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Daily UK Ratings from the BBFC...

Secret Santa


Link Here 12th August 2018
Film Cuts Cert Run Time BBFC decisions on 10 August 2018

A Northern Soul

 

BBFC uncut
uncut
15 73:18s A Northern Soul is a 2018 documentary film by Sean McAllister.
With Steve Arnott
BBFC link

Rated 15 by the BBFC but was previously rated 12A for local screenings in Hull.

UK: Passed 15 uncut for strong language for:

  • 2018 cinema release

Summary Notes

A Northern Soul is Hull-born award-winning documentary filmmaker Sean McAllister's take on 2017. It follows struggling factory worker Steve Arnott's dream of bringing hip-hop and rap to the city's estates in a youth project involving a converted bus.

Community Film Cuts Cert Run Time BBFC decisions on 10 August 2018

Geetha Govindam

BBFC uncut
uncut
12A 141:40s Geetha Govindam [Subtitled] is a 2018 comedy romance by Parasuram.
Starring Vijay Deverakonda, Rashmika Mandanna and Vennela Kishore. BBFC link

UK: Passed 12A uncut for moderate violence for:

  • 2018 cinema release
Film on DVD Cuts Cert Run Time BBFC decisions on 10 August 2018

I Feel Pretty

BBFC uncut
uncut
12 105:58s I Feel Pretty is a 2018 China / USA comedy by Abby Kohn and Marc Silverstein.
Starring Amy Schumer, Michelle Williams and Emily Ratajkowski. BBFC link IMDb

UK: Passed 12 uncut for moderate sex, sex references, language for:

  • 2018 Sony DADC Europe [16:9] video

Summary Notes

Renee Bennett (Schumer) knows what it's like to be average in a world of the genetically blessed. After falling off an exercise bike and banging her head, she believes a spell has suddenly made her gorgeous. Except to everyone else, she looks exactly the same. Renee's new confidence suddenly sees her climbing the ranks at the cosmetics company she works for, getting the respect of her idol and boss, Avery LeClaire (Williams). Ultimately Renee realizes 'the spell' has lifted, but through the process learns true beauty is not skin deep.

Orgies of Edo

BBFC uncut
uncut
18 93:34s Orgies of Edo is a 1969 Japan drama by Teruo Ishii.
Starring Teruo Yoshida, Toyozô Yamamoto and Masumi Tachibana. BBFC link IMDb

UK: Passed 18 uncut for strong bloody violence, sexual and sexualised violence for:

  • 2018 Arrow Film Distributors [Subtitled] video

Summary Notes

The first story; involves a woman forced into prostitution. The second: a woman is turned on by unattractive men who has threesomes with dwarfs. Her admirer disfigures himself so she will like him. The third: a sadistic and powerful man who has bulls with flaming horns charge into a courtyard of women wearing red who are forced to strip to avoid being gored.

Samson

BBFC uncut
uncut
15 104:53s Samson is a 2018 USA action drama by Bruce Macdonald and Gabriel Sabloff (co-director).
Starring Jackson Rathbone, Billy Zane and Taylor James. BBFC link IMDb

UK: Passed 15 uncut for strong violence for:

  • 2018 Spirit Entertainment video

Summary Notes

A Hebrew with an unusual gift of strength must respond properly to the call of God on his life in order to lead his people out of enslavement. After his youthful ambition leads to a tragic marriage, his acts of revenge thrust him into direct conflict with the Philistine army. As his brother mounts a tribal rebellion, only Samson's relationship with a Philistine seductress and his final surrender - both to the Philistines and to God - turns imprisonment and blindness into final victory.

Secret Santa

BBFC uncut
uncut
18 85:05s Secret Santa is a 2018 USA horror by Adam Marcus.
Starring Michael Rady, Drew Lynch and Debra Sullivan. BBFC link IMDb

UK: Passed 18 uncut for strong bloody violence, gore for:

  • 2018 Signature Entertainment R0 DVD at UK Amazon released on 12th November 2018

 

TV on DVD Cuts Cert Run Time BBFC decisions on 10 August 2018

72 Dangerous Animals: Asia

BBFC uncut
uncut
12 46:51s 72 Dangerous Animals: Asia is a documentary TV episode
Starring Bob Brisbane (narrator). BBFC link

Featured Material:

  • Season 1, Episode 2, Jaws and Claws Passed 12 for moderate threat, bloody images, injury detail

America's Got Talent

BBFC uncut
uncut
12
PG
82:26s
82:28s
82:51s
82:29s
81:06s
81:06s
America's Got Talent is a reality filmed performance
Starring Tyra Banks, Melanie Brown and Simon Cowell. BBFC link

Featured Material:

  • Season 13, Episode 10 Passed 12 for moderate threat
  • Season 13, Episode 11 Passed 12 for moderate threat, injury detail
  • Season 13, Episode 6 Passed PG for infrequent mild sex references, language
  • Season 13, Episode 7 Passed PG for implied mild bad language
  • Season 13, Episode 8 Passed PG for mild bad language, threat, sex references
  • Season 13, Episode 9 Passed 12 for infrequent moderate bad language

Meteor Garden

BBFC uncut
uncut
12
15
PG
U
45:06s
45:12s
45:59s
44:47s
45:27s
44:45s
46:10s
45:36s
45:19s
45:18s
45:29s
46:16s
44:17s
45:00s
45:34s
46:12s
46:03s
44:32s
45:30s
46:08s
45:10s
46:55s
46:00s
45:56s
47:14s
48:03s
Meteor Garden is a comedy drama
Starring Shen Yue, Dylan Wang and Darren Chen. BBFC link

Featured Material:

  • Season 1, Episode 1 Passed PG for brief mild violence, threat
  • Season 1, Episode 10 Passed PG for mild sex references
  • Season 1, Episode 11 Passed PG for mild bad language, violence
  • Season 1, Episode 12 Passed PG for mild sex references
  • Season 1, Episode 13 Passed U for no material likely to offend or harm
  • Season 1, Episode 14 Passed U for very mild violence
  • Season 1, Episode 15 Passed U for very mild bad language, threat, violence
  • Season 1, Episode 16 Passed 12 for infrequent moderate bad language
  • Season 1, Episode 17 Passed 12 for moderate violence, discriminatory language
  • Season 1, Episode 18 Passed 15 for strong violence, threat
  • Season 1, Episode 19 Passed U for no material likely to offend or harm
  • Season 1, Episode 2 Passed PG for mild bad language, sex references
  • Season 1, Episode 20 Passed PG for mild bad language, sex references
  • Season 1, Episode 21 Passed PG for mild sex references
  • Season 1, Episode 22 Passed U for no material likely to offend or harm
  • Season 1, Episode 23 Passed PG for mild sex references
  • Season 1, Episode 24 Passed PG for mild bad language, violence, sex references
  • Season 1, Episode 25 Passed PG for infrequent mild sex references
  • Season 1, Episode 26 Passed U for very mild bad language
  • Season 1, Episode 27 Passed 12 for moderate bad language, threat, injury detail
  • Season 1, Episode 28 Passed PG for mild bad language, violence
  • Season 1, Episode 29 Passed PG for mild violence
  • Season 1, Episode 3 Passed PG for mild bad language
  • Season 1, Episode 30 Passed PG for mild bad language
  • Season 1, Episode 31 Passed PG for mild injury detail
  • Season 1, Episode 32 Passed PG for mild bad language
  • Season 1, Episode 4 Passed 12 for moderate threat

Unforgotten

BBFC uncut
uncut
12 46:13s
44:44s
Unforgotten is a crime drama by Andy Wilson.
Starring Nicola Walker, Sanjeev Bhaskar and James Fleet. BBFC link

Featured Material:

  • Season 3, Episode 1 Passed 12 for infrequent strong language, child murder theme
  • Season 3, Episode 2 Passed 12 for infrequent strong language
Coming Soon Cuts Cert Run Time BBFC decisions on 10 August 2018

 

      Trailers:
  • Anandi Gopal
  • Helicopter Eela
  • Paltan
  • Reinventing Marvin
  • Samson

 

 

Shopping: Andrei Rublev...

1966 Soviet Union biography by Andrei Tarkovsky set for US Blu-ray and DVD release on 25th September 2018 with 2 versions. A UK release has been cancelled due to BBFC cuts being required for a horse fall


Link Here 12th August 2018
Andrei Rublev is a 1966 Soviet Union historical biography by Andrei Tarkovsky (as Andrey Tarkovskiy).
Starring Anatoliy Solonitsyn, Ivan Lapikov and Nikolay Grinko. BBFC link IMDb
Cut by the BBFC for AA rated 1973 short UK cinema version. Otherwise there are two versions: a short director approved version and a longer Premiere Version.

The Director Approved Version does not contain the scene with the horse fall and so is uncut in the UK The BBFC seem to be in a bit of quandary about the level of violence giving it both 12 and 15 ratings as well as describing the level of violence as both "moderate" and "strong".

The same package was scheduled to be released in the UK too but the distributors withdrew the release when it was made known that the Premiere Version would require BBFC cuts for a horse fall.

US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated for:
  • 2018 Sony/Criterion [Premiere Version + Director Approved Cut] R0 Blu-ray at US Amazon released on 25th September 2018
  • 2018 Sony/Criterion [Premiere Version + Director Approved Cut] R0 DVD at US Amazon released on 25th September 2018

Promotional Material

Tracing the life of a renowned icon painter, the second feature by Andrei Tarkovsky vividly conjures the murky world of medieval Russia. This dreamlike and remarkably tactile film follows Andrei Rublev as he passes through a series of poetically linked scenes--snow falls inside an unfinished church, naked pagans stream through a thicket during a torchlit ritual, a boy oversees the clearing away of muddy earth for the forging of a gigantic bell--gradually emerging as a man struggling mightily to preserve his creative and religious integrity. Appearing here in the director's preferred 185-minute cut as well as the version that was originally suppressed by Soviet authorities, the masterwork Andrei Rublev is one of Tarkovsky's most revered films, an arresting meditation on art, faith, and endurance.

SPECIAL EDITION FEATURES

  • New 2K digital restoration of the director's preferred 185-minute cut, with uncompressed monaural soundtrack
  • New 2K digital transfer of the original 205-minute version of the film,
  • The Passion According to Andrei
  • Steamroller and Violin, Tarkovsky's 1961 student thesis film
  • The Three Andreis, a 1966 documentary about the writing of the film's script
  • On the Set of "Andrei Rublev," a 1966 documentary about the making of the film
  • New interviews with actor Nikolai Burlyaev and cinematographer Vadim Yusov by filmmakers Seán Martin and Louise Milne
  • New interview with film scholar Robert Bird
  • Selected-scene commentary from 1998 featuring film scholar Vlada Petric
  • New video essay by filmmaker Daniel Raim
  • New English subtitle translation
  • PLUS: An essay by critic J. Hoberman

Versions

BBFC uncut
uncut
Premiere
Version
MPAA Unrated ~205:00s US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated
BBFC uncut
uncut
Director Approved Version
MPAA Unrated ~185:00s US: Uncut and MPAA Unrated

 

 

Shopping: Love, Simon...

2018 USA gay drama by Greg Berlanti, withdrawn in India, just released on UK DVD


Link Here 12th August 2018
Love, Simon is a 2018 USA gay drama by Greg Berlanti.
Starring Katherine Langford, Nick Robinson and Jennifer Garner. BBFC link IMDb

UK: Passed 12 uncut for moderate sex references, infrequent strong language for:

  • 2018 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment R2 DVD at UK Amazon released on 6th August 2018
  • 2018 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment VoD [UK only] at UK Amazon

Other:

  • Love, Simon [Audio Description] Passed 12 for moderate sex references, infrequent strong language

India Censorship

The film was set for screening in India but was pulled at the last minute for reasons unknown. The film had been passed by Indian censors at the CBFC with an adults only 'A' rating after 2 cuts.
Summary Notes

Everyone deserves a great love story. But for Simon it's complicated: no-one knows he's gay and he doesn't know who the anonymous classmate is that he's fallen for online. Resolving both issues proves hilarious, scary and life-changing.

Additional Material:
  • Love, Simon [Additional Material, Audio Commentary With Greg Berlanti, Isaac Klausner and Isaac Aptaker]
  • Love, Simon - the Adaptation [Additional Material]
  • Love, Simon - the Squad [Additional Material]
  • Love, Simon - Deleted Scenes: Gay Bar [Additional Material]
  • Love, Simon - Deleted Scenes: Lying To Abby [Additional Material]
  • Love, Simon - Dear Atlanta [Additional Material]
  • Love, Simon - Dear Georgia [Additional Material]
  • Love, Simon - Moving Menus [Additional Material, Menu]

 

 

A Northern Soul...

Hull documentary maker rails at the BBFC for its 15 for strong language after the film was rated 12A by Hull Council


Link Here 12th August 2018
The man behind a new film about Hull's year as the UK City of Culture has hit out at censors after they gave it it 15 rating.

A Northern Soul is Hull-born award-winning documentary filmmaker Sean McAllister's take on 2017. It follows struggling factory worker Steve Arnott's dream of bringing hip-hop and rap to the city's estates in a youth project involving a converted bus.

The film was given a 12A rating by licensing councillors in Hull ahead of a recent series of initial screenings at the University of Hull and Vue cinema.

But now the BBFC has decided it should have a 15 rating for strong language.

While the documentary does feature regular use of the F-word, McAllister said swearing was what ordinary people in Hull did and claimed the decision was an attack on working-class people. On Twitter, he said:

It's a film about a working-class bloke helping kids with rap music find a better life.

McAllister commented: It's funny the swearing in The King's Speech is a lot worse, including the C-word, but that gets a 12A. He also compared the decision to the swearing on many of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsey's TV shows.

More screenings will be held on three evenings next week at Vue as well as later in the month. In response to the BBFC decision, Mr McAllister said all next week's screenings would be free to children under 15 and over 12ish.

[The censorship of strong language in films is one of the silliest aspects of film censorship. Surely young teams will be well versed in strong language, and they will have heard it all before. Surely it will make no difference if they hear the same at the cinema.

But to be fair to the film censors, strong language is one of the things that parents, maybe especially middle class parents, ask for the censors to cut or restrict.

Should the film BBFC consider the actual effect of young teens hearing strong language on screen, or should they follow the wishes of the parents?].

 

 

Inappropriate misappropriation...

French play cancelled after being on the receiving end of 'aggressive controversy'


Link Here 12th August 2018
Kanata, an upcoming French play exploring Canadian Indigenous history, was cancelled on 26 July after some of the show's producers pulled out of the project following 'aggressive controversy'.

There were no Indigenous actors cast in the Robert Lepage-directed production about fictional relationships between Indigenous Canadians and Europeans spanning 200 years.

It was set to debut at the Théâtre du Soleil in Paris this December.

The production created in a little controversy in France due to politically correct concerns about the depiction of Indigenous peoples. The controversy led to North American co-producers pulling out.

Lepage's production company Ex Machina then said in a statement:

Without their financial support, we are unable to finish creating Kanata with Théâtre du Soleil. Therefore, we are putting an end to the project.

Théâtre du Soleil described the "attempted intimidation of theatre artists" in its accompanying statement:

An intimidation unimaginable in a democratic country, that is carried out largely on social media networks in the name of an ideology that the Théâtre du Soleil does not wish to qualify here but to which it will respond with its own tools.

 

 

On a personal whim...

Victorian government bans Sky News from its railway stations over a politically incorrect interview not actually screened on the station service


Link Here 12th August 2018
The government of the Australian state of Victoria has banned Sky News from providing a news service for screening at Melbourne's train stations.

Jacinta Allan, Victoria's transport minister, took offence at a Sky News interview with the far-right extremist Blair Cottrell. The interview was not screened on the train station service but clearly rankled the politician for its political incorrectness. Allan tweeted:

I've directed @MetroTrains to remove @skynewsaustralia from all CBD station screens. Hatred and racism have no place on our screens or in our community.

The decision has sparked a backlash from Sky and other News Corp publications. Political editor David Speers said the Andrews government was motivated by frustration over the coverage it received on Sky, and from the Herald Sun, which is also owned by News Corp. Speers said the network had confirmed the Cottrell interview had not aired on train station screens in Melbourne .

Speers also noted that Blair Cottrell has appeared in interviews on all the other Australian news channels too.

 

 

Killing speech softly...

How the world's biggest tech companies are quietly censoring critical expression in the Middle East


Link Here 12th August 2018

Following the Charlie Hebdo shootings in January 2015, Facebook co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg posted a message reflecting on religion, free expression and the controversial editorial line of the magazine:

A few years ago, an extremist in Pakistan fought to have me sentenced to death because Facebook refused to ban content about Mohammed that offended him.

We stood up for this because different voices -- even if they're sometimes offensive -- can make the world a better and more interesting place.

Later that same month, Facebook agreed to restrict access to an unspecified number of pages for "offending prophet Muhammad" in Turkey at the request of local authorities.

Turkey is notorious for the number of requests it makes to internet companies to remove content for violating its local laws, but it is not the only government in the Middle East to resort to such tactic to silence critical voices.

While a number of the region's governments sometimes make direct requests for content removal -- along with exerting "soft" pressure through other means -- the failures of tech giants in moderating content in the region is a much bigger and more complex problem.

Abuse of flagging mechanisms

Across the region, social media platform "flagging" mechanisms are often abused to silence government critics, minority groups or views and forms of expression deemed not to be in line with the majority's beliefs on society, religion and politics.

In 2016, Facebook suspended several Arabic-language pages and groups dedicated to atheism following massive flagging campaigns.

This effectively eliminated one of the few (in some cases, the only) spaces where atheists and other minorities could come together to share their experiences, and freely express themselves on matters related to religion. Across the region, atheism remains a taboo that could be met with harassment, imprisonment or even murder. Jessica Anderson, a project manager at onlinecensorship.org which documents cases of content takedowns by social media platforms, told Global Voices:

[Abusive flagging] is a significant problem.

In the Middle East as well as other geographies, we have documented cases of censorship resulting from 'flagging campaigns'--coordinated efforts by many users to report a single page or piece of content.

Flagging mechanisms are also abused by pro-government voices. Earlier this year, Middle East Eye reported that several Egyptian political activists had their pages or accounts suspended and live-streams shut down, after they were reported by "pro-government trolls."  Anderson said:

What we have seen is that flagging can exacerbate existing power imbalances, empowering the majority to 'police' the minority The consequences of this issue can be severe: communities that are already marginalized and oppressed lose access to the benefits of social media as a space to organize, network, and be heard.

Failure to consider user rights, in context

This past May, Apple joined the ranks of Facebook and Twitter -- the more commonly-cited social media platforms in this realm -- when the iTunes store refused to upload fives songs by the Lebanese band Al-Rahel Al-Kabir. The songs mocked religious fundamentalism and political oppression in the region.

A representative from iTunes explained that the Dubai-based Qanawat, a local content aggregator hired by Apple to manage its store for the region, elected not to upload the songs. An anonymous source told The Daily Star that iTunes did not know about Qanawat's decision, which it made due to "local sensitivities." In response to a petition from Beirut-based digital rights NGO SMEX and the band itself, iTunes uploaded the songs and pledged to work with another aggregator.

This case does not only illustrate how "local sensitivities" can interfere with decisions about which types of content get to be posted and stay online in the region, but also shows that companies need to practice due diligence when taking decisions likely to affect users' freedom of expression rights.

Speaking to Global Voices, Mohamad Najem, co-founder of SMEX pointed out that both Facebook and Twitter have their regional offices located in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which he described as one of the "most repressive countries" in the region. He said: "This is a business decision that will affect free speech in a negative way,"

He further expressed concern that the choice of having an office in a country like the UAE "can sometimes lead to enforcing Gulf social norm[s]" on an entire [Arab] region that is "dynamic and different."

Location, location, location

Facebook and Twitter have offices in the UAE that are intended to serve the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), a region that is ethnically, culturally and linguistically diverse, and presents a wide range of political viewpoints and experiences. When companies are pressured by oppressive governments or other powerful groups to respect "local sensitivities," they are being complicit in shutting down expression of such diversity. Anderson said:

"Platforms seem to take direction from louder, more powerful voices...In the Middle East, [they] have not been able to stand up to powerful interests like governments,"

Take, for example, Facebook's willingness to comply with the Turkish government's censorship demands. Throughout the years, the company was involved in censoring criticism of the government, religion and the republic's founder Ataturk, Kurdish activists , LGBT content and even an anti-racism initiative .

Facebook's complicity with these requests appears to be deeply ingrained. I spoke to a Turkish activist two years ago who told me that he believed the platform "was turning into a pro-government media." Today, the platform continues to comply, restricting access to more than 4,500 pieces of content inside the country in 2017 alone. Facebook is not transparent about the number and rates of requests it complies with.  Arzu Geybulla, a freelance writer who covers Turkey and Azerbaijan for Global Voices said:

The biggest shortcoming in [the] ways platforms deal with takedown requests is [their] lack of understanding of the political contexts. And even if there is some kind of idea of what is happening on the ground, I am not entirely sure, there is always due diligence involved.

In conference settings, representatives from Facebook are routinely faced with questions about massive flagging campaigns. They maintain that multiple abuse reports on a single post or page do not automate the process of the post or page being removed. But they offer little concrete information about how the company does see and respond to these situations. Does the company review the content more closely? Facebook representatives also say that they consult with local experts on these issues, but the specifics of these consultations are similarly opaque.

And the work of moderating content -- deciding what meets local legal standards and Facebook's own policies -- is not easy. Anderson from onlinecensorship.org said:

Content moderation is incredibly labor intensive. As the largest platforms continue to grow, these companies are attempting to moderate a staggering volume of content. Workers (who may not have adequate knowledge and training, and may not be well paid) have to make snap decisions about nuanced and culturally-specific content, leading to frequent mistakes and inconsistencies.

For activists and human rights advocates in the region, it is also difficult to know the scope of this problem due to lack of corporate transparency. Cases like that of iTunes may be occurring more often than is publicly known -- it is only when someone speaks out about being censored that these practices come to light.

 

 

This is Nigeria...

Land of music censorship and repression


Link Here 12th August 2018
A Nigerian radio station has been fined by the National Broadcasting Commission (NBC) for playing music with vulgar and indecent lyrics in July and August.

NBC fined Global Communications Ltd 100,000 Naira (240 euros) for breaching parts of its code by airing three songs: This is Nigeria by Falz, Iskaba by Wande Coal, and See Mary, See Jesus by Olamide.

The Commission has observed with 'great concern' the continuous airing of vulgar and indecent music lyrics in spite  of warnings both verbal and written to the station.

In the case of This is Nigeria it seems likely that the censors simply do not like the criticism of the country as video depicts violent crime, criminality and less than pious religiosity.

 

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