The House That Jack Built is a 2018 Denmark / France / Germany / Sweden horror thriller by Lars von Trier.
Starring Matt Dillon, Bruno Ganz and Uma Thurman.
USA in the 1970s. We follow the highly intelligent Jack over a span of 12 years and are introduced to the murders that define Jack's development as a serial killer. We experience the story from Jack's point of view, while he postulates each
murder is an artwork in itself. As the inevitable police intervention is drawing nearer, he is taking greater and greater risks in his attempt to create the ultimate artwork. Along the way we experience Jack's descriptions of his personal
condition, problems and thoughts through a recurring conversation with the unknown Verge - a grotesque mixture of sophistry mixed with an almost childlike self-pity and psychopathic explanations. The House That Jack Built is a dark and sinister
story, yet presented through a philosophical and occasional humorous tale.
Lars von Trier's The House That Jack Built premiered at the Cannes Film Festival Monday night. Variety's Ramin Setoodeh reported that 100 viewes exited in protest, while others on social media estimated half the film-goers departed early.
It's disgusting, one woman said on her way out. Maybe something to do with the depicted mutilation of women and children.
The film screened out of competition but it was the day's major festival draw for visiting critics and press, some of whom tweeted that the vile, vomitive footage should not have been made. Nonetheless, the crowd saluted von Trier with a
10-minute standing ovation.
Matt Dillon stars as the namesake knifeman, gunman, bludgeoner, and strangler. Set during the 70s, the film tracks five deaths 204 including characters played by Uma Thurman and Riley Keough Jack brags that he has lived a punishment-free
life, but he fantasizes about notoriety: David Bowie's Fame plays as he cues one victim to scream, and drags another body, wrapped in plastic, attached to his van's bumper.
It appears that the Johnny Depp psychological horror thriller from 2004, of Secret Window, an adaptation of a Stephen King book, proved too much for The Horror Channel who censored it for the early evening showing on this Sunday night.
The jump cut is to when Depp's character finds his mutilated and very dead dog outside his wooden cabin wrapped under a sheet. All we see is a very quick 5 second jump cut and a micro flash to the dog, instead of seeing its head and then slightly
later full body shot under the sheet at 24 mins 57 secs lasting until 25 mins and 2 secs (NTSC timings).
Surprising cut since The Horror Channel often shows bloody trailers throughout the day of far worse scenes of new films going to be shown for the next month as well as current films.
Maybe suspicions of a BBFC influenced animal cruelty cuts policy here on said channel?
The Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC) at the University of Pennsylvania have claimed in a report that parents would prefer
to PG-15 to a PG-13 for Hollywood movies featuring gunplay. The researchers write:
Parents are more willing to let their children see intense gun violence in PG-13 movies when the violence appears to be "justified," used in defense of a loved one or for self-protection, than when it has no socially redeeming purpose,
a new study finds.
But even when the gun violence in PG-13 movies appears justified, parents think that the movies are more suitable for teens age 15 and up, two years older than suggested by the movie industry ratings board's PG-13 rating. Parents thought movies
with unjustified but bloodless gun violence were more appropriate for 16-year-olds, the study finds.
The study, Parental Desensitization to Gun Violence in PG-13 Movies , by researchers at the Annenberg Public Policy Center was
in the journal Pediatrics on May 14 and will be in the June issue. Lead author Daniel Romer, research director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center (APPC), said:
"The findings suggest that parents may want a new rating, PG-15, for movies with intense violence," "Violent movies often get a PG-13 rating by omitting the consequences of violence such as blood and suffering, and by making
the use of violence seem justified. But parents of teenagers say that even scenes of justified violence are upsetting and more appropriate for teens who are at least 15."
The rise of gun violence in PG-13 movies
Past studies by APPC researchers found that gun violence in the most popular PG-13 movies has more than doubled since the rating was introduced in 1984, and now exceeds the gun violence in comparable R-rated films. In the earliest years of the
PG-13 rating, less than a third of the 30 top-grossing movies were rated PG-13 but recently more than half were PG-13. In past research on the growing acceptance of gun violence in PG-13 films, APPC researchers found that parents appeared to
become desensitized to violence as they watched successive movie clips.
The current experiment was designed to understand whether parents became more accepting of the movie violence because they were being emotionally numbed to it or whether the justification for the violence influenced them. Could justified violence
be less upsetting than unjustified violence? And could parents who repeatedly saw the kind of bloodless, justified violence featured in PG-13 movies become so accustomed to it that they experience a kind of "normative desensitization"
that leads to greater acceptance of its viewing by children?
In an online experiment, the APPC researchers showed movie clips to a national sample of 610 parents who have at least one child between the ages 6 and 17. Parents viewed a series of four 90-second clips of either justified or unjustified
violence from popular movies. The scenes of justified violence came from the PG-13 movies "Live Free or Die Hard" (2007), "White House Down" (2013), "Terminator Salvation" (2009), and "Taken" (2008). The
clips of unjustified violence came from the PG-13 movies "Skyfall" (2012) and "Jack Reacher" (2012) and the R-rated films "Sicario" (2015) and "Training Day" (2001).
Scenes from the R-rated movies were edited to remove graphic and potentially upsetting consequences such as blood and suffering to mimic the effect of PG-13 movies. (PG-13 means parents are strongly cautioned that some material "may be
inappropriate for children under 13." The more restricted R rating means viewers under 17 must be accompanied by a parent or adult.)
Parents less upset by justified violence
Instead of being emotionally desensitized, parents grew increasingly upset as they watched the succession of movie clips, whether the violence was justified or not (see figure above). But parents were less upset by the justified violence and more
lenient in deciding the appropriate age for a child to watch it. Most of the parents said the movies with justified violence were suitable starting at age 15, while the movies with unjustified violence were appropriate starting at age 16 (see
One exception: The parents who were frequent moviegoers were the most permissive, saying that movies with unjustified violence were suitable for 13-year-olds.
As parents watched the series of movie scenes of unjustified gun violence, they became more restrictive on the appropriate age for viewing, the study found. But that wasn't true with the justified scenes of violence, where parents' opinion of the
appropriate viewing age held steady. The researchers also found that when watching the successive justified movie clips, parents increasingly regarded the gun violence itself as justified.
Media violence and children
The American Academy of Pediatrics has been long concerned about the effects of media violence. In a statement in 2016, the academy pointed to a body of research showing that viewing violent media content can influence some youth to become more
A recent study by Ohio State University researchers found that children 8 to 12 years old who saw scenes of a PG-rated movie with guns played longer with a real gun and pulled the trigger more often than children who saw a movie without guns.
"Despite such evidence, we still don't know whether repeatedly seeing movies with justified violence teaches children that using guns is OK if they think it's justified,"
"Hollywood is exploiting the movie rating system by leaving out harmful consequences like blood and suffering from PG-13 films. By sanitizing the effects of violence, moviemakers are able to get a PG-13 rating and a wider audience for their
films. But this gun violence may be just as brutal and potentially harmful to young viewers."
Lost in the Fumes is a 2017 Hong Kong documentary by Nora Lam.
Starring Cres Chuang, Bamboo Chu-Sheng Chen and Leon Dai.
Edward Leung was an average student before he unexpectedly finds himself at the focal point of two Legislative Council elections. While winning over 60,000 votes in the By-election would have guaranteed Edward a seat in the next round, his
ticket to LegCo is forfeited when the regime imposes extra measures in the nomination process. Having once claimed that 'be it crawling or creeping in, I will become a councillor', he can now only take the sidelines and put the backup Baggio
Leung into the race. On the other hand, Edward finds his free days numbered as he faces three counts of rioting charges for taking part in the Mong Kok Protest. Once an eloquent rising star in politics, now he may as well be a doomed prisoner.
As the oath-taking controversy and the disqualification saga unfold, Edward retreats from the spotlight and decides to leave for further study in the United States while chaos continues to reign over Hong Kong politics.
Thanks to its politically provocative subject matter, Lost in Fumes , a documentary made by a 22-year-old on a minuscule budget, has become Hong Kong's hottest ticket in the past six months. But because of that same subject matter, no commercial
film exhibitor in the city has been willing to touch it.
The film's fate has renewed fears in Hong Kong's entertainment sector about the continued erosion of freedom of speech. Since November, it has been playing to packed houses at Hong Kong's Art Centre, at colleges and universities and in impromptu
underground community screenings. But the film's subject, Edward Leung's political stance -- which falls somewhat outside the local mainstream and is viewed by the ruling Communist Party in Beijing as a serious threat to its sovereignty over Hong
Kong -- has meant that most local business leaders would rather run a mile to avoid being associated with the film for fear of social or political reprisal.
The film's director, Nora Lam commented:
Self-censorship is a more serious issue than it appears in Hong Kong. There is nothing written and no law as yet restricting what people can say, so theoretically we still have freedom of speech, she notes. But people are afraid of the
consequences, and this fear is more far-reaching than official oppression.
Before a movie is released in German theaters, the Freiwillige Selbstkontrolle Fernsehen ( FSK) decides on an
age rating so as to protect children from 'harmful influences'.
The FSK is based on voluntary self censorship to buffer the local film industry from controversy and state censorship. The organisation is based in the German Film House in Wiesbaden. Around 280 volunteers review thousands of films every year and
decide which age groups to show - from age 6, age 12, age 16 or 18.
FSK's 280 volunteers have no connection to the film industry. They pursue different professions, but have experience in dealing with children and adolescents, and know their stages of development. FSK spokesman Stefan Linz told DW:
Five days a week, we carry out investigations in various committees.
The basis for the work of the FSK is the German Youth Protection Act, which provides for different age ratings for media. The color white means that there are no restrictions for a movie. For the age group of six to twelve years is yellow. Green
requires parenting for ages of six or twelve. From the age of 16, the category is blue, while red indicates that a movie is not considered suitable for young people under the age of 18.
The law also defines the rules of assessment of media. For example, a film may not be shown to children of a certain age group if the examiners believe that it could affect their development as self-responsible and socially competent people. Linz
Of course this is totally abstract to the assessment of content that could potentially be problematic. But not only can we say that about us, but about all forms of protection of minors around the world, especially the portrayal of violence,
sexuality, the use of drugs, alcohol and nicotine, bad role models and antisocial behavior or threats to others.
The origin of the FSK dates back to the postwar period. At that time, the Allies strove to denazify all social and social aspects in Germany, and to build the then West Germany as a democratic state with freedom of expression. Representatives of
the German film industry, who had come back from exile, together with American occupation authorities in 1948 built a voluntary self-control system for the film industry after the model of the American system of that time.
From these initiatives finally the FSK was born, which gave its first film evaluation on 18 July 1949. The film Intimitäten by Paul Martin (1944) was not suitable for young people under 16 - and may not be shown on some religious holidays.
In the former GDR, all films were controlled by socialist authorities, until after the reunification of the new states joined the FSK.
German age guidelines differ those of the USA. For example the German film Toni Erdmann , which was produced in 2016 and became a worldwide hit and received an Oscar nomination, was rated R by the MPAA in the USA. This stipulates that
young people under the age of 17 are only allowed to watch the movie when accompanied by an adult. The rationale was: The film contains heavily sexualized content, graphic nudity, violent language and short scenes of drug abuse. In Germany, the
FSK judged the same film as suitable for adolescents from the age of 12, this restriction being justified by a somewhat strange, emotionless sex scene without intercourse. The aspects cited by MPAA , that is, language, drugs and nudity, played no
role for the FSK - despite a rather extensive naked party scene.
According to Stefan Linz, the differences between age ratings by the FSK and MPAA are explained by cultural attitudes. In particular, Germans and Americans have a completely different attitude to nudity. While there has long been a large naturist
scene in Germany, public nudity in the US is still considered scandalous.
The FSK does not classify nudity in itself as problematic, says Linz, referring to documentation on nudist communities that have been released for all ages. However, FSK is less generous when nudity in a movie has a sexual meaning or occurs in a
Linz is also of the opinion that attitudes to linguistic usage also differ in the German and English-speaking world. However, this aspect also points to differences in the approach of FSK and MPAA. In the eyes of the American institution, the
repeated use of sexual terms as a swear word justifies an age restriction.
By contrast, in the FSC, numerical ratios are irrelevant when assessing language. Instead, more emphasis is placed on the specific context. Who speaks like the swear word? When a couple of bad words fly back and forth between friends, for example
in hip-hop circles, that has a very different meaning than if the same nasty word is used in a discriminatory or even directly offensive manner, says Linz.
In 2002, the movie Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets caused a change in the rules. From then on, children between the ages of six and twelve were allowed to watch films for children from the age of 12 if accompanied by a parent.
Spectre is a 2015 USA / UK action adventure thriller by Sam Mendes.
Starring Daniel Craig, Christoph Waltz and Ralph Fiennes.
A cryptic message from Bond's past sends him on a trail to uncover a sinister organization. While M battles political forces to keep the secret service alive, Bond peels back the layers of deceit to reveal the terrible truth behind SPECTRE.
The BBFC has detailed cuts to Spectre in a new case study. The BBFC explains:
Columbia submitted Spectre to the BBFC in August 2015, for advice on whether it was likely to meet the BBFC Guidelines criteria for 12A. At this stage the film had no title sequence, end credits were missing and some special effects work was
unfinished, but the Senior Compliance Officers (then Senior Examiners) who viewed it noted it was largely complete. The BBFC advised that a 15 rating seemed the most probable outcome, citing strong bloody detail during a scene of eye-gouging and
further bloody detail in the aftermath of the suicide of a terminally ill man.
The distributor chose to reduce or remove elements of these scenes. BBFC staff viewed a re-edited version and advised that, now without strong bloody detail, the film was likely to be classified at 12A.
The eye-gouging in the version seen for advice showed a man embedding his thumbs in a victim's eye-sockets, the withdrawal of the thumbs, and sight of the bloody injury aftermath. The 12A version of the film retained only an establishing shot of
the thumbs being inserted, together with a reverse angle shot from behind the victim's head, with thumbs emerging slightly bloody.
The original suicide scene in the version submitted for advice showed a man place a gun underneath his chin and fire, with a spray of bloody mist. Two subsequent shots showed what might have been interpreted as brain tissue hanging down from the
back of his head. In the 12A version of the film, the suicide took place off-screen, and the injury detail was reduced.
Spectre also features a scene of torture in which Bond is strapped to a chair while a villain pierces his head with a micro-drill. The scene features no graphic sight of blood or injury detail, and instead uses sound and Bond's facial
expressions to suggest his pain. A broadly similar torture scene is present in a previous Bond film -- Casino Royale , also rated 12A -- and, given the lack of detail, and the audience's expectation that Bond will survive such threats, the BBFC
considered the scene to be within the 12A Guidelines for depictions of violence.
Rafiki is a 2018 Kenya / South Africa drama by Wanuri Kahiu.
Starring Patricia Amira, Muthoni Gathecha and Jimmy Gathu.
Rafiki, which means friend in Swahili, is adapted from the 2007 Caine Prize-winning short story, Jambula Tree, by Ugandan writer Monica Arac Nyeko. It follows two close friends, Kena and Ziki, who eventually fall in love despite their
families being on opposing sides of the political divide.
The first Kenyan film to debut at the Cannes Film Festival has been banned in Kenya due to its lesbian storyline.
The Kenya Film Classification Board (KFCB) claimed the film seeks to legitimize lesbian romance. KFCB warned that anyone found in possession of the film would be in breach of the law in Kenya, where gay sex is punishable by 14 years.
The film's director Wanuri Kahiu told the BBC: I really had hoped that the classification board would classify it as an 18. Because we feel the Kenyan audience is a mature, discerning enough audience.
The film, which will be shown in Cannes next month,
Cinema films in the Indian state of Kerala are soon set to display a statutory warning when showing scenes
that depict violence against women.
This comes after the Kerala State Human Rights Commission issued a directive to the regional office of the Central Board of Film Certification (CBFC), asking the board to include a statutory warning that violence against women is punishable under
the law, when showing scenes that portray crimes against the gender. The Commission claimed that showing violent sexual crimes on screen could influence youngsters and hoped that displaying the statutory warning may create a positive impact.
Regional officer of CBFC, A Prathibha, told TNM that the board is open to complying with the Commission's directive. He said:
We have informed the CBFC Chairman about the directive and hope to arrive at a decision within 30 days. Since we agree with the Commission's observation that a warning that such acts are punishable must be displayed, I am certain the Chairman
will issue a favourable order soon,
However, he added:
We don't have a clear picture as to how to implement this.