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2016: Oct-Dec

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No worries, displaced majority folks will qualify as a lower socio-economic group, ie the unemployed...

Bafta, the BBC and Channel 4 have al adopted diversity requirements for film/TV production. But will the rules have any censorship impact?

Link Here31st December 2016
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (Bafta) has adopted new diversity rules for films qualifying for consideration for awards.

In order to compete for the awards, productions will, from 2019, have to demonstrate that they have made effort to boost diversity in two of the four following areas:

  • On screen representation, themes and narratives
  • Project leadership and creative practitioners
  • Industry access and opportunities
  • Opportunities for diversity in audience development

BAFTA added.

Under-represented groups in the film industry include people from minority ethnic backgrounds, disabled people, women and LGBT. It also includes people from lower socio-economic groups.

In certain categories productions based or set outside London can also count towards achieving the standards.

Film4 and BBC films have already agreed to adopt the standards.

Offsite Comment: The Sky is Falling

31st December 2016 See  article from by Christian Butler

A number of articles about BAFTA's new rules single out Skyfall, the 2012 James Bond film, as an example of a previous winner that wouldn't be nominated under the new guidelines.

Offsite Video Comment: Diversity: Do as we tell you - and be diverse

31st December 2016 See video from YouTube by the Britisher

The Britisher wonders whether the rules will restrict the BBC from producing programmes in settings where a diverse cast would be a distraction, think Jane Austen or King Arthu.r



El Inca...

Venezuelan court bans boxing film biography over a legal challenge by the boxer's family

Link Here31st December 2016
El Inca is a 2016 Venezuela romance by Ignacio Castillo Cottin.
Starring Alexander Leterni, Scarlett Jaimes and Miguel Ferrari. IMDb

A tragic love story based in the life of the great Latin American boxer Edwin "El Inca" Valero. The only fight he lost, was the one against himself.

On an April morning in 2010, Venezuelan boxing legend Edwin El Inca Valero, an undefeated two-time world champion, murdered his wife. Two days later, he took his own life in his prison cell at 28 years of age.

Now, his violent and troubling story is making headlines again, in a politically charged scandal over a banned film about his life. The movie, El Inca, was a box office sensation when it premiered on Nov 25, rising to become the third-most lucrative film of the year in Venezuela in less than three weeks.

But its run came to an abrupt halt on Dec 13, when a judge ordered it removed from theaters and impounded all copies. The court case was brought by Valero's family, which accused director Ignacio Castillo Cottin of slander. But the director alleges politics had more to do with the ruling.

The film was banned by temporary injunction before the defamation trial even got under way. The judge then postponed the first hearing, scheduled for last Monday, because neither he nor the prosecution had seen the movie.

Connections of the film were not impressed that it was banned before the judge had even seen it.



Something to hide?...

Irish national archives reveal a long struggle to open historical files from the film censor's office

Link Here30th December 2016
National Archives show minister for justice Alan Dukes clashed with attorney general John Rodgers over access to the film censor's historical files.

In 1986 Kevin Rockett, then academic and chairman of the Irish Film Institute , wrote to attorney general John Rogers to say he had been refused access to the film censor's files, even for films of the 1920s, by then minister for justice Alan Dukes .

Rogers wrote to Dukes saying that he did not see the legal basis on which access to the files, especially for films made 30 years or more previously, could be resisted or refused.

A month later, Dukes responded that over the years, censors and ministers for justice had always considered themselves precluded , on the basis of breach of confidence, from disclosure of information on films.

Further letters ensued and eventually the files were opened following a long struggle. Rockett told The Irish Times that a fter a long and frustrating campaign he eventually convinced the Official Film Censor in 1998 to transfer the more than 100 volumes of film censorship material to the National Archives.

Rockett wrote Irish Film Censorship: A Cultural Journey from Silent Cinema to Internet Pornography in 2004, with the help of those files.



Offsite Article: Scream at 20...

Link Here23rd December 2016
How Wes Craven and Kevin Williamson tore the slasher film apart

See article from



Update: 15 rated body images...

Feminist documentary gets advisory 15/16 ratings in Australia and New Zealand but gets a hard 15 in the UK

Link Here21st December 2016
Embrace is a 2016 Australia / Canada / Dominican Republic / Germany / USA / UK feminsit documentary by Taryn Brumfitt.
Starring Renee Airya, Jade Beall and Taryn Brumfitt. BBFC link IMDb

When Body Image Activist Taryn Brumfitt posted an unconventional before-and-after photo in 2013 it was seen by more than 100 million people worldwide and sparked an international media frenzy. EMBRACE follows Taryn's crusade as she explores the global issue of body loathing, inspiring us to change the way we feel about ourselves and think about our bodies.

Never cut by censors but the film made the news in Australia after the director successfully appealed against a MA 15+ rating and won an M rating instead.

In Australia, the original MA15+ (15A) rating was downrated to M (PG-15) for nudity   on appeal. The Review board explained:

A three-member panel of the Classification Review Board has unanimously determined that the film Embrace is classified M (Mature) with the consumer advice Nudity .

The National Classification Code and Classification Guidelines allows for nudity to occur at the M level if it is justified by context. In the Classification Review Board's opinion Embrace warrants an M classification because the scenes of nudity and of women's breasts and genitals in the film are justified by the context of the documentary approach to women's body image and their impact is no higher than moderate.

Now the BBFC have passed the film 15 uncut for cinema for strong language, nudity, brief surgical detail.



Offsite Article: Nothing to die for...

Link Here19th December 2016 details the different versions of Suicide Squad

See article from



Offsite Article: Wallowing in praise...

Link Here18th December 2016
A happy censor describes life in New Zealand's Office of Film and Literature Classification. Perhaps someone cut out the critical bits.

See article from



Offsite Article: A brief history of film censorship in Egypt...

Link Here18th December 2016
Giving a sense of the absurd state of censorship in Egypt. By Ahmed Shawky Ali

See article from



Offsite Comment: 'Progressives': butter wouldn't melt in their mouths, let alone their arses...

Link Here 8th December 2016
In defence of Last Tango in Paris. The new censorious rage over this great film must be resisted. By Fraser Myers

See article from



Offsite Article: Still outraged by movie hype, 44 years on...

Link Here5th December 2016
Ludicrous story of Mara Schneider not being told about rape scene until shortly before filming when making Last Tango in Paris.

See article from



Censorship campaigners with a chipolata on their shoulder...

Moralists whinge about the French 12 rating for Seth Rogen's Sausage Party

Link Here 2nd December 2016
Full story: Film Censorship in France...French age ratings are generally lower than most
Sausage Party is a 2016 USA animation comedy adventure by Greg Tiernan and Conrad Vernon.
Starring Kristen Wiig, Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd. BBFC link IMDb

An animated fable about the delusion of religion. It is set in an American supermarket, its characters are horny and often blasphemous foodstuffs who at one point engage in a mass sex party.

Catholic and right-wing have whinged about a Seth Rogen cartoon featuring lots of strong language and a foodstuffs orgy scene.

France's film certification board,  (Centre National de la Cinematographie: Commission de Classification, CNC) has now come under renewed censorship pressure by conservative organisations angry at what they perceive as an overlenient rating given to a Hollywood cartoon.

In the US, the film was rated R for strong crude sexual content, pervasive language, and drug use. The film was cut in the US to avoid an NC-17 rating, with the censors asking for the deletion of the hairy scrotum of a pita bread. This cut version has been distributed worldwide. In the UK, it had 15 for very strong language, strong sex references . In France it has been given a 12 certificate.

Jean-Frédéric Poisson, president of France's Christian Democratic party whinged:

An orgy scene for 12-year-olds! Everything remains to be done to combat early exposure to pornography.

La Manif Pour Tours, which has campaigned against same-sex marriage fired of an angry tweet:

Hello CNC, explain how you can authorise the screening of a giant orgy for the whole family?

The Association of Catholic Families warned parents:

[The movie gives] the appearance of being intended for young people and children. its content is not only coarse, but also clearly pornographic, under cover of being 'politically incorrect'.

The French ratings board has traditionally been more lenient than its UK and US equivalents, but is not entirely out on a limb in Europe as Sweden awarded an even lower rating, 11A.



The 'wrong' sort of depictions of sexual violence...

New Zealand film censors find that main 'harms' of depiction of sexual violence seem to be the perpetuation of stereotypes

Link Here30th November 2016
New Zealand film censors of the Office of Film and Literature Classification have been commissioning research on the topic of the depiction of sexual violence in entertainment media. The censors have presented their report framed in the jargon of political correctness as follows:

Teenagers think that inaccurate depictions or misrepresentations of sexual violence in entertainment media are potentially harmful. Harms identified included normalisation, perpetuation of harmful stereotypes, negative impacts on victim/survivors, and being negatively influenced by behaviour seen on screen.

These are some of the findings detailed in Young New Zealanders Viewing Sexual Violence, the latest research report from the Office of Film and Literature Classification.

Given that there is real concern in New Zealand about sexual violence in wider society, it is perhaps surprising that to-date there had been no New Zealand research asking young people about their views of sexual violence in entertainment media such as movies, TV shows and games.

The report is based on focus groups conducted with teenagers from Auckland and Wellington, undertaken by Colmar Brunton. It represents the first part of a research and consultation project exploring the effects -- particularly on young people -- of viewing sexual violence in entertainment media. The project also explores the impact on the wider community, and builds on international research showing that repeated exposure to violent entertainment content can have significant negative effects on young people.

Project leader Lexie Kirkconnell-Kawana says that the findings will inform the classification of sexual violence depictions in New Zealand:

We hope the results of our own research translate into meaningful policy and action to improve the lives of New Zealanders, particularly in how they engage with entertainment media. We also hope the results encourage future (much needed) research on this subject both nationally and internationally.

The results so far suggest that it is not a question of if depictions of sexual violence are shaping young people's understandings of sexual violence, but how they are shaping young people's understandings.

Chief Censor Andrew Jack says some of the findings are hardly surprising:

We know that the development of children and young people is heavily influenced by their environment and the modern reality is that media is a large part of their environment.

The research shows that young people want more and better information rather than less when making viewing choices.

The wider project involves specialists in the field of sexual violence prevention, treatment and education (including front-line victim/survivor counsellors) and academics and officials with expertise in sexual violence. Preliminary findings reveal a high degree of concern about the nature of entertainment content being made available in New Zealand, and participants agreed that young people's unfettered access to material was a pressing issue in the provision of their services. A full report on these consultations will be published in due course.



One from the anals of BBFC censorship history...

Blasphemy cuts waived to John Waters' Multiple Maniacs

Link Here27th November 2016
Multiple Maniacs is a 1970 USA crime comedy horror by John Waters.
Starring Divine, David Lochary and Mary Vivian Pearce. BBFC link IMDb

UK: Passed 18 uncut for strong sex references, sexual violence with previous BBFC cuts waived for:

  • 2016 cinema release

UK Censorship History

Heavily cut by the BBFC on grounds of blasphemy for 1990 18 rated VHS. A restored version was passed 18 uncut with previous cuts waived for 2016 cinema release.

The previous BBFC cuts were:

  • Cut to remove an entire supposedly blasphemous sequence set in a church in which a male transvestite buggered himself with a rosary. The shots of the transvestite were intercut with footage of Christ moving through the Stations of the Cross.
Summary Notes

The travelling sideshow 'Lady Divine's Cavalcade of Perversions' is actually a front for a group of psychotic kidnappers, with Lady Divine herself the most vicious and depraved of all - but her life changes after she gets raped by a fifteen-foot lobster...



Offsite Article: BBFC Podcast Episode 61...

Link Here27th November 2016
Discussing the reasons why the rating for Diamonds are Forever increased from PG to 12

See product details at



Banned and restricted...

New Zealand film censor publishes its 2016 Annual Report

Link Here20th November 2016
New Zealand's film censor, the Office of Film & literature Classification, has published its 2016 Annual Report.

It spends a fair few pages glorying in what a good and important job it is doing. However it also highlights some of its key decisions during the year:

Perfect Sisters re-rated from Australian M to 16

A member of the public emailed the Classification Office outlining concerns about the classification of the DVD Perfect Sisters. The DVD was cross-rated by the New Zealand Film and Video Labelling Body from its Australian rating of M [PG-15], with a note for sex scenes and offensive language. The complainant was surprised at the unrestricted M rating as they observed that the film contained strong suicide references; sex scenes including attempted coercion; and violence, including attempted drowning of a parent in a bath. The complainant also noted that the film (under the title Deadly Sisters) is classified 18 in the United Kingdom, with an advisory about strong violence, suicide references .

The Chief Censor called in the DVD for classification and subsequently gave it a R16 rating. noting that younger teens and children will not be able to place this material in a meaningful context and would likely be greatly shocked and disturbed.

Unfortunately, Perfect Sisters illustrates a growing divergence between Australia and New Zealand in the tolerance of material that depicts violence and sexual violence.

Maken-Ki! Two banned

OFLC received a set of two Blu-ray discs showing season two of the Japanese anime series Maken-Ki from distributor Madman Entertainment for classification prior to commercial release in New Zealand. The series was classified as objectionable (i.e. banned).

The series relates to a group of gifted or magical students who attend a specialised high school named Tenbi Academy. A select group of them form the leadership committee which resolves crises, using their powers and weapons (Maken-Ki), which enhance their powers. The majority of the publication is dubbed in English or is in Japanese with English subtitles. The series tends to promote or support the exploitation of young persons for sexual purposes through the unrelenting sexualisation and fetishisation of the young female characters. The characters are all in high school. Their youth is evidenced by their being dressed in school uniforms, the high school setting, and the fact that they engage in high school activities such as classes and homework. The oldest of the high school characters describes herself as a senior (aged 17), while a number of the characters are described as juniors or freshmen.

This sexual focus is relentless. Every episode features extreme close ups of bare breasts and nipples, and every episode features the characters willingly, or having been coerced, fondling each other's breasts and genital areas. The main purpose of this publication and its hyper-sexualisation of the young female characters is the titillation and arousal of the viewer. It is therefore likely to attract viewers with a prurient interest in young persons. It is likely to reinforce such an interest in young persons and contribute to the problem of young persons being sexually exploited in real life.

Senran Kagura Estival Versus (Console Game) rated R18

Senran Kagura Estival Versus is a video game developed for the PlayStation 4 and PlayStation Vita by Japanese studio Tamsoft. For this Western release it is presented in Japanese with English subtitles. In this continuation of the Senran Kagura series, girls from rival shinobi academies find themselves magically transported to the sunny beaches of a mysterious island. Tasked with a series of challenges, the girls battle it out for victory.

The constant sexualisation and sexual themes of the publication are of particular concern. With an exclusively female roster, the game uses a damage mechanic based on the character's clothing. As enemies or allies lose health, their clothing is ripped and torn away with the camera leering at breasts and buttocks as the material disappears.

The characters are shown to be embarrassed and with teary eyes during these sequences. During the fights, the player can also instigate a shinobi transformation , which has several variations. With a swirling background the character is stripped nude, although lens flare effects obscure any genital or nipple nudity. A ninja scroll is then extracted from between their breasts or thighs and held up in a hero pose. The camera focuses on their breasts and buttocks during this, and again as their transformation clothing appears. There is little reason for this beyond titillation.

The dominant effect of Senran Kagura Estival Versus is of a 3D combat game with an inordinate focus on the sexualisation of its female characters. This constant objectification is degrading and demeaning to women, and presents them as sexually available and compliant. This is likely to negatively influence the developing attitudes of younger audiences, including teenagers, by normalising and encouraging such conduct. Moreover, there is extensive sexual innuendo as well as references to adult sexual practices. Consequently, the game earned itself an R18 classification.

Hitman (Computer Game) rated R18

The game Hitman (2015) was classified R18 in New Zealand. Through the use of firearms and explosives, players are able to kill a multitude of innocent people. Opening fire at a Parisian fashion show causes immediate panic, with civilians screaming in terror. Some are huddled on the ground with their hands over their heads, while others flee the room. Security guards and police will attempt to kill the player. If caught in the open the player will quickly die, but through the use of cover combat may be drawn out. With some elusive play and the acquisition of a new suit, the player can escape arrest relatively easily. Although, the blood and gore is not rendered at a high level of resolution, the effect of gunning down a screaming civilian crowd remains high impact. While the killing of civilians is not overly encouraged by the routine gameplay in Hitman, the Classification Office is aware that players routinely post video game footage of these sorts of massacres online where they attract a level of appreciation and acknowledgement from likeminded players.

The Classification Office must conclude that the purpose and intended audience of these posts is likely to be supportive of this high level of violence and cruelty. Through an unfortunate coincidence, Hitman was commercially released soon after the terrorist attacks in Paris where civilians were brutally killed in a real life display of the types of tactics and behaviours demonstrated in the game.

Inside Amy Schumer rated R18

Amy Schumer is an American comedian who is known for her clever deconstruction of what life is like for young, single women whose urban heterosexual lifestyles are a minefield of uncomfortable pressures. Schumer satirises a culture that degrades and demeans women in numerous skits and jokes that are aimed at women's self-obsessions including body-sculpting, the fitness industry, sexual selfies , quick-fix methods of weight control and plastic surgery aimed at vaginal rejuvenation . Schumer constantly exposes the difficulties of meeting male expectations.

Some of the material deals quite candidly with the pornification of American culture. For example, a gang-bang skit, relies on the over-used but still relevant feminist trope of women as sex objects. The disc has strong sexual content, particularly a skit that lampoons scat porn (faeces used in a sexual context) and segments where golden showers (urine used in a sexual context) are mentioned among other sexual proclivities of interviewees.

Schumer does not shy away from presenting material dealing with anal sex, ejaculation on women's faces, or frank discussions of sexual parts, male and female. Extreme sexual practices, such as those commonly portrayed in porn, are discussed frankly and explicitly.

The sexual content is clearly likely to cause harm if the DVD is available to children or young teenagers. However, injury is also likely if young people in their mid-teenage years access the material. The DVD confronts its viewers with strong sexual content that includes unusual sexual practices. Adults are presumed to have the ability to critically assess difficult content, but the bulk of 16 or 17 yearolds will not have the sophistication required to fully understand the irony and satire that is a feature of the comedy. Some young people are likely to be disturbed or intimidated by the material and it could place expectations and pressure, particularly on young women, who might then feel that they should be more fully engaged in a sexualised world.



TrueVisions of Censorship...

Thai film financiers pull Motel Mist, a movie set in a love motel

Link Here18th November 2016
Motel Mist (Rong Ram Tang Dao) is a 2016 Thailand Sci-Fi thriller by Prabda Yoon.
Starring Prapamonton Eiamchan, Vasuphon Kriangprapakit and Wissanu Likitsathaporn. IMDb

In just a few hours, at an unusual love motel on the outskirts of Bangkok called Motel Mistress, four (human) lives intertwine and change forever. Sopol, a typical Thai father-like figure with kinky and dangerous sexual fetishes, brings his new young prey, a school girl named Laila, to room number 7, his custom-made erotic chamber. Tul, a former child actor has been reported missing by his mother and causing the media to speculate wildly over his alleged delusional belief that aliens are coming to take him away.

Prabda Yoon, one of Thailand's best-known writers and winner of the 2002 SEA Write Award for his short-story collection, has made his debut feature film, one of the most anticipated Thai movies of the year and which has toured film festivals since January. Rong Ram Tang Dao , or Motel Mist , was scheduled to hit Thai cinemas yesterday, but at the 11th hour on Wednesday night the film's investor, the cable network TrueVisions, has decided to pull it off the screen to the dismay of the filmmaker and his team.

The film's Facebook page cites disagreement between the filmmaking team and the investor regarding the content of the film .

A representative of TrueVisions tried to spin the censorship by weakly claiming that it didn't ban the film... BUT ... [is postponing] the release indefinitely for more appropriate timing .

It is believed that TrueVisions only saw the film recently and decided that it was not to their liking. The postpone indefinitely decision, which is entirely its right, has deprived Prabda's fans -- and there are many -- as well as the audience from seeing one of the year's most unusual cinematic visions on the big screen. TrueVisions also isn't sure when the film will be screened on its channel.

Motel Mist had already passed the Thai censorship board with an 18-plus rating, a liberal decision given the film's sexual content.



The Red Pill...

19th November 2016. UK premiere of documentary that Feminists campaign to ban over its sympathies to the men's rights movement

Link Here17th November 2016
The Red Pill is a 2016 USA documentary by Cassie Jaye.
Starring Marc Angelucci, Jack Barnes and Richard Cassalata. IMDb

The Red Pill chronicles filmmaker Cassie Jaye's journey following the mysterious and polarizing Men's Rights Movement. The Red Pill explores today's gender war and asks the question "what is the future of gender equality?"

The Red Pill, a new documentary film about men's rights activists (or MRAs), is out in limited release across the United States. It is also showing is in Melbourne, Australia, where tickets have completely sold out ahead of its November 5th premiere.

The film's producer, Cassie Jaye, has inevitably met with backlash from feminist campaigners for taking a balanced approach toward the subject of men's rights activism.

A petition has been started by Australian feminists urging Kino Cinema to censor the screening of the film whilst describing the movie in misleading terms. The petition reads:

Film-maker Cassie Jaye follows members of online hate-group 'The Red Pill,' known to most as the sexist cesspit of the internet, begins the complaint. The general plotline goes something like this: 'feminist' Jaye decides to investigate rape-culture, opens the first hit on Google (Red Pill) and before she knows it, she has seen the light and converted to 'meninism.'

Please do not associate your cinema with the kind of people who teach men how to violate women physically and emotionally. Please stand with the women everywhere, and do not promote misogynistic hate.

Much of the enmity toward The Red Pill comes from how it features men's activist Paul Elam, who writes incendiary remarks and articles about women online. While there's no defending much of what he has says, the film itself neither promotes his most offensive opinions, nor does it vilify women the way some feminists do to men. It merely presents MRAs in a (partly) sympathetic light.

Update: Banned

31st October 2016. See article from

The Red Pill was due to have its Australian premiere in Melbourne next month, which has since been cancelled by Palace Cinemas. The move comes after a campaign labelled it misogynistic propaganda.

In a letter to Men's Rights Melbourne, who have the exclusive distribution rights to the film after donating to its Kickstarter campaign, Palace Cinemas explained:

We have come to a decision based on the overwhelmingly negative response we have received from our valued customers. We cannot proceed with the booking.

The cinema chain also referred directly to a petition protesting the premiere of The Red Pill at Palace Kino in Melbourne, which received 2,370 signatures. The overwhelming number of responses, many from regular Kino customers, has really resonated with us, Palace Cinemas told Men's Rights Melbourne.

Update: UK premiere 19th November in Soho, London

1st November 2016. See  article from
See event details from

The Red Pill is coming to the UK. Heat Street reports that the movie's UK distributor says that its British premiere is planned for November 19th -- International Men's Day -- at London's Soho Hotel.

This comes after three other London venues pulled the plug on The Red Pill after venue owners got cold feet about feminist opposition.

A UK preview went ahead without event at the invite-only National Men's Rights Working Forum in Bath. Distributor Richard Elliott said:

It's revolutionary. People were crying one minute, then giving a standing ovation the next. It's going to ruffle a few feathers.

Update: BBFC 15 rated

17th November 2016.

The BBFC has now passed The Red Pill 15 uncut for strong language for 2016 cinema release.



Update: Stubbed out...

Lawsuit demanding that the MPAA should give an R rating to all films depicting tobacco smoking is kicked out

Link Here13th November 2016
Full story: Smoking in the Media...Ludicrous calls fo an adult rating for films with smoking
The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAAP and the National Association of Theatre Owners have come out victorious in a lawsuit that ludicrously claimed that tobacco imagery in films rated G, PG or PG-13 causes 200,000 children every year to become cigarette smokers and 64,000 people to die as a result.

Now U.S. District Judge Richard Seeborg dismissed an attempt to hold major film studios and theater owners legally responsible.

The legal action by Timothy Forsyth claimed that the industry's film-ratings practices amounted to negligence, misrepresentation, breach of fiduciary duty, false advertising, unfair competition and nuisance.

In response, Hollywood argued that ratings merely reflect opinions about what's suitable for children and compelling them to give R ratings to anything found socially unacceptable could apply to films depicting activity like alcohol use, gambling, contact sports, high-speed driving and so forth.

The judge wrote:

Forsyth insists that a rating less stringent than R is a representation that 'the film is suitable for children under seventeen unaccompanied by a parent or guardian. The ratings plainly make no such representations. Rather, the PG and PG-13 ratings caution parents that material in such movies may be inappropriate for children. More fundamentally, the ratings reflect the consensus opinion of CARA board members. As such, neither intentional nor negligent misrepresentation claims are tenable as pleaded.

The judge also noted that Forsyth also failed to prove his other claims.



Offsite Article: Whatever happened to...PG films...

Link Here10th November 2016
Reminiscing over PG rated blockbusters in the 1980's. By Steve Perrin

See article from



A soft hard R...

Fifty Shades Darker movies gets an R rating from the MPAA

Link Here9th November 2016
Fifty Shades Darker is a 2017 USA romance by James Foley.
Starring Jamie Dornan, Tyler Hoechlin and Dakota Johnson. IMDb

While Christian wrestles with his inner demons, Anastasia must confront the anger and envy of the women who came before her.

Rated R for strong erotic sexual content, some graphic nudity, and language.

Fifty Shades Darker is scheduled to open on February 10, 2017 just in time for Valentine's Day.

The erotically charged romance, the Fifty Shades of Grey movie franchise has capitalized on it's naughty-but-not-too-naughty aesthetic to the tune of $570 million worldwide so far.



Update: Kissing under caution...

Indian film censors agree proposals for new age classifications

Link Here9th November 2016
Full story: Film Censorship in India...CBFC: Film censors and their cuts
India takes its time over changes to film censorship law and similar ideas have been discussed several times before.

Now it is reported that India's film censors of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) has accepted the recommendations of a government-appointed panel to introduce new movie categories.

The government appointed the panel led by filmmaker Shyam Benegal following allegations that the CBFC was stifling artistic freedom under the crazed CBFC chairman Pahlaj Nihalani .

The panel submitted its report to the Centre recently on restructuring the Cinematography Act and rules, under which films are categorised depending on the nature of its contents including adult themes. The panel has suggested adding more categories for films with explicit sexual content instead of CBFC's use of the scissors, which often leads to conflict with filmmakers over allowing kissing scenes, sexual content and cuss words in films.

The CBFC board  however questioned some of the new categories and how they will be defined, such as adult with caution . At present, films with explicit adult content are given an A certificate, a U/A certificate which mandates parental accompaniment for children below 12 and the U certificate for universal viewing.

The Benegal committee has recommended dividing the U and UA Categories to UA12+ and UA15+ and the A category to be sub-divided into A and AC (adult with caution) categories. The proposed A/C category will not include pornography, but will be a certificate for films with explicit sexual content or nudity.

Pornographic films or those that supposedly hurt religious sentiments or harm national security will still be banned.

Changes to India's film classifications will require new legislation.



Update: Cultural censorship...

China's masses enriched by even more film censorship law

Link Here8th November 2016
Full story: Film Censorship in China...All Chinese films censored to be suitable for kids
China has passed a new film censorship law mopping up a few more prohibitions somehow overlooked by previous censorship laws.

the law bans content deemed harmful to the dignity, honour and interests of the People's Republic and encouraging the promotion of socialist core values .

The law claims that its aim is to spread core socialist values , enrich the masses' spiritual and cultural life, and set ground rules for the industry.

The law further forbids content that criticised the law or constitution, harms national unity, sovereignty or territorial integrity, exposes national secrets, harms Chinese security, dignity, honour or interests, or spreads terrorism or extremism. Also banned are subjects that defame the people's excellent cultural traditions , incite ethnic hatred or discrimination or destroy ethnic unity.

It is also illegal for Chinese firms to hire or partner with overseas productions deemed to have views harmful to China's dignity, honour and interests, harm social stability or hurt the feelings of the Chinese people .

Films must not violate the country's religious policies, spread cults, or superstitions , insult or slander people.

The law comes into effect on March 1 next year.



The mother of all horror restorations...

Another new 4k restoration of the classic Argento movie, Suspiria

Link Here7th November 2016
A freshly restored version of horror classic Suspiria is set to return to Italian movie screens 40 years after its initial release.

The 1977 classic by director Dario Argento is being restored in 4K resolution. It is also the first Argento movie to have THX-certified audio to enhance the effect of the score by Italian rock group Goblin, which includes a death waltz.

The new restoration is expected to premiere at next year's Berlinale in February in a special section, along with special theatrical screenings to follow. Argento said in a statement:

I can't wait to see it at the movies again with all the young people who will see it for the first time.

Simultaneously US cult specialists Synapse Films bought the US distribution rights back in 2013, and they have also been working on a 4K restoration for the last couple of years.

The movie attracted a fair amount of attention from the UK and US.  It was cut by the BBFC for X rated 1977 cinema release. Less cut for 1990 18 rated VHS and uncut since 1998.  It was cut in the US for an MPAA R rating but Unrated releases are uncut. See further details at Melon Farmers Video Hits: Suspiria

Meanwhile cameras began rolling last month on a remake of Suspiria by director Luca Guadagnino.



100 Years of Film Censorship...

New Zealand's OFLC celebrates 100 years of cutting and banning films

Link Here4th November 2016
One hundred years ago, film censorship was introduced to New Zealand, making it illegal to show any film without it first being passed by the Censor. The 1916 Cinematograph Film Censorship Act was the government's first attempt to restrict what New Zealanders could watch and hear in audiovisual media.

From 16 to 26 November, Nga Taonga Sound & Vision will mark the centenary with the event CENSORED -- 100 Years of Film Censorship in NZ. A two week programme of films banned in New Zealand including: Mad Max, The Wild One, All Quiet on the Western Front and Battleship Potemkin .

There will also be public panel discussion with the Chief Censor Andrew Jack on censorship in a digital age. He will outline in plans to keep censoring films for a few more years yet, saying:

Important changes are coming and public debate is essential if we're going to ensure a system that is workable, fair, and helps protect our young people from access to potentially harmful content.



Paying peanuts and wanting to be the dog's bollocks...

Kenya's chief film censor is out of control

Link Here4th November 2016
The Economist is reporting that Kenya's film censor is out of control and riding a wave of popularist support for his bollox claims that is seeing an expansion of his remit.

In addition to his day job of censoring films, Ezekiel Mutua, the head of the Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB), has been making bollox claims, for instance that his organisation will need to raid strip clubs to 'prevent a wave of bestiality'.

He has also raged against homosexuality and threatened to regulate Netflix as a possible threat to national security.

In March he claimed that foreigners were organising a mass sex and drugs party called Project X in Nairobi, which they would film and sell as pornography. In July he threatened a nightclub over a speed-dating night he claimed was an orgy of lesbians . And last month he claimed that women were being paid peanuts to perform sex acts on dogs.

This wave of censoriousness has amused the Kenyan press and made Mutua into a national figure and has gained him a following among the easily outraged. He even seems to have plenty of fans in government, leading to a bill in parliament to widen the remit of the film board to regulate advertisements and live events, such as stage plays.



Update: Embracing explicit nudity...

Australian film censors asked to down rate feminist film Embrace from a restricted 15 to an advisory 15

Link Here11th October 2016

Embrace is a 2016 Australia / Canada / Dominican Republic / Germany / USA / UK documentary by Taryn Brumfitt.
Starring Renee Airya, Jade Beall and Taryn Brumfitt. IMDb

When Body Image Activist Taryn Brumfitt posted an unconventional before-and-after photo in 2013 it was seen by more than 100 million people worldwide and sparked an international media frenzy. EMBRACE follows Taryn's crusade as she explores the global issue of body loathing, inspiring us to change the way we feel about ourselves and think about our bodies.

Ausralia's Classification Review Board has received an application to review the classification of the film Embrace.

Embrace was classified MA 15+ with the consumer advice Strong nudity by the Classification Board on 7 July 2016. Director Taryn Brumfitt is asking for the MA 15+ (age 15 restricted) to be reduced to M (age 15 advisory).

The Classification Review Board will meet on 13 October 2016 to consider the application.

The film features explicit detailed vagina imagery in a feminist 'feel good about your vagina 'context and aims to communicate this message to teenage girls.



The Girl on the Train...

New movie banned in Kuwait and Qatar

Link Here10th October 2016
The Girl on the Train is a 2016 USA mystery thriller by Tate Taylor.
Starring Laura Prepon, Emily Blunt and Rebecca Ferguson. BBFC link IMDb
Rachel, devastated by her recent divorce, spends her daily commute fantasising about the seemingly perfect couple who live in a house that her train passes every day, until one morning she sees something shocking happen there and becomes entangled in the mystery that unfolds. The Girl On The Train is a darkly addictive thriller based on the international publishing phenomenon.

The recently-launched psychological thriller The Girl on the Train will not be shown in Qatar's cinemas, operators have said. The film was due to be screened for the first time in Qatar last Friday, but cinema companies told Doha News that authorities asked them to not run it.

Trailers for the film show sex scenes, and the story revolves around the main character's drinking problem.

Qatar's Ministry of Culture and Sports declined to comment, but said it would provide an official statement on Monday.

The movie has also been banned in Kuwait.

Kuwait: Banned in October 2016

Banned by government film censors but the reason is not yet clear.

Qatar: Banned in October 2016

The authorities banned the film very near to the cinema release for reasons that are not yet clear.

For comparison:

  • UK BBFC: Passed 15 uncut for strong language, sex, violence.
  • US MPAA: Rated R for violence, sexual content, language and nudity



Update: Roasted...

Pakistan's chief film censor gets a roasting in the Supreme Court for his arbitrary ban of the film Maalik

Link Here8th October 2016
Full story: Banned Films in Pakistan...Sensitive issues of image and religion
Pakistan's Central Board of Film Censors (CBFC) has conceded before the Supreme Court that the ban on feature film Maalik was imposed without inquiring into the allegations levelled by complainants against the film.

Chairman CBFC Mubashir Hassan conceded this before a two judge bench of the top court which on Friday took up the government's appeal against Sindh High Court's quashing of the government's ban of the film.

Hassan told the court that the board had banned the film on several complaints by the general public against the objectionable script maligning politicians and judiciary. He said that keeping in view the sentiments of public, the members of the board recommended banning the film.

Justice Qazi Faez Isa, on the bench, observed that volume of complaints of the public were meaningless unless these complaints are substantive.

Justice Umar Ata Bandial inquired under which law the ban was imposed. He added that there was nothing wrong with institutions being criticised. Justice Qazi observed that under section 9 of Motion Pictures Ordinance 1979 there was nothing objectionable in the film. Qazi reserved a few choice words for Hassan:

You approved the screening of the film and the other day you banned it as your mood changed on a single phone call. Isn't this effectively corruption? What do you people want? Do you want to devastate the Pakistani film industry?

What are you doing being a chairman of responsible institution? You are repeating like a parrot that the ban was imposed in regard with complaints. Is this the job you are doing?

Following the arguments, the top court directed the federal government to submit a report on objectionable contents in the film along with the objectionable part of the script in order to establish the de-certification of the film Maalik. The hearing of the case was adjourned for 15-days.




Three films censored at the Beirut International Film Festival

Link Here7th October 2016

Personal Affairs (Omor Shakhsiya) is a 2016 Israel drama by Maha Haj.
Starring Maisa Abd Elhadi, Ziad Bakri and Jihan Dermelkonian. IMDb

In Nazareth, an old couple lives wearily to the rhythm of the daily routine. On the other side of the border, in Ramallah, their son Tarek wishes to remain an eternal bachelor, their daughter is about to give birth while her husband lands a movie role and the grandmother loses her head ... Between check-points and dreams, frivolity and politics, some want to leave, others want to stay but all have personal affairs to resolve.

The Nights of Zayandeh-Rood (Shabhaye Zayendeh-Rood) is a 1990 Iran by Mohsen Makhmalbaf.
Starring Manuchehr Esmaili, Mojgan Naderi and Parvaneh Goharani. IMDb

The 16th Beirut International Film Festival [BIFF] has been asked to cut footage from three films before they could be screened, according to news reports.

The censored films are Personal Affairs directed by the Palestinian filmmaker Maha Haj, World Cup [Ka's Al Alam] directed by two Syrian brothers, Mohammed and Ahmad Malas, and The Nights of Zayandeh-Rood directed by the famed Iranian artist Mohsen Makhmalbaf.

According to Colette Naufal, Lebanon's General Security agency demanded that a specific scene be deleted from World Cup, allegedly because it was deemed to contain insults to Lebanese personalities and parties.

It is unfortunate that political considerations interfere in arts and culture, declared Naufal, the BIFF Director, adding that the cinematic event aimed to present a platform for freedom of expression that the overwhelming majority of Lebanese stand for.

Tareq Halabi, the head of the audiovisual department at General Security, disagreed and insisted that screening the Palestinian director's film went against a boycott of all Israeli products in Lebanon, whether artistic or not , presumably because it was produced by an Israeli company and shot in Israel.

Halabi also concluded that The Nights of Zayandeh-Rood, which apparently showed certain elements concerning Iran , contravened Lebanese law. He commented: Lebanese laws forbid meddling in Iranian affairs .

The Nights of Zayandeh-Rood is banned in Iran because it raises troubling questions. It is about an anthropologist and his daughter, who happens to be an emergency room nurse, where she deals with various suicidal patients who try to take their own lives through drug use. What is interesting about the 1991 film is that the narrative occurs during three different periods -- before, during and after the 1979 revolution -- and that highlight a recurring problem in modernising cultures.The movie is available on YouTube and can be accessed by anyone anywhere.

Lebanon, once considered to be an open society that tolerated conflicting norms, is increasingly burdened with censorship. Although sensitive religious concerns and some strong sexual content are routinely expurgated from movies, the latest tendency is to extend this censorship to political matters.

The film festival opened on October 5 and will conclude on October 13.



Update: Asking for a statement about unstated homophobia...

Indian court calls the CBFC's bluff over reasons for banning the gay themed film Ka Bodyscapes

Link Here3rd October 2016
Full story: Banned Movies in India...Sex, religion and easy offence
Ka Bodyscapes is a 2016 India / USA gay drama by Jayan Cherian.
Starring Adhithi, Tinto Arayani and Arundhathi. IMDb

Three young people, Haris, a gay painter; Vishnu, a rural kabaddi player and their friend Sia, an activist who refuse to conform to dominant norms of femininity, struggle to find space and happiness in a conservative Indian City.

A revising committee of the CBFC banned the film in July 2016 citing:

The revising committee felt that the entire content of the Malayalam feature film Ka Bodyscapes is ridiculing, insulting and humiliating Hindu religion, in particular portraying Hindu Gods in poor light. Derogatory words are used against women. The Hindu God 'Hanuman' is shown as coming in the books titled 'I am Gay' and other homosexual books. The film has also references to lady masturbating, highlighting 'gay' by many 'gay' posters. The film offends human sensibilities by vulgarity, obscenity and depravity.

The film makers have been contesting the ban in court and appear to have made progress. The Kerala High Court has set aside the recommendation of the revising committee of India's  Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC) to ban the public screening of Malayalam film KA Bodyscapes , produced and directed by the New York-based filmmaker Jayan Cherian.

Justice P.B. Suresh Kumar also directed the revising committee to make clearer the reasons for banning the screening of the film with specific reference to the theme of the film and relevant guidelines. The court added that if the objection concerned only the depiction of the Hindu God Hanuman and the reference to masturbation of women and homosexuality, there was no need to ban the exhibition of the film, as the scenes could be deleted or modified.



Censorship spat...

Indian films banned in Pakistan reflecting tensions in Kashmir

Link Here3rd October 2016
Major cinemas in Pakistan have banned Indian films in what they call an act of solidarity with their country's armed forces.

The film boycotts have been announced in Lahore, Karachi and Islamabad. Big Pakistani cinema chains and screens say they have taken a spontaneous decision not to show Indian films for at least a couple of weeks, or until what they call normality returns in relations between the two countries. They admit their cinemas may suffer financially because of the popularity of Bollywood movies in Pakistan.

The move follows a rise in military tensions between the two countries over the divided territory of Kashmir.

A BBC correspondent explains that Bollywood movies are immensely popular in Pakistan, whose own movie industry, although enjoying a revival, is much slimmer. In fact Indian movies had been banned officially in Pakistan for many years for reasons of inter state tensions and the ban was only relaxed a few years ago.

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