Rocketman is a 2019 UK / USA musical music biography by Dexter Fletcher.
Starring Bryce Dallas Howard, Taron Egerton and Richard Madden.
A musical fantasy about the fantastical human story of Elton John's breakthrough years.
Rocketman follows in the footsteps of the similarly gay themed Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsod y. Perhaps with an eye on repeating the successful formula of the earlier sanitised and PG-13 rated biopic, Hollywood producers
Paramount seemed to have been pushing for Rocketman to get a PG-13 rating.
Paramount demanded that Rocketman director Dexter Fletcher and producer Matthew Vaughn cut a 40-second scene that depicts Elton John and one-time lover and manager John Reid, writhing on a bed. Fully exposed white derrieres are on display, but
the nude escapade is tastefully done.
However it seems that the film makers won the argument as the film ended up with an R rating that confirms the sexual content.
In the UK, the film was passed 15 uncut for drug misuse, sex, very strong language.
The debate has now been reprised in Australia where the distributors preferred a cut M (PG-15) rated release over the uncut version awarded an MA15+. The distributors duly cut the film and resubmitted it but the censors decided that the
distributors had not cut enough for an M rating and stuck with the MA15+ rating.
Note that the issues causing concern for the Australian film censors are related to strong language rather than the gay themes.
The distributors have now appealed the decision and hope that Review Board can be convinced to award an M rating.
In an unprecedented attack on press freedom in Australia, 23 journalists and 13 media outlets have been hit with charges relating to the child sexual abuse trial of Catholic cardinal George Pell. The accused include Australia's two biggest
newspaper companies, Rupert Murdoch's Nationwide News and the former Fairfax group now owned by broadcaster Nine, as well as leading newspaper editors and reporters.
The media and reporters are accused of abetting contempt of court by the foreign press and of scandalising the court by breaching a gagging order, despite none of them reporting on the charges involved or mentioning Pell by name. The court had
banned all reporting of the case pending a second trial that was later cancelled.
Some foreign media, including The New York Times and the Washington Post , reported Pell's conviction in December, while local media ran cryptic articles complaining that they were being prevented from reporting a story of major public interest.
Matthew Collins, representing the accused media at the first hearing on the matter today, said such wide-ranging contempt charges had no precedent in Australian legal history. Collins added that a guilty verdict on any of the charges would have a
chilling effect on open justice in Australia. He insisted that the contempt allegations lacked specific examples of how any of the accused news companies or journalists actually breached the gag order when they never mentioned Pell or the crimes
for which he was convicted.