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 Movie News

 2011: Jan-March



29th March   

Sucker Punch...

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Supporting the hype over cuts for an MPAA PG-13 rating
Link Here  full story: Sucker Punch...Moralists rant at the low age rating

Sucker Punch DVD Emily Browning Actress Emily Browning has criticized the MPAA's treatment of a love scene she filmed with Jon Hamm for forthcoming action flick Sucker Punch , written and directed by Zack Snyder.

Browning said:

I had a very tame and mild love scene with Jon Hamm. It was like heavy breathing and making out. It was hardly a sex scene... I think that it's great for this young girl to actually take control of her own sexuality. Well, the MPAA doesn't like that. They don't think a girl should ever be in control of her own sexuality because they're from the Stone Age. I don't know what the fuck is going on and I will openly criticize it, happily. So essentially, they got Zack to edit the scene and make it look less like she's into it. And Zack said he edited it down to the point where it looked like he was taking advantage of her. That's the only way he could get a PG-13 (rating) and he said, 'I don't want to send that message.' So they cut the scene!

See  article from  shadowlocked.com

Snyder has said that the love scene and deletions for violence will be available amongst the deleted scenes of both the DVD and Blu-ray releases.

In regards to additional action, Synder has been quoted as saying that ...the Blu-ray release will feature at least 18 minutes which had to be cut to meet the MPAA's PG-13 regulations .

 

29th March   

Update: Unhatcheted...

Melon farming Fresh
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See further details
Melon Farming Fresh

 

Americans impressed by the uncut UK release of Hatchet II
Link Here

Hatchet Poster Movie 11 Inches The BBFC have passed Hatchet II 18 uncut with the BBFC comment: Contains strong bloody violence and gore.

This is the unrated version that caused so much hassle in the US when the distributors tried for an unrated release as opposed toe the usual R rated release. The exhibitors pulled out after just a few days.

The hassle free UK certificate has been noted and compared with the US release in an  article from  dreadcentral.com :

See how simple that was? No police in theatres. No shutdowns. No silly controversy. Just pay for your ticket and see a movie about a swamp monster with a wireless belt sander. That's right, kids! The UK will be getting Hatchet II as it was meant to be seen when it opens there in theatres this week. Free of all the MPAA stupidity and hoopla.

According to Adam Green, hatchet II has received an 18 Rating with NO cuts enforced. When it opens in cinemas on Friday in the UK - you'll be getting the uncut film!

We sure could take a page from our friends across the pond.

 

27th March   

Update: Shit Censorship...

Censored version of King's Speech fast tracked onto US screens
Link Here  full story: The King's Speech...Censors in need of therapy over strong language

Kings Speech DVD Colin Firth America's MPAA lumbered the uncut King's Speech with an R-rating on account of 'strong language in a speech therapy context'. Worried about the impact this decision might have on the film's box office, the Weinstein Co. have opted to release a new PG-13 in the hopes of attracting a wider audience. The new cut version is set for release in 1,000 screens.

While such a re-release would usually have to wait 90 days from when the old version was pulled from cinemas, however MPAA bosses have signed a waiver which will allow the PG-13 version to be released in quicker succession.

With the Weinstein Co. preparing to head a marketing campaign to explain the changes to America's movie-going public, the new version will feature a number of muted fuck 's, and a few instances in which shit has been substituted in instead.

 

26th March   

Sex and 3D Zen...

Hong Kong film update scores some good hype
Link Here  full story: 3-D Sex and Zen...Hong Kong erotic movie in 3D

3d sex and zen extreme ecstasy The Hong Kong producers of 3-D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy are presenting Singapore with a heavily self-censored release with more than 18 minutes of cuts, executive producer Stephen Shiu Jr. told The Hollywood Reporter.

Executive producer Shiu and director Christopher Sun have sliced off scenes of group sex, oral sex, sadomasochism, and those linking religion and sex for a tamer, 110-minute version for easily offended cinema goers in Singapore. Even then there will be a 21 years age restriction.

We have to trim the major parts of a scene of a female character seducing a monk, said Shiu, adding no physical contact is allowed between a woman and a person in a religious order. We're told that any portrayal of religion and portrayal of sex must be separate.

The same cut version will be released in India.

Three minutes of footage depicting group sex has been left on the cutting floor for the South Korean edition.

The $3 million 3D film has been sold to Singapore, India, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, France, Peru, and Russia.

The enthusiastic international demand serves as compensation for not having the lucrative Chinese market, the filmmakers had ruled out any possibility of bringing the film into China from the outset.

The Hong Kong theatrical version of the period sex romp is set and approved for release on April 14 at 118 minutes, but a full 129-minute director's cut has been made. The producers will decide whether to release it in Hong Kong cinemas depending on public demand and local censors, or on DVD.

European distributors can choose between the two versions.

3D Sex and Zen is a reimagining of the 1991 Category III hit Sex and Zen , produced by Shiu's father Stephen Shiu Sr., which broke records with more than HK$20 million ($2.6 million) at the box office and ushered in an era of Category III erotica in the 1990s. Shiu Sr. produced and wrote the script for the 3D update.

As executive producer, Shui Jr. described the film, in all its versions, as bolder and more graphic than 9 1/2 Weeks , but not to the level of Caligula .

 

21st March   

Michael Gough...

A great servant for the movies dies aged 94
Link Here

michael gough Michael Gough achieved cult status for his roles in the Hammer horror films of the 1960s but became better known as Alfred the butler in Tim Burton's Batman films.

He was also an accomplished stage actor, bringing finesse, variety and passion to some of the longest, most difficult and sometimes dangerous roles in drama.

Poised and distinguished-looking, with an eloquent speaking voice and a long-lipped sneer, Gough deployed his talent for depicting seducers, serial killers and other well-bred villains to menacing effect as a deranged writer in Herman Cohen's Horrors of the Black Museum (1959). Gough (whom Cohen referred to as the cheaper version of Vincent Price ) also featured in Black Zoo (1963), Berserk (1967) and Trog (1970).

In his middle and later years, Gough tended to be cast as the archetypal remote British gentleman. But when Burton was looking to cast Batman's butler it was Gough's role in schlock-horror films, so bad Burton had been unable to forget them, that commended him: I know that man, he's in terrible films! Gough recalled Burton exclaiming.

Beginning with Batman (1989), Gough played Alfred Pennyworth in four Batman films and continued to work with Burton on Sleepy Hollow, Corpse Bride and Alice in Wonderland .

Yet he always regarded the stage as his true calling. Towards the end of his theatrical career he won ecstatic reviews for a hilarious performance in Alan Ayckbourn's Bedroom Farce (1977). The play transferred to New York, winning Gough a Tony award.

 

17th March   

Updated: The Devil on Pall Mall...

I Saw the Devil to be shown in London with local council permission rather than a BBFC certificate
Link Here

Saw Devil DVD Choi Moo Seong I Saw The Devil is a South Korean revenge thriller. It has rarely been released uncut, even in its home country, due to levels of graphic violence that would give Antichrist a run for its money. It's also totally excellent.

There are several rape scenes, one of which, is sure to cause trouble at the BBFC. It's a rape scene in which the female victim starts to enjoy it midway through the proceedings. This particular rape myth has always been a major bugbear for the BBFC.

Distributors  Optimum aren't seeking a cinema rating for the film. Instead they have secured permission from Westminster council to show the film uncut exclusively at the ICA from 29th April 2011 (adults only).

The film is scheduled for a DVD/Blu-ray release on 9th May 2011.

Promotional Material from UK Amazon :

“The best serial killer film since Se7en "--Arrow In The Head

A psychotic serial killer is on the loose, committing some of the most diabolical crimes the police have ever witnessed. No one is safe as the body count rises and the killer continues his evil odyssey of sadistic butchery. But when the fiancée of an elite special agent becomes one of his victims, a personal investigation becomes a merciless and brutal game of vengeance. As one violent encounter leads to another, it’s a game where the hunter becomes as unhinged as the hunted.

Directed by one of Korea’s most notorious and revered directors Kim Ji-Woon ( A Tale Of Two Sisters ), I Saw The Devil is as action packed and thrilling as it is extremely dark and disturbing. Reuniting the director with actor Lee Byung-Hun ( A Bittersweet Life, Hero, The Good, The Bad And The Weird ) it also stars Asian cinema legend Choi Min-Sik ( Oldboy ).

Update: Passed 18 without BBFC cuts on DVD

17th March 2011. See  article from  bbfc.co.uk

BBFC logo I Saw the Devil has been passed 18 without BBFC cuts for Optimum DVD/online with the comment: Contains very strong bloody violence and strong sex.

The running time was noted as 138:06s which stacks up with the most commonly quoted 144 minute runtime in NTSC/film. There are however other mentions of a 141 minute version (perhaps the cut Korean version) and a 147 minute version.

From IMDb:

Kim Jee-woon made seven cuts totaling 80 to 90 seconds in order to receive a Korean over 18 restricted rating. Cuts were made to a scene of body parts being eaten by a dog and humans, and a human body being mutilated. Before the censorship, the Korean censors twice gave it a rating that would have prevented a video and mainstream theatrical release.

 

12th March   

Cannibalised for Parts...

Ruggero Deodato enlisted to produce a new high definition, animal friendly version of Cannibal Holocaust
Link Here

Cannibal Holocaust DVD Cannibal Holocaust is 1979 Italian cannibal horror by Ruggero Deodato. It was once one of the most notable video nasties during the 1980's moral panic.

Later in 2001 it was passed 18 after a substantial 5:44s  of cuts for DVD. The BBFC commented: Cuts required to scenes involving real cruelty to animals and to eroticised sexual violence

The cuts were:

  • The killing of a muskrat has been deleted
  • Our intrepid adventurers witness the riverside murder and mutilation of a woman presumably by her husband. We don't get to witness:
    • the girl being dragged through the mud and having her legs forced apart
    • the girl struggling and being raped with a wooden dildo
    • the man raising a mudball with spikes and the subsequent shot of genital mutilation
  • Another woman getting raped on the river bank has been removed
  • The disembowelling of a giant turtle has been predictably deleted
  • A monkey gets his head sliced open and its blood is drained into a bowl...but not in the censored version
  • The kicking of a tethered pig has been removed and its subsequent shooting and death
  • The rape one of a native girl by 3 men has been reduced
  • The cannibals eventually overpower the adventurers. The woman in the party gets stripped and raped but not in the UK version.
  • The woman's death scene is missing nudity shots.

Moving on to 2011 it was felt that the cuts for violence would now be waived. However the animal cruelty cuts are still likely to be required. It was also felt that it would be better to re-edit the film to work around the inevitable animal cruelty cuts. And who better to re-edit the film than its director Ruggero Deodato.

Shameless are now working with Deodato on the all-new edit. Deodato is also overseeing production of a new HD master from which the DVD and Blu-ray will be produced.

The new version will be released in summer 2011 with a premiere at Cine-Excess , the Cult Film Conference and Festival at the Odeon Covent Garden, London, 26-28th May.

 

12th March   

Update: Throwing Out the Baby...

US release details for A Serbian Film
Link Here  full story: A Serbian Film...Hype for the most 'outrageous' horror yet

a serbian film poster Fangoria have revealed the US release details for A Serbian Film:

Distributor Invincible Pictures said that Srdjan Spasojevic's movie will play select theaters across North America from May 13 in an edited version. The unrated A Serbian Film will be released exclusively via digital media distribution outfit FlixFling the same day.

CEO Tom Ashley said: It was always our intention to release this film uncut, but given the recent charges against Sitges director Angel Sala, we have decided to release an edited version. We believe this film deserves to be seen as the filmmakers originally intended and hope to be able to release A Serbian Film uncut in the future.

 

11th March   

Re-Animator the Musical...

Sounds Fun
Link Here

re-animator the musical 1 For the month of March, Hollywood's happening place will be the front rows of the Steve Allen Theater, where the cheeky, cheesy Re-Animator: The Musical elicits cheers with each spurt of blood and gore making its way over the footlights. Little protection is offered by management's complimentary trash-bag ponchos, but no one cares, and those out of harm's way may even get a little jealous. Not since Little Shop of Horrors has a screamfest tuner so deftly balanced seriousness and camp.

A Dean Schramm and Stuart Gordon presentation of a musical in two acts, with book by Dennis Paoli, Gordon and William J. Norris, and music and lyrics by Mark Nutter. Directed by Gordon. Choreography, Cynthia Carle; musical director and arrangements, Peter Adams.

 

10th March   

Update: Screwed Again...

Australia bans a cut version of A Serbian Film
Link Here  full story: A Serbian Film...Hype for the most 'outrageous' horror yet

a serbian film poster In November 2010, the Australian Classification Board banned the 99 minute uncut version of A Serbian Film.

Distributors Accent then prepared a 97-minute censored version that they hoped would achieve the desired R18+. The Classification Board had other ideas, and in late February banned the cut version. 

Note that the UK version runs at about 95 minutes, having suffered 4 minutes of BBFC cuts.

Despite the ban the Board did acknowledge that it was closer to a certificate:

... modifications have lessened the impact of some scenes to a level which is at the upper limit of the R18+ classification, this film contains depictions of explicit sexual violence as well as prolonged depictions of violence with a very high degree of impact.

See  article from  refused-classification.com that tries to piece together the cuts that the distributor had made.

 

27th February   

The Last Black Swan...

Indonesia sets protectionist tax that may see an end to Hollywood cinema imports
Link Here  full story: Hollywood Film Ban in Indonesia...Hollyood films taxed off Indonesian screens

Indonesia flag Indonesians are fighting to keep Hollywood films in local theatres after warnings that a new tax on foreign-made movies could lead to studios pulling out of the country.

Indonesian authorities see the tax as a way to protect the domestic film industry.

Hollywood as represented by the MPAA has responded that the release of Oscar-nominated Black Swan could be the last for a Hollywood film in this nation of 237 million. Distributors from Europe and Asia have made similar warnings.

Film-lovers have taken to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to complain, while the country's largest cinema chain begged for the government to drop the tax.

We'll see theatres close one by one unless a solution is found, warned Noorca Massardie, spokesman of 21 Cineplex, which has more than 500 screens.

It's outrageous! one woman wrote on Facebook. They're taking away our right to watch high-quality films. She noted that domestic industry, still in its infancy stage, leaves much to be desired.

Minister of Culture Jero Wacik said the tax will be reviewed with a final decision expected in two weeks.

Offsite: The Ghost of Cinema Past

11th June 2011. See  article from  monstersandcritics.com

The Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) stopped distributing films to Indonesia in February after the Indonesian government introduced a new system of calculating and charging royalties on imported films.

I'm sick and bored of not being able to watch good movies in the cinema, said Marisca Djojopranoto, a 25-year-old a film lover in Jakarta: I miss the cinema so much .

Movie fans are not the only ones lamenting the absence of Hollywood films on the big screen. Cinemas are losing between 40 and 50% of their revenues, said Djonny Sjafruddin, chairman of the Indonesian Cinema Operator Association.

We are just showing what we have and what we have are films about ghosts, Sjafruddin said: It's a major blow for the cinemas and if this continues, many of them may fold, he said, adding that some theatres had reduced screening frequencies and the number of studios used.

Locally produced films, mostly of the horror genre with bizarre titles such as In the Embrace of the Teen Ghost's Widow and Dancing Karawang Ghost, have taken over at the box office. Such films don't cost a lot to produce and they can make a little profit, Sjafruddin said.

 

26th February   

Update: Weinstein's Profit Impediment 'Cured'...

The King's Speech now available in a muted PG-13 version
Link Here  full story: The King's Speech...Censors in need of therapy over strong language

Kings Speech DVD Colin Firth The has assigned a PG-13 rating to an alternative version of The King's Speech in which, a source said: the 'fucks' that earned it an R rating have been muted out.

The MPAA said it also has waived a rule that requires the distributor to fully withdraw the original version of the film from theaters for 90 days before replacing it with an alternative.

 

25th February   

Asian Extreme Film Research...

Invitation to a survey about Asian extreme films
Link Here

asian extreme film research logo Emma Pett asks:

I want to find out about your experiences and opinions as a viewer of Asian Extreme cinema. Right now there are a lot of claims circulating in the UK about why people watch different forms of extreme cinema, and what this might do to them. These claims often involve assumptions about film audiences that aren't based on any actual research. Through this questionnaire I aim to gather viewers' own understandings of what they enjoy in Asian Extreme films.

The research is the focus of my PhD which I'm conducting at Aberystwyth University, supervised by Professor Martin Barker and Dr Kate Egan. It is part of a collaborative project with the British Board of Film Classification (BBFC) and the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC). This means that I will have the chance to present my research findings to the BBFC, once they are complete. But the actual research is being designed and conducted entirely independently. I also guarantee that anything you tell me will be fully anonymised in everything I say and write.

At the beginning of the questionnaire you'll see I've listed ten Asian Extreme films. I'm aware that there are lots of films I've missed off this list. These ten films have been chosen either because of their popularity, or because of censorship issues they've raised. Sorry if I've missed out your favourite film, but this way I can make sure that my research will be of direct relevance to the BBFC.

See questionnaire

 

24th February   

Updated: Barbadians Patronised by their Censors...

Black Swan banned by the film censors of Barbados
Link Here

Black Swan Natalie Portman Barbados' Film Censorship Board is taking another look at the award winning film, Black Swan , after initially banning it last week in a move that triggered an appeal by one cinema and sparked a petition by disappointed movie goers and other residents.

The Board will decide this week, after another screening, whether Barbadians will get to see the film in cinemas after all.

The Board instituted the ban deeming the film inappropriate for viewing because of offensive sexual behaviour. The movie features a scene depicting a lesbian encounter.

Barbados is just one of two countries that have banned Black Swan , the other being the United Arab Emirates. It has been rated R in most other countries.

After the ban was announced, the Olympus Theatres filed an appeal and the Film Censorship Board agreed to review the movie.

An online petition, Against the Affront to Freedom of Expression in Barbados by the Barbados Board of Film Censors , and a Facebook group entitled For Freedom of Thought and Expression in Barbados have been gaining momentum and had reached 247 signatures and 459 members, respectively, by this morning.

The online petition makes several demands of the Film Censorship Board, including that it reverse its decision to restrict freedom of expression by banning the film ; understand the meanings and intent of MPAA film ratings (or the rating from the films originating country), that is, to inform parents on the suitability of a film for viewing by children, and to protect artistic freedom; refrain from changing a films rating; and hold a limited screening of films to unbiased members of the public and rely on their input before pronouncing a ban. The petition says

The Barbados Board of Film Censors chose to censor this film, without any discussion about its content with the public, and subsequently failing to publish adequately explained reasons behind its decision. We believe that freedom of expression is a key pillar in a democratic society, and when leaders choose to censor material without consulting the public, particularly artistic material which may be of cultural significance, our whole society loses.

Indeed, in this case, it is patronizing that the board doesn't think that Barbadians can handle a film that has won such prestigious awards, and that people the world over are enjoying...Banning art sets a dangerous precedent, which encourages those around the world who wish to restrict freedom of expression.

Update: Unbanned

24th February 2011. See  article from  google.com

The Barbados film censorship board has reversed a decision to ban the cinema release of Black Swan over its sexual and violent content.

The Cinematograph Film Censorship Board reviewed its decision after a theatre filed an appeal. The board has announced that the movie will now be shown with an "R'' rating.

 

17th February   

Obituary: David F Friedman...

Producer of genre classics from Blood Feast to Ilsa: She-Wolf of the SS
Link Here

Blood Feast DVD US NTSC David F. Friedman, a film producer who cheerfully and cheesily exploited an audience's hunger for bare-breasted women and blood-dripping corpses in lucrative low-budget films like Blood Feast and Ilsa: She-Wolf of the S.S. , died on Monday in Alabama aged 87 from heart failure.

Friedman plumbed the low-rent depths of the movie business with a sense of boldness and a sense of fun. In the early 1960s he and a partner, the director Herschell Gordon Lewis, made a handful of films in a genre known as nudie-cuties, in which young women would perform ordinary household tasks or cavort in sun-dappled settings half-dressed or entirely undressed.

In 1963,  Friedman and Lewis made the gleefully gore-soaked Blood Feast , considered by many to be a groundbreaking film in the horror genre, the first so-called splatter film. It tells the story of a murderous Egyptian caterer in Miami who is especially fond of decapitating women. To promote the film, Friedman warned viewers that it might be sickening and supplied theaters with airline vomit bags to distribute to customers. Made for $24,500, the film reportedly earned millions.

Friedman and Lewis followed Blood Feast with two other gore fests that are exemplars of their ilk: Two Thousand Maniacs! , which takes place in a Southern town during a Civil War centennial celebration in which the townspeople take their revenge for losing the war on visiting Yankees; and Color Me Blood Red , about a painter who gets his distinctive reds from the blood of his murder victims.

Friedman made films in the soft-porn vein --- they had titles like Trader Hornee and The Erotic Adventures of Zorro --- and eventually, while serving as chairman of the Adult Film Association, made a handful of hard-core movies as well.

Perhaps his most famous title was Ilsa: She-Wolf of the S.S. , about a sadistic and insatiable female Nazi prison guard, generally considered a camp classic of sexploitation.

 

4th February   

Obituary: Maria Schneider's Last Tango...

Another tragic finale
Link Here

maria schneider French actress Maria Schneider, best known for her role in Last Tango in Paris , has died in Paris aged 58 after a long illness.

Born in 1952 in Paris, Schneider was the daughter of French actor Daniel Gelin.  She began her film career in uncredited roles before being given her first break in 1970 film Madly .

Last Tango in Paris provoked such controversy that the actress resolved never to do nude scenes again. Yet she was briefly seen naked three years later in Jack Nicholson film The Passenger , albeit in long shot. She was last seen on the big screen in 2008 French film Cliente , about a married construction worker who leads a double life as a gigolo.

The actress was 19 when she was cast opposite Brando in Bernardo Bertolucci's iconic censor challenging drama of 1972. The film was banned in several countries due to its buttery content.

In Britain the film was passed X after 10s of cuts for its 1973 cinema release

From IMDb:

  • The BBFC originally demanded 20s of cuts to include edits for language but these were successfully appealed by the director. In the end a 10s shot of Paul putting his fingers between Jeanne's buttocks was censored from the sodomy scene.
  • The BBFC was also concerned about a scene of sexual dialogue, but decided that it could not be cut without damaging the film.

See  case study from  sbbfc.co.uk : Obscenity Prosecution

The Festival of Light, a pro-censorship pressure group, started a concerted campaign to prevent the film reaching British cinema screens, circulating copies of the script to MPs and writing to local authorities - with considerable success, since several dozen banned it.

However, it received favourable write ups from the film critics and played unopposed in most areas.

Events took an unprecedented turn, however, when Edward Shackleton, a Salvation Army member, brought a private prosecution against the film's distributors for publishing obscene material. The case ultimately collapsed when it was found that the Obscene Publications Act (OPA) did not apply to film.

 

3rd February   

Possessed by Hype...

'Exorcist' spews green bilge about demonic possession all in the name of movie hype
Link Here

Rite Anthony Hopkins An American exorcist has blamed the internet for rising numbers of young people who say they are possessed by the Devil.

Websites dedicated to the occult, witchcraft, Tarot cards, psychics and séances were increasingly exposing young people to demonic influences, claimed Fr Gary Thomas.

The priest, whose story has just been made into a major Hollywood film, The Rite starring Sir Anthony Hopkins, claimed that pornography and drug abuse were also doorways to harassment by evil spirits.

He said there were no statistics on how many people might be possessed but said there was a definite increase:

What I can tell you is that there are more and more Catholics involved in idolatrous and pagan practices. That's really why there's more demonic activity. There's the absence of God in the lives of a lot of people.

A lot of parents today have no critical eye of faith with which to even recognise the dangers their children are in. A lot of this is going on with the internet. There are lots and lots of demonic websites.

A demon doesn't show up. He has to be invited in … The involvement in pagan, satanic, or occult practices are the classical ways.

Pornography is a doorway. But addictions of any kind can be – not are, but can be – a doorway, but it's coupled with other things. For instance, drug use alone isn't going to invite the demonic in, but coupled with the occult it could.

The Rite will be released in Britain on February 25.

 

1st February   

Update: I Don't Believe in Censorship B.B.B.B.BUT...

Uttering 'bullshit' helps King's Speech director get over his censorship impediment
Link Here  full story: The King's Speech...Censors in need of therapy over strong language

Kings Speech DVD Colin Firth It's been prize winning week for the movie King's Speech , but producer Harvey Weinstein is now considering cutting the film to PG-13 to broaden the audience.

At issue is a series of 'fucks', uttered by Colin Firth playing King George VI, as he attempts to overcome his stutter.

Director Tom Hooper says he doesn't support cutting the film ...BUT... he said that it might be bleeped.

Speaking to EW, Tom Hooper said,

I wouldn't support cutting the film in any way. I think we looked at whether it's possible to bleep out the f—s and stuff, but I'm not going to actually cut that part.

He said that no final decision has been made about creating a PG-13 friendly edit, but reiterated: I'm not going to cut the film.

Co-star Helena Bonham Carter said:

I don't think it needs to be cut down. I think every 13-year-old knows [the words], I think every 8-year-old [does]. It's the whole point of it. It's not to be offensive. I think they said they were going to put the bleeps.

 

28th January   

Updated: Valley of the Wolves Palestine...

Political pressures lead to a German block on a Turkish film said to show Israel in a bad light
Link Here

valley of the wolves palestineThe Turkish film series Valley of the Wolves is not known for its delicacy. Now, distribution of the most recent movie in the series has been blocked in Germany.

The Valley of the Wolves formula is simple: Turks are honorable and courageous; action hero Polat Alemdar, played by Turkish movie star Necati Amazbased, can do no wrong; Americans are suspect; and Israelis are inhuman and brutal.

The newest installment, Valley of the Wolves Palestine, is based on the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara, the Turkish aid ship carrying pro-Palestinian activists to Gaza in May 2010, which resulted in the deaths of nine Turks on board the ship.

Of particular political concern are allegations that Israel and Israelis are portrayed negatively in the film. Furthermore, the planned release date of Jan. 27, which is International Holocaust Remembrance Day, is seen as insensitive.

To release a film like this on such an important day of remembrance is beyond tasteless and insensitive to the feelings of the victims, said German parliamentarian Philipp Missfelder, a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats (CDU).

Kerstin Griese, a German parliamentarian with the center-left Social Democrats, called the movie problematic, because it glorifies violence and anti-Israeli sentiment.

This has proven too much for Germany's film censorship board, the FSK which has so far refused to grant the film an age rating certificate, which automatically places it in the adult category. German law forbids adult-rated films from being marketed using posters and other forms of public advertising.

The film board will meet again on Thursday to review the decision.

Update: Passed 18

28th January 2011. Based on article from jpost.com

FSK 18 Germany's FSK film censors passed Turkish film Kurtlar Vadisi: Filistin (Valley of the Wolves: Palestine) with an adults only rating.

The distribuotrs, Pera, said that it can be shown immediately but it wasn't immediately clear that it was shown on Thursday – International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Austrian cinemas did show show it on the day as planned with a self imposed 18 rating..

FSK issued a statement saying that children under the age of 18 are not permitted to see the film. They added that Valley of the Wolves contains propaganda tendencies and repetitive violence.

The film cost $10 million to make, making it the most expensive in Turkish cinematic history.

Politicians from the Green Party and the Christian Social Union criticized the film this week. Philipp Missfelder, a member of the ruling Christian Democratic Party, said it disrespects victims of the Holocaust, and Jerzy Montag of the Green Party called the movie irresponsible.

 

28th January   

Slackistan...

Pakistan bans British made film set in Islamabad for swearing and drinking
Link Here

slackistanSlackistan , a British-made movie about young people living in Islamabad, has been banned in Pakistan because of scenes showing swearing and drinking.

The Guardian notes the contentious issues as: the words 'Taliban' and 'lesbian', swear words in English and Urdu, scenes showing characters drinking (filmed with fake alcohol, incidentally) and a joke about beards (as in "my beard is longer than your beard") made between characters talking hypothetically about a fancy dress party. These are not the CBFC's only objections, but the main ones it highlighted.

Its director, London-based Hammad Khan, has told the BBC he is refusing to make changes demanded by Pakistan's Central Board of Film Censors (CBFC).

The CBFC also called for religious references to be taken out.

The low-budget film follows the young Pakistanis as they spend their time dating, drinking and going to parties despite attacks on their city by militants linked to al-Qaeda and the Taliban.

 

27th January   

Update: Free Speech Impediment...

US distributor considers a cut version of the The King's Speech
Link Here  full story: The King's Speech...Censors in need of therapy over strong language

Kings Speech DVD Colin Firth The LA Times is reporting that the film distributor Weinstein is contemplating editing The King's Speech in order to get its R-rating reduced to PG-13 and so increase the market able to see it.

The reason that the film was given the restricted label in the first place is because of MPAA inflexibility over a scene in which King George VI spurts out numerous curse words in order to help him get over his stutter.

The film was originally rated 15 in the UK, but the BBFC were asked to think again, and the film now has a 12 rating allowing it to be seen by a family audience. And successful it has been too.

cinemablend.com commented

This is a terrible, terrible idea. As far as I know, there is no difference between the cut being shown in British theaters vs. US theaters, meaning that this isn't a problem of content, but rather an issue of bullshit standards and qualifications by the MPAA. This would perhaps be understandable if we still lived in the 1920s, but I've personally never met a 13 year old kid who is completely unaware of the existence of words like fuck and shit.

 

26th January   

Update: Screwed by Repressive Policing...

A Serbian Film allegory extends to Northampton Blockbuster
Link Here  full story: A Serbian Film...Hype for the most 'outrageous' horror yet

A Serbian Film DVD On Friday 21st January 2011 the Police raided an unsuspecting Blockbuster in Northampton upon receiving a complaint from a 'distressed' viewer and seized copies of the film despite the BBFC rating on the front and the content warning in large letters on the back.

The police with their usual, the complainant is always right, attitude didn't check with the BBFC before raiding the store for a perfectly legal film.

Blockbuster has now withdrawn the film from it's catalogue pending consultation with their lawyers.

Northamptonshire police sent dogatemywookie.co.uk the statement:

We received information from a member of the public that a copy of The Serbian Film at a branch of Blockbusters in Northampton contained images of child abuse.

We have a duty to investigate such claims and in agreement with the manager of the shop took a copy away to view and check that it was the edition that has been approved by the British Board of Film Classification for distribution.

It has been established as a legitimate copy of the film that has been approved for distribution by the BBFC and so is being returned to the shop.

 

25th January   

Update: Zombie Censors...

Film Festival director offered chance to give to charity to avoid conviction for showing banned film
Link Here  full story: LA Zombie...Bruce LaBruce's gay zombie film under fire

LA Zombie posterMelbourne Film Festival director Richard Wolstencroft says he is now considering his options, in the latest instalment of a saga over the screening of a banned film.

In August 2010, Wolstencroft organised a screening of Bruce LaBruce's LA Zombie . In November, police raided his house, looking for copies of the film, and a police spokeswoman confirmed that he would face court.

In the latest development Wolstencroft said:.

Last Thursday, I was informed that I had a summons to pick up at my local police station. Attached to the summons was a diversion notice, agreeing to settle the matter without a felony on my record and with a donation to charity.

Wolstencroft said that he was thinking through the implications of the diversion notice, which is a procedure intended to divert mainly first-time offenders from the criminal justice system.

Update: Charitable

25th February 2011. See article from business.avn.com

Since then, the legal system began its slow work, and Wolstencroft was recently ordered by a court to give $750 to Melbourne's Royal Children's Hospital, reported ABC News.

 

12th January   

Update: Killer Bitch at the BBFC...

Hyped by the Daily Mail, closely watched by the BBFC
Link Here  full story: Killer Bitch...Recommended by the tabloid press

Killer Bitch DVD Alex Reid There were major problems with the British film censors over Killer Bitch . We were told the BBFC was very concerned at the content of the movie and it was screened at least four times to various combinations of censors, eventually including the Chairman of the Board. I suspect it was just a case of a movie with a high-profile tabloid reputation being referred-up because each person was too scared to take the risk of passing it himself/herself…. At one point, a BBFC Examiner sent an e-mail to the UK distributor saying it was more likely than not that there would be several cuts.

I was amazed when I found out what they claimed the problem was. We were told there were two areas of concern:

The first was a glimpse of part of the erect shaft of porn star Ben Dover's penis at the beginning of the movie. This gobsmacked me. Apart from the fact neither the director nor I had ever noticed this and the censors must have gone through it frame by frame with a magnifying glass (no reflection on Ben Dover), I have still never spotted the offending shot in the movie.

The second problem was the scene which had got the tabloids worldwide into such a tizzy when (without ever having seen it) they had denounced it as a ghastly and vile rape scene. What the BBFC was worried about was not the actual sex scene itself (which was not a rape scene at all) but the pre-amble to the sex scene, in which leading lady Yvette Rowland initially resists Alex Reid then melts in his arms.

There IS a rape scene in Killer Bitch (which in no way glamorises nor diminishes the horror but it is not the scene the tabloids got into a tizz about). And someone DOES get his cock cut off in vision. But apparently neither of these scenes worried the censors.

What seems to have worried them was the movie's reputation. It worried everyone. It was, ironically, passed uncut by the BBFC, but banned from display on the shelves of ASDA, Morrison's, Sainsbury, WH Smith, Tesco and others (although most of those sell it online). It was even withdrawn by iTunes after two days on sale for rather vague reasons. HMV remained a sole beacon of high street retail sanity and online retailers like Amazon and Play.com never had any problem.

...Read the full article

 

12th January   

Fair Game...

Egyptian film censor wound up by the presence of an Israeli actress on the cast list
Link Here

Soundtrack Fair Game Doug Liman's Fair Game – about the outing of CIA operative Valerie Plame by the George W. Bush Administration – is earning Oscar buzz for stars Naomi Watts and Sean Penn.

But Israeli actress Liraz Charhi also stands out for her pivotal, heartbreaking turn as Zahraa, an Iraqi expatriate whose fate devastates the tough ex-spy Plame.

However the presence of Liraz Charhi is causing a bit of censor hassle in Egypt.

Egyptian censors have delayed the screening of Fair Game for at least a week while the consider their stance.

Sayyed Khattab, head of Egypt's censorship board, said that he liked the movie but feared the presence of an Israeli actress.

 

6th January   

Black Penned...

Dubai bans new movies Black Swan and Love and Other Drugs
Link Here

Black Swan Natalie Portman The Dubai film censor has confirmed that Darren Aronofsky's latest movie Black Swan will not be shown in the emirate due to its subject matter.

Movies have to pass through the Censorship Department for approval, editing or banning before they are released in theatres, and Mohammad Naser, the cinema censor said: When we find that the amount of editing required takes a big part of the movie, we conclude that there is no point in releasing it.

Naser added that Love and Other Drugs would also not be making it to cinemas: Both these movies have been banned because of excessive sexual content, he said, adding that in one of the two films the viewer would have been left with 25% of the film had it been released after editing.

Daniela Yordanova of 20th Century Fox for the Middle East said that both films will be released in other Middle Eastern markets such as Lebanon.

Black Swan has been passed 15 uncut by the BBFC noting: Contains strong sex, language and bloody images.

Love and Other Drugs has also been passed 15 uncut by the BBFC noting: Contains strong sex, sex references and language

 

3rd January   

Updated: Hopes Pinned on False Pin...

Dario Argento's Deep Red passed uncut for the first time
Link Here

Deep Red DVD Deep Red is a 1975 Italian Giallo by Dario Argento. See IMDb

The film makers managed to convince the BBFC that the lizard's death was faked with a false pin.

Passed 18 uncut with BBFC cuts waived for:

Previously cut for the Italian Language Version submitted for

  • UK 2005 Platinum DVD

From cuts details on IMDb :

  • The DVD is slightly re-framed (to exclude the lizard scene) and restores the dog sequence, as it seems likely that they are playing rather than fighting.

And before that the BBFC cut the Italian Version by 11s for:

  • UK 1993 Redemption VHS

The BBFC cuts were:

  • A 7s shot of a squirming lizard being impaled with a pin has been deleted. This cut also impacts the scene. A father slaps his little daughter because of the impaling. In the cut version, a now motiveless slap remains.
  • 4s has been cut from a scene showing two dogs fighting

Review from UK Amazon : Initiation into Giallo

I didn't know what to expect with Profondo Rosso , I thought "maybe something like Halloween ", but this is a gorgeous film in it's own right, it is rich in content and thought, it has an old school story telling feel about it, fantastic music by "Goblin" it is shocking and suspenseful, whilst showing some glorious cinematography (Luigi Keveiller).

One scene involving a mechanical doll, nearly made my heart stop, I wont give it away but it's one of those scares that makes your brain work overtime to reassure you that you're ok !

Brilliant, Dario is unique and this is my favourite film of his, and one of my ALL time favourite films.

A wonderful initiation into the world of Giallo.