Paddington is a 2014 UK / France family comedy by Paul King.
Starring Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins and Julie Walters.
A young Peruvian bear with a passion for all things British travels to London in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone at Paddington Station, he begins to realize that city life is not all he had imagined - until he meets the kindly Brown
family, who read the label around his neck ('Please look after this bear. Thank you.') and offer him a temporary haven. It looks as though his luck has changed until this rarest of bears catches the eye of a museum taxidermist.
The BBFC Just passed the film PG uncut for cinema release with the consumer advice:
dangerous behaviour, mild threat, innuendo, infrequent mild bad language.
But a little earlier, the consumer advice had read
dangerous behaviour, mild threat, mild sex references, mild bad language.
The BBFC changed the wording of its guidance after the Daily Mail ran a story about the PG rating for the film. It seems that the Paddington author Michael Bond was totally amazed at the term mild sex references used by the BBFC. Bond told
the Daily Mail:
I'd be very upset. I might not sleep well tonight. I can't imagine what the sex references are. It doesn't enter into it with the books, certainly.'
After an approach from the film's distributor the BBFC altered the term mild sex references to innuendo . The distributor also asked for clarity to the frequency of mild bad language, and the BBFC duly obliged by adding the descriptor, infrequent.
The film's director Paul King said he had expected the BBFC to issue a PG rating:
I'm not surprised about that but I don't think it's a PG for sexiness. That I would find very odd, he said.
The Daily Mail also a dragged up a trivial sound bite from Pippa Smith, of the SaferMedia campaign. She said:
There should be absolutely nothing threatening, sexual or dangerous about Paddington. If there is, it should be cut.
For a full description of what the BBFC are alluding to here is the BBFC Insight. (which still uses the heading 'sex')
There are infrequent scenes of dangerous behaviour, including Paddington hiding from a villain inside a refrigerator and riding on a skateboard while holding on to a bus, as well as a brief scene of a boy strapping fireworks to his shoes.
There are occasional sequences of mild threat when Paddington is chased by the villain who threatens to kill and stuff him, as well as a brief sequence in which Paddington lies unconscious on a table while a taxidermist prepares their tools nearby. There
is also a short scene in a jungle when Paddington and his family run for shelter during an earthquake with trees falling around them.
There is some mild innuendo, including a comic sequence in which a man disguised as a woman is flirted with by another man.
The Daily Mail as been heaping praise on Hunger Games: Mockingjay . The paper gushes:
Showing public executions, corpses being devoured by wild animals and the bombing of a hospital, it's not exactly your typical children's film. But the latest instalment of The Hunger Games phenomenon has been handed a 12A classification -- meaning it
can be watched by under-12s as long as they are accompanied by an adult.
As a glamorous Jennifer Lawrence took to the red carpet for the film's London premiere last night, critics (Well just Medaiwatch-UK and SaferMedia actually) questioned whether the BBFC's decision was appropriate, warning that the graphic scenes in The
Hunger Games: Mockingjay -- Part 1 could normalise violence and traumatise children.
While this instalment contains fewer acts of violence than the first two films, the scenes of death and destruction that it does have are some of the most disturbing in the franchise -- including the aftermath of a firebomb with heaps of corpses twisted
among each other. Protesters are also shown being hooded, forced to their knees and shot in the head.
Pippa Smith of the Safer Media campaign said:
These are not things you would want children to see. It normalises violence.
Vivienne Pattison of Mediawatch UK added:
There's nothing to stop you taking a four-year-old to see it. I think it's really worrying that films which, several years ago, would have been a 15 are now being given lower ratings.
Whilst the Daily Mail is conjuring up a bit of commercially advantageous 'outrage' about the leniency of the BBFC, others are questioning whether the BBFC isn't perhaps a little overly cautious about an 18 certificate for the gay film Gerontophilia
Gerontophilia has been described by some as the most controversial film ever made by director Bruce La Bruce. That's quite impressive for a filmmaker whose previous films have mixed Neo Nazis and gay porn, and zombies and gay porn. There's not any gay
porn at all in this one, so why has it courted controversy? Well it's purely because it's about one of the last taboos -- relationships with a massive age difference.
To be honest I was surprised that in the UK the BBFC gave it an 18 certificate along with the advisory that it contains strong sex (which was also put on the DVD cover). It doesn't contain strong sex at all -- which for a Bruce La Bruce movie is
the perhaps most shocking thing about the film -- it just has a guy briefly masturbating under his clothes and the sight of a naked 80-year-old. However because the guy is touching himself because there's a naked 80-year-old, that apparently equates to
strong sex. Normally the BBFC isn't as prudish about these things as its US counterpart is, but I can't help but feel that a bit of disgust crept in here that didn't look at the actual content.
The BBFC Annual Report for 2013 highlighted that a record 321 cinema films were given a 12A rating last year, up a third from 234 the
previous year. The rating means children aged 12 and over can see a film at the cinema unaccompanied, and those under this age can also view the film with an adult.
Of course the clear popularity of this rating with parents does not sit well with moralist campaigners who ludicrously try spin popularity and profitability as something sinful and wrong.
Miranda Suit, co-founder of Safer Media, a christian campaign group, said she always suspected that when the 12A category was introduced it would benefit the film industry far more than parents or children, and the record numbers of 12As in 2013
appears to confirm this. She spewed:
12As are a gift to the industry -- allowing a whole extra group of children, the under 12s, to provide a new revenue stream, as long as they are with an adult.
Meanwhile the BBFC are happy to allow surprisingly explicit violence and sadism in 12As, as evidenced by the complaints made about 12A Jack Reacher.
Explicit sex is also an issue, and the BBFC have actually relaxed controls on bad language in this category.
The BBFC need to provide much better protection -- our children are far too precious to justify weighting regulation in favour of the industry rather than young people's wellbeing.
Vivienne Pattison, of moralist campaign group Mediawatch UK, said the findings and changes only highlight how children are being used to turn films into lucrative business ventures. She spewed:
The increase would appear to underline the fact that producers want to get that crucial 12A rating because it means children can go and leads to a substantial increase in the potential audience.
You can sell a lot more lunchboxes and duvet covers linked to the film if under 12s have been allowed to see it.
The problem arises at the top end of the classification, when producers make a snip here and a cut there to a film so they can get the 12A rating. It does not always mean the film is suitable for children.
The watershed is 50 years old this month. In July 1964, Parliament passed the law that led to measures to protect children from seeing harmful or offensive material on TV in the evenings.
Fifty years on, new Ofcom research shows that most adult TV viewers are aware of the 9pm watershed as a valued way of indicating what is suitable for young viewers.
Ofcom's research shows that 98% of adults in the UK watch TV. Among TV viewers, 94% are aware that the watershed requires broadcasters only to show programmes unsuitable for children after a certain time (compared to 91% in 2008).
Today, more TV viewers believe the watershed is at about the right time (78% in 2013 compared to 70% in 2008), Ofcom's report on UK audience attitudes to broadcast media shows.
In the past five years, there have been falls in the number of viewers saying there is too much violence (35% of adult viewers in 2013, down from 55% in 2008), sex (26% in 2013 versus 35% in 2008) and swearing (35% in 2013 versus 53% in
2008) on TV.
One reason for this is a change in attitude among older viewers. The number of viewers over 65 who believe there is too much swearing (78% in 2008 compared to 55% in 2013) and violence (75% in 2008 compared to 52% in 2013) has fallen over the past
Among those adults who had been offended by something on TV in the last 12 months (18% of adult viewers), nearly four times more people are likely to continue watching the programme than in 2008 (5% in 2008 versus 19% in 2013) and less likely to
turn off the TV altogether (32% in 2008 compared to 19% in 2013). Protecting viewers in the future
While on-demand TV is estimated to account for only 2.5% of TV viewing, Ofcom recognises this poses new challenges.
Ofcom is working with Government, other regulators and industry to ensure that children remain protected if they choose on-demand TV over traditional broadcast TV, where Ofcom's strict watershed rules apply.
This would mean that consumers have a clear understanding of the protections that apply on different platforms and devices, and know which regulatory body to turn to if they have any concerns.
Of course the moralist campaigners are not impressed by the decline in whinges.
Pippa Smith of Safermedia said the report showed x-rated content has become normalised and viewers are desensitised to it.
Accompanied by his 91-year-old girlfriend Marjorie McCool today, the self confessed cougar chaser Kyle Jones told ITV1's This Morning intimate details about his active sex life with the granny porn star, all at around 11.45am.
Listening to Ms McCool, from Pittsburgh in America, share intimate details about remaining young - and limber- thanks to her healthy sex life, alarmed the usual few easily offended tweeters whose trivial tweets aren't worth repeating.
The great grandmother, told how she was able to get her 'leg above her head' and proceeded to note the sex kept her young. Concluding the interview Philip Schofield noted : It is important to note Marjorie is heavily involved with granny porn.
The Express solicited a few whnges from the perennial provider of outraged sound bites, Miranda Suit of the religious morality campaign, Safermedia. She said:
When it comes to sexually explicit conversation or topics we usually find that across day time TV they handle the topics very carefully or sensitively. While I'm sure today's topic were meant it good humour, having a woman talk explicitly about her
sexual relationship pre-watershed should raise alarm bells - children could be watching.
We have to be very careful about exposing our children and young people to sexualised conversation, phrases such as 'granny porn' are too adult, could cause confusion and is therefore irresponsible of the shows producers.
An ITV spokesperson said:
This Morning covers a wide range of material that is in the news and of interest to our viewers. The interview was pre-recorded, covered several aspects of Kyle and Marjorie's relationship and we believe was suitable for broadcast on our show.
The Daily Mail is kindly hyping a new comedy show:
The BBC waded into yet another race row yesterday after Harry Enfield blacked-up for his latest comedy sketch show and poked fun at a Muslim girl in a burka. Their new show, Harry & Paul: The Story Of The Twos , will be shown later this month
as part of BBC2's celebration of its 50th birthday.
In one risque sketch, Enfield makes fun of black American singer Harry Belafonte by covering his face in dark make-up. In another bizarre scene likely to outrage some viewers, the comedians turn a young Muslim girl covered in a burqa into the butt of
Religious morality campaigner Pippa Smith, of the group Safermedia, said Enfield risked stoking ethnic tensions with his comedy. She spouted:
Is Harry Enfield just going out of his way to be controversial by using a young girl dressed in a burqa meeting a young boy dressed in a Pingu penguin costume for his sketch? Poking fun at young Muslims, who look no more than children, is in very
poor taste, especially when some young Muslim women are complaining of being harassed and even attacked for wearing the burqa. To then shoot a woman in the head is completely inappropriate. Harry Enfield is no longer funny and the BBC has lost the plot.
The Story Of The Twos, which will be shown at 9pm on Sunday May 25.
The Daily Mail has praised the first of episode of Season 4 of Game of Thrones:
A prince strips a posing group of prostitutes naked one by one as he selects a companion for the night. It sounds like a scene from a porn film, but this was the latest episode of the epic fantasy drama Game of Thrones, based on the novels of George R R
Other scenes in the episode, which followed the Stark family coming to terms with the killing of their relatives at the end of season three, featured an attempted rape and graphic disembowelment.
Some 700,000 tuned in to watch its long-awaited return on Sky Atlantic at 9pm. The prostitute scene came ten minutes from the start, 10 minutes after the TV watershed.
Miranda Suit, of the religious morality campaign, Safermedia, said:
What are [young girls] learning from some of these storylines? That what most men want is their body and handing it over is one of the easiest ways to get their attention. This does a great disservice to both men and women.
Pippa Smith of Safermedia asked:
Extreme sadistic violence and sexual violence involving harpooning prostitutes and what appears to be attempted rape served up for television entertainment?
That this series is so popular is deeply troubling and no doubt it is particularly popular with young boys and teens many of whom who are already becoming desensitised, more aggressive and lacking in empathy from the violence in films and video games and
Vivienne Pattinson of Mediatwatch-UK agreed that while the quality of the scenery was fabulous and the acting brilliant , there was a worrying undertone of violence being acceptable. She said:
It's normalising this violence and unhealthy relationships, or whatever it is. It's giving it a context and that is worrying.
Megan MacLeod of Sky Atlantic said:
'HBO's Game of Thrones sits perfectly alongside Sky Atlantic's range of bold content which we know our customers enjoy.
Hundreds of music fans have apparently taken to social networking websites to criticise the Kylie Minogue after she posted raunchy footage on YouTube to accompany her latest single, Sexercise .
A few fans condemned the video, which shows her writhing on gym equipment, as soft porn , and said her outfit of a white leotard and stiletto heels was inappropriate. Others argued she was using sex to mask the mediocre quality of
However the whingers are a tiny minority of the 917,000 viewers that have watched the video so far.
Vivienne Pattinson, of campaign group Mediawatch-UK, said:
It's just reinforcing the idea that your worth is defined by your hotness rather than anything else you have to offer, and that can be really damaging for the self-esteem of young girls.
Pippa Smith, of the religious moral campaign group Safermedia, said:
This latest release is very disappointing as she will understand perfectly well that she is a role model for young girls and children.
Update: An even more ludicrous attempt to conjure up some 'outrage'
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has honoured Rockstar Games, the company behind the Grand Theft Auto series, with its illustrious Fellowship award. They will now be presented with the prize for their revolutionary approach to
games . They have also been commended for bringing the medium to the masses .
But this fine achievement is met only with a barrage of whinges from moral campaigners, courtesy of course, the Daily Mail.
Pippa Smith of Safer Media, a religious campaigner against violence, sex and bad language in the media, said:
We have had a lot of concerns about Grand Theft Auto, and we would not agree with this at all. A Bafta Fellowship is a very prestigious award and it is giving out a very dangerous message.
Grand Theft Auto is obviously hugely popular and makes an awful lot of money, so as far as the gaming industry is concerned, it is a big money spinner.
But it is horrifying that they are being recognised in this way. We know for sure that people are affected by the violence in these games, and in this particular case players are even encouraged to kill prostitutes.
Vivienne Pattinson, director of lobby group Mediawatch UK, said:
My biggest criticism is that we know that children who are a lot younger than the age limit of these games are playing them. Gaming companies have a very important role to play in making sure that under-age children are not exposed to these
They are marketed in places where children are likely to see them, on the sides of school buses for example, and for Bafta to be giving them an award at a time when there is still a lot of work to be done in protecting children from this kind of
violence is wrong.
I can appreciate the quality of these games are good. But we cannot just hold our hands up and say that the content doesn't matter.
Offsite Comment: GTA, The Baftas And How The Daily Mail Make Morons Like Mediawatch-uk Look Even More Ridiculous
So the Daily Mail is whipping up outrage over the Grand Theft Auto games being given a BAFTA award. This is a classic example of the Daily Mail trying to make outrage over absoloutly nothing. To demonstrate that there outrage and
controversy they've wheeled out two of their favourite rent-a-quotes, Pippa Smith from Safermedia and Vivienne Pattison from Mediawatch-uk.
The Daily Mail has lauded Boyonce's performance at the Grammy's in glowing terms:
Is this really what little girls should aspire to, Beyonce'? Parents attack vile display at Grammys
Singer performed provocative routine at Grammy Awards last night Danced and writhed around on stage in a barely-there leotard Grinded up against her husband Jay-Z who joined her for act. At one point, the mother-of-one straddled a chair and was
seen running her hands up and down her thighs in a suggestive manner before leaning back to drape herself seductively over her seat.
Margaret Morrissey, of Parents Outloud, said:
It is time Beyonce realised she is offending every decent person in this country who I hope in future once they hear her name will switch off their TV.'
Pippa Smith, of SaferMedia, said:
There is something rotten at the heart of this so-called "music" industry when young women celebrities and now a husband and wife start to behave in such an obscenely sexual manner at events popular with all ages. They are doing
enormous harm to children's perception of what is normal behaviour.
Vivienne Pattison, of Mediawatch-UK, said:
In this footage Beyonce is wearing a really skimpy outfit but Jay-Z is not. If girls and women are seen exclusively as sexual beings rather than as complicated people with many interests, talents and identities, boys and men may have difficulty
relating to them on any level other than the sexual.
Not only is the BBFC press release rather vague, but the consultation report is contradictory. Time and time again, we are told that the majority agreed with the BBFC's classification of certain films, yet the only people quoted most of the time
are those who disagree.
One could easily imagine the Board are allowing the vocal but irrational opinions of the minority to hold sway, in search of an easy life -- censoring and classifying according to the delusions of the most censorial. But that would be silly,
Surely the Board wouldn't survey so many people, be told -- as they continually boast -- that they are getting it right, and then still tighten up restrictions because some people are too dumb to realise that Ted isn't a kid's film, too weak
minded to be able to tell their kids that ghosts are not real - When you bring in supernatural, where you can't explain it away, then you have got problems. (Female, with children 6 -- 10) - or so prudish that they are shocked by the use
of arse and crap in a U rated film?
The Daily Mail picks up on the relaxation of strong language in the 12 and 15 categories. The changes are:
BBFC Guidelines 2009
BBFC Guidelines 2014
Strong language at 12/12A
Moderate language is allowed.
The use of strong language (for example, ‘fuck’) must be infrequent.
(In practice this meant a maximum of 4 or 5 uses of 'fuck' in a 12 rated film)
There may be moderate language.
Strong language may be permitted, depending on the manner in which it is used, who is using the language, its frequency within the work as a whole and any special contextual justification
Strong language at 15
There may be frequent use of strong language (for example, ‘fuck’).
The strongest terms (for example, ‘cunt’) may be acceptable if justified by the context.
Aggressive or repeated use of the strongest language is unlikely to be acceptable.
(In practice there is a limit of 3 or 4 uses of the word 'cunt' assuming them to be non aggressive, non sexual, and not based on power imbalance. In addition these allowed used must be grouped together)
There may be strong language. (ie 'fuck')
Very strong language (ie 'cunt') may be permitted, depending on the manner in which it is used, who is using the language, its frequency within the work as a whole and any special contextual
The BBFC press release added:
Regarding language, the public wants the BBFC to be more flexible about allowing very strong language at 15. Context, not just frequency, is the most important factor in how language in films is perceived by the public.
The Daily Mail article spouted:
Children 'as young as 1'5 (sounds so much more outrageous than 15-17 year olds) are to be allowed to watch films filled with obscene language.
Swear words are now so commonplace among teenagers that age ratings will be relaxed, censors said yesterday.
The British Board of Film Classification claims parents accept it is game over when protecting their children from bad language. Controversy: The Woman in Black, starring Daniel Radcliffe, received more complaints than any other film in
the past four years, according to the British Board of Film Classification
Under the new rules, even 12-year-olds could potentially be exposed to more profanities.
And the Daily Mail rounded up a little outrage from its panel of sound bite campaigners:
Pippa Smith, of the christian moralist campaign, Safermedia said:
It is truly outrageous -- parents and children are being let down by a regulator who is no longer interested in regulating.
Everyone except the BBFC and broadcast media knows children will copy the swearing they hear. Films make it cool. We dread to think what this latest announcement will mean for films deemed acceptable by the BBFC -- an industry-funded body --for
Margaret Morrissey, of the family group Parents Outloud, asked:
If no standards are set by adults, what chance do our children have of being polite and decent grown-ups and parents?
Philip Davies, a Tory MP on the culture, media and sport select committee, said:
This reflects the general decline in good behavioural standards. It makes children think it's perfectly normal and reasonable to use bad language. I would rather they weren't exposed to even worse levels of swearing.
They are still children at 15 and are already exposed to things in films at a younger age than I would care for them to be exposed to. I would like to think that people would want to bring up their children to know that that isn't acceptable.
Vivienne Pattison of Mediawatch said:
Swearing is not tolerated anywhere else in life -- kids can't do it at school, you can't do it in public. So it is quite extraordinary that they're just saying "Well, it's a free-for-all in 15-rated films". There is this idea that you
just have to accept obscene language because we've got an evolving contemporary society and that's just how it is. But, actually, no we don't.
The Daily Mail leader writer whinged:
In page after page of an exhaustive survey, parents tell the British Board of Film Classification of deep concerns over their children's exposure to obscene language in the playground and online.
The BBFC's response? With the perverse logic of the liberal intelligentsia, it concludes that the fight to protect the young from words that have become part of their vernacular is game over , and no longer worth fighting.
Hence its hugely controversial decision to make films containing foul language accessible to ever-younger audiences.
But then what's new? For decades, the BBFC has brought ever-more graphic obscenities and pornography into mainstream cinema.
Is it any wonder the battle for decency is being lost, when a body set up to defend standards proposes abject surrender?
The BBFC will launch a crackdown on sexual content and swearing in films
The Daily Telegraph featured seemingly contradicted the Daily Mail by saying that the BBFC will launch a crackdown on sexual content and
swearing in films. However they were referring to BBFC changes in the children's categories rather than the 12 and 15 categories that were mentioned by the Daily Mail.
The Daily Mail also ran big headlines: Film ratings to be toughened up. Apart from a few lines of BBFC political correct vagaries about sexualisation then the toughening up claim seems to based on BBFC comments about horror at 12 an 15.
BBFC Guidelines 2009
BBFC Guidelines 2014
Threat/Horror at 12/12A
Moderate physical and psychological threat may be permitted, provided disturbing sequences are not frequent or sustained.
There may be moderate physical and psychological threat and horror sequences.
Although some scenes may be disturbing, the overall tone should not be.
Horror sequences should not be frequent or sustained.
Threat/Horror at 15
Strong threat and menace are permitted unless sadistic or sexualised.
There may be strong threat and horror.
A sustained focus on sadistic or sexual threat is unlikely to be acceptable.
From my reading of the rather subtle rewording it would appear that one borderline 12/15 film every blue moon may be move from 12 under the old guidelines to 15 under the new guidelines. I think the Telegraph will be disappointed if they think Film ratings are to be toughened up.
Finally David Cooke reiterates most of what was said in yesterday's press release in a Huffington Post article. But he does
make the point that if film censors actually censored according to the wishes of the Daily Mail sound bite panel, then they would end up simply being ignored:
Public trust is crucial to an organisation such as the BBFC. It is vital that the public - parents in particular - trust that the classification decisions we make reflect their own sensibilities. If for example, we were to classify depictions of
strong, unsimulated sex as suitable for all, or restrict mild language to older teens or adults only, the public would soon start to lose confidence in, and so ignore, the BBFC's classifications.
We therefore go to great lengths to ensure that our decisions are in tune with society's concerns.
But, As David Flint comments, it seems a shame that the BBFC go to the trouble of ascertaining that the majority of the public thought they got it right about, say The Woman in Black, and then somehow give more credence, or at least more column
inches of PC pandering propaganda to a handful of whingers and moralists.