summoned the filmmakers to court on charges of supposed pornography, indecency and inciting minors to debauchery.
The film, Much Loved (Zin Li Fik), which lifts the lid on the Moroccan sex industry is directed by Nabil Ayouch and stars Loubna Abidar, who plays a prostitute. Now both have been asked to defend the allegedly immoral content
of the movie before a court in Marrakech next month, according to reports from the Moroccan press .
Their decision to ban the film was based on two clips leaked on the internet, one of which showed three sex workers in a car speaking about their clients, with one saying she hoped to get a Saudi Arabian man who is good looking, nice and has a small
The film also depicts a fumble in a parked van, a failed attempt to achieve an erection, which results in violence, and other scenes of violent sex. An actor playing a homeless boy is also depicted admitting that European men regularly abuse him for sex
at ú5 a time.
Abidar has received death threats for starring as a prostitute in the film. The actress wrote on her Facebook page that she had received an anonymous call to her home phone from an unknown person threatening to kill her. She has appeared on Moroccan
radio to defend her part in the film, saying she was only playing the role of many prostitutes that exist in Morocco .
The film is currently being shown at the 33rd Munich Film Festival.
Absolutely Anything is a 2015 UK / USA comedy Sci-Fi film by Terry Jones.
Starring Kate Beckinsale, Simon Pegg and Robin Williams.
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. The company was advised the likely classification was 15 but that their preferred 12A could be achieved by reducing the quntity of strong language. When the film was submitted for formal classification, the
number of uses of strong language had been reduced and the film was therefore classified 12A.
A group of eccentric aliens confer a human being with the power to do absolutely anything, as an experiment.
Still the Water is a 2014 France / Japan / Spain romance by Naomi Kawase.
Starring Nijir˘ Murakami, Jun Yoshinaga and Miyuki Matsuda.
UK: Passed 15 for infrequent strong sex after BBFC advised pre-cuts for:
2015 cinema release
The BBFC commented:
Scenes from this film were originally shown to the BBFC for advice. The company was informed that one scene was likely to be in breach of the Cinematograph Films (Animals) Act 1937 and was therefore unlikely to be suitable for classification. When the
film was submitted for formal classification, this scene had been cut.
On the subtropical Japanese island of Amami, traditions about nature remain eternal. During the full-moon night of traditional dances in August, 16-year-old Kaito discovers a dead body floating in the sea. His girlfriend Kyoko will attempt to help him
understand this mysterious discovery. Together, Kaito and Kyoko will learn to become adults by experiencing the interwoven cycles of life, death and love.
Christopher Lee, the most notable Dracula of the 20th century and a memorably irrepressible villain in James Bond film The Man With the Golden Gun , in the Star Wars films and in The Lord of the Rings , has died aged 93.
Lee appeared in 10 films as Count Dracula, as Frankenstein's Monster in 1957's Frankenstein and as the lord of the manor in The Wicker Man.
Lee was knighted for services to drama and charity in 2009, received the BAFTA Fellowship in 2011 and received the BFI Fellowship in 2013. Lee considered his best performance to be that of Pakistan's founder Muhammad Ali Jinnah in the biopic Jinnah
(1998), and his best film to be the British horror film The Wicker Man (1973).
Richard Johnson (30 July 1927 - 6 June 2015) was an English actor, writer and producer, who starred in several British films of
the 1960s and also had TV roles and a distinguished stage career.
Johnson was director Terence Young's choice for the role of James Bond, but he turned the role down as he did not favour a lengthy contract. He also appeared in several Italian films, including Lucio Fulci's cult classic, Zombi 2 and Sergio
Martino's L'isola degli uomini pesce (aka Island of the Fishmen).
Zombi 2 is better known in the UK as Zombie Flesh Eaters which earned a notable listing as a Video Nasty. Johnson played Dr Menard who tries to find a cure for a disease that zombifies the locals.
Johnson recent appearances included Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas. He also appeared in several TV films: in 2005 he appeared as Stanley Baldwin in Wallis & Edward , in 2007 as Earl Mountbatten in Whatever Love Means
, and in 2009 in Lewis . He contributed to British episodic TV, including Spooks, Waking the Dead , twice in Midsomer Murders , and twice in Doc Martin . From 2007, he led the cast of the BBC's award-winning hit radio
comedy series Bleak Expectations which attained its 4th series in 2010.[
The Young & Prodigious T.S. Spivet is a 2013 France / Canada family adventure drama by Jean-Pierre Jeunet.
Starring Helena Bonham Carter, Robert Maillet and Judy Davis.
A presumably cut version was rated PG for thematic elements, language and some reckless behavior.
Thanks to Pooch who comments about the cuts to the UK 12/12A rated release
Towards the end of the film, the titular character does a TV interview, whilst being manipulated by the lady who runs the Smithsonian Institute. In the original film, after the interview spectacularly fails, she calls Spivet You motherfucker ,
albeit at a distance, and from behind her, so you can't see her face/mouth!
In the UK version, motherfucker has been dubbed quite well by the same actress, or at least someone who sounds very similar, with the immortal You melon-farmer!
If it weren't for this, and two uses of the word fuck , which were all completely unnecessary and totally jarring, this would have been a PG-rated film, ideal for youngsters and families.
So it certainly sure that the film has been cut for a US PG rating, maybe even adopting the UK version.
A 10-year-old cartographer secretly leaves his family's ranch in Montana where he lives with his cowboy father and scientist mother and travels across the country on board a freight train to receive an award at the Smithsonian Institute.
But hopefully The Equalizer is uncut on UK cable and satellite TV
30th May 2015
Thanks to Paul
The Equalizer is a 2014 USA action crime thriller by Antoine Fuqua.
Starring Denzel Washington, Marton Csokas and Chloë Grace Moretz.
A former black ops commando who faked his death for a quiet life in Boston comes out of his retirement to rescue a young girl and finds himself face to face with Russian gangsters.
The film was passed 15 for strong bloody violence, sex references, strong language after BBFC advised pre-cuts for:
2014 cinema release
The BBFC commented:
This work was originally seen for advice. The company was advised that the film was likely to receive an 18 certificate but that their preferred 15 classification could be achieved by making cuts to reduce the violence in two scenes. When the finished
version of the film as submitted for formal classification, edits had been made to reduce sequences of violence, including detail of a stabbing with a corkscrew and a garroting. The formal submission was consequently rated 15.
Unfortunately the same cut version was submitted for UK DVD and Blu-ray and so is still cut and 15 rated.
However Paul now comments that UK TV is hopefully showing the uncut version:
The version of The Equalizer I've just watched on Now TV, and I would assume the same as the one on sky, is uncut. I've scrutinized over it with the moviecensorship comparison and it's well worth a look to confirm.
Much Loved is a 2015 Morocco drama by Nabil Ayouch.
Starring Loubna Abidar, Danny Boushebel and Abdellah Didane.
A group of women in Morocco make a living as prostitutes in a culture that is very unforgiving toward women in that profession.
Franco-Moroccan director Nabil Ayouch said he was shocked after Morocco banned his movie Much Loved about prostitution, following its screening at Cannes. Ayouch said:
I'm shocked and surprised by this ban. I don't understand that my film can be banned when we haven't yet applied for a permit for it to be shown.
Prostitution is all around us, and instead of refusing to see it we should try to understand how women who have had difficult lives end up this way.
Much Loved focuses on the problem of prostitution in Morocco through the eyes of four women.
Clips released over the past few days have caused 'outrage' in Morocco against the director and his principal actress, Loubna Abidar.
The government announced that it would not be screened, claiming it to be a grave outrage against moral values and Moroccan womanhood , and a flagrant attack on the kingdom's image .
In a statement, the ministry of communications said the decision to ban the film had been taken after a team from the state-run Moroccan Cinema Centre saw it at an international festival , a clear reference to Cannes.
Big Game is in Irish cinemas this week and will be the cut version adopted by the UK to obtain a BBFC 12A rating.
The film was censored to remove a use of the word 'motherfucker' so as to avoid a 15 rating. The version which went before the Irish film censor, IFCO ,was the previously trimmed UK cut, which was passed with an Irish 12A.
The result is a film with one use of implied strong language.
The Irish Examiner newspaper report hints that the uncut version may be released on DVD.
Manglehorn is a 2014 USA drama by David Gordon Green.
Starring Al Pacino, Holly Hunter and Chris Messina.
A strange and lonely man tries to come to terms with a past crime that cost him the love of his life.
Originally rated R for some sexual material. The studio appealed to the CARA appeals board, and without cuts being required, the rating was reduced to PG-13 for some sexual content and language, and for accident and surgery images.
The BBFC are ludicrously still counting swear words to 'protect' 15, 16 and 17 year olds from the strong language in We Are Monster
2nd May 2015
We Are Monster is a 2014 UK drama by Antony Petrou.
Starring Leeshon Alexander, Aymen Hamdouchi and Gethin Anthony.
On 8th February 2000 at Feltham Young Offenders Institute, Robert Stewart, a known violent racist was placed in a cell with Zahid Mubarek, eventually leading to Mubarek's murder 6 weeks later.
UK: Passed 15 for very strong and racist language, strong violence after BBFC advised pre-cuts for:
2015 cinema release
The BBFC commented:
This film was originally seen for advice. The company was advised the film was likely to be classified 18 but that their preferred 15 could be achieved by reducing the number of uses of very strong language. When the film was submitted for formal
classification, the number of uses of very strong language had been reduced and it was classified 15.
A new Cayman Islands film censorship board, with responsibility for rating movies to be shown in the territory, is being set up.
The board will principally be responsible for censoring independent unrated movies, but also has the power to ban films and to reclassify mainstream movies already rated by international censors.
Proposed new legislation gives the board the remit to consider numerous factors, including whether the movie meets the standards of morality, decency and propriety of the community, when issuing rating certificates.
The Film Exhibition Control Bill aims to replace the old Cinematograph Law, which will be repealed if the new legislation is passed.
Anyone who wants to show a movie in the Cayman Islands will have to notify the new Film Control Board in advance. If the movie does not already carry a rating from internationally recognized film censors, the board will be tasked with considering its
content and deciding what age group it is suitable for. The board also has the option of banning a movie from being screened if it considers it unsuitable for viewership in the islands.
Movies that do carry international ratings, would not be required to apply for a rating. But the board retains the option of reclassifying such films if it chooses.
A Turkish filmmaker and a group of activists staged a protest outside the German consulate in Istanbul on Wednesday over the German customs confiscation of the tapes of a Turkish documentary sent to Germany.
Serkan Koš is the director of 1915 Belgeseli ( The Story of 1915 in Armenian Documents ), a documentary arguing that the mass deaths of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire during World War I was not a genocide as Armenia claims. He told
reporters that politically motivated customs officials recently seized the tapes of his documentary. He said it was openly censorship and clearly an intervention to freedom of expression and thought in Europe.
Koš had shipped the documentary to the German parliament and several dignitaries. He said:
The documentary defends Turkey's stance and it had all the legal documents required for its shipping to Germany. Still, German customs officials ignored that and focused instead on the documentary's content. They were clearly politically motivated, as
they said they would watch the film first to check its content.
Koš claimed it was a reflection of the German parliament's stance on the issue. The German parliament last week had defined the deaths of the Armenians as "genocide" to the chagrin of Turkey, which contends that the deaths were the result of
diseases and an arduous journey during the war. He added:
It runs against the values of Europe. The German public has a right to see what happened in 1915 from our perspective as well. The confiscation is a sign of double-standards.
The latest cinema film suffering category cuts for a 12A rating
24th April 2015
The Longest Ride is a 2015 USA romance by George Tillman Jr.
Starring Scott Eastwood, Melissa Benoist and Britt Robertson.
UK: Passed 12A for moderate sex, infrequent strong language after BBFC advised pre-cuts for:
2015 cinema release
The BBFC commented:
This film was originally seen for advice, when the company was informed that it was likely to receive a 15 classification but that their preferred 12A could be achieved by removing a scene of strong sex. When the film was submitted for formal
classification, that scene had been removed and the film was classified 12A.
For comparison in the US:
Rated PG-13 uncut for some sexuality, partial nudity, and some war and sports action.
The lives of a young couple intertwine with a much older man as he reflects back on a lost love while he's trapped in an automobile crash.
Nanak Shah Fakir is a 2015 drama by Harinder Singh Sikka.
Starring Tanmay Bhat, Gurmeet Choudhary and Amyra Dastur.
Police were called and a cinema cleared and closed after protestors pushed through the main entrance and headed for the screen showing Bollywood blockbuster, Nanak Shah Fakir.
Once inside the Cineworld multiplex at Bentley Bridge in Wednesfield., the Sikh protestors sat down on the floor and began to shout, refusing to move until cinema bosses met their demands and stopped the screening.
Nanak Shah Fakir, which is directed by Sartaj Singh Pannu, has been mired in a blasphemy controversy since its release last week. Apparently the depiction of the religious figures in human form is considered to be a blasphemy by many Sikhs.
It has been banned in many parts of India and attracted mass protests, while some UK cinemas have refused to show it through fear of religious strife. Cineworld said it has no plans to show the film in future following the incident. Odeon also confirmed
it would also cancel planned screenings following the protest.
One cinema goer said he was among dozens of customers asked to leave the multiplex when the commotion ensued. He said:
It was extremely intimidating. For a group of people to be able to get a film stopped and then banned is just ridiculous. It's an attack on freedom of speech. The atmosphere was quite aggressive in there and it's not what you expect to face when you go
and watch a film.
Cineworld spokeswoman Liz Larvin, said:
We have taken the decision to cancel screenings of Nanak Shah Fakir because we want our customers to enjoy visiting our cinemas and experience a wide range of films without disruption from others. We apologise to anyone disappointed by this decision and
to those customers impacted on Sunday.
The film was passed PG uncut by the BBFC for mild violence. For some reason the film was submitted twice in versions running 138:18s and 146:35s. The BBFC commented:
NANAK SHAH FAKIR is a Hindi language historical drama about the life and teachings of Sikhism founder, Guru Nanak, as he embarks on a spiritual journey during the reign of the Mughal empire.
There is mild violence in a scene in which a yak stamps on a man, who is out to fetch some water in the snow. There are also some images of battle and some rifle gunshots from soldiers, although there is no detail of injury shown.
The ABCs of Death 2 will be released in a cut version in Germany. Rather than simply cutting specific shots which have been deemed problematic as tends to be the case when films are censored the UK, the German cut of The ABCs of Death 2 will see
three whole chapters from the portmanteau removed completely by distributor Capelight under pressure from Germany's censorship board the FSK.
The offending chapters are C is for Capital Punishment, from British director Julian Gilbey; D is for Deloused , a stop-motion animation by another British filmmaker, Robert Morgan; and T is for Torture Porn , by
Canadian directorial duo Jen and Sylvia Soska.
Alcohol Use in Films and Adolescent Alcohol Use by Andrea Waylen, Sam Leary, Andrew Ness and James Sargent
OBJECTIVES: To investigate whether exposure to alcohol use in films is associated with early alcohol use, binge drinking, and alcohol-related problems in British adolescents.
METHODS: Cross-sectional study with 5163 15-year-olds from the Avon Longitudinal Study of Parents and Children in the United Kingdom. We measured adolescent exposure to alcohol use in films, age at onset of alcohol use, and binge-drinking behavior. We
adjusted for early childhood social, family and behavioral factors, adolescent tobacco use, and peer drinking.
RESULTS: After adjustment, adolescents with the highest exposure to alcohol use in films were 1.2 times more likely to have tried alcohol compared with those least exposed and 1.7 times more likely to binge drink. They were 2.4 times more likely to drink
weekly and 2.0 times more likely to have alcohol-related problems than those least exposed.
CONCLUSIONS: Exposure to alcohol use in films is associated with higher risk of alcohol use and alcohol-related problems in UK adolescents. Our findings provide evidence to support the argument that a review of film-rating categories and alcohol ratings
for all films may help reduce problem-related alcohol consumption in young people.
The authors of a new study argue that a movie that depicts any type of drinking should automatically earn an MPAA R rating or BBFC equivalent.
The study , published by the journal Pediatrics , claims that teens who see drinking on the big screen are more likely to drink themselves.
Among a group of 5,163 15-year-olds from England, those who watched the most minutes of drinking on film were twice as likely to have alcohol-related problems as those who watched the fewest. They were also 2.4 times more likely to drink at least once a
week and 70% more likely consume five or more drinks in a single day.
The study authors tried to gauge the teens' exposure to drinking in movies. Researchers had watched 366 popular movies and counted up the amount of time that drinking was depicted in each of them. The teens were presented with a random sample of 50 of
these movies and asked whether they had seen them. All of the minutes of drinking in all of the movies seen by each kid were added together, and the average was 47.3 minutes.
The 25% of teens with the lowest exposure -- less than 28 minutes in total -- served as the baseline. Those in the group with the highest exposure had seen at least 64 minutes of drinking.
After controlling for a variety of demographic and other factors, the researchers found that the more minutes of drinking the teens had watched, the greater the odds of all kinds of alcohol use. Compared with teens in the lowest-exposure group, those
with the highest exposure were 20% more likely to have had a drink at least once; 70% more likely to have a history of binge-drinking; twice as likely to have an alcohol-related problem; and 2.4 times more likely to be drinking at least once a week.
To the extent that movies contribute to teen drinking, one suggested remedy would be to eliminate all drinking in movies made for minors, the study authors wrote. That means any film with even a glass of wine or a can of beer would invoke an R rating
from the MPAA (or the equivalent from the British Board of Film Classification ).
It may sound sound ludicrous, but the researchers claim that this is justified because movie rating systems exist to protect children from seeing media that may adversely affect their behavior .
If the MPAA and BBFC were to follow the researchers' advice, a lot of movies would get stricter ratings. A 2011 study in the International Journal of Epidemiology found that 72% of the top-grossing movies in the United Kingdom between 1989 and 2008
included scenes of drinking, but only 6% of them were rated for adults.
Of course the researchers didn't bother to contemplate the effects of such a loss of credibility so essential to parents use of film ratings.
Chappie is a 2015 USA / Mexico action thriller by Neill Blomkamp.
Starring Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver and Sharlto Copley.
'Chappie' is a robot, and the first true artificial intelligence, able to learn and develop as a human does. Some want to study him, and others want to destroy him. Kidnapped from the scientist who created him, Chappie becomes part
of a street gang's dysfunctional surrogate family, who decide that he is too innocent and needs to be toughened up. Meanwhile, there are people hunting for him who believe that artificial intelligence is too unpredictable to be allowed to exist. The
latest film from Neill Blomkamp, director of 'District 9' and 'Elysium', 'Chappie' stars Sharlto Copley, Hugh Jackman and Sigourney Weaver.
UK: The cinema release was passed 15 uncut for strong language, bloody violence
US: Rated R for violence, language and brief nudity.
Sony Pictures Japan has released an official statement announcing that Chappie has been cut for Japan to ensure a PG-12 rating. They are open that this has been done to appeal to a wider audience, and imply that the changes were made with the
director's approval. But that's far from the truth.
When fans reached out to Blomkamp on Twitter, he was taken by surprise by the news, calling it disturbing and frankly saying that Sony has lied about his involvement.
At this point, it's unclear what changes were made, but they must be significant to ensure a friendlier rating. The film is rife with swearing and pretty graphic violence (including one climactic scene, in particular).
Child 44 is a 2015 Czech Republic / UK / Romania / USA thriller by Daniel Espinosa.
Starring Tom Hardy, Joel Kinnaman and Noomi Rapace.
Based on the first of a trilogy by Tom Rob Smith and set in the Stalin era of the Soviet Union. The plot is about an idealistic pro-Stalin security officer who decides to investigate a series of child murders in a country where supposedly this sort of
crime doesn't exist. The state would not hear of the existence of a child murderer let alone a serial killer. He gets demoted and exiled but decides, with just the help of his wife, to continue pursuing the case.
Russia's Culture Ministry has claimed that Daniel Espinosa's Child 44 distorts historical facts and banned its release. There were concerns about Hardy's character and the plot, set in Stalin-era Russia. A statement suggests the film's release in
the run-up to the 70th anniversary of the end of World War Two was unacceptable .
Culture Minister Vladimir Medinsky claims the movie depicts Russians as physically and morally base sub-humans .
The makers of 22 domestic films withdrew their movies from this year's 34th Istanbul International Film
Festival to protest the removal of a documentary from the lineup, prompting programmers to cancel the national and international feature and national documentary competitions of the 2015 event, as well as this weekend's awards ceremony and closing gala.
The directors who withdrew from the festival, joined by dozens of film professionals from the country's cinema circles, issued a boycott letter in reaction to the programmers' announcement that a festival screening of Kuzey (The North), a film set
in the guerilla camps of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), has been banned from screening.
The I.KSV announcement sparked an immediate uproar among the country's filmmaking community. The producers of Kuzey , other film professionals and representatives of several cinema trade unions issued a letter highlighting the censorship at the
festival and announcing they are boycotting the event until Kuzey is put back in the program.
Screenings of feature films in the international competition will continue as planned, the festival's programmers said .
Entertainment Weekly revealed that Human Centipede Part 3 (Final Sequence) will be released to US theaters and VOD
on May 22. The film stars Dieter Laser from the original Human Centipede film, Laurence R. Harvey from Part 2, and franchise newbie Eric Roberts. Director Six promises that the movie is 100 percent politically incorrect. An official synopsis
Bully prison warden Bill Boss (Dieter Laser), leading a big state prison in the US of A, has a lot of problems; his prison statistically has the highest amount of prison riots, medical costs and staff turnover in the country. But foremost he is unable to
get the respect he thinks he deserves from his inmates and the state Governor (Eric Roberts). He constantly fails in experimenting with different ideas for the ideal punishment to get the inmates in line, which drives him, together with the sizzling
heat, completely insane. Under threats of termination by the Governor, his loyal right hand man Dwight (Laurence R Harvey) comes up with a brilliant idea. A revolutionary idea which could change the American prison system for good and save billions of
dollars. An idea based on the notorious Human Centipede movies, that will literally and figuratively get the inmates on their knees, creating the ultimate punishment and deterrent for anyone considering a life of crime. Having nothing to lose, Bill and
Dwight create a jaw-dropping 500-person prison centipede.
A South Korean activist, Lee Min-bok, says he has flown thousands of copies of controversial Sony film The Interview over the North Korean border. He said he had carried out the launches at night four times since January.
The Seth Rogen comedy, about a fictional CIA plot to kill North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, enraged Pyongyang.
Lee, a defector from the North, said he had tied the DVDs to balloons along with bundles of US dollars and leaflets criticising Kim's regime. He told AFP news agency:
I launched thousands of copies and about a million leaflets on Saturday, near the western part of the border.
Lee told CNN that the North hates this film because it shows Kim Jong-un as a man, not a God and that he wanted to tell the truth to North Koreans.
Any North Korean who had access to a DVD player and was found to have watched the film would likely face a lengthy sentence in a prison camp.
Tom Towles, a noted American character actor, has died aged 65 shortly after suffering a stroke.
Towles appeared in film and television extensively beginning in the 1980s. He was probably best known for his turn in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer
as a character modeled after Ottis Toole, Henry Lee Lucas' reputed accomplice in several murders.
He has also appeared in Night of the Living Dead , Fortress , Mad Dog and Glory , Blood in Blood Out , House of 1000 Corpses , and its sequel, The Devil's Rejects . He portrayed a drug trafficking gang leader in
the big screen adaptation of Miami Vice and had a cameo in one of the faux trailers Werewolf Women of the SS in Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's Grindhouse .
Unfreedom is a 2015 USA / India crime romance by Raj Amit Kumar.
Starring Victor Banerjee, Adil Hussain and Bhanu Uday.
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.
India: Banned by the CBFC, March 2015
The film is the story of a young girl who resists a forced arranged marriage to unite with her lesbian partner. The nudity and lovemaking scenes of the female protagonists, 'outraged' the Indian Board of film censors.
Add to it a parallel story line which revolves around a liberal Muslim kidnapped by a terrorist and the CBFC was up in arms.
Speaking from the US, the director told Mirror, The two stories are juxtaposed and the film challenges the idea of religious fundamentalism and questions its connection with homosexuality which is a biting reality of India.
He added that the film was refused by both the Examining Committee and the Revising Committee. They plainly told me that after watching the film, Hindu and Muslims will start fighting and will ignite unnatural passions. I was aghast as my film is not
The filmmaker then appealed to the Film Certification Apellate Tribunal (FCAT) but this time too, he was denied a certificate. I'm making an appeal in the High Court now as the Censor Board cannot tell a filmmaker what to make and what not to, said the filmmaker
The Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) recently banned the release of Unfreedom, a film based on a lesbian relationship, on the grounds that it will supposedly ignite unnatural passions . The board reportedly also had a problem with a
storyline in which a liberal Muslim girl is kidnapped by terrorists.
Kumar has decided to file court case against the CBFC. I have appealed to the high court asking them to allow me to release the film.
The director said that the board primarily had a problem with the portrayal of religious fundamentalism in the film. Everyone believes that the reason for banning the film is homosexuality, but that's just a part of the problem. The religious
fundamentalism, which I am dealing with in the film, bothers them even more, Kumar said.
The chief censor, Pahlaj Nihalani said:
The film was brought to the censor board back in November last year, when I had not even joined office. They (previous panel) had not cleared the film. So, the filmmaker approached the Examining Committee later, which refused a certification to the film.
He then went to the Revising Committee, which passed the film with an A certificate, after suggesting a few cuts. However, the producer was still not satisfied, and he approached the tribunal (the Film Certification Appellate Tribunal) in Delhi. And the
Tribunal also refused to certify the film. And now, the director is planning to move the court.
Kumar spoke of the cuts requested by the censors:
I don't even want to talk about the kind of cuts they asked me to make in my film. It was not only cutting a few scenes, it was more about removing a particular thought and expression. They have no business telling a filmmaker what to put in his film.
They cannot curb our creativity. Who are they to decide what goes in my film and what doesn't.
Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song is a 1971 USA crime thriller by Melvin Van Peebles.
Starring Melvin Van Peebles, Simon Chuckster and Hubert Scales.
fter the body of a black man is discovered, Sweetback helps two white 'acquaintances' in the police force to look good by agreeing to go with them to the station as a suspect. But he is forced to go on the run after brutally attacking the two policemen
when they arrest and beat up a young black man.
There are important movies, but there are only a few that one can say actually changed the game. One of those few films is Melvin Van Peebles' 1971 underground indie classic Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song.
The film was a box office monster hit with filmgoers lined up down the block and around the corner, eager to see it, at every theater it played. It was a film of its time, for its time, and it captured the black revolutionary fervor of the period like no
other film had ever had.
Van Peebles made the film after a bitter experience making his one and only Hollywood studio backed film for Columbia Pictures The Watermelon Man with Godfrey Cambridge. He resolved after to never again work in such a stifling and compromising
situation, and next wrote, directed, starred in and even composed the music score for his next project, Sweet Sweetback, independently.
The film's final victorious image are the words on the screen: A BAADASSSSS NIGGER IS COMING BACK TO COLLECT SOME DUES . Needless to say, Van Peebles knew exactly what he was doing - stirring up trouble and outrage. Even when the film got, what
was back then an X rating from the MPAA, the ads boldly stated Rated X - By an all white jury . If that didn't get people into the theater what could?
Now the DVD specialty labels, Vinegar Syndrome and Xenon Pictures, are jointly teaming up to release Sweet Sweetback on Blu-ray for the first time sometime later this year.
But British viewers are probably best advised to wait for a cut BBFC approved version. The BBFC cut 1:15s in 2005 and commented:
This work was previously passed uncut on video by the BBFC in 1998 on the basis of written assurances from the film's director, Melvin Van Peebles, that the person playing young Sweetback having sex with an adult female in
reel one was Hubert Scales, an actor who was at least 18 at time of filming.
Information that has come light since 1998 has cast considerable doubt on those assurances and it now appears to the BBFC, on the basis of the available evidence, that the actor in the scene in question was, in fact, the director's son, Mario Van
Peebles, who cannot have been older than 14 years at time of filming.
The Protection of Children Act 1978 makes it an offence to distribute, possess or advertise an indecent photograph of a child. A 'child' is currently defined as a person under the age of 18 and there is no exception granted for the current distribution,
possession or advertisement of images created prior to the legislation.
The fact that the scene in reel one appears to show a 13 or 14 year old boy realistically simulating sexual intercourse with an adult obviously raised concerns that some of the images in the sequence might be considered indecent images of a child. The
BBFC is fully aware of the historical and cultural significance of the film and endeavoured to explore the possibility that the sequence might not be caught by the provisions of the Act. To test this proposition the BBFC took advice not just from its own
specialist legal advisors but also from one of the leading QCs in this area. The legal advice was unequivocal: the sequence was likely to be considered indecent under current UK law.
Although this is clearly a work of considerable political, social and cultural importance the Board was bound by its obligation to seek to ensure that works likely to be in breach of the criminal law are not classified and so could not grant a
certificate to this film unless changes were made. The film's director chose to make the intervention by obscuring the relevant images with black ink, thereby maintaining the original soundtrack and running time. A caption explaining the intervention was
added to the front of the film by the distributor at the film director's request.
The video distributor granted a certificate in 1998 has been made aware of the issue and has undertaken not to distribute further copies of that version.
Robert J. Zdarsky, better known as Robert Z'Dar, was an American actor and film producer, perhaps best known for his role as Matt Cordell in the cult horror film Maniac Cop and its two sequels. He died on the 300th March from a heart attack.
Z'Dar worked mainly in low-budget B-movies and direct-to-video features, but occasionally in mainstream Hollywood films and television. Due to his cherubism, a medical condition resulting in an enlarged jawline, Z'dar had a unique and easily recognizable
look with a slightly sinister appearance, which aided his career as he usually portrayed villains.
Z'Dar has appeared in at least one film a year, including: The Night Stalker (1987), The Killing Game (1988), and Dead End City (1988) and Marching out of Time (1993) directed by Anton Vassil. Z'Dar's name became recognizable when he played Matt Cordell
in 1988's Maniac Cop, a film about a maniac in an NYPD cop uniform who brutally murders people.[Z'Dar reprised his role in the sequel and Badge of Silence.
It was perhaps Z'Dar's performance in Maniac Cop that landed him the role of Face in 1989's Tango & Cash alongside action stars Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell. In 1991, he shared the screen with F. Murray Abraham, Christian Slater, and
Lara Flynn Boyle in Mobsters.