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Updated: Space Camp...

Australian distributors reprise a US debate about Rocketman's rating


Link Here 24th May 2019
Rocketman is a 2019 UK / USA musical music biography by Dexter Fletcher.
Starring Bryce Dallas Howard, Taron Egerton and Richard Madden. BBFC link IMDb

A musical fantasy about the fantastical human story of Elton John's breakthrough years.

Rocketman follows in the footsteps of the similarly gay themed Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsod y. Perhaps with an eye on repeating the successful formula of the earlier sanitised and PG-13 rated biopic, Hollywood producers Paramount seemed to have been pushing for Rocketman to get a PG-13 rating.

Paramount demanded that Rocketman director Dexter Fletcher and producer Matthew Vaughn cut a 40-second scene that depicts Elton John and one-time lover and manager John Reid, writhing on a bed. Fully exposed white derrieres are on display, but the nude escapade is tastefully done.

However it seems that the film makers won the argument as the film ended up with an R rating that confirms the sexual content.

In the UK, the film was passed 15 uncut for drug misuse, sex, very strong language.

Update: Distributors win appeal for an M rating

24th May 2019. See article [pdf] from classification.gov.au

Australia's Review Board has overturned the Classification Board's MA15+ uncut for strong coarse language in favour of M for mature themes, drug use, sex scene and frequent coarse language'.

The Review Board explained that previous confusion about a cut version was down to information being embargoed at the request of the film distributor. Two version were submitted but one of these was an unfinished version rather than a censored versions. The Review Board has now supplied a more complete account of the decision process.

Initially the Classification Board passed the film MA15+ uncut for strong coarse language.

The issues requiring an MA15+ over an M rating were related to strong language rather than the gay themes, and in particular the a single use of the word 'cunt'.

The distributors appealed the MA15+ rating and won their case as the Review Board reduced the rating to M for mature themes, drug use, sex scene and frequent coarse language'. The Review Board explained its decision:

It is the view of the Classification Review Board that the dramatic biographical context does mitigate the impact of the language, and specifically, the one instance of the use of strong coarse language.

Films classified M are considered suitable for mature audiences. It is for the above reasons, that the Review Board has decided that the contextual singular use of a strong coarse word can be accommodated at the M classification on this occasion.

The other frequently used coarse words are routinely accommodated at the M classification level.

 

 

You can't say that!...

India's Most Wanted banned by film censors in UAE


Link Here 24th May 2019

India's Most Wanted is a 2019 India action thriller by Raj Kumar Gupta (as Rajkumar Gupta)
Starring Arjun Kapoor, Rajesh Sharma and Gaurav Mishra. BBFC link IMDb

India's Most Wanted is an upcoming Bollywood action thriller film directed by Raj Kumar Gupta starring Arjun Kapoor and Amrita Puri. The film is about tracking a terrorist in a secret mission and arresting him without firing bullets. It pays tribute to unsung heroes of our society.

Film censors in UAE banned India's Most Wanted when the producers declined to delete a line of dialogue saying that most terrorists are based either in Pakistan or Dubai,

The director, Raj Kumar Gupta, explained:

Yes the film will not release in Dubai. There were some issues which could not be sorted and hence this decision. Yes the said dialogue is there in the film and it is a factual one based on the research that has been conducted. So we did not want to do away with the dialogue and decided on retaining it in the film even if it entailed a non-release in Dubai.

 

 

Flailing about in law...

Nunchukas become legal in New York and Arizona


Link Here 23rd May 2019
When Bruce Lee was handed his first pair of nunchucks in the mid-1960s, he called the weapon a piece of junk, his training partner, Dan Inosanto, recalled recently.

Lee said the nunchucks were not as effective as sticks -- too fancy and too showy. Then he goes, This might be good for the movies.

And indeed they were good for the movies. But their popularity alarmed the authorities, in what many now see as a hysteria that echoed other racist fears of Asians. The police began arresting people for carrying what some called deadly weapons. In four states, lawmakers banned them.

This month, after more than 40 years on the books, Arizona's ban, which one lawmaker called antiquated, was repealed. In December, a federal judge struck down New York's decades-long ban , saying it violated the Second Amendment, despite arguments from officials that the weapons were dangerous and unusual.

The remaining state bans are in Massachusetts and California.

 

 

Offsite Article: Unplanned banned...


Link Here 22nd May 2019
Canada's film distributors decide not to release anti-abortion movie, perhaps preferring to avoid getting involved in a rather toxic religious debate

See article from dailywire.com

 

 

Offsite Article: Bumblebee...


Link Here 21st May 2019
Distributor cuts for a PG rated cinema and video release

See article from movie-censorship.com

 

 

Wick trimmed...

The Indian film censor makes significant cuts to John Wick 3


Link Here 16th May 2019
Full story: Film cuts in India...Censor cuts for movies released in India
John Wick: Chapter 3 - Parabellum is a 2019 USA action thriller by Chad Stahelski.
Starring Keanu Reeves, Ian McShane and Asia Kate Dillon. IMDb

In this third instalment of the adrenaline-fuelled action franchise, skilled assassin John Wick (Keanu Reeves) returns with a $14 million price tag on his head and an army of bounty-hunting killers on his trail. After killing a member of the shadowy international assassin's guild, the High Table, John Wick is excommunicado, but the world's most ruthless hit men and women await his every turn.

India's Central Board of Film Certification has made significant cuts to John Wick Chapter 3: Parabellum, even for an adults only 'A' rating. The cuts are described as:
  • the standard blurs, mutes and additions for profanity, visual gestures, all mention and presence of alcohol and the ever-present anti-smoking label
  • one cut reducing revenge and escape violence by 50%, and
  • cuts to another scene of graphic violence involving knives and shooting.

The cuts add up to about 3 minutes.

 

 

Offsite Article: Avengers Endgame...


Link Here 15th May 2019
Full story: Film Censorship in China...All Chinese films censored to be suitable for kids
Is the China cinema boom slowing down as censorship clampdown bites?

See article from screendaily.com

 

 

Memories of My Body...

Indonesian dance film banned by regional officials after religious backlash


Link Here 5th May 2019
Memories of My Body is a 2018 Indonesia drama by Garin Nugroho.
Starring Muhammad Khan, Raditya Evandra and Rianto. IMDb

In Center Java Juno, a pre-teen abandoned by his father, joins a Lengger dance centre where men assume feminine appearances but the political and social upheaval in Indonesia forces him on the road, meeting remarkable people on his journey.

Muslim groups in Indonesia are calling for a ban on the film Memories of My Body, a drama from the country's best-known art house director, Garin Nugroho. The groups claim that the film is sexually deviant and promotes LGBT values.

The film depicts the story of a young man from a dance troupe that performs Lengger Lanang, a folk dance from central Java that is usually performed in pairs, and in which men often take both male and female roles.

Memories of My Body premiered in the Venice Film Festival's Horizon section, where it won the prize for best film. The success was repeated at several other festivals.

The film encountered problems in Indonesia following its release on April 18. After being given a 17+ rating by the censorship board (LSF), the film was given a 40-screen release.

In less than a week, the film was banned by local officials in regions including Depok and Palembang. Others called on the powerful assembly of Muslim elders known as the Indonesian Ulema Council to move against the film. Arovah Windiani, a spokeswoman for the council said that, from a moral perspective, the film should not be out there.

A backlash against the film was further fanned on social media. An online petition calling for Memories of My Body to be banned  gained 160,000 signatures.

On Monday, the Muslim elders' council demanded that the censorship board change the film's certification to 21+, and recommended that Nugroho re-edit the film to make its meaning less ambiguous.

Nugroho has refused to revise the film and told Variety that he opposes mob justice.

With screenings banned in five provinces, the film is now playing on just three screens across the country.

Update: Dancers attacked by a religious mob?

5th May 2019. See article from scmp.com

In related news a religious mob has attacked dancers at an Indonesian event.

Members of a Malay youth paramilitary organisation, justified the attack by claiming the dance was vulgar. They also said that the wearing of tight shirts by male dancers from Tanjungpura University who were dancing femininely was not compatible with Indonesian culture.

A university lecturer and three students fell victim to the mob as they were celebrating World Dance Day in the Indonesian city of Pontianak last week.

 

 

Offsite Video: Failure of NC-17 was one of her biggest regrets in a 30 year career...


Link Here 4th May 2019
Joan Graves of MPAA's film rating wing CARA gives interview to mark her retirement on May 3rd 2019

See article from scpr.org

 

 

Gay cure...

Russia censors Avengers: Endgame to straighten out Marvel's first gay character


Link Here 1st May 2019
Full story: Film Censorship in Russia...Censorship in the guise of banning strong language
Avengers: Endgame is a 2019 USA action Sci-Fi fantasy by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo.
Starring Brie Larson, Robert Downey Jr and Karen Gillan. BBFC link IMDb

The grave course of events set in motion by Thanos that wiped out half the universe and fractured the Avengers ranks compels the remaining Avengers to take one final stand in Marvel Studios' grand conclusion to twenty-two films, Avengers: Endgame.

The Russian release of Avengers: Endgame features some tweaked dialogue in an early scene to straighten out Marvel's first gay character. The censorship was intended to avoid conflicts with Russia's ban on so-called gay propaganda.

[ Spoilers! hover or click text below]

Early in the movie, one of the two Russo brothers plays a gay character who attends a support group with Steve Rogers (Captain America). The scene is brief but it marks the first time an openly gay character has appeared in a Marvel film. The gay character says:

So, I went on a date the other day. First time in five years. He cried as they were serving the salad. [...] But I'm seeing him again tomorrow.

In the dubbed Russian version, Joe Russo's character says:

I was recently at dinner. First time in five years. [...] He cried over a plate of salad. [...] Tomorrow I'm meeting him again.

 

 

Updated: Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah has had its day...

A new Disney streaming service will start soon with a back catalogue of films...with a couple of exceptions


Link Here 30th April 2019
When Disney's streaming service Disney Plus launches in the US in November this year. It will feature a back catalogue of many years of Disney films with one exception. Namely the 1946 film Song of the South, which has long been a controversial title for Disney because of how it depicts the lives of African-American plantation workers in the southern states after the civil war.

The company has also decided to cut a scene from Dumbo that is considered racist.

Song of the South grossed $65m at the US box office but was never released on DVD in the country, partly because of criticism about its depiction of the lives of Uncle Remus and other former slaves on a plantation as idyllic.

However, erasing the film from the company's history isn't simple. The success of the song Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah -- which features in the film, won an Oscar in 1947 and is one of Disney's most well-known songs -- makes it extremely difficult to quietly forget.

Also the Jim Crow scene from Dumbo (1941) will not be available on the streaming site. In the original animated version of the film a number of cigar-smoking crows had a leader called Jim Crow referencing the Jim Crow laws which enforced racial segregation in the south. The Disney crows are largely considered to be thinly veiled racist caricatures.

Update: Fantasia too

30th April 2019.

Thanks to Gary who reminds us that Fantasia (1940) has already been censored by Disney for political correctness. From  IMDb:

For the 60th anniversary DVD, one scene on the Pastoral sequence was digitally altered to remove a black centaurette. In the scene, Bacchus is being lead to his throne, while the black centaurette rolls out a red carpet. The change now makes the carpet appear to be rolling by itself.

Gary also suggests that Sebastian from The Little Mermaid and the Siamese scene from The Aristocats will also have to go.

 

 

Offsite Article: How The Avengers was nearly R-rated because of one crucial scene...


Link Here 26th April 2019
Full story: The Avengers Assemble...Released in cut and uncut versions
Recalling the cuts to Avengers Assemble

See article from digitalspy.com

 

 

Brightburn...

The latest UK cinema release suffering BBFC advised category cuts for a 15 rating


Link Here 24th April 2019
Brightburn is a 2019 USA Sci-Fi horror thriller by David Yarovesky.
Starring Elizabeth Banks, David Denman and Matt Jones. BBFC link IMDb
Cut Small 15 Small UK: Passed 15 for strong gory injury detail, violence, language after BBFC advised pre-cuts ( 90:12s ) :
  • 2019 cinema release
The BBFC commented:
  • This film was originally seen for advice at which stage the company was informed it was likely to be classified 18 uncut but that their preferred 15 classification could be achieved by making reductions to two scenes featuring both strong gory images and a dwelling on the infliction of pain and injury. When the film was submitted for formal classification these scenes had been acceptably reduced.

For comparison in the US the film was rated R uncut for horror violence/bloody images, and language.

Summary Notes

What if a child from another world crash-landed on Earth, but instead of becoming a hero to mankind, he proved to be something far more sinister?

 

 

Offsite Article: Rafiki...


Link Here 20th April 2019
Kenya Banned Her Film for Its Corrupt Lesbian Romance. So She Showed It Off to the World

See article from movie-censorship.com

 

 

Infernal censorship...

Russia censors references to Stalin in the new Hellboy remake


Link Here 18th April 2019
Hellboy is a 2019 USA action Sci-Fi fantasy by Neil Marshall.
Starring Daniel Dae Kim, Milla Jovovich and David Harbour. BBFC link IMDb

Based on the graphic novels by Mike Mignola, Hellboy, caught between the worlds of the supernatural and human, battles an ancient sorceress bent on revenge.

The latest remake of Hellboy hit Russian cinemas on 11 April. However, audiences in Russia discovered that in their version of the film a reference to Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin had been changed to Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.

[ Spoilers! hover or click text below]
In a line of expository dialogue, the film's titular character reveals that one of the supporting antagonists, Russian folklore character Baba Yaga, once attempted to resurrect the spirit of Stalin.

The original line, uttered by Hellboy upon confronting Baba Yaga, is: I recall you tried to raise Stalin's ghost from a necropolis.

In the film's Russian-language version, according to small independent TV channel Dozhd, the line goes: I want to remind you, you tried to raise Hitler's spirit from a necropolis.

Theatres screening the English-language version of the film complemented it with Russian subtitles. During this scene, the audio for Stalin's name was bleeped, while the subtitles said Hitler.

In addition a Russian swearword was removed (but swear words in English were allowed to remain).

In Russia, the film received an 18 rating compared with the BBFC's 15 rating and the MPAA's R rating.

 

 

Offsite Article: Has the R-rated superhero flick lost its powers?...


Link Here 16th April 2019
Deadpool opened up the market for ultra-violent, profane superheroes, but the new Hellboy's box-office nose dive shows they need more than shock value

See article from theguardian.com

 

 

Mid90s...

Irish cinema distributors successfully appeal against an 18 rating for a skateboard themed film


Link Here 13th April 2019
Mid90s is a 2018 USA comedy drama by Jonah Hill.
Starring Sunny Suljic, Katherine Waterston and Lucas Hedges. BBFC link IMDb

The movie follows a teenager named Stevie growing up in Los Angeles. He's struggling with his family, including his co-dependent single mom and his abusive older brother, and at school, where his richer friends seem to overlook him. When Stevie befriends a crew of skateboarders, he learns some tough lessons about class, race, and privilege.

Mid90s was originally given an 18 rated by the Irish Film Classification Office. However the film's distributors successfully appealed the decision and the rating was reduced to 16. Probably a good job as an adults only skateboard movie may have had a limited appeal.

For comparison:

  • US: MPAA R rated for pervasive language, sexual content, drug and alcohol use, some violent behavior/disturbing images - all involving minors
  • UK: Passed 15 uncut for strong language, drug misuse, self-harm, violence

 

 

Nasty in Blu...

Video Nasties Beast in Heat and Cannibal Apocalypse lined up for their first Blu-ray releases


Link Here 13th April 2019
The Beast in Heat is a 1977 Italian Naziploitation by Luigi Batzella
With Macha Magall, Gino Turini and Edilio Kim.
YouTube icon IMDb
Banned as a video nasty in 1983. Not released in the UK since. Uncut and MPAA Unrated in the US.

Lady SS doctor tortures POWs in her charge and feeds the females to a crazed midget troll kept on a diet of mega-aphrodisiacs. The POWs finally get the upper hand and give her a taste of her own medicine.

Instagram account @dawnofthediscs noticed that Severin's new Hemisphere Box of Horror includes a 2019 Severin catalogue with a coming soon section that lists Luigi Batzella's The Beast in Heat. It will be getting its first Blu-ray release and will be released on DVD too.

Cannibal Apocalypse is a 1980 Italian/Spanish horror by Anthony M Dawson. With John Saxon, Elizabeth Turner and Giovanni Lombardo Radice. YouTube icon BBFC link IMDb
Banned as a video nasty in 1982. Passed 18 after animal cruelty cuts for UK DVD. Uncut in the US.

Cannibalism has become a disease brought back to the US by soldiers returning from Vietnam. French kissing becomes inadvisable as the plague spreads.

Cannibal Apocalypse is also getting its first blu-ray treatment by Kino Lorber under the title of Invasion of the Flesh Hunters. It will be a new restoration from a 4k source.

 

 

Offsite Article: Cut! Is this the death of sex in cinema?...


Link Here 12th April 2019
The number of films classified 18 for sex has plummeted. We explore how studio pressure, #MeToo nerves and the proliferation of porn created a new puritanism

See article from theguardian.com

 

 

Offsite Article: The History Of The Mondo Movie...


Link Here 9th April 2019
Part One: From Mondo Cane To Africa Addio

See article from reprobatepress.com

 

 

Hellboy...

Australian distributors fail in their appeal for the film's 18 rating to be reduced to 15


Link Here 5th April 2019
Hellboy is a 2019 USA action Sci-Fi fantasy by Neil Marshall.
Starring Daniel Dae Kim, Milla Jovovich and David Harbour. BBFC link IMDb

Based on the graphic novels by Mike Mignola, Hellboy, caught between the worlds of the supernatural and human, battles an ancient sorceress bent on revenge.

In the UK the BBFC have passed the 2019 remake of Hellboy as 15 uncut for strong bloody violence, gore, language.

In Ireland the cinema release is 16 rated by IFCO for very strong bloody violence.

In the US the film was MPAA R rated for strong bloody violence and gore throughout, and language.

The film censors of the Australian Classification Board rated the film as R18+ (18 in UK terms) for High impact violence, blood and gore.

The Australian distributors felt that a lower rating was a possibility, and appealed to the Classification Review Board for an MA15+ (15A in UK terms).

However the Classification Review Board disagreed with the appeal and maintained the original rating of R18+ for High impact violence, blood and gore. The Review Board wrote:

A five-member panel of the Classification Review Board has unanimously determined that the film, Hellboy, is classified R 18+ (Restricted) with the consumer advice High impact violence, blood and gore.

In the Classification Review Board's opinion Hellboy warrants an R 18+ classification because the violence has a high impact. The overall impact of the classifiable elements in the film was high. It is the view of the Classification Review Board that the fantasy context does not mitigate the cumulative impact of the violence on a more vulnerable audience.

 

 

Spy Cat...

The latest children's film suffering BBFC category cuts for UK cinema release


Link Here 4th April 2019

Spy Cat is a 2018 Germany / Belgium family animation adventure by Christoph Lauenstein and Wolfgang Lauenstein.
Starring Alexandra Neldel and Axel Prahl. BBFC link IMDb

Four crazy antiheroes on the run. Their leader is the unworldly innocent, naive Marnie, a house cat who is not allowed to leave the house and only knows about real life from television. Based loosely on Grimms "The Bremen Town Musicians" a modern, hilarious road movie is told.

Passed U for very mild comic violence, rude humour, language after 57s of BBFC category cuts for 2019 cinema release.

The film had earlier been passed PG uncut for mild bad language, violence, rude humour.

The BBFC commented:
  • Company chose to make various cuts to receive a lower classification. Cuts were made to remove instances of mild bad language and word play on strong language, to remove mild sex references, to reduce scenes of mild rude humour, and to reduce sequences of mild violence and threat. An uncut PG classification was available.

 

 

Bird Box...

Cut by Netflix after the original release after social media pressure opposing footage of an actual train crash


Link Here 1st April 2019
Bird Box is a 2018 USA Sci-Fi horror thriller by Susanne Bier.
Starring Rosa Salazar, Sandra Bullock and Sarah Paulson. BBFC link IMDb

In the wake of an unknown global terror, a mother must find the strength to flee with her children down a treacherous river in search of safety. Due to unseen deadly forces, the perilous journey must be made blindly. Directed by Academy Award winner Susanne Bier, Bird Box is a thriller starring Academy Award winner Sandra Bullock, John Malkovich, Sarah Paulson, and Trevante Rhodes.

Netflix announced in mid March 2019 that Netflix VoD would be cut going forwards for 2019 VoD.

The cuts follows months of social media pressure claiming that stock footage of a 2013 crash in the Quebec town of Lac-Megantic was exploiting the victims of the tragedy. The crash involved a train carrying crude oil coming off the tracks and exploded into a ball of fire, killing 47 people.

Netflix said that it will replace the footage with fictional scenes from a former TV series in the U.S. The company said it is sorry for any pain caused to the Lac-Megantic community.

In the UK the film was passed 15 uncut by the BBFC for strong violence, threat, language, suicide scenes for UK cinema and VoD release prior to the announcement of cuts.

 

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