The Oscar-nominated star James Franco has weighed into the censorship debate via a Youtube message, in which he speaks directly to the Australian Classification Board.
Franco describes the banning of I Want Your Love as hypocritical
and disappointing :
Travis is making this film, including sex, because he wants to explore story and character and the nuances that sex contains.
Because films have been banned
because of sex, sex and films hasn't had a chance to grow and become a sophisticated storytelling device. And frankly adults should be able to choose. They're not going in blind. I don't know why in this day and age, something like this --- a film that
is using sex not for titillation but to talk about being human --- is being banned. It's just embarrassing.
The Australian Classification Board not just embarrasses by the films it chooses to ban and the inconsistencies in its
approach --- it also embarrasses by the films it allows to screen, or simply doesn't bother to review.
I Want Your Love is a 2012 USA drama by Travis Mathews. With Jesse Metzger, Brontez Purnell, Ben Jasper.
A feature film that includes explicit scenes of gay male sex has been banned by
the Australian Film Censorship Board. I Want Your Love , written and directed by young American filmmaker Travis Mathews, was due to screen at queer film festivals around Australia.
Festival films are generally granted exemptions from the
censorship process. Festivals provide synopses of the works they are screening but the board can then ask to see individual films.
Melbourne Queer Film Festival director Lisa Daniel says that in her 15 years at the festival, I Want Your Love is
the first film that has been refused an exemption. It has been seen in many festivals around the world, and its distributors have told her this is the first time it has been banned. Mathews is a well-known filmmaker, and the decision is an embarrassment
for Australia, she says.
The film focuses on a young gay man who is preparing to leave San Francisco after living there for 10 years. The film shows his last 36 hours in the city, and a party thrown for him by his friends, in which his ambivalent
feelings about departure are clarified.
The film was also on the program at Sydney's Queer Screen and the Brisbane Queer Film Festival.
Jain Moralee, director of Queer Screen, said she was very disappointed that she would be unable to show
the work. The sex scene, she says, is a six-minute montage of friends, housemates and partygoers that is part of the narrative context of the film. She describes Mathews as a filmmaker who explores the line between narrative and documentary.
Update: Petition to Overturn the refused exemption status of the film I Want Your Love
There is no reason why this film should not be shown to a paying adult audience within the context of curated film festivals. I Want Your Love has screened at every
major queer film festival in the world and is getting a DVD release in the United States this month. Why are we the only country in the world to refuse its citizens the right to see it?
To: Ms Lesley O'Brien -
director, Australian Classification Board
We the undersigned believe that your decision to refuse exemption to Australian queer film festivals to screen Travis Mathew's film I Want Your Love is wrong.
Want Your Love shows us the modern gay experience with intimacy and frankness. It has a level of reality that is refreshing and reflects what life is really like for many gay men. Honest, intimate depictions of gay love and sex do not harm us to see.
I Want Your Love shows love and sex between happy, healthy and consenting gay men. While it contains actual sex, it is shown within a non-violent, intelligent and artistic narrative. This element is therefore not gratuitous and should
not form a reason why it should be refused exemption.
We believe there is no reason why this film should not be shown to a paying adult audience within the context of curated film festivals. I Want Your Love has screened at every
major queer film festival in the world and is getting a DVD release in the United States this month. We ask you to reflect on why we are the only country in the world to refuse its citizens the right to see it?
In light of this,
we ask you to overturn the refused exemption status of the film I Want Your Love.
Morgue Street is a 2012 Italy short horror thriller by Alberto Viavattene. With Mario Cellini, Désirée Giorgetti, Roberto Nali.
Morgue Street was slated for screening at the A Night Of Horror Film
Festival in Sidney, but the Australian Classification Board banned it with a 'Refused Classification' rating, two days before the screening, claiming
its material that is considered to offend against the standards
of morality, decency and propriety generally accepted by reasonable adults.
Morgue Street is based upon the story The Murders in The Rue Morgue by Edgar Allan Poe. It tells the story of two prostitutes, mother and
daughter, struggling against a mysterious creature that breaks into their home.
Brian Yuzna called it An original artistic horror while cult author Jack Ketchum blessed it as impressive and perverse .
By the way of a hint
about the reasons for the ban, as well as horror film festivals, it was also screened at the Berlin Porn Film Festival.
One of the most violent and disturbing movies I have seen in years. Morgue Street is an edgy, polished and extremely disturbing horror short that crosses just about every line you can imagine in its 11 minute running time. See
article from horror-movies.ca
Baise-moi is a 2000 France crime drama by Virginie Despentes and Coralie. With Raffaëla Anderson, Karen Lancaume, Céline Beugnot.
The Australian Censorship Board has just re-banned Baise-Moi.
The film played in Australian
cinemas with an R18+ (18) rating but the real sex coupled with rape made it very controversial. The government stepped in and requested that the film be banned on home video. The resulting ban has persisted from 2002 to the present day.
Potential Films have just resubmitted the film for home video hoping that time has healed whatever ailed the censors. But to no avail, the film censors reaffirmed their ban.
Uncut in the UK
UK: Passed 18 uncut for
sexual violence, real sex and very strong language with previous BBFC cuts waived for:
See article from refused-classification.com
. Note that the version banned by the censors in 2013 was a pre-cut version with the sight of penetration deleted from the rape scene. The Film Censorship Board explained its majority decision to ban the video:
summary, as this film contains depictions of explicit sexual activity and sexual violence, sexualized violence and violence which are very high in impact and, as such, exceeds what can be accommodated within the R 18+ classification, and, as the film
also contains violence, sexual violence and sexualized violence and, as such, cannot be accommodated within the X18+ classification, this material warrants Refused Classification.