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 2009: Jan-March

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28th March   

Update: Anti-Smoking in the Movies...

  Video Universe - Buy New Release DVDs, TV on DVD, Music Videos and Much More

US Mainstream DVDs

Video Universe
 

Learning to be a nutter Lesson 1: Claim to speak for 'the public'
Link Here

D-Myst logoD-MYST is a smokefree movement led by and for young people in Liverpool. D-MYST provides young people with an opportunity to air their views and concerns on tobacco and to take action to de-normalise and de-glamorise smoking.

They wrote in their blog:

DMYST have been writing to the BBFC for over two years. We wrote to them and told them about our Smokefree Movies campaign and requested a meeting with them a number of times to which we got quite an unpleasant response!

They eventually agreed to meet with us in February this year. They said that three members would be allowed to go to London to meet with them.

We met with Pete Johnson, the Chief Policy Manager of the BBFC. He told us about how exactly they classify films. He said they concentrate on issues such as violence and drugs to decide on the age range for films and smoking was not one of their main focuses. We told them that we thought they should focus more on smoking as young people take it up when they watch their favourite stars smoking – this they didn't agree with and said that if the public wanted it out of youth rated films then they would consider it but don't think that the public do want it out.

We have evidence to support that the public do want smoking out of films and will continue to campaign to prove to the BBFC that the public do want it out of youth rated films!

 

11th March   

Offsite: Prime Cuts...

Video Universe - Buy New Release DVDs, TV on DVD, Music Videos and Much More

BBFC film examiner talks about censoring porn
Link Here

Index on CensorshipMurray Perkins has been a senior examiner at the BBFC since May 2000, classifying 18 and R18 film and video. He discusses the material he views – some extremely violent and graphically obscene – in technical, unemotional and non-judgmental terms. This is, as he says himself, a mechanical and a professional process – he and his fellow examiners have to assess whether material meets the guidelines and is within the law.

The detachment he brings to his work in order to make those judgments is evident in the manner in which he discusses his job. In a field that attracts such an extreme range of responses, it's rare to encounter such a phlegmatic approach.

...Read full article [pdf]

 

10th March   

Update: Wax Dummies...

Melon farming Fresh
A website
update service

See further details
Melon Farming Fresh

 

Censorship stats: BBFC cut 27% of R18s in February 2009
Link Here  full story: BBFC R18 Censorship...BBFC cut a large proportion of R18s

R18 StoryBBFC R18 cuts for February 2009

Number of items= 59
No. Cuts=16
Cuts ratio=27%

The R18 cuts stats 2009:

  • January: 12 R18s cut out of 62 (19%)
  • February 16 R18s cut out of 59 (27%)

Cuts of interest:

Mistress Dometrias' Brighton Dungeon

Cuts were required to remove potentially harmful, potentially obscene, and abusive elements from an R18 BDSM work (in this instance, use of wax on genitals, wounding of genitals, asphyxiative practices, a rape reference and gagging during fellatio). Cuts made in accordance with BBFC Guidelines and policy, the Video Recordings Act 1984, and current interpretation of the Obscene Publications Act 1959.

 

8th March   

Updated: Watchmen Again...

2nd version of Watchmen appears on the BBFC database
Link Here  full story: Watchmen...Watching the censors watch Watchmen

Watchmen poster A second entry has appeared on the BBFC website for the cinema release of Zack Snyder's Watchmen.

The first time the film appeared on the database, it was rapidly removed but appeared a few days later on 13th Feb running at 161:54s and 18 uncut.

Now there is a second entry logged at 3rd March that runs for 4.5 minutes shorter at 157:35s. Still noted as 18 uncut with the same extended classification information as below.

BBFC explain their uncut 18 rating for the film

BBFC logoWatchmen is the latest film from director Zack Snyder and the team behind 300. Based on a famous graphic novel from the 1980s it tells the story of an alternate America in which the Vietnam War was won, Nixon was elected for a third term and costumed superheroes are part of the fabric of society. It was passed ‘18' for strong bloody violence.

The BBFC Guidelines at ‘15' state that ‘violence may be strong but may not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury'. In Watchmen however there are a number of scenes that focus on strong detailed violence and its gory result. In one such example, a man is stabbed through the arm, with it forcefully twisted and broken as the knife is shown penetrating his arm and emerging from the other side. In another, a man is shown being struck in the head with a meat cleaver followed by repeated bloody sight of the cleaver striking the head. Both of these scenes, in addition to one or two others, were considered inappropriate at ‘15' and better placed at the adult ‘18' where detail of strong violence is permitted.

Watchmen also contains an attempted rape scene, strong language and sexual activity without strong detail.

Update: IMAX Version

7th March 2009. Thanks to Mark

I contacted the BBFC regarding Watchmen being resubmited, and that it has a shorter running time, and they replied back with this:

I suspect you are referring to the IMAX version of WATCHMEN which was submitted recently. This version is identical to the previous film, and was classified '18'.

So the shorter version is the IMAX version, and for some reason they sometimes run shorter. So the original version runs for 161:54 uncut, unless you see the IMAX version.

Update: Director's Cut

8th March 2009. Based on article from cosmos.net.au

The theatrical version of Watchmen has been rated MA 15+ in Australia and R in the US. It runs to 161 minutes plus change.

Director Zack Snyder promises two longer versions this year, the director's cut at 190 minutes, and the 205 minute Black Freighter version, which is the DC with an animated cartoon edited into the narrative, as per the graphic novel. Synder has also said that the DC will be more violent and sexually explicit. It's not clear yet whether this footage was cut for the US R rating, or it's just extended juicy material.

 

5th March   

Update: Putting the Mockers on Religion...

Comedy documentary passed 15 uncut by the BBFC
Link Here

Religulous poster The new 'documentary' by the man behind Borat has been passed 15 uncut by the BBFC. Provocatively titled Religulous (think 'religious' and 'ridiculous'), it will mock the beliefs of the world's major religions, recruiting unwitting assistance from the ranks of the faithful.

The BBFC helpfully explained their decision:

Religulous is a documentary by Bill Maher, an American comedian, on the beliefs and practices of the major religions. It was passed '15' for strong language, drug use and sexualised nudity.

The film questions the tenets of all the major religions in a mocking fashion but with some serious intentions underlying it. A number of the dialogues contain strong language and one quite explicitly refers to paedpohilia involving Catholic priests. As part of his global exploration Maher conducts several conversations in a Dutch coffee house and samples a marijuana cigarette. BBFC Policy and Guidelines allow for scenes of drug taking at '15', but does not allow the promotion of illegal drug use at any category. This film, as a whole, does not promote or encourage drug use.
As part of the ironic style of the film, excerpts from unrelated and dated features are inserted in order to make humorous statements. Examples of these include soft porn style shots of a naked man and another caressing a naked woman. The film also contains some strong dialogue references to sex acts. More conventional techniques include the insertion of reality footage of terrorist attacks, including 9/11, the London bombings and sight of the corpse of the Dutch film maker Theo Van Gogh.

 

3rd March   

Evil Hype...

BBFC comment on Resident Evil 5
Link Here

Resident Evil 5 The BBFC has dismissed suggestions that a particular scene in Resident Evil 5 is racist.

A scene was reported where a white blonde woman being dragged off, screaming, by black men, as our preview put it. Then: When you attempt to rescue her, she's been turned and must be killed.

The BBFC's Sue Clark responded:

In the version [of the scene] submitted to the BBFC there is only one man pulling the blonde woman in from the balcony, and I can't say the skimpiness of her dress impressed itself on me. The single man is not black either.

As the whole game is set in Africa it is hardly surprising that some of the characters are black, just like the fact that some of the characters in an earlier version were Spanish as the game was set in Spain.

We do take racism very seriously, but in this case there is no issue around racism. Even there was an issue: the BBFC would not automatically cut a work for racism.

We would normally give a work a higher rating to take it away from younger consumers who might not understand the issues surrounding racist remarks or attitudes. In this case the game is already rated 18 by us, so we would be unlikely to intervene further.

The BBFC have also explained their uncut 18 decision:

Resident Evil 5 is the latest game in Capcom's survival horror series. This time Chris Redfield investigates a possible biohazard outbreak in Africa. It is the first game in the series to be released on the next generation Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 consoles.

The game was classified '18' for strong bloody violence and gore. As with previous games in the series we see blood spurts from the infected enemies' bodies as they are shot, and their heads being blown off by gunfire. The player's character also bleeds when shot, and can be decapitated if killed by a chainsaw-wielding enemy. In this instance we see the chainsaw blade cutting into the player's neck with blood spurting from the wound, although the actual decapitation is masked by the camera angle. When killed, bodies disappear within seconds, usually with a bubbling mass of liquid signifying their death. Some of the human enemies spout tentacles if their head has been blown off, with the organism controlling the person forcing them to stagger towards the player in a last-ditch attack. The player is also able to stomp on enemies as they lie on the ground, sometimes resulting in a large spray of blood. During some 'cut scenes', we also see a character put their fist through an enemy's chest with sight of spraying blood as a result.

At '15', the BBFC's Guidelines state that 'violence may be strong but may not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury', and that 'the strongest gory images are unlikely to be acceptable'. In the case of Resident Evil 5 , there is frequent violence that dwells on such detail, and some strong gory images that go beyond a level that would be suitable for a game classified '15'. Therefore the game was given an '18' certificate.

The game also contains one use of strong language.

 

27th February   

Update: BBFC Leading the Game...

BBFC survey reveals that parents want games regulated by the likes of the BBFC
Link Here  full story: The Byron Report...Tanya Byron reports on media child protection

BBFC logoThree quarters of British parents want to see video games granted cinema-style age classifications, ratified by an independent body, according to a new survey commissioned by the BBFC.

Nearly 80% of those surveyed said they believed video games could affect the behaviour of some children, while 77% said that game ratings should reflect the concerns of British parents.

The survey, which was carried out by YouGov on behalf of the BBFC questioned 2,143 adults.

It comes as the Government considers the findings of the Byron Review, a paper written by parenting expert and psychologist, Tanya Byron, into the steps that need to be taken to safeguard children in the digital age. The Byron Review recommends that video games designed for people aged 12 and over, regardless of content, should be reviewed by the BBFC for classification prior to release.

In 2007, the BBFC alienated sections of the computer games industry by attempting to ban Manhunt 2 , a game in which players must escape an asylum using whatever weapons they can find. Following repeated appeals by the game's publishers, a cut version of Manhunt 2 was eventually granted an 18 age certificate.

The survey also found that 82% of parents believed it would be helpful if video games used the same age ratings systems as films and DVDs. At present, there are two systems of game rating in Britain: the compulsory one run by the BBFC and the competing voluntary one run by the Pan European Games Information body, known as PEGI.

This poll clearly shows parents support a regulatory system for games that is independent of the industry and UK based, reflecting UK sensibilities and sensitivities, said David Cooke, director of the BBFC said. The BBFC has been classifying games for over 20 years and our decisions reflect the views of the public. Our classification systems and symbols are known and trusted by the public and in a converging media world they want to know what their children are playing as well as watching.

 

26th February   

Offsite: Solitary Pleasures...

Why is the BBFC so scared of arousal?
Link Here

R18 StoryIn a BBFC report from 2007, they admit that studies looking for evidence of harm to society, such as rising rates of sex crime, after liberalisation of pornography have fail[ed] to demonstrate any mass deleterious effect' . And that other plinth of BBFC justification – the effect that over-18 material might have on any young people who happen to watch it – has also been dismissed. As the judge said at the time of the BBFC's appeal against a ruling permitting the sale of hardcore pornography in 2000, the risk of the videos causing harm to young persons who might see it is, on present evidence, insignificant.

But the BBFC's role is not justified by hard evidence of monkey-see-monkey-do logic in action. Rather, it is to do with possible harm, with potential, imaginable outcomes. Such nightmarish speculation feeds off an anxiety about those for whom the BBFC is doing the classification: a public seen as all too susceptible and all too easily influenced by the kind of films that BBFC bigwigs can safely watch.

...Read full article

 

25th February   

Update: Appeal Watch...

Ireland rates Watchmen as 16 after an appeal
Link Here  full story: Watchmen...Watching the censors watch Watchmen

Watchmen poster Irish cinemagoers aged 16 and over may see the violent new US action film Watchmen following a decision by the Film Appeals Board.

John Kelleher, director of the Irish Film Classification Office (Ifco), had given the film an 18 certificate – in tandem with a similar classification in the UK.

However, a more lenient rating has since been granted following an appeal by the film's distributor, Paramount Pictures. The film goes on release in Ireland, Britain and the US on March 6th.

Kelleher's office advises viewers on its website  that Watchmen contains strong, visceral hyper-realistic violence, including one brutal sexual assault.

We are delighted that Watchmen has been classified as 16, said Niamh McCaul, general manager of Paramount's Irish office. It increases our potential audience and more importantly will give access to fans that are 16 and over.

BBFC explain their uncut 18 rating for the film

See article from bbfc.co.uk

BBFC logoWatchmen is the latest film from director Zack Snyder and the team behind 300. Based on a famous graphic novel from the 1980s it tells the story of an alternate America in which the Vietnam War was won, Nixon was elected for a third term and costumed superheroes are part of the fabric of society. It was passed ‘18' for strong bloody violence.

The BBFC Guidelines at ‘15' state that ‘violence may be strong but may not dwell on the infliction of pain or injury'. In Watchmen however there are a number of scenes that focus on strong detailed violence and its gory result. In one such example, a man is stabbed through the arm, with it forcefully twisted and broken as the knife is shown penetrating his arm and emerging from the other side. In another, a man is shown being struck in the head with a meat cleaver followed by repeated bloody sight of the cleaver striking the head. Both of these scenes, in addition to one or two others, were considered inappropriate at ‘15' and better placed at the adult ‘18' where detail of strong violence is permitted.

Watchmen also contains an attempted rape scene, strong language and sexual activity without strong detail.

 

23rd February   

Holding Hands...

BBFC examiners resisting solo viewing for sex works
Link Here

BBFC logoStaff at the BBFC are in revolt over a management plan that would require them to watch hardcore pornographic films alone in a bid to save money.

The BBFC employs about 80 examiners, who currently watch explicit films in pairs, but executives want to extend solo viewing, which has already been introduced for less controversial content. Films released at theatres are still watched by more than one examiner, and sex works are also viewed in pairs. Examiners argue that working in teams make it easier to form a professional judgment about content.

Examiners say films that are refused an R18 certificate often include scenes that many find disturbing, including sadomasochism and sexual violence. Some are concerned that viewing pornographic content alone will increase the chances of being sexually aroused by the material.

Insiders say the changes are motivated by cost cuts. The BBFC is a not-for-profit organisation funded by the film and TV industries, whose members pay a fee for each product licensed. The BBFC classifies about 600 cinematic releases and 12,000 DVDs each year.

A spokeswoman for the BBFC said its examiners already view most content alone, although some of it is still watched either by a team or by more senior staff. She confirmed that sex works are currently examined by teams of two, but added that a final decision on the proposed changes had not been taken.

The BBFC is currently consulting staff about a proposal that sex works should also be examined by examiners viewing alone, but only on the basis that an appropriate policy is in place for having works which are particularly problematic or unpleasant viewed by teams. Difficult or unpleasant issues or material are not confined to sex works.

 

19th February   

Updated: Watching BBFC Watch Watchmen...

Watchmen classification decision fleetingly appears on the BBFC database
Link Here  full story: Watchmen...Watching the censors watch Watchmen

Watchmen poster While browsing bbfc.co.uk earlier today I spotted that the eagerly anticipated Watchmen movie was on there as having been rated yesterday. It had been given an 18 certificate for "Strong violence" with a duration of 161 minutes.

However, having a look again a few minutes ago (about 2 hours after initially checking) I find that the Watchmen entry has disappeared.

Knowing the source material quite well I have to say I was a little surprised that the BBFC had felt the film strong enough to warrant an 18; I'd predicted a 15. But I figured maybe there was some of that notorious dwelling on the infliction of pain and injury we're always reading about. But now with its removal from the site I'm assuming the studio are appealing or cutting as we speak to avoid the dreaded 18 certificate.

Update: Watching Paramount

17th February 2009. Thanks to William:

I have just spoken to Paramount UK and Watchmen will remain an 18 and therefore uncut.

Update: 18 Uncut

19th February 2009. See article from bbfc.co.uk

The Watchmen entry has been restored to the BBFC database and, as promised, it is 18 uncut.

 

9th February   

Update: Cartoon Censors...

Censorship stats: BBFC cut 19% of R18s in January 2009
Link Here  full story: BBFC R18 Censorship...BBFC cut a large proportion of R18s

R18 StoryBBFC R18 cuts for January 2009

Number of items= 62
No. Cuts=12
Cuts ratio=19%

The R18 cuts stats 2009:

  • January: 12 R18s cut out of 62 (19%)

Ringetsu 3 DVD Cuts of interest:

Ringetsu: The Animation Volume 3

Japanese anime cut by 44:16s to leave just 25:49s

Cuts were required to remove sexual activity between immediate family members, in accordance with BBFC Guidelines, BBFC policy, the Sexual Offences Act 2003 and the Video Recordings Act 1984. Cuts were also required to remove images which may encourage an interest in underage sexual activity, on grounds of harm, in accordance with BBFC Guidelines, BBFC policy and the Video Recordings Act 1984. Cut to sight of menstrual blood during sexual activity was also required, on grounds of obscenity, in accordance with current interpretation of the Obscene Publications Act 1959.

As Sergio says, its a cartoon: It`s not a family, and it doesn`t have members. There is no blood.

The uncut region 1 & 2 DVD is available at AnimeNation

 

7th February   

The BBFC Heritage Collection...

New technology to preserve the BBFC porn and horror archive
Link Here

Pebble Beach Systems logoThe BBFC has selected Pebble Beach Systems to provide an automation solution as part of a new facility built to digitize its entire video archive. With a legal obligation to retain copies of all material that has been certified and a library of 200,000 VHS tapes, the race is on to create a permanent digital archive before players are no longer available or the tape stock becomes unplayable.

Neptune automation from Pebble Beach gives the BBFC a flexible, efficient and user-friendly system that allows the simultaneous ingest of material from 12 VTRs creating MPEG and WM9 versions of each videotape in real time.

 

3rd February   

Update: Protest at the BBFC...

A song and a dance about smoking in the movies
Link Here

Don't smoke pups...
It addles the brain, you may turn
into a Liverpuddlian health nut

Anti-smoking campaigners from Liverpool took a musical message to the capital – to win support to get smoking out of youth-rated movies.

Young people from D-MYST, the Liverpool-based youth activists organisation, travelled to London to stage a protest outside the offices of the BBFC.

And, to grab attention for their Scary Movies protest, they staged a dance performance outside the BBFC offices.

D-MYST have approach-ed the BBFC to arrange a meeting to discuss the issue of smoking in youth-rated movies – so far without success.

They handed in a letter asking for a meeting in the near future.

SmokeFree Liverpool has also asked the BBFC to use its powers – saying that 3,300 young people in Liverpool are currently smoking because of images they have seen on the silver screen.

Gideon Ben-Tovim, the chairman of Liverpool PCT, said: We are not saying that old films should be re-rated – simply that new films which contain smoking should not be seen by under-18s. How simple a proposal is that?

 

30th January   

Comment: The Dark Knight Aftermath...

Are the BBFC being cautious over 12A rated films?
Link Here

The Spirit poster Just spotted some cuts to Frank Miller's The Spirit. According to the BBFC website:

This work was cut. The cut(s) were made at the request of the distributor to achieve a particular category. To obtain this category cuts of 0m 25s were required.

Distributor chose to make cuts to achieve a 12A classification, removing: focus on knives as a group of hoodlums surround and threaten a woman; sight of the hero mounting his foe on the ground and repeatedly punching him in the head; sight of a severed finger flying towards the camera; and part of a man's rib-cage embedded in the ground. A 15 certificate without cuts was available.

Does sound fairly over the line for a 12A; can't say I'm surprised it was cut.

On a related note, though, am I the only person who thinks that, ever since the row over The Dark Knight , the BBFC have gone a bit mad and started rating everything a 15? Oliver Stone's W and Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire are two recent examples of films that I think would have got a 12A if they'd come out this time last year; a look at other recent decisions shows that the upcoming Meryl Streep film Doubt has been rated 15 for theme of implied child sexual abuse! The thing is, if these films were 12As, they would be at the upper limit of the category, and maybe the BBFC thinks a strong 12A is more trouble than it's worth at the moment.

Slumdog Millionaire is a particularly interesting case because a lot of journalists have taken it to task for having an apparently shocking level of violence - the usually sensible Peter Bradshaw of The Guardian said it started off with the nastiest interrogation scene I've seen in a while , and considering it's his job to watch all the latest horror movies and the like, that's a very bold statement. So I went and tensed myself up, nervously waiting for something truly horrifying - and then, five seconds later, untensed myself and thought Oh. Is that it?

The torture scene in Slumdog is so close, in terms of what's shown and how long it lasts, to Robert Aldrich's 1950s thriller Kiss Me Deadly that I think Boyle might well have watched the older film in preparation for shooting his own film - but Aldrich's film has a 12 on video.

According to the BBFC website, there is a lot of untranslated strong language in the subtitled sections of the film - since I don't speak Hindi, I'm taking that on trust. But considering the discussions over the violence in The Dark Knight , I had to laugh at what they thought was the most extreme violent scene in Slumdog Millionaire ; a three-second shot of a man being set on fire. Yes, clearly if that man had been put out, then gone around for the rest of the film with half his face horrifically melted off, Boyle could have secured that child-friendly certificate...

 

16th January   

Update: MadBeyerWorld...

Beyer disappointed at MadWorld game being passed by the BBFC
Link Here  full story: MadWorld...Nutters rant against MadWorld video game

Madworld game John Beyer of Mediawatch-UK, has told SPOnG that he is disappointed by the BBFC's decision to give SEGA's violent Wii title, MadWorld , an 18 rating.

I'm disappointed but not surprised , Beyer told SPOnG: I think my view is pretty well known. It's what I expected.

The 18 rating was granted by the BBFC, with no cuts made. The consumer advice reads: Contains very strong, stylised, bloody violence.

 

14th January   

Poverty Porn...

Supporting the hype for Slumdog Millionaire
Link Here  full story: Slumdog Millionaire...Slumdog Millionaire film gets world attention

Slumdog Millionaire poster Slumdog Millionaire and the BBFC are taking a bit of stick in the Times in an article by Alice Miles. She writes:

There are many reasons why you might want to see Slumdog Millionaire - it is directed by the brilliant Danny Boyle, it is set in the sensual feast that is Mumbai and it has won awards for music, directing and acting. And then there is the fact that critics and its own publicity have branded it a feel-good movie. Call me shallow, but that ultimately swung it for me.

A few hours later I was wincing in my seat. The film opens with a scene of horrible violence: a man hanging from the ceiling of a police station, being tortured to unconsciousness, a trickle of blood running from his mouth. It moves swiftly into scenes of utter misery and depravity, in which small starving children are beaten, mutilated and perverted.

Mothers die horribly in front of their sons, small girls are turned into prostitutes, small boys into beggars. I hope it won't spoil the feel-good surprise if I tell you that one particularly sadistic scene shows a young boy having his eyes burnt out with acid to maximise the profits of street begging. Charities working with street children in India seem unaware of any instances of this, although Save the Children emphasises that similar violence against children by beggar mafia is well documented.

The film is brilliant, horrifying, compelling and awful, the relentless violence leavened only by an occasional clip of someone working his way through the questions on the Indian version of Who Wants to be a Millionaire?. You might want to look away, but you can't and, despite the banal storyline, I can see why it is pulling in the awards.

Yet the film is vile. Unlike other Boyle films such as Trainspotting or Shallow Grave , which also revel in a fantastical comic violence, Slumdog Millionaire is about children. And it is set not in the West but in the slums of the Third World. As the film revels in the violence, degradation and horror, it invites you, the Westerner, to enjoy it, too. Will they find it such fun in Mumbai?

Here is the BBFC summary of the film.

Slumdog Millionaire is a drama about a young street lad who wins the Mumbai version of 'Who Wants to be a Millionaire'. It has been classified '15' for strong language and violence. (I would add another ten to that)

The film is in a mixture of English, and subtitled Hindi. Together with several uses of strong language in English, there are also a number of untranslated uses of strong Hindi terms - all of which were considered acceptable under the BBFC Guidelines at '15', which permit 'frequent use of strong language (eg 'fuck').

Strong violence is seen in a scene where a group of Muslims are attacked and killed i the street - together with general chaos and beatings, there are some stronger and more explicit moments, such as the deliberate setting of a man on fire, that go beyond the BBFC Guidelines at '12A', which direct 'Violence must not dwell on detail. There should be no emphasis on injuries or blood'. We also later see strong violence that includes a knife held to a woman's throat as she's forcibly snatched off the street, an impressionistic blinding of a young beggar boy, and torture by electricity in a police station.

Comedy? So maybe that's it: I just didn't get the joke.

 

8th January   

Update: Censorship Shite...

Censorship stats: BBFC cut 38% of R18s in December 2008
Link Here  full story: BBFC R18 Censorship...BBFC cut a large proportion of R18s

R18 StoryBBFC cuts for December 2008

Number of R18s= 37
No. Cuts=14
Cuts ratio=38%

The R18 cuts stats 2008:

  • January: 23 R18s cut out of 71 (32%)
  • February: 28 R18s cut out of 90 (31%)
  • March: 29 R18s cut out of 97 (30%)
  • April: 30 R18s cut out of 98 (30%)
  • May: 22 R18s cut out of 72 (30%)
  • June: 17 R18s cut out of 92 (18%)
  • July: 20 R18s cut out of 72 (28%)
  • August: 20 R18s cut out of 72 (28%)
  • Sep: 9 R18s cut out of 47 (19%)
  • Oct: 19 R18s cut out of 69 (28%)
  • Nov: 17 R18s cut out of 82 (20%)
  • Dec: 14 R18s cut out of 37 (38%)

28% of R18s were cut in 2008

Cuts of interest:

ROGUE #32

Several compulsory cuts for R18 required to remove sight of potentially harmful breath restriction during sexual activity, verbal threats, a reference encouraging an interest in underage sexual activity, and violence during sexual activity (aggressive slapping) in accordance with BBFC Guidelines, Policy and the Video Recordings Act 1984. Cuts also required to remove sight of urolagnia (urination during sexual activity) and liquid that was not semen or lubricant liquid exiting the rectum and subsequently coming into contact with another person or being drunk, in accordance with current interpretation of the Obscene Publications Act 1959.

GIRL ON GIRL SPANKING SPECIAL NUMBER 2

Cuts required to remove dialogue references to familial relationships in a strong fetish scenario which have the potential to encourage an interest in abusive relationships.

 

4th January   

Dark Days...

Has The Dark Knight been cut for DVD?
Link Here

I saw the Batman film The Dark Knight on the newly released DVD.

In the UK cinema version heath ledger puts the Stanley knife in the hoodlum's mouth and from a reverse shot the viewer sees the joker thrust his hand. The reverse shot was quite effective because you only saw heath moving his arm then the reaction of the other hoodlum as the body fell to the floor.

Whereas in the DVD the joker asks why so serious and the next shot is of the body crumbling to the floor and and the hoodlum's reaction.

I'm 100% certain this has been edited (you can tell from the music) and its akin to the poor editing seen in Die Hard With A Vengence elevator scene. Additionally, people who I saw it at the cinema with commented upon how they felt they felt it was edited because the scene seemed incongruous ie no explanation why the hoodlum doesn't scream or what injury he has. In the cinema version the jokers energetic thrust partly explained this.

I did have a slight suspicion that there would be edits on the DVD as a result of the banal complaints of parents about the level of violence in the film!

Update: MPAA Intejection

29th December

There are no cuts record by the BBFC. The most plausible explanation seems to be that the UK and US DVDs are the US theatrical version which is said to have suffered from MPAA interjection to edit the scene for a PG-13. The question is whether the UK cinema release was therefore the uncut version. If so, no doubt there be an unrated US DVD version in the pipeline.

Update: And the Blu-ray?...

29th December. From Andrew

Just watched the Blu-ray of The Dark knight and I'm not quite sure what I'm supposed to be noticing. Fair enough a majority of Blu-rays are from original uncut masters (its cheaper than releasing several edited copies for different territories), so the UK Blu-ray may very well differ compared to its DVD counterpart. HOWEVER if it doesn't then I'm not sure where the alleged edit is meant to be. Yes the hoodlum does collapse without a scream, but for a film that doesn't dwell on injuries or bloodletting as such, this isn't surprising.

The order of shots on the Blu-ray are:

  • knife in hoods mouth
  • jokers scar speech (back and forth POV's of Joker, hood and mob boss)
  • close up of the Joker as he looks at mob boss and says "why so serious?"
  • close up of mob boss (featuring) dramatic music cue
  • then the body slumps.

To be honest I really couldn't notice anything unusual in the soundtrack or the frame rate of shots. Certainly nothing to warrant a comparison to the awful Die Hard with a Vengeance slicings.

As I say the DVD may differ somewhat, but the Blu-ray certainly doesn't do anything in that scene that would make me question it. Not when theirs several savage beatings by Batman, and the infamous pencil trick still intact. Plus the full daylight shots of Harvey Two Face.

Update: Holy Blu-ray Batman

30th December 2008. Thanks to Byron

On another website someone has compared the UK Blu-ray with a screener copy and they are the same so the version shown in UK cinemas is the version on the Blu-ray.

Update: DVD = Blu-ray = Cinema Version

4th January 2009. Thanks to Byron

I checked the UK DVD last night and its the same as the Blu-ray. I had to go back and forth a few times and am 99% sure they are the same. I could not do a time check as it would not be accurate as the UK DVD is PAL 50 hz so PAL speed-up would be present where as the Blu-ray runs in cinema 24 Hz mode.

I think this is one of those cases of people thinking it was more brutal than it is and expecting a backlash because of the knife blame game. I am surprised the DVD has not been checked before now either as its a popular film and you would think people online would be all over this if cuts were present.

 

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