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21st September   

Updated: Censor On...

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BBFC explain that they are voluntarily continuing to censor according to the erased Video Recordings Act
Link Here  full story: Video Recordings Act Erased...VRA was not properly enacted

BBFC logo The BBFC have published an unsurprising disclaimer as to why the continue to censor citing the Video Recordings Act as justification for cuts:

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has notified the BBFC of a serious issue which has come to light in relation to the Video Recordings Act 1984 (VRA). Because the then British Government failed to notify the European Commission under the Technical Standards and Regulations Directive (83/189/EEC) of the Act, the VRA is no longer enforceable against individuals in the United Kingdom. The Government has said that its priority is to remedy this situation as soon as possible and has urged the industry in the interim to comply with the provisions of the VRA on a voluntary and best practice basis. The BBFC will continue to classify video works submitted by distributors on a voluntary basis for this period.

In these circumstances and for the time being, the information on the BBFC's website should be read in the light of the DCMS's notification.

Update: VRA 2 Set in Progress

Thanks to DoodleBug
21st September 2009. From bbfc.co.uk

BBFC logo The BBFC have now added to their comment:

The Government has set in train the actions necessary to remedy this situation as soon as possible and, as part of that process, have notified the Commission of the new draft Act and the Labelling Regulations deriving from it.

The Government has made clear to the BBFC that, once the process of re-enacting the VRA is complete, all video classification certificates issued by the BBFC since 1984 will be valid, and the legal consequences of non-compliance with the classification regime will be re-instated and enforced as vigorously as previously. Any video recording containing an unclassified video work which has been released in the interim period will need to be withdrawn from sale once the new Act is in force, unless the work can claim exemption.

The Government has therefore urged the industry in the interim to comply with the provisions of the VRA on a voluntary and best practice basis. The BBFC will continue to classify video works submitted by distributors on a voluntary basis for this period.

 

28th August   

Updated: Side Splitting...

Melon farming Fresh
A website
update service

See further details
Melon Farming Fresh

 

Calls for the VRA to be consigned to the dustbin of history
Link Here  full story: Video Recordings Act Erased...VRA was not properly enacted

  We really need to bring back
weekly collections!

I almost split my sides laughing, until I recalled that for a quarter of a century people have been flung in prison for crimes that never existed. I hope that the government ends up paying massive compensation. As far as my taxes are concerned, it's a worthier cause than bombing Afghans, or prosecuting prostitutes' maids for "controlling" them.

We Brits need to wake up top what our control freak government is doing. Every time some nutter whinges about the opening of a sex shop, we need to point out that such shops are only necessary because of the (illegal) VRA. If M. LeBrun, Herr Braun and Sig. Bruni want a naughty film, they can buy it from a mainstream shop or by mail order, while Mr Brown is obliged (or, it appears, not obliged) to skulk into a sex shop in a sub-prime shopping area.

I suggest that all Melon Farmers write to their MPS asking for this nonsense to be consigned to the dustbin of history where it belongs.

From Alan (writing from a civilised country, where the station bookstall has a range of mucky films available to commuters)

Extra Laws

27th August 2009 by Jon Williams, See article from pleasedsheep.com

The 1984 VRA has turned into rather a mess.

The Girl Next Door Unrated As the Act was written a long time before DVD's and DVD extras, it's all a matter of interpretation as to what, besides the actual film, needed to be classified. In my book audio commentaries would be exempt, but the BBFC tells you that 'Our lawyers suggest that these require classification'. And what about 'the making of...' documentaries, interviews with cast and crew members and so on. Ask the BBFC and they reply with, "It's our job to classify things, it's up to you what you send us, we can't tell you what the law is - look at the Act". I did, and I discovered that it's policed by Trading Standards who only act in response to a complaint. Their concern is actually more with pirate copies. So I put the question to a cross section of Trading Standards departments as to what was exempt when it came to DVD extras. And I got a lot of different replies, ranging from nothing is exempt, to everything other than deleted scenes is. And then others pointed out that the film's classification applies to the whole DVD, so if it's an '18' then the extras can't be separately classified as they've got an '18' by default. What's more they couldn't imagine anyone complaining about any extras not having been classified (how would they know) but they would complain if any of the extras went way beyond the film's classification. Of course none of them wanted me to quote them, on the grounds that only a judge could make any legal interpretations. But I did get the impression that, provided the filmmakers included appropriate extras, they had more important things to be getting on with.

Right now, for the next few months, all this has been made irrelevant. But it is a golden opportunity to push for some sensible reforms, such as the introduction of 'unrated-18' which would bring us into line with the US as well as several other civilised countries.

Help for Small Circulation DVDs

27th August 2009. From John, see also www.myspace.com/julianmarshiii

Titus Andronicus in Inuit An idea that may have appeal even to MPs who don't care about censorship issues...

If I make a film - or even want to release one from the decades ago - I have to obtain a certificate (except for a few special cases - innocuous documentaries and music videos). And that will cost me over £1,000 for a feature length film.

As a new and unknown film maker I may sell only 250 copies of my film (an adaptation of Shakespeare say - and not a Bard Nasty like TITUS ANDRONICUS but an innocuous tale like ROMEO AND JULIET with its street sword fights and under-age lust and... well, maybe one of his other ones *grin*). That means £4 or more has to be added to the final sale price merely to pay the BBFC.

Isn't this a choke on creativity? But aren't we always being told that our creative industries are worth billions to the economy?

The VRA is quite clearly preventing limited interest productions from being seen. (This is as true for our cinematic heritage as it is for new titles. What, for example, is the expected sales figure for a DVD of a silent film, I wonder? Considering the limited appeal, I'd imagine that the BBFC fee makes up a significant proportion of the cost of getting it to market.)

Offsite: Could the UK Video Recordings Act of 1984 get any more useless?

28th August 2009. See article from spiked-online.com by Graham Barnfield

Spiked logo The bottom line is that criminal law needs to butt out of the cinema and home entertainment industries. If consenting participants in film productions emerge unharmed from the production process, then the resulting films would meet a revised, forward-looking minimum legal threshold in future. (Whether they should go ahead on aesthetic or commercial grounds is a separate issue.) This latest humiliation for the Video Recordings Act 1984 should be a chance to wipe the tape clean and treat adult viewers as adults.

...Read the full article

 

27th August   

Update: A Flood of Unclassified Cover Ups...

CD Universe - Buy Music CDs, TV on DVD, DVDs, Video Games for XBox, PlayStation 2 and Much More

Barbara Follett tried to keep the lid on the VRA being erased from UK law
Link Here  full story: Video Recordings Act Erased...VRA was not properly enacted

DCMS logo Wikileaks has published a letter sent from UK Parliament Under Secretary Barbara Follett MP to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer QC.

The letter is dated 24th of August 2009 and is informing Public Prosecutions of an issue that has risen in relation to the Video Recordings Act 1984, which appears to be that offences under the Act are unenforceable, and existing investigations should not be continued.

After explaining the situation, Follett in an obvious attempt to suppress a spreading public knowledge about this issue asks DPP to consider carefully what reasons are given to the court in relation to any discontinuations, fearing the market could be flooded with unclassified DVDs.

 

27th August   

Offsite: Another Fine Mess...

Julian Petley on the VRA debacle
Link Here  full story: Video Recordings Act Erased...VRA was not properly enacted

Index on Censorship logo Legislate in haste, repent at leisure — that, most assuredly, is the lesson of the really quite extraordinary news that the Video Recordings Act 1984 was never referred to the European Commission, was thus never officially enacted and now cannot be enforced.

The reason why the Act should have been referred to the European Commission is because it constitutes a restraint on intra-EU trade, in that it entails that videos/DVDs which have not been certificated by the BBFC cannot legally be imported from another EU country and then sold or rented in the UK.

The DCMS has said that it has received legal advice that people who have been found guilty under the Act would be unable to overturn their convictions or seek compensation. But this is quite simply whistling in the dark.Keith Vaz is surely entirely correct in asserting that if the Act has never been brought into force, prosecutions under it are void. You cannot prosecute someone and convict them on the basis of legislation that has never been in force. If I was one of the unfortunate victims of this un-enacted Act, I would most certainly be consulting m'learned friends without further ado.

The government has made it clear that it intends to re-enact the legislation. However, rather than letting them simply rubber stamp this non-Act and proceed as if nothing has happened, would this not be the perfect opportunity to engage, finally, in a sensible debate about video regulation, a debate which was quite impossible in the over-heated and febrile atmosphere of 1984 and 1994?

...Read the full article

 

25th August   

Video Recordings Act Erased...

1984 Act governing video censorship was never properly enacted
Link Here  full story: Video Recordings Act Erased...VRA was not properly enacted

Shock Horror T he discovery of a Whitehall blunder means that the 1984 law regulating the video industry was never enacted.

The disclosure that for 25 years the Video Recordings Act governing the classification and sale of videos, video games and now DVDs was never brought into force is a big embarrassment to both Conservative and Labour governments.

It also leaves the industry in disarray with the classification system no longer officially in operation.

Police and Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs are to be told to stop bringing any prosecutions until the Government brings in emergency legislation to re-enact the 1984 Video Recordings Act. Until then people will be able to sell videos, including violent and pornographic ones, to people without fear of prosecution.

The video industry was stunned by the Government's admission that the Act was not properly enacted 25 years ago. Officials in the Home Office had failed to notify the European Commission of the existence of the Act as they were required to do so under an EU directive.

The mistake was not spotted on two subsequent occasions, in 1993 and 1994. It was finally discovered during plans to update the law and introduce a new video-game classification system.

Barbara Follett, Minister for Culture and Tourism, said last night: Unfortunately, the discovery of this omission means that, a quarter of a century later, the Video Recordings Act is no longer enforceable against individuals in United Kingdom courts. In a letter to representatives of the video industry, Follett said: As the then British Government did not notify the European Commission of the VRA's classification and labelling requirements, they cannot now be enforced against individuals in UK courts.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport said that it had received legal advice that people who had previously been prosecuted and convicted would be unable to overturn their convictions or seek compensation. [Sounds like bollox to me, how can you not fail to overturn a conviction for a law that was not enacted].

The British Video Association said that it is urging members to continue submitting work to the British Board of Film Classification and to continue labelling them under the system.

 

22nd August   

Diary: BBFC Masterclass...

Explaining the difference between harmful and grotesque
Link Here

BBFC logo Emily Fussell's BBFC masterclass
Eden Court's La Scala cinema, Inverness
Tuesday 25th August at 6.30pm.
Note: This event is suitable for aged 15 and over, but some clips from 18 certificate films may be shown.

Emily Fussell, a former cinema manager, works for the BBFC. Previously known as the British Board of Film Censors, these days the BBFC prefers to avoid the more emotive "censor" and titles Fussell and her colleagues examiners. However, the old terminology has not entirely died away.

When you're in the pub trying to explain what you do, you pretty much have to say 'I'm a film censor', Fussell acknowledged.

Fussell will be in Inverness next week to give an insight into the enclosed world of film classification - and give Highland film enthusiasts a chance to do some censorship of their own. I get the audience to use their knowledge and try and classify something themselves, Fussell said: It's amazing the reactions you get. Sometime you feel that young people are quite lenient and older people are more censorious, but when I showed people a clip from 'Team America: World Police' where the puppets have sex, the younger people wanted to give it quite a high rating but the older people were fine about it: 'Oh, it's just puppets.'

Most years see the BBFC embroiled in some controversy over its decisions, most recently Cannes prize-winner Antichrist from Danish director Lars Von Trier has been attacked for explicit sex and violence and faced calls for local authorities to ban the film after it was passed uncut by the BBFC.

Defending the BBFC's decision to pass the film, Fussell suggested much of the controversy had been generated by people who had not actually seen the film: A lot of the controversy about 'Antichrist' is based on a scene of explicit sex. There's also a close up shot of genital mutilation, but that's obviously not real, just gore and special effects . There's nothing in it that would be harmful and that's primarily what we are looking at. When we watched it we never had any doubt that it would be an 18 uncut. That's the way we operate these days: an adult should be able to see what they want as long as it is not harmful. [...or Grotesque?]

 

21st August   

Updated: Grotesque...

BBFC ban Japanese horror film
Link Here

Grotesque DVD Grotesque (Gurotesuku) is a 2009 Japan horror film by Kôji Shiraishi

The BBFC have banned the 2009 4Digital Media DVD. The Japanese Unrated Version was submitted.

See review from IMDb : Pointless torture movies

The new wave snuff films (or rebirth of 70's uber violent films) are just not my taste... this movie is a prime example of these pointless torture movies, While in context the aspect of torture in a horror film i.e. Saw, Hellraiser, Texas chainsaw (the original) etc... works great because it's bad people getting their come up-pence or just a cautionary of the cruelty of man but this film is just a fictionalized snuff film with no story what so ever. Watching people getting brutally killed (particularly those who were just there) for the bulk of the movie then.... "the end" after some silly f/x does nothing for me except feeling a little dirty for watching this piece of trash.

If you a fan of Devils rejects, Vacancy and the like check it out but if you are like me a little and like at least a little mental stimulation with your gore fix skip this one.

Update: Film censors explain their case

20th August 2009. From bbfc.co.uk

Bbfc Rejects Sexually Violent Japanese Horror Dvd

The BBFC has rejected the DVD Grotesque. This means that it cannot be legally supplied anywhere in the UK. The decision was taken by the Director, David Cooke and the Presidential Team of Sir Quentin Thomas, Alison Hastings and Gerard Lemos.

Grotesque is a feature that focuses for the majority of its running time on the sexual assault, humiliation and extreme torture of a male and female victim. The central character abducts, restrains, strips and masturbates both the man and the woman. After this he inflicts grave injuries on the restrained couple, including amputation, eye gouging, castration and evisceration. The torture becomes even more extreme, leading to the gory and violent death of both hostages. The film ends with the killer choosing his next victims.

David Cooke, Director of the BBFC said: “Unlike other recent ‘torture' themed horror works, such as the Saw and Hostel series, Grotesque features minimal narrative or character development and presents the audience with little more than an unrelenting and escalating scenario of humiliation, brutality and sadism. The chief pleasure on offer seems to be in the spectacle of sadism (including sexual sadism) for its own sake.

“It is the Board's carefully considered view that to issue a certificate to Grotesque, even if statutorily confined to adults, would involve risk of harm within the terms of the Video Recordings Act, would be inconsistent with the Board's Guidelines, and would be unacceptable to the public. The BBFC has a strict policy on sexual violence. With portrayals of sexual violence which might eroticise or endorse sexual assault the Board may require cuts at any classification level.

“Rejecting a work outright is a serious matter and the Board considered whether the issue could be dealt with through cuts. However, given the unacceptable content featured throughout cutting the work is not a viable option in this case and the work is therefore refused a classification.”

“Rejecting a work outright is a serious matter and the Board considered whether the issue could be dealt with through cuts. However, given the unacceptable content featured throughout cutting the work is not a viable option in this case and the work is therefore refused a classification.”

Note:

The Video Recordings Act makes clear that harm is not to be interpreted narrowly as behavioural harm, but may also include more insidious risks, and the Board follows this approach in having regard to, for instance, moral harm and possible desensitisation. The correct legal definition of the harm test was clarified by Mr Justice Mitting in his ruling of 24 January 2008 at the High Court. In that ruling he stated that ‘The task of the Board [...] is to have special regard to any harm that may in future be caused to potential viewers'. The Act also makes clear that harm is not the only issue to be weighed in the balance.

Update: Grotesque Censorship

21st August 2009. Based on article from businesswire.com

A spokesperson for the distributor, 4Digital Asia, expressed surprise at the outright rejection of the Grotesque , stating, We knew that the BBFC was debating the content of the film quite intensely but we had expected to receive from the BBFC a list of recommended cuts enabling the film to be passed with an 18 certificate. We are now considering whether or not to appeal against the Board's decision.

 

14th August   

Update: Opinions Smoked Out...

Liverpool consult residents over an 18 rating for movies with smoking
Link Here  full story: Adult Rating for Smoking...Anti-smoking lobby for 18 for smoking in films

Liverpool City logo Liverpool City Council are proposing to override the BBFC and award 18 cinema certificates to films showing tobacco smoking.

The 18 rating would not apply to films which portray historical figures who actually smoked or those which provide a clear and unambiguous portrayal of the dangers of smoking, other tobacco use, or second-hand smoke, the council said.

The proposal has been made to the authority's Licensing and Gambling Committee by Liverpool Primary Care Trust.

If the plans go ahead, cinemas and any other premises showing films would have to notify the council 21 days in advance if they intend to show films containing images of smoking.

Today, Liverpool council launched a public consultation exercise on its website.

The BBFC is generally responsible for classifying films. However, under the Licensing Act 2003 local councils have statutory powers to classify or re-classify films to be exhibited in their particular areas. Although the government's guidance concerning the Licensing Act 2003 recommends that local councils should not duplicate the work of the BBFC it does allow local councils to reclassify films if there are good local reasons for doing so.

Offsite: Send for the Sanity Inspector

14th August 2009. See Why pretend the past was cigarette-free? from timesonline.co.uk

A council's plans to bar under-18s from films with smoking sets us on a dangerous path, says Gerald Warner.

Send for the Sanity Inspector – quickly. There is work for him among the denizens of Liverpool city council. The council is proposing to use its powers to upgrade to an 18-certificate the classification of films "if they depict images of tobacco smoking", in order to protect the vulnerable youth of Merseyside from exposure to such depravity.

...Read full article

 

26th July   

Offsite: Anti ChrisT...

Chris Tookey finds Antichrist to be Hell
Link Here  full story: Extreme Cuts...Lars Von Trier sexual violence causes a stir

Antichrist DVD ...

In its defence, Antichrist turns out to be not the picture that I have seen vilified in the press, sometimes by writers who lack any context of recent cinema with which to compare it, and in at least one case by someone who hadn't even taken the elementary step of seeing it.

...

The British Board of Film Classification does have guidelines, and these require cuts in portrayals of sexual or sexualized violence which might, for example, eroticise or endorse sexual assault.

However, the BBFC has been disregarding its own guidelines for at least five years. Indeed, they tried to evade enforcement of them as early as 1996, when they awarded an 18 certificate to David Cronenberg's notorious eroticisation of non-consensual sexual mutilation, Crash .

The sad truth is that there is nothing in Antichrist that this pathetically ineffectual organisation, funded by the film companies and seemingly unaccountable to the public, has not let through before, with an 18 certificate.

...Read full review

 

20th July   

Offsite: Narrow Minded at the Daily Mail...

What DOES it take for a film to get banned these days?
Link Here  full story: Extreme Cuts...Lars Von Trier sexual violence causes a stir

Antichrist poster As censors approve a movie that plumbs grotesque new depths of sexual explicitness and violence, one critic (who prides himself on being broad-minded) despairs...
Grotesque: Lars von Trier's latest film Antichrist has been given an 18 certificate by the British Board of Film Classification

A film which plumbs new depths of sexual explicitness, excruciating violence and degradation has just been passed as fit for general consumption by the British Board of Film Classification.

They have given the film an 18 certificate. As we all know, this is meaningless nowadays in the age of the DVD because sooner or later, thanks to the gross irresponsibility of some parents, any film that is given general release will be seen by children.

You do not need to see Lars von Trier's Antichrist (which is released later this week) to know how revolting it is.

I haven't seen it myself, nor shall I - and I speak as a broad-minded arts critic, strongly libertarian in tendency. But merely reading about Antichrist is stomach-turning, and enough to form a judgment.

...Read full article

 

19th July   

Update: The Good Old Days...

Old censor fondly remembers James Ferman's censorial reign
Link Here  full story: Extreme Cuts...Lars Von Trier sexual violence causes a stir

Antichrist poster Letter to the Times

Don't blame the iconoclastic, sensation-seeking marketing genius von Trier. Appleyard goes to the crux : how come this film was passed 18 uncut by the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC)?

David Cooke, the BBFC director, asserts : The board has, since 1990, passed a number of works containing such images.

As a BBFC examiner from 1984 to 2000, I have contacted colleagues from these years. None attests to passing blood ejaculation from an erect penis, or auto-clitoridectomy, in any film.

The truth is, when the BBFC director James Ferman (1975-99) retired, his film editor's room was dismantled. Thus ended the BBFC's subtle editing of the gratuitously sadistic, grisly mutilations that some directors offered.

Michael Bor

 

16th July   

Offsite: The Last of the House of Censors...

David Gregory and Carl Daft of Severin Films Comment on the BBFC
Link Here

Bloody Moon DVD David Gregory and Carl Daft are known to many as the guys who have made some of the best DVD extras around. Over the years they have worked with some of the film world's most famous names and now they have set up their own company, Severin Films, to distribute the films that they love. Below is an interview conducted with them from the recent Cannes Film Festival.

With the advent of multi region players available for less then £20 and nearly everyone having access to the Internet, do you think institutions like the BBFC and MPAA will ever become defunct?

Carl Daft : The BBFC are first and foremost a business, not a public servant. They'll figure out a way to financially ream the UK film industry for years to come under deceptive pretences. Even though they have become much better censorially in the last few years, they are still ripping off the industry and ensuring that the little guy gets screwed, leaving the industry in the hands of the big guys. Whereas in America the MPAA is a voluntary institution so you can choose not to use their ratings system. We choose not to.

How is your relationship with the BBFC considering the kind of material you release and hope to release. Is it better than the Ferman era?

Carl Daft : Yes, the Ferman era was a dark period in UK film history. Check out Ban The Sadist Videos! It was a minor version of the McCarthy era in the US. Ok, so it wasn't quite as extreme, but you have to remember this was in the last 30 years! We have it on good authority that BTSV is shown to new BBFC employees these days as an educational tool to warn against going down that road again. That's got to be a good thing. But it's also annoying that we went to great trouble and expense to take on the BBFC in the post-Ferman era over Last House On The Left and lost the right to release it uncut. Then three years later it's passed uncut for another company. Could UK society have changed that much in 3 years that 30 seconds of footage was considered dangerous then but 3 years later it's ok? A perfect example of how absurd the BBFC is and how it interferes with the business of small companies like ours.

David Gregory : The sooner they close their doors for good, the better. Thanks to new technologies the writing has to be on the wall. It will be a great day for the UK industry when they cease to be. Or at least become voluntary and/or free of charge. As it stands right now you have to be wealthy to release a film in England. If you've made your own film without a budget, it is illegal to distribute it in the UK without paying what I call the BBFC tax. That's outrageous. A complete violation of artists' rights.

...Read full interview

 

15th July   

Updated: Bruno Emasculated...

Film distributors cut Bruno for an alternative 15 rated version
Link Here  full story: Bruno...Supporting the hype for Bruno

Bruno film poster UK cinema-goers are to be presented with two alternative versions of hit comedy film Bruno from Friday, 24 July.

A 15-rated edit of the movie will be distributed alongside the original MPAA cut version, which has an 18 certificate.

It is the first time alternate versions of a film have been released in the UK at the same time.

Universal Pictures said it had re-cut the film after cinemas reported turning away large numbers of teenagers during the opening weekend.

Only 1 minute 50 seconds had been lost from the original, it said.

Sacha Baron Cohen's mock documentary went straight to number one in the US this weekend. It is expected to achieve a similar feat in the UK, despite its restrictive certificate.

Universal said the movie had taken an estimated £5m at the UK and Ireland box office since it opened on 12 July. If that figure is verified, Bruno will have achieved the biggest opening weekend of all time for an 18-rated film.

Update: Brüno (Snipped)

15th July 2009. See article from bbfc.co.uk

The BBFC commented about the 15 rated version Snipped version of Brüno:

This film was originally shown to the BBFC in an unfinished version. The BBFC advised the company that the film was likely to receive an '18' classification but that the requested '15' certificate could be achieved by making changes to three scenes. In particular the BBFC suggested that the company remove the majority of a montage of exaggerated sexual activity between Bruno and his boyfriend; Bruno comically miming fellatio and anilingus as he pretends to have oral sex with a deceased person with whom he is in contact through a medium; and sex between couples at a swingers' party and aggressive sexual dialogue at the same party. When this version of the feature was submitted these changes had been made and the film was classified '15'. A previous version of the feature was submitted without these changes and was classified at '18'.

 

5th July   

Update: Bruno Gagged...

Film distributors remove Michael Jackson reference from Bruno
Link Here  full story: Bruno...Supporting the hype for Bruno

Bruno film poster The distributors of Bruno have just cut a quip or two about Michael Jackson. LaToya Jackson makes an appearance in the film and this generates a couple of references to Michael.

The BBFC write:

Re-edited version, Following the death of pop star Michael Jackson, the company chose to remove a sequence involving the star's sister, LaToya, which includes references to her late brother. Otherwise, the work remains identical to the previously classified '18' version.

The BBFC have also kindly explained their decision to award an 18 certificate:

BRUNO is a satirical comedy in which Sacha Baron Cohen plays gay Austrian fashion show presenter Bruno, who falls into disgrace and travels to the States in an attempt to achieve fame. This film was classified '18' in accordance with BBFC Guidelines, for strong sex and strong sex references. At '15', the Guidelines state that 'sexual activity may be portrayed but without strong detail. There may be strong verbal references to sexual behaviour'. Both the scenes of strong sex and the sex references were considered by the Board to go beyond the '15' level, but acceptable at the adult '18' category. There are three strong sex scenes in the film. The first one features a montage of exaggerated sexual activity, including Bruno being anally penetrated by a dildo on a long rod attached to an exercise bike, which his boyfriend is pedalling. Other details include implied anal penetration with a fire extinguisher hose, as well as with a champagne bottle, and sight of a vacuum pump being used on Bruno's scrotum. The second shows Bruno comically miming fellatio and anilingus as he pretends to have oral sex with a deceased person with whom he is in contact through a medium, while the third scene features sex between couples at a swingers' party, with sexual detail obscured.

The film also contains some uses of strong language.

 

4th July   

Comment: Moral Panic Part 765...

The Sun doesn't shine on The Antichrist
Link Here  full story: Extreme Cuts...Lars Von Trier sexual violence causes a stir

Antichrist poster The BBFC has decided that we, the ugly, rowdy, masses are, at 18, able to decide for ourselves whether or not we want to watch a film. Their research backs this up and, so it seems, do the majority of The Sun's readers…

How do I know this? Well, today the British newspaper The Sun published a story with the shocking, weeks old, revelation that Lars Von Trier's latest offering, The Antichrist (2009), has been passed uncut as an '18' certificate. Sandwiched between links to a story about a girl taking her clothes off and the famous delights of Page 3 the writer (reporter seems too strong a word) informs us that the film contains images that cannot be properly described in a family newspaper . In true salacious overload we are also treated to a check-list of the contents.

...Read full article

Comment: Sun, Sky, Morality & Ethics

4th July 2009 from David

So, if it's that offensive to the folks at News International, does that mean we can expect it not to be shown on Sky movies in a few months' time, with a salacious exclusively on here uncut message?

Thought not...

 

4th July   

Offsite: What's the point of the BBFC...

When it comes to independent films
Link Here  full story: Diary of a Bad Lad...What’s wrong with the British Film Industry

BBFC logo The BBFC defines its purpose as being to protect children – anyone under 18 – from unsuitable material. This may be all well and good when it comes to films on general release, or on sale at supermarket checkouts. But over 90% of these films are American productions (some with English actors and storylines) and at least six% of the rest are French productions from either Pathe or Gaumont.

Basically British independent films don't get a look in because UK distributors simply can't afford the marketing spends which the multiplex chains demand before they'll consider booking a film. The result is that these films only get screened in specialised cinemas and arts centres which under 18s don't go to, and the DVD's are mainly sold via the internet to 18+ credit card holders. In short the BBFC is not 'protecting' anyone from these films.

...Read full article

 

3rd July   

Offsite: Moral Panic Part 765...

The Sun doesn't shine on The Antichrist
Link Here  full story: Extreme Cuts...Lars Von Trier sexual violence causes a stir

Antichrist poster The BBFC has decided that we, the ugly, rowdy, masses are, at 18, able to decide for ourselves whether or not we want to watch a film. Their research backs this up and, so it seems, do the majority of The Sun's readers…

How do I know this? Well, today the British newspaper The Sun published a story with the shocking, weeks old, revelation that Lars Von Trier's latest offering, The Antichrist (2009), has been passed uncut as an '18' certificate. Sandwiched between links to a story about a girl taking her clothes off and the famous delights of Page 3 the writer (reporter seems too strong a word) informs us that the film contains images that cannot be properly described in a family newspaper . In true salacious overload we are also treated to a check-list of the contents.

...Read full article

 

1st July   

Update: Beyer's Board of Film Classification...

Gordon Brown proposes nutters' rights of appeal against BBFC decisions
Link Here  full story: BBFC Parliamentary Accountability...Julian Brazier BBFC Bill

Gordon Brown weilding scissors Gordon Brown unveiled his plan to supposedly rebuild the country.

The Prime Minister promised a series of measures in the 11 months before the general election that will form the basis of the Labour manifesto.

This plan included a section on censorship most of which has been well telegraphed by recent government reports on game censorship:

Video Games

Compulsory age ratings will be given to all video games.

The voluntary system will be replaced by a "new and strengthened system of statutory age ratings", said the Prime Minister.

There has been increasing concern among MPs at the way the British Board of Film Classification rates games.

Critics say that, in recent years, it has adopted a perilous policy of allowing practically anything to be seen by adults - and offensive material to be shown to children.

A review of the impact of violent films and games on children was headed by TV psychologist Dr Tanya Byron.

It is also expected that the public will be given new rights to appeal against the rulings of the BBFC.

 

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