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The Empire Strikes Back...

BBFC rating raised from U to PG


Link Here27th June 2020
Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back is a 1980 USA action Sci-Fi fantasy by Irvin Kershner.
Starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford and Carrie Fisher. BBFC link IMDb

Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, Princess Leia and Chewbacca face attack by the Imperial forces and its AT-AT walkers on the ice planet Hoth. While Han and Leia escape in the Millennium Falcon, Luke travels to Dagobah in search of Yoda. Only with the Jedi Master's help will Luke survive when the Dark Side of the Force beckons him into the ultimate duel with Darth Vader.

No censorship issues beyond noting that the film was U rated from 1980 until 2011, but was PG rated in 2020.

The 2011 Blu-ray was rated U for mild violence and threat whereas the 2020 cinema release was rated PG for moderate violence, mild threat.

There have also been a few minor tweaks to plot and special effects over time.

 

 

Offsite Article: Pink Flamingos: The most outrageous film ever made?...


Link Here 23rd June 2020
The BBC recalls the controversial film's censorship history at the BBFC

See article from bbc.com

 

 

J'Accuse...

Canadian film distributors justifiably accused of censoring Roman Polanski's J'accuse


Link Here20th June 2020
J'accuse is a 2019 France / Italy historical thriller by Roman Polanski.
Starring Jean Dujardin, Louis Garrel and Emmanuelle Seigner. IMDb

In 1894, French Captain Alfred Dreyfus is wrongfully convicted of treason and sentenced to life imprisonment at Devil's island.

Just rior to the coronavirus lockdown Quebec's major distributors announced they would ban cinema showings of Roman Polanski's J'accuse ( An Officer and a Spy ), whether out of fear of reprisals from the #MeToo campaign or in deference to the movement's anti-democratic arguments. News of the ban susbequently got lost as the cinemas weren't open to notice that the film wasn't being screened.

It should be noted that despite the efforts of the Macron government and #MeToo's feminists to intimidate audiences and have J'accuse banned, the film was extremely popular in France--by the end of February 1.5 million people had viewed it in that country.

Polanski's film is a truthful and poignant reconstruction of the Dreyfus Affair that shook French society between 1894 and 1906. The case concerned a French army captain of Jewish origin, Alfred Dreyfus, who was falsely accused of espionage and imprisoned.

An article in the Quebec daily newspaper Le Devoir, published at the end of February under the headline Director Roman Polanski, persona non grata in Quebec, shows the kind of anti-democratic conceptions that have penetrated the world of cinema and the arts. Encouraged by large sections of the ruling elite, including the Democratic Party in the United States and Justin Trudeau's Canadian federal government, the #MeToo campaign has served to undermine fundamental democratic principles, such as the presumption of innocence and due process.

As in France, the viewing public in Quebec is largely in favour of the film being shown. The thirty or so comments under the article in Le Devoir all opposed the reactionary argument that one could not separate the work from the author and demanded that Quebec distributors reconsider their decision. Many compared the censorship exercised by the #MeToo campaign and Quebec distributors to the censorship exercised by the Catholic Church during the era of Quebec history from the mid-1930s to the late 1950s known as the Great Darkness, when the Catholic clergy exercised stifling control over culture, education and social mores and the ultraconservative government of Maurice Duplessis promoted reaction and used state violence to suppress an increasingly militant working class.

 

 

Confessions of a Feminist Cleanser...

Having a whinge about British sex comedies on Amazon Prime


Link Here17th June 2020
A feminist extremist has had a go at Amazon Prime for its catalogue of British sex comedy films, whingeing that they trivialise sexual harassment by presenting it as a hilarious joke.

The online platform features a number of 1970s softcore porn slapstick flicks, complete with suitably saucy descriptions, available to buy or rent.

Kate Smurthwaite spouted to FEMAIL:

I'm not offended by nudity or sexual scenes or references ...[BUT]... The issue is that these films routinely present sexual harassment as a "hilarious" joke. The same is true of some modern shows such as Keith Lemon's output. Recommending them on mainstream platforms reinforces the message that this behaviour is normal and even funny. For many women the experience of being harassed and then told to "take it as a joke" is all too familiar. Media streaming services should take the time to think about what they are putting on their platforms and recommending to their customers.

According to the Amazon description, the Confessions... series follows the 'saucy antics of the hapless Timothy Lea.

The Daily Mail then kindly details many of the most well known of the sex comedies and reminds us of how many well known mainstream stars featured in the films.

Offsite Comment: The Manufactured Outrage Over Seventies Sex Comedies on Amazon

17th June 2020. See article from reprobatepress.com by David Flint

 

 

Offsite Article: On the trail of more examples of automated Netflix age rating discrepencies...


Link Here14th June 2020
Why Did Netflix Raise the Rating for Moonlight from M to MA15+ in Australia?

See article from studentedge.org

 

 

Frankly HBO should have said 'I don't give a damn'...

HBO bans Gone with the Wind over historical racial attitudes


Link Here 10th June 2020
Gone with the Wind is a 1939 USA war historical romance by Victor Fleming and George Cukor (uncredited)
Starring Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh and Thomas Mitchell. IMDb

Scarlett is a woman who can deal with a nation at war, Atlanta burning, the Union Army carrying off everything from her beloved Tara, the carpetbaggers who arrive after the war. Scarlett is beautiful. She has vitality. But Ashley, the man she has wanted for so long, is going to marry his placid cousin, Melanie. Mammy warns Scarlett to behave herself at the party at Twelve Oaks. There is a new man there that day, the day the Civil War begins. Rhett Butler. Scarlett does not know he is in the room when she pleads with Ashley to choose her instead of Melanie.

The US film channel HBO Max has banned Gone with the Wind citing unacceptable historical attitudes to racial sensitivities. HBO Max said the 1939 film was a product of its time and depicted ethnic and racial prejudices that were wrong then and are wrong today. In a statement, HBO Max said it would be irresponsible to keep the film on its platform without an explanation and a denouncement of its racist depictions. It said the film itself would return as it was originally created, saying to do otherwise would be the same as claiming these prejudices never existed.

 

 

Updated: Oh LaLa...

Netflix censors Back to the Future Part II


Link Here23rd May 2020
Back To the Future Part II is a 1989 USA comedy Sci-Fi adventure by Robert Zemeckis.
Starring Michael J Fox, Christopher Lloyd and Lea Thompson. BBFC link IMDb

Marty McFly has only just gotten back from the past, when he is once again picked up by Dr. Emmett Brown and sent through time to the future. Marty's job in the future is to pose as his own son to prevent him from being thrown in prison. Unfortunately, things get worse when the future changes the present.

Back To the Future Part II has never troubled either the BBFC or MPAA but Netflix has decided that the film needs to be censored for its recent addition to the company's film line up.

A scene has been censored where Marty McFly is seeking to retrieve the Grays Sports Almanac from the younger Biff Tannen in an effort to restore the timeline to its original state. Marty eventually gets hold of it but finds that it is just a cover that has been used to hide a copy of a men's magazine titled Oh LaLa .

Netfllix has cut about 5 seconds where the rather modest Oh LaLa cover is on screen.

The cut version leaves a rather untidy edit where the audience is left unaware as to why Marty reacts the way he does.

Update: Future updates

22nd May 2020.

It now seems that what happened is that the Netflix version of Back to the Future Part II was indeed cut. (Here is a video of the cut and uncut versions ).
But as is so often the case with intern et giants when they are caught out for ludicrous, incompetent or embarrassing censorship, they simply throw up their arms, claim that it was some sort of ghastly mistake, and reverse the censorship. So the uncut version was quietly restored to Netflix..

Update: Explanation

23rd May 2020. See article from explica.co :

Bob Gale, the writer of the Back to the Future trilogy, asked fans not to be too hard on Netflix, because the censorship came from the distributor Universal. He explained in an article from explica.co :

The fault lies with Universal, which somehow provided Netflix with an edited version of the movie. I found out about this about ten days ago through an eagle-eyed fanatic, and the studio rectified the error. The version available now is the original uncensored and unedited version. Apparently, this was a foreign version that neither director Robert Zemeckis nor I knew existed, made to broadcast in some country that had a problem with the cover of Oh La La magazine. I asked that the studio destroy this version. Netflix does not edit movies, they only broadcast the versions provided by the studios. Therefore, they are not guilty. You can direct your anger against Universal, but I think they will be much more careful in the future and with the future.

 

 

Hate Crime...

BBFC banned film set for a US VoD and DVD re-release


Link Here21st May 2020
Hate Crime is a 2013 USA action horror thriller by James Cullen Bressack.
Starring Jody Barton, Nicholas Clark and Greg Depetro. Youtube linkBBFC link IMDb

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

Hate Crime received the rare accolade of a BBFC ban for the film's DVD release in 2015. Now in 2020 the film is set for re-release (presumably only in the US).

The first two films from director James Cullen Bressack are getting the re-release treatment later this year on VOD and DVD: My Pure Joy and Hate Crime.

 

 

God's Own Country...

British gay drama cut for streaming by the US distributor but after the director's intervention the film is now uncut for rental on Amazon Prime


Link Here21st May 2020
God's Own Country is a 2017 UK gay romance by Francis Lee.
Starring Josh O'Connor, Alec Secareanu and Gemma Jones. BBFC link IMDb

Spring. Yorkshire. Isolated young sheep farmer Johnny Saxby numbs his daily frustrations with binge drinking and casual sex, until the arrival of a Romanian migrant worker Gheorghe, employed for the lambing season, ignites an intense relationship that sets Johnny on a new path.

God's Own Country director Francis Lee has revealed his film was butchered by its American distributor, who censored several of the movie's gay sex scenes for a streaming release.

The censorship first came to light earlier this week, when Lee tweeted that fans should not stream the movie via Amazon Prime Video, due to edits made without his consent. He Tweeted:

Dear friends in USA, God's Own Country appears to have been censored on Amazon Prime. Until this is investigated please do not rent or buy on Amazon Prime. It is not the film I intended or made.

However the director later seems to have got the Amazon Prime version fixed and he tweeted the following day:

After investigation, God's Own Country was not censored by Amazon, but by the US distributor Samuel Goldwyn Films, who butchered the streaming version without consultation to get more 'revenue'.

The rental version of God's Own Country on @PrimeVideo is the correct version of my film. I would like to thank Amazon Prime for being supportive and I would caution any film maker of working with the aforementioned 'distributor'.

The film was banned in numerous Arab countries and China as a result of its LGBT+ themes, with only Secareanu's native Romania playing the film in Eastern Europe.

 

 

Offsite Article: The British Censor's Chainsaw Massacres...


Link Here4th May 2020
How the dictatorial British film censor James Ferman became an obsessive buzz kill in the 1980. By David Flint

See article from reprobatepress.com

 

 

DAU: Degeneration...

The latest cinema cuts from the BBFC, for animal cruelty


Link Here30th April 2020

Dau: Degeneration - Episode 9 is a 2020 Germany / Ukraine / UK / Russia drama by Ilya Khrzhanovskiy and Ilya Permyakov.
Starring Vladimir Azhippo, Dmitry Kaledin and Olga Shkabarnya. BBFC link IMDb

A secret Soviet Institute conducts scientific and occult experiments on animals and human beings to create the perfect person. The KGB general and his aides turn a blind eye to erotic adventures of the director of the Institute, scandalous debauches of prominent scientists and their cruel and insane research. One day, a radical ultra right-wing group arrives in the laboratory under the guise of test subjects. They get a task - to eradicate the decaying elements of the Institute's community, and if needs be, destroy the fragile world of secret Soviet science.

The latest cinema cuts from the BBFC are to episode 9 of the Russian language arts film DAU: Degeneration. The film was rated 18 but only after cut for animal cruelty.

Thanks to Trash Panda who notes that the film has been streaming on dau.movie for several weeks in its uncut format with an assumed BBFC 18 label. Of course BBFC certificates are essentially voluntary online and do not carry any legal force.

Trash Panda also notes that another film fro the DAU project, Dau: Natasha, has proven controversial as actors were actually hurt on set. Perhaps related to the BBFC cuts here, Dau Natsasha has just been hastily taken down from the DAU website. Maybe they realised they were being a bit presumptive when streaming the film with a BBFC 18 label.

Note that Dau: Degeneration episodes 7 and 9 contain real sex with an 18 rating. See Hardcore 18s List: DAU Degeneration

BBFC cut
68:01s
cut: 32s
run: 68:01s
pal: 65:18s
sub: 68:01s
18 UK: Episode 9 was passed 18 for strong real sex, gory images after 32s of compulsory BBFC substitution cuts:
  • 2020 cinema release
The BBFC commented:
  • Compulsory cuts required to a scene in which a pig is killed, in a protracted and cruel fashion, by a knife hacking at its throat before its spinal cord is severed with an axe.

 

 

Rafiki remains banned...

Kenyan high court upholds the film censor's violation of constitutional rights to freedom of expression


Link Here30th April 2020

Rafiki is a 2018 Kenya / South Africa drama by Wanuri Kahiu.
Starring Patricia Amira, Muthoni Gathecha and Jimmy Gathu. IMDb

Rafiki, which means friend in Swahili,  is adapted from the 2007 Caine Prize-winning short story, Jambula Tree, by Ugandan writer Monica Arac Nyeko. It follows two close friends, Kena and Ziki, who eventually fall in love despite their families being on opposing sides of the political divide.

Rafiki was banned by Kenya's moralist film censor in April 2018 for its gay themes. The film makers have been pursuing the censorship through the courts, on the grounds that Kenya's constitution includes the right to artistic freedom of expression.

But now the High Court of Kenya has upheld the violation of the film makers' rights to freedom of expression ruling that the film's ban:

Does not in any way violate Artistic Freedom of Expression, but instead protect the society from moral decay

Filmmaker Wanuri Kahiu expressed disappointment in the court's decision:

We are disappointed of course. But I strongly believe in the constitution and we are not going to give u. I think it is very important for us to define what freedom of expression means in Kenya as per our constitution. We are going to appeal. The ruling today is not a true reflection of what the constitution says.

 

 

Commented: Love Camp 7...

The British Board of Film Censors bans 1969 video nasty for the second time


Link Here14th April 2020
Love Camp 7 is a 1969 USA war horror thriller by Lee Frost.
With Bob Cresse, Maria Lease and Kathy Williams. YouTube iconBBFC link IMDb

The film was banned as a video nasty in 1985, then banned from DVD by the BBFC in 2002. The film was banned again by the BBFC for 2020 VoD. Uncut elsewhere but there have only been a few obscure releases until the 2017 US DVD/Blu-ray Combo.

See further details at Melon Farmers Film Bans: Love Camp 7

The film has just been banned by the BBFC after being submitted for Video on Demand by Screenbound. Note that this is not quite an official ban as BBFC decisions for internet video carry no legal weight. But no doubt the major online sources will take heed anyway.

The BBFC commented on its website:

Love Camp 7 is a US film, from 1969, in which female agents are sent undercover into a Nazi prison camp where female prisoners are sexually abused, raped and tortured by soldiers. It was previously refused a classification for DVD release in 2002. The present submission is for distribution on VOD.

The BBFC's Classification Guidelines state that We may refuse to classify content which makes rape or other non-consensual sexually violent behaviour look appealing or acceptable, reinforces the suggestion that victims enjoy such behaviour, or invites viewer complicity in such behaviour. They also state that As a last resort, the BBFC may refuse to classify a work, in line with the objective of preventing non-trivial harm risks to potential viewers and, through their behaviour, to society. We may do so, for example, where a central concept of the work is unacceptable, such as a sustained focus on sexual rape, other non-consensual sexually violent behaviour or sadistic violence.

Because LOVE CAMP 7 is largely comprised of scenes of non consensual sexual activity, including rape, presented in a manner that is intended to arouse viewers, its central concept is unacceptable and the sexually abusive material it contains too pervasive for cuts to be an effective solution.

Accordingly, the BBFC has refused classification to this work.

The BBFC further commented at a board meeting [pdf] :

The film was recently submitted for classification for VOD release. Given its status as a previously rejected work it was viewed by the entire Compliance team and certain members of the Policy team before referral to the Board.

The Board noted that there are a number of prolonged scenes of non-consensual sexual activity, including rape, in Love Camp 7 , in many cases featuring a focus on female nudity. Such scenes are frequently gratuitous, both in terms of length and detail, going some way beyond what is required by the narrative, and in some cases perpetuating harmful rape myths. These issues were considered in relation to the BBFC's 2019 Guidelines consultation, which found depictions of sexual violence to be of particular concern to the public.

The Board discussed the extent to which the film's datedness and risibility limits its impact, and considered the film's likely appeal and audience. It was observed that, while aspects of the film are dated, the sequences of sexual violence and abuse are not. It was also noted that while the film is different in many respects to modern pornography, its close and repeated focus on nudity means the sequences of sexual violence and abuse still have the potential to arouse.

The Board concluded that because that as Love Camp 7 is largely comprised non-consensual sexual activity, including rape, presented in a manner that is intended to arouse viewers, its central concept is unacceptable and the sexually abusive material too pervasive for cuts to be an effective solution. Accordingly, the Board agreed that the BBFC should refuse to classify Love Camp 7.

Update: Love Camp 7 Remains The Benchmark For Unacceptable Cinema in 2020

14th April 2020. See article from reprobatepress.com

It's good to know that in these unique times, our moral superiors are still hard at work protecting us from problematic imagery. The British Board of Film Classification might seem a more liberal body these days than they once did, but rest assured -- they will still step forward to protect the nation from corruption.

See full article from reprobatepress.com

 

 

Offsite Article: Violence, gore, porn and boredom...


Link Here12th April 2020
Full story: Film censorship in New Zealand...At the Office of Film and Literature Classification
A day in the life of a New Zealand censor during lockdown

See article from stuff.co.nz

 

 

Bad taste fun...

Cannibal Holocaust: The Game set for November release


Link Here11th April 2020
Ruggero Deodato's notable video nasty, Cannibal Holocaust , is set to turned into a video game for PC and consoles. It is set for release in November 2020.

Developers Fantastico Studio claims that it will put the raw graphic content in its interactive graphic adventure for gamers and fans alike to enjoy.

 

 

Splash...

Disney continues to make the news with cut versions on Disney+


Link Here5th April 2020

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