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  No Complaints...

Irish film censor receives virtually no public complaints in 2015


Link Here 29th December 2015
No Escape DVD Owen Wilson Only eight complaints had been lodged with the Irish film censor IFCO up to December 15 compared with the 17 that were made last year.

Among the whinges:

  • A cinemagoer who was concerned that the G rated Minions cartoon was very scary.

  • The 15A rating for No Escape was challenged as there There was lots of bloodied bodies, a complainer argued that 18 would have been a better rating.

  • Black Mass , starring Johnny Depp as Irish-American gangster Whitey Bolger and rated 15A, was also complained about by one viewer referring to the brutality of the violence depicted: I was genuinely concerned to think that any 15-year-olds had been watching the same film as me.

 

 Offsite Article: Is American film industry pandering to Chinese censors?...


Link Here 27th December 2015
Martian Ridley Scott By banning its best films, China foregrounds their political import, and increases their chances of becoming a cause celebre overseas

See article from thestar.com

 

  Bugged by Censors...

Thai court upholds ban on trans film with a brief gay sex scene


Link Here 26th December 2015
insects in the backyardThe Thai Administrative Court has ruled that a LGBTI-themed film, Insects in the Backyard which has been banned since 2010, violates Section 287 of the Criminal Code.

The court says the short pornographic scene in the film violates Thai laws that prohibit the screening of pornographic films, in their entirety, or in part; and has impacts on morality and social decency.

The film by indie filmmaker Tanwarin Sukkhapisit reportedly contains an offending three-second scene where characters in the film are seen watching an X-rated gay movie which depicts graphic depiction of sexual organs and sexual intercourse, according to the Bangkok Post.

The court said the film can only be screened if the offending scene is cut to get a 20+ for audiences above the age of 20.

Following the film's ban by the Culture Ministry's National Film Board in 2010, the film's director filed a case with the Administrative Court to challenge the ban, making her the first filmmaker in Thailand to do so.

 

  Stromboli...

BBFC cuts to 1950 drama by Roberto Rossellini


Link Here 24th December 2015
Stromboli Land God Ingrid Bergman Stromboli is a 1950 Italy / USA drama by Roberto Rossellini.
Starring Ingrid Bergman, Mario Vitale and Renzo Cesana. BBFC link IMDb

Karen, a young woman from the Baltic countries, marries fisherman Antonio to escape from a prisoners camp. But the life in Antonio's village, Stromboli, threatened by the volcano, is a tough one and Karen can not get used to it.

1950 UK cinema release

Passed A (PG) after category BBFC cuts.

Passed with cuts in 1950 for an A certificate. No running time on the BBFC site, but this was the version of the film re-edited by RKO which runs 81 minutes, as per the review in the June 1950 Monthly Film Bulletin. No indication as to the extent of the cuts, but if the animal cruelty was included in this version it would no doubt have been cut.

 1998 UK VHS

The English language version was passed PG after 10s of BBFC category cuts for 1998 Second Sight Films VHS.

The BBFC cuts were:

  • To remove the rabbit and ferret scene as per the 2015 BFI release

2015 UK DVD

The Italian Version was passed PG for mild sex references, violence, threat after 12s of BBFC compulsory cuts for 2015 BFI Video [Full Frame] video titled Stromboli Terra Di Dio (stromboli: Land of God).

The BBFC commented:

  • Cuts were required to remove all sight of a ferret being set on a rabbit to kill it.

UK TV

The BBC have shown this film several times since 1963 (which Radio Times, via the BBC Genome site, billed as an English version of this Italian film). The film was shot without direct sound and the cast are clearly speaking their lines in different languages: Ingrid Bergman in English, the Italian actors in Italian. In 1990 the BBC showed a copy which the Radio Times billed its complete, original form . This print has English audio and has been shown several times since, most recently in 2013, and the scene with the rabbit and ferret is intact. See Gary Couzen's review from film.thedigitalfix.com

 

  Ulzana's Raid...

The Burt Lancaster Version, the Robert Aldrich Version, and a couple of BBFC Versions


Link Here 22nd December 2015
Ulzanas Raid Uncut Version Region Ulzana's Raid is a 1972 USA western adventure by Robert Aldrich.
Starring Burt Lancaster, Bruce Davison and Jorge Luke. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

Report reaches the US cavalry that the Apache leader Ulzana has left his reservation with a band of followers. A compassionate young officer, Lieutenant DeBuin, is given a small company to find him and bring him back; accompanying the troop is McIntosh, an experienced scout, and Ke-Ni-Tay, an Apache guide. Ulzana massacres, rapes and loots across the countryside; and as DeBuin encounters the remains of his victims, he is compelled to learn from McIntosh and to confront his own naiveté and hidden prejudice.

There is a Robert Aldrich Director's Cut which was shown in the US. Burt Lancaster re-edited the film for the first European releases. The BBFC cut the film for violence for an X rated 1973 cinema release. These cuts were restored for VHS but new cuts for horsefalls were then required. In 2003 the Director's Cut was submitted for DVD but again the animal cruelty cuts were required.

From IMDB: There are two versions of this film, Robert Aldrich's print (RA) and Burt Lancaster's (BL) print.  There are many subtle differences between the two although the overall running times are similar and most of the changes involve alterations of shots or lines of dialog within scenes. The major differences versions are:

  • The Aldrich version has an opening scene (before the credits) showing Ulzana leaving the reservation. This is missing from the Lancaster print.
  • The BL version deletes almost all shots of Burt Lancaster's Indian woman - played by Aimee Eccles
  • The BL version has a scene showing the two troopers pursuing the wounded Indian, The off-screen Indian kills one of them with rifle fire and the survivor rides away. This is missing from the RA print therefore creating more ambiguity as to what actually happened when the survivor returns.
  • The scene in which the rape victim plunges herself in the river is longer in the RA version and she refers to herself trying to wash it off . In the BL version, the scene is abridged to suggest only suicide.

See full details from tlweb.latrobe.edu.au

Censorship History

1973 UK cinema release

UK: The The Burt Lancaster Version was passed X (18) after BBFC cuts. There were cuts for violence including:

  • the shots of Willy Rukeyser's mutilated body
  • the scene where the Indians throw the trooper's severed heart to each other the

Note that a 16mm version distributed to cinema clubs does not have the BBFC cuts.

1985 UK VHS

The Burt Lancaster Version was passed 18 after 45s of BBFC cuts. The cuts for violence were restored but the video was cut of 45s of horse falls.

2003 UK DVD

The Robert Aldrich Version was passed 15 after 17s of BBFC cuts.

The BBFC commented:

  • Cuts required to sight of illegal horse falls
The UK DVD (and previous VHS) were cut by the BBFC to remove various horse falls. The cuts are very noticeable and render some scenes nonsensical. They are as follows:
  • when the Indians shoot the horse of the trooper rescuing the boy
  • two horse falls removed when Burt Lancaster uses a rifle to bring down two Indians, including Ulzana's son
  • The subsequent return of fire in which Lancaster's horse is brought down
  • At the end, when the Indians attack the wagon party, they direct two horses into a small canyon and bring them down with a rope stretched across the trail.

UK TV

The Aldrich version has been shown several times by the BBC since 1979, with the horsefalls intact but with cuts to violence made for the first showing, which was at 9.25pm on BBC1 on 24 September 1979.

The National Film Archive's copy is the BBC's print and unfortunately still has the BBC's cuts in it.

International

Only the UK has a thing about horsefalls so releases in Germany, US and Australia are uncut.

 

  Luke Warm 'Outrage'...

The Daily Mail and Mediawatch-UK try to stir up a bit of unconvincing 'outrage' about The Force Awakens being unsuitable for young children


Link Here 17th December 2015
Poster Star Wars the Force Awakens 2015 Jj Abrams The Daily Mail writes:

Ss the stars and their starry-eyed fans gathered for the premiere of the latest Star Wars movie , there were fears that the £2bn blockbuster may be too frightening for the young audience its 12A rating will target.

With villagers slaughtered, characters tortured and an entire planet obliterated in one shot, The Force Awakens paints a picture of a very violent universe. Experts say the film looks to be far more graphic than the original trilogy from the 1970s and 1980s which was billed as a fairy tale style adventure

As the on-screen body count mounts, parents have been urged to consider whether they should take young children to see it.

And by 'experts' the Daily Mail is referring to the likes of Vivienne Pattison, director of Mediawatch UK, who wailed:

Many parents will remember the original Star Wars films of the 1970s and 1980s, which were lower ratings. Of course, what made a PG then is very different to what makes a PG now and I think that's part of the problem actually.

They would have been under a lot of pressure actually to get a 12A because it means they will be able to sell more tickets. It means that as a parent you are expected to go a see a film first to decide whether it's suitable for your child.

 

 Update: Rajan Zed recommends...

X-Men Apocalypse


Link Here 16th December 2015  full story: Rajan Zed...Taking easy offence at hindu imagery
xmen apocalypse video YouTube Professional hindu whinger Rajan Zed has complained that the latest X-men adversary claims to have been known by the name Krishna, amongst others. Zed cuts and pastes form his stock complaints and comes up with the following press release:

Hindus are upset over comparison of blue-colored villain Apocalypse with their deity Lord Krishna in the recently released official trailer of X-Men: Apocalypse action-adventure Hollywood superhero movie releasing in May 2016.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada today, said that such trivialization of Lord Krishna, who was highly revered in Hinduism, was quite inappropriate and disturbing to the devotees.

Lord Krishna was meant to be worshipped in temples or home shrines and not for pushing movies for mercantile greed of filmmakers, Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, pointed out.

This trailer indicated Apocalypse saying: I have been called many things over many lifetimes: Ra, Krishna, Yahweh.

Rajan Zed urged director Bryan Singer to delete all the references to Lord Krishna from the trailer and the final movie, unless those were true to the scriptures. Inappropriate usage of Hindu deities or concepts for commercial or other agenda was not okay as it hurt the devotees and confused non-Hindus about Hinduism.

Rajan Zed further said that Hindus were for free artistic expression and speech as much as anybody else if not more ...BUT... faith was something sacred and attempts at trivializing it hurt the followers, Zed stated and added that insensitive handling of faith traditions sometimes resulted in pillaging serious spiritual doctrines and revered symbols.

Rajan Zed suggested that Hollywood executives should be sent for training in religious and cultural sensitivity so that they had an understanding of the feelings of audiences and communities when creating new products. If makers of X-Men: Apocalypse or other Hollywood executives needed any expertise on Hinduism related issues, he or other Hindu scholars would gladly provide the resources, Zed added.

 

  The Last Witch Hunter...

Set to be released 15 uncut on home video after being cut for a cinema 12A rating


Link Here 11th December 2015
Last Witch Hunter DVD The Last Witch Hunter is a 2015 USA action fantasy adventure by Breck Eisner.
Starring Vin Diesel, Rose Leslie and Elijah Wood. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

UK: Passed 15 uncut for strong violence, threat for:

UK Censorship History

BBFC advised the category cuts for a 12A rated cinema release in 2015. Uncut and BBFC 15 rated for home video.

The BBFC commented about the cinema cuts:

  • This film was originally seen for advice, at which stage the company was informed it was likely to be passed 15 but that their preferred 12A could be achieved by making a number of reductions to moments of violence and horror. When the film was submitted for formal classification, acceptable reductions had been made in these sequences and the film was classified 12A.
Summary Notes

The last witch hunter is all that stands between humanity and the combined forces of the most horrifying witches in history.

 

  Restored to Life...

9 minutes of lost footage to George A Romero's Night of the Living Dead has been discovered in a workprint


Link Here 10th December 2015
Poster Night of the Living Dead 1968 George a Romero Night of the Living Dead is a 1968 US horror film by George A Romero.
With Duane Jones, Judith O'Dea and Karl Hardman. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb

Now, nearly 50 years after the original release, a never-before-seen sequence is about to be restored.

George Romero said at the Monster Mania horror convention that a once-lost 16mm work print has finally been found.

The work print, which turned up when elements were being gathered for a brand new restoration of the film contains roughly 9-minutes of footage that has never before been released. It was cut from the film not by Romero, but rather by the original distributor. An convention attendee said:

This was a scene that takes place at the jump cut in the basement, including the largest zombie scene in the film.

 

  Rated R for strong publicity...

US film censor reject appeal for a lower rating for Michael Moore's documentary, Where to Invade Next


Link Here 5th December 2015
where-to-invade-nextMichael Moore has lost his appeal to overturn the R rating for his documentary Where to Invade Next.

The appeals board of the Classification & Ratings Administration made its ruling following a hearing that was attended by Moore.

Where to Invade Next was assigned the R rating for language (more than one use of the F-word), some violent images, drug use and brief graphic nudity (topless women). The film, a travelogue, explores how other countries deal with social and economic issues in comparison with the U.S.

 

  Parents find US film ratings to be fucking useful...

Although the majority find that the one use of the word 'fuck' allowed in a PG-13 film is one too many


Link Here 5th December 2015
cara logo Joan Graves, Chairman of the Classification and Rating Administration (a department  of the MPAA) writes in a blog post:

As Chairman of the Classification and Rating Administration (CARA), which administers the rating system, I was heartened to learn from a new Nielsen survey, commissioned by CARA, that the overwhelming majority of American parents are familiar with the rating system and find it helpful.

In fact, 80% of parents agree that the rating system is accurate in its classification of movies. While they might not be as familiar with the rating descriptors that accompany the ratings, parents find them just as helpful, and even slightly more accurate in reflecting the content of a movie.

CARA commissioned this Nielsen survey of 1,488 parents of children between 7 and 16 as part of our ongoing efforts to ensure we are being consistent and credible in reflecting the concerns of parents across the country when we determine film ratings. The survey found that 99% of the parents were extremely, very or somewhat familiar with the rating system and 96% were in a similar overall range with regard to rating descriptors. Additionally, 93% said both the ratings and accompanying descriptors were helpful tools with 79% saying the ratings were accurate.

Specifically in relation to movies parents would allow their children to see, the survey found that sexual content was the top concern among parents (80%), followed by full male nudity (71%), use of hard drugs (70%), full female nudity (70%), graphic violence (64%) and use of the F-word (62%). The survey also showed that 53% of the parents believe the F-word appeared in PG-13 ratings too frequently, and only 26% felt that PG-13 would be an appropriate rating for a movie containing an F-word. While other words, which are commonly considered profane, were included in the survey, none reached the same level of concern among parents.

The results of the survey reinforce much of what we at CARA have known for a long time. Every year since the inception of the rating system, we have commissioned ORC International, a leading market research company, to conduct surveys to determine the awareness and perceived usefulness of the rating system to parents. These surveys consistently show that the majority of parents are not only aware of our rating system and our descriptors, but that most find them useful in deciding what movies are appropriate for their children. The most recent study found that 75% of those surveyed said the ratings are very or fairly useful. An even larger number, 85% found the descriptors that accompany the ratings to be very or fairly useful.

 

  Sensitive Kisses...

Indian film censor sacked after commenting on the cut kisses in Spectre


Link Here 5th December 2015
Spectre DVD Daniel Craig An Indian film censor has been sacked for commenting on the ludicrous censorship of the Bond film, Spectre .

Regional Officer of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) Nagendra Swamy's 'vacated his post' on Friday and made way for Natasha D'Souza.

Reacting to CBFC's silly stand on the kissing scene in Spectre , which was given a U/A certificate after imposing two verbal and visual cuts, Swamy had said in an interview to a newspaper: A kiss is a kiss...when CBFC wanted to cut it, why did it allow 10 seconds of it? He argued that they should have either let it run or cut it out entirely. By doing this, we are violating our own guidelines, he had said, noting that CBFC guidelines do not ban showing of kissing in movies.

My statement on the decision of CBFC might be the reason for my transfer, Swamy told The Hindu newspaper.

 

 Offsite Article: Scything Cuts...


Link Here 3rd December 2015
Hobbit Battle Five Armies Extended Movie Censorship website reveals the differences between the Theatrical Versions and Extended Versions of The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies

See article from movie-censorship.com

 

 Updated: Much Loved...by some...

Banned Moroccan film shown at Tunis film festival with tight security over fears of violence


Link Here 29th November 2015  full story: Much Love...Movie about sex workers banned in Morocco
much lovedMuch Loved is a 2015 Morocco drama by Nabil Ayouch.
Starring Loubna Abidar, Danny Boushebel and Abdellah Didane. IMDb

A group of women in Morocco make a living as prostitutes in a culture that is very unforgiving toward women in that profession.

The star of a banned film on sex work in Morocco was savagely beaten in Casablanca last week, sparking an outcry on social media over social taboos that activists say can be enforced by violence.

Loubna Abidar, who portrays a Marrakech sex worker in Much Loved , a film by renowned French-Moroccan director Nabil Ayouch that caused a stir in Morocco when a series of previews were released on YouTube, said police and hospital workers refused to help her. Instead they humiliated her, she said:

No [police officer] and no doctor would take care of me. Everyone mocked me and said, 'Finally, Abidar! You got beaten.

In a self-recorded video shared widely on social media this week, a bruised and bloodied Ms Abidar describes the ordeal, without offering much detail on the assailants.

Update: Banned film screened at Tunis film festival

29th November 2015. See  article from theguardian.com

carthage film festival 2015 logoA controversial film portraying prostitution in Morocco that was shunned in the Arab world has finally been shown, amid tight security, at the Carthage Film Festival in Tunisia. Fears of an attack by militants saw armed police and steel barriers around the cinema and each cinemagoer searched for weapons. 

Director Nabil Ayouch's Much Loved portrays the lives of four upmarket prostitutes working for tourists and wealthy clients in Marrakech was made on a shoestring, using unknown actors and a mostly female crew.

The film,  has provoked a storm of 'outrage' and violence. Ayouch and the cast had death threats, and the Moroccan government formally banned the film, accusing the direc- tor of staining the country's reputation. In June, the film was praised at the Toronto film festival for its unflinching appraisal of the lives of women on the margins of society, but at home a pressure group filed a lawsuit against the director. Actor Yousseff El-Idrissi, who plays a rich client in the film, told of being attacked by knife-wielding thugs.

 

 Updated: Too Much Bonding...

India's film censor makes several cuts to Spectre


Link Here 24th November 2015  full story: Indian Film Censor Pahlaj Nihalani...Loony film censor wants to ban everything
Spectre DVD Daniel Craig Its not only British audiences that are viewing a censored version of the new James Bond film Spectre, but Indian audiences will also suffer an incomplete version.

Censors at the Central Board of Film Classification have given the film a UA (children allowed if accompanied by adults) rating after 4 cuts for language and kissing:

  • Two cuts were made to shorten James Bond's kissing
  • Two cuts were made to remove the words 'fuck' and 'arsehole'. (This seems to be a false accusation as the word 'fuck' doesn't actually get used in the film).

A source said:

Both of Daniel Craig's kisses with his co-stars have been reduced by 50 per cent. The censor board had nothing against James Bond kissing ...BUT... the length of the kisses were found to be unnecessarily excessive. We heard that Ranbir Kapoor's kissing scenes in Tamasha has also been reduced by half. We wonder how the Censor Board decides how much kissing is enough.

Update: Chief censor seems to act like a megalomaniac Bond villain

20th November 2015. See  article from timesofindia.indiatimes.com

pahlaj nihalani bond villainDissent against Censor Board chief Pahlaj Nihalani appears to be gathering strength with some members planning to make a formal representation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and I&B minister Arun Jaitley. Members of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) have expressed concern at Nihalani's unilateral decision making style and cavalier attitude.

Board members said that cuss words were still being arbitrarily snipped from films (despite the Board's opposition) and decisions being made on films without taking the Board in to confidence. One member explained:

There are a few of us who feel that the chairperson has been working on his own accord without listening to anyone on the Board. This is unfair. We are planning to approach the PM and the I&B minister on the issue.

Nihalani has faced social media derision after the Board ruled kissing scenes of Daniel Craig with Monica Bellucci and Lea Seydoux in the new James Bond release Spectre as too extensive and had them trimmed by half.

Former I&B secretary and Board member Raghu Menon in a recent letter to fellow members said that he was disturbed at being treated in a cavalier and offhand fashion by Nihalani  and the utter insensitivity and disregard of the I&B ministry. He said:

I have closely observed and have been involved in the working of the CBFC for the last 20 years in various capacities when it was headed by luminaries like Shakti Samanta, Vijay Anand, Asha Parekh, Sharmila Tagore, Leela Samson etc, but never have I seen it sink to such levels of total disregard for the Board Members. It would be better to disband the Board if it is found to be so irrelevant.

Update: Skyfall too

22nd November 2015. See article from dnaindia.com

Skyfall DVD Daniel Craig Chief Pahlaj Nihalani has been justifying his disgraceful Spectre cuts to Indian tabloids. He said that steamy scenes were also cut from the previous Bond movie Skyfall , but people made no fuss about it. So why is it an issue if the Board cut down the duration of kissing scenes in Spectre by 20 seconds, he asks.

Update: A better informed source

24th November 2015. See  article from movie-censorship.com

A better informed source reveals that the Indian film censor's dialogue cuts to Spectre were:

  • 'idiot' instead of 'asshole'
  • 'bighead and cats' instead of 'bastard and balls'.

 

 Offsite Article: Box Office Suicide Squad...


Link Here 17th November 2015
suicide squad Writer for the movie news website Collider proposes a 14 rating for the US

See article from collider.com

 

 Offsite Article: How 12A is the dishonest film rating that betrays children...


Link Here 12th November 2015  full story: BBFC 12A rating...Daily Mail bang on about the 12A rating
Spectre DVD Daniel Craig The Daily Mail's Brian Viner adds another whinge at the very popular 12A rating

See article from dailymail.co.uk

 

 Offsite Article: Bond and silly political correctness...


Link Here 9th November 2015
Spectre Blu ray Copy Daniel Craig Spectre James Bond is still a sexist dinosaur, but audiences love it

See article from independent.co.uk

 

 Update: A moderate whinge about moderate threat...

The Daily Mail has a rather half-hearted knock at the 12A certificate for Mockingjay Part 2


Link Here 8th November 2015  full story: BBFC 12A rating...Daily Mail bang on about the 12A rating
Poster Hunger Games Mockingjay P 2015 Francis Lawrence The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 is a 2015 USA Sci-Fi adventure by Francis Lawrence.
Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

The BBFC rated the cinema release as 12A uncut for moderate violence, threat.

The Daily Mail has a rather half-hearted knock at this 12A certificate:

With a bombing of families, monsters eating people alive and a public execution, it hardly seems ideal viewing for children.

But film censors appear to think otherwise, giving the latest instalment of The Hunger Games a 12A classification, meaning it can be seen by children of primary school age accompanied by an adult.

In one scene, the main characters are involved in a gruesome fight with monsters with no eyes and razor-sharp teeth during which one man is eaten alive.

In another, young families are targeted by bombs, disguised as gifts, causing mass death and destruction. Such scenes have fuelled the debate about whether 12A classifications give enough protection to young people.

The Daily Mail dragged up a few trivial sound bites from censorial campaigners, including a rare comment from Mediawatch-UK.

Claude Knights, of the charity Kidscape, said of the latest film:

I wonder why it wasn't given a more robust rating. Many parents wouldn't take their children to something like this, but because it's a 12A they might not be expecting it to be this way.

The danger is that these scenes become normal. They become desensitised and the level of gore and violence becomes normalised.

Vivienne Pattison, director of lobby group Mediawatch UK, said:

The industry is terribly keen to get things through as a 12A, as suddenly you've doubled your market potentially.

There have been quite a few 12A films recently that I just don't think you'd want to take an eight-year-old to see, although it's perfectly legal to do so.

 

 Offsite Article: Sex, violence and religion: The films banned by councils...


Link Here 8th November 2015
Spider Man Maguire Willem Kirsten Franco The BBC speaks of notable films where local councils overruled BBFC ratings

See article from bbc.com

 

  Where to Invade Next?...

US film censorship doesn't have much to offer Michael Moore for his latest documentary


Link Here 4th November 2015
where to invade nextWhere to Invade Next is a 2015 USA documentary by Michael Moore.
Starring Krista Kiuru, Michael Moore and Tim Walker. Youtube link IMDb

To learn what the USA can gain from other nations, Michael Moore playfully "invades" them to see what they have to offer.

Michael Moore is non to impressed by the MPAA R rating given to his latest documentary. Moore spoke of the R rating to Variety:

Moore listed the parts of the film that prompted the MPAA's ruling. The violence in the picture includes footage of law enforcement officers beating Eric Garner, a Staten Island man whose death last year helped spark a wider debate about police brutality.

The drug use is related to a section in the film on Portugal's decision to decriminalize narcotics -- a move that some suggest has led to a reduction in substance abuse.

The language stems from the use of 'fuck' by Icelandic citizens protesting the 2009 collapse of their banks.

And the nudity is a fleeting image of a naked man. That's from a vignette that shows how some Europeans are able to enjoy three weeks at a spa to treat stress thanks to government-backed healthcare.

Moore said he will not edit the film, and has appealed to have the rating lowered to a PG-13.

 

  Gayby Baby Ban...

Complaints about a News South Wales schools ban on a documentary film about a family with gay parents


Link Here 4th November 2015
gayby babyGayby Baby is a 2015 Australia family documentary by Maya Newell.
Starring David Rawle, Brendan Gleeson and Lisa Hannigan. Youtube link IMDb

The documentary film follows the lives of four kids whose parents all happen to be gay. As they each wrestle with the onset of puberty, the outside world wrestles with the issue of marriage equality and whether or not kids of same-sex families are at risk.

The New South Wales (NSW) Education Minister had banned schools from screening the film in August. Now documents obtained under freedom of information laws reveal that the NSW Government has received 85 complaints about the films.

In total, 55 messages were received congratulating the Premier and the Minister for their courageous decision and for being men of principle in preventing the film from being shown in school time, eg:

God bless you for standing up to protect our lovely children from those who in the name of the 'freedom to be naughty' would seek to enslave them into a lifetime of weird unproductive sexuality.

The others complained about the ban. One complaint read:

Today you did something unconscionable. Today you told thousands of children across this state that they should be embarrassed about who they are.  The ramifications of this are on your shoulders.

Fairfax Media revealed in September that the attack on the film was fuelled by a Presbyterian minister who had the scripture classes he oversaw at the school cut back last year.

 

  American Police Recommend...

Quentin Tarantino's Hateful Eight


Link Here 3rd November 2015
hateful eightUS police groups are calling for a boycott of Quentin Tarantino's The Hateful Eight.

Local police organizations in New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles, the National Association of Police Organizations recently joined the ranks opposing Tarantino after remarks the director made during a recent rally against police brutality. The National Association of Police Organizations said in a statement:

We ask officers to stop working special assignments or off-duty jobs, such as providing security, traffic control or technical advice for any of Tarantino's projects. We need to send a loud and clear message that such hateful rhetoric against police officers is unacceptable.

The contention arose when Tarantino attended the Brooklyn rally against brutality on Oct. 24 and told The Associated Press:

I'm a human being with a conscience. And if you believe there's murder going on then you need to rise up and stand up against it. I'm here to say I'm on the side of the murdered.

 

  115 Lashes...

The Australian Classification Board releases its annual report and of course its top films as judged by the amount of complaints


Link Here 2nd November 2015
Shades Digibook Exclusive Amazon co uk Blu ray The Australian film censor has release the Annual Report for 2014 - 15. Notable perhaps for a reduction in X18+ (reserved for hardcore sex) certificates to just 3. And of course it is always traditional to list the handful of complaints about film classifications:

The Classification Board received 115 complaints about the classifications of films. This compares with 93 complaints in 2013-14.

There were 18 complaints about Fifty Shades of Grey . The complainants were of the view that the MA 15+ classification with consumer advice of Strong sex scenes, sexual themes and nudity was too low due to the depictions of implied sexual activity in the film.

There were 12 complaints about the film Paddington . The complainants were of the view that the G classification was too low due to the depictions of violence and scary themes.

The film Gone Girl , which was classified MA 15+ with the consumer advice Strong sexualised violence, blood, sex scenes and coarse language , attracted 10 complaints in the reporting period. The complainants believed the film's classification was too low due to the depictions of sex, violence and sexual violence in the film. Two complainants thought the consumer advice was insufficient.

There were eight complaints about Kingsmen: The Secret Service. The complainants were of the view that the MA 15+ classification was too low due to the depictions of violence in the film.

The film The House of Magic which was classified G with the consumer advice Some scary scenes received five complaints. The complainants felt that the classification was too low. The complainants considered that the film was too scary for young children.

Overall, the remainder of complaints were about a small number of titles.

 

 Offsite Article: Lost in Thailand...


Link Here 31st October 2015
cemetery of splendour Acclaimed director, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, takes a break from junta rule

See article from asiancorrespondent.com

 

 Commented: Spectre of Censorship...

Category cuts made for the cinema release of the new Bond film


Link Here 23rd October 2015
Poster Spectre 2015 Sam Mendes Spectre is a 2015 USA / UK action adventure thriller by Sam Mendes.
Starring Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz and Ralph Fiennes. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

UK: Passed 12A for moderate violence, threat after BBFC advised pre-cuts for:

  • 2015 cinema release

US: For comparison the film was rated PG-13 for intense sequences of action and violence, some disturbing images, sensuality and language. It is not immediately clear whether the UK cuts apply to the US and other worldwide versions.

The BBFC commented:
  • This film was originally seen for advice in an unfinished version. The company was advised it was likely to be classified 15 but that their preferred 12A could be obtained by making reductions in a scene of violence and in another scene showing the aftermath of a violent act. When the film was submitted for formal classification, acceptable reductions had been made in both scenes and the film was classified 12A.
Summary Notes

A cryptic message from Bond's past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.

Update: The Daily Mail recommends Spectre

23rd October 2015. See  film review from dailymail.co.uk

Daily Mail logoThe Daily Mail leads:

Licence to be sadistic: Yes, he loved it. But our critic admits he's a bit queasy about the way new Bond film Spectre glories in cruelty. Is the money-spinning 007 juggernaut so powerful the censors turn a blind eye?

Not too much on the BBFC in the article though, mostly a positive film review

 

 Updated: Arpat...

Thai film censors unban horror film featuring a buddhist monk after cuts


Link Here 19th October 2015
abatThailand's state film censors at the Ministry of Censorship Culture have banned a horror film centring on the life of a teenage monk after the movie caused a stir among Buddhist hardliners who claimed that the film insults Buddhism.

Producers said in a tweet that it has to postpone screening the film Abat ('offense' in the Pali language, the language of Theravada Buddhism). The movie company stated:

The movie has been banned by the Film and Media Screening Committee (the committee of the Department of Cultural Promotion under the Ministry of Culture).

The Ministry informed the movie's producer and distributor that the film needs to be cut before it could go on screen.

On 23 September 2015, five Buddhist organisations, namely the Association of Scholars for Buddhism, the Buddhism Protection Centre of Thailand, the Buddhist Women's Association, the Network to Protect the Nation, Religion, and Monarchy, and the Buddhists Network, issued a joint statement to the Ministry of Culture against the film. The statement which was submitted to Veera Rojpojanarat, the Minister of Culture, urged him to review the content of the film. It was also sent to the film producers asking them to rethink whether the film is appropriate for screening in the country. In the statement, the five religious organisations wrote that the content of the movie shows disrespect towards Buddhism and Buddhist monks in the country and is valueless .

The film is about a delinquent teenager who was forced by his parents to ordain as a Buddhist monk, but continues with his usual layman lifestyle while developing a sexual relationship with a young female protagonist, which later leads him to uncover the dark secrets in his monastery. One of the controversial scenes in the film which shows the leading protagonist in a Buddhist monk's robe touching a woman, an action which is prohibited in the Buddhist monks' code of conduct

Surapot Taweesak, a Buddhist and philosophy scholar, however, shared his thoughts on the matter through Matichon News that there is nothing wrong with the film. He said that the call to ban the film shows a lack of tolerance and disrespect towards freedom of expression, which ironically goes against the principles of freedom of thought in Buddhism itself.

Update: Passed 18 after cuts

17th October 2015. See  article from bangkokpost.com

Arpat , the new name of the banned Thai film Arbat , passed the censorship board on Friday and was issued with an 18-plus rating after cuts. (Note, the actual name uses a Thai letter with no equivalence in English. It is half way between b and p, hence there's a choice of which to use in transliteration to English)

Several 'sensitive' scenes have been cut from the original version, and a warning text appears at the start.

State censors who judged the film yesterday were different from those who banned the previous version of the film on Monday. The ban was imposed on the grounds that the movie would tarnish the image of Buddhism through telling a story of misbehaving monks, (a sensitive issue in Thailand as there are plenty of misbehaving monks, many are just regular guys doing their duty of a short term stint as a monk, often under pressure from families).

The new version has been censored of a scene of a young monk kissing a girl, a monk drinking alcohol and a monk touching the head of a Buddha statue, among others.

A warning stressing the film is a work of fiction has been inserted at the start of the film.

Prachya admits that the title change, from Arbat to Arpat, may sound like a silly move , but he said it is a strategy to submit the new film for consideration while retaining the right to appeal for a new verdict of the original film:

We want to appeal for a permit of the original Arbat, but the process takes a long time, so we presented the re-edited version and called it Arpat instead.

Update: More on Thai film censorship

19th October 2015. See  article from bangkokpost.com

thai ministry of culture logoThe hullabaloo around the Thai film Arpat is the latest example of problems caused by what some people in the film industry perceive as flaws in the Film and Video Act 2008.

Some of the controversial aspects of the law, which was passed by the coup-appointed National Legislative Assembly, include the composition of the censor committees, and the measure that allows a film to be banned for national security reasons. Also criticised were a conservative interpretation of the rules, and most importantly strict state control over film, compared to lighter regulation of other cheaper and more accessible media such as television and print.

Many filmmakers believe the law, which introduced the rating system, poses many problems. Manit Sriwanichpoom, whose film Shakespeare Must Die was banned in 2012., said:

The law says the rating committee consists of four government officials and three representatives from the private sector, but what happens is that these three 'private representatives' are often those who are close to the bureaucrats, and they have to be approved by the bureaucrats first. That means the state still controls the thinking and the judgement.

The first film banned under the new film law was Insect in the Backyard in 2010. It tells the story of a transgender father and his two children, one of them a male prostitute.

According to Kajornsak Putthanupap, who chaired the committee that banned the film Arpat, there are six rotating committees taking turns to watch films and give a rating. He said Arpat was initially banned because it might create unnecessary conflicts in society if the committee had let it pass .

But for filmmakers, such thinking is unfair treatment to film, given the fact that content in other media, such as magazines or television, does not require state approval before its release. Pantham Thongsang, a film producer who has campaigned for a fairer film law for the past 10 years, said:

Some committees rely purely on their imagination that if a film has been released, such and such a bad thing would happen. It's like you forbid someone from leaving the house because you imagine he might go out and kill someone.

 

 Extract: More Destructive Weaponry...

The Hobbit: Battle Of The Five Armies. The Extended Cut Again Displays The Uselessness Of The MPAA. By Eric Eisenberg


Link Here 15th October 2015

Hobbit Battle Armies Extended Blu ray I had the opportunity to see The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Extended Edition during the special Fathom Events screening that was held nationwide last night, and while I can honestly say that I enjoyed the experience, it also left me scratching my head.

With a running time of 164 minutes, the movie is 20 minutes longer than its theatrical predecessor, and as you might have guessed considering the original cut is 75% war scene, much of the additional footage is battle-related. This includes dwarves charging into battles against orcs, wargs, and various other kinds of monsters with all kinds of weapons, including a ram-driven sled featuring scythe-covered wheels and a crank-operated arrow launcher.

As enemies are taken down, small splashes of black blood occasionally appear, and I'll admit that some of the deaths do rank on the gnarly scale, but the idea that it actually crosses any kind of line from PG-13 to R is entirely ridiculous. The change truly suggests that the line between ratings is so thin that it might as well not even bother existing, and paints a perfect picture of the entire methodology's arbitrary nature.

...Read the full article from cinemablend.com

 

 Offsite Article: Crouching Censor...


Link Here 15th October 2015
Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon DVD Chinese film censors clamour to get their claws into Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon sequel

See article from theepochtimes.com

 

 Update: Censorship Buzz...

Gay film WASP banned from the Beirut International Film Festival


Link Here 12th October 2015  full story: Banned Films in Lebanon...Beirut Hotel
Wasp DVD Hugo Bolton Wasp is a 2015 UK / France / Switzerland / Lebanon drama by Philippe Audi-Dor.
Starring Hugo Bolton, Elly Condron and Simon Haycock. Youtube link BBFC link IMDb

British film WASP was about to play at the Beirut International Film Festival, when it was banned by the Lebanese Censorship Bureau. Director Philippe Audi-Dor commented:

I am very disappointed that Wasp won't be screening at the renowned Beirut International Film Festival because of its LGBT content. That said, I do understand that the film touches upon a delicate subject, and do respect the censorship bureau's decision. I do think however that the cancelling of the movie emphasizes just how relevant a film like Wasp is in today's world.

LGBT films have been shown at the Beirut International Film Festival before without issue.

BBFC Insight about the sex content

Passed 15 uncut for strong language, sex, sex references

A couple are seen having rear entry sex, with close up shots of flesh and facial expressions. There are also strong sex references, with dialogue relating to role-play sex and several frank conversations about sexuality and infidelity.

There is brief natural breast nudity as a woman changes her clothes in the company of another character.

Promotional Material

Having left England for a romantic escapade in the south of France, Olivier and James invite Caroline along at the very last minute. She was just left by her long-time boyfriend and is in need of a change of scenery. The trio arrives in a little Provencal village, somewhat cut off from the world. Though everything seems calm between the pool, sunshine and a village visit, Olivier finds himself more and more intrigued by Caroline. A tension of sexual jealousy and possessiveness will escalade between the three.

 

  Klown Forever...

Recommended by Danish film censors and those taking easy offence at the poster


Link Here 3rd October 2015
klovn forever Klown Forever is a 2015 Denmark comedy by Mikkel Nørgaard.
Starring Casper Christensen, Frank Hvam and Mia Lyhne. IMDb

Frank and Casper's friendship is put to a test, when Casper decides to leave Denmark to pursue a solo career in Los Angeles. Determined to win his best friend back Frank chooses to follow Casper insuring an eventful trip.

The Danish comedy film Klovn Forever is a hit in the theatres but not everyone is happy about a provocative image promoting the film in the public sphere.

The Danish film censor, the Media Council for Children and Young People (Medierådet), slammed the film as bordering on pornographic . The council described the film:

The film has a humorous mood that is dominated by sexualized language and contains a number of scenes with explicit and very direct sexual depictions. In several scenes adults are seen having intercourse in different positions in many of the scenes are bordering on pornographic.

An image promoting the movie that features stars Casper Christiansen and Frank Hvam naked from the waste down and posed in the sexual position known as 69 has also led to complaints one of which led to the poster being taken down from a bus stops in Aalborg. A complainer told TV 2 Nord:

I think it's a half-pornographic photo that is shoved in your face. When you are out in public, the posters that are hanging at bus stops should be something acceptable for both children and adults to see.

One prude told the Ekstra Bladet newspaper:

I lost my sunglasses and almost threw up when I saw the giant poster with the guys from Klovn hanging here in S�¸borg. I'm normally not a prude ...BUT... this crossed the line. And you should also think about the children.

A complaint has now been filed with the Danish Consumer Ombudsman (Forbrugerombudsmanden). However, the ad in question is still displayed throughout Denmark and tickets for Klovn Forever continue to sell briskly.

 

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